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I've been on here telling everyone how my new dog, Flash seems almost perfect (only problem being barking for fun).
I have to take that back. A few minutes ago when I caught him with his front paws on the counter taking a muffin, I gruffly told him with a raised voice, "No Flash, NO!" He turned to me, curled his lips back and lunged toward me as if he was going to bite me. I grabbed my broom and held it out at him yelling, "NO!" because I didn't want him to think I was afraid & would run from him, (though truthfully, he terrified me!) When I did that, he ran off down the hall and out the doggy door. I did NOT hit him or scream at him and I've been nothing but loving toward him since I got him. I'm very upset right now. I've never had a dog of my own show that kind of aggression toward me or anyone else. I've had him about 6 weeks so far. I have 4 kids, ages 8 through 17 and I have a daycare in my home. I don't want to panic but I feel like I shouldn't just blow this off as average naughtiness and hope it doesn't happen again. Anyone out there ever had a Basset who has shown aggression toward them? Any suggestions? I don't have a clue what to do.
 

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update: I looked around on the net for info about this and found a website that was a real eye opener

www.northwynchesapeakes.com/bites.htm

So now I think I may know what the problem is. Since Flash has arrived in my home, we've all treated him like a king. We've been spoiling him and making a huge fuss over him, and now he thinks he's the alpha dog in our family. When I got on his case for the first time ever, he took it as insubordination from one of his adoring underling pack members, so he tried to discipline me. I'm going to try to follow all the doggy boot camp steps I found on the website and see what happens. I would very much like to know if anyone else has been shown aggression by one of their Bassets. If so, how did you deal with it???
 

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So now I think I may know what the problem is. Since Flash has arrived in my home, we've all treated him like a king. We've been spoiling him and making a huge fuss over him, and now he thinks he's the alpha dog in our family. When I got on his case for the first time ever, he took it as insubordination from one of his adoring underling pack members, so he tried to discipline me.[/b]

Pack hierarchy myth and theory abouind in human-dog interactionand most of them are just that myth.

1. dogs are not pack animals, they do not naturally form packs in the wild ( feral dog) they will however loose informal social groups that are tranisient at best

2. Pack heirarchy asscoiated with the dog comes from wolf studies that were severly flawed in the 30-50 studying wolves in capativity in over crowdeded condition. Those that study wolves in the wild say the natural arrangment of a "wolf Pack" is that of a family a mother father and off spring. Dominance displays, actions etc are unheard of.

3. Expert who espouse pack therory as it relates to dogs can even agree how dog arainge them selfs and a such can't agree when observing the same group of dogs wich is dominate or submissive.

4. So called dominance reducing exercise( dogs fed last, no dogs on the bed or elevated areas, humans walk ahead etc) have not shown to reduce aggression in dogs.

5. there are better tools like behavioral theory to explain how dog learn , think and interact with other dogs and humans than pack hierarchy.

a list of links will be supplied at the end of the post


What you fail to realize is the two most sailient part to your encounter with flash.
1. that food was involved and more importantly found food

2. that no injury occured to you. One the second point If it was the intention of the dog to cause injury it would have done so. It is that simple.

on the first point What you are dealing with is call resource guarding. It is a normal adaptive behavior of any animal. That is retention of resource is often key to surviving in the wild. This is not to say such behavior is acceptable in a domesticated dog living with humans only that it is not abnormal behavior and the dog need training to correct the behavioral problem., The best resource for training in this regard is. jean Donaldson MINE! - A GUIDE TO RESOURCE GUARDING IN DOGS and for a fair review of the book click here
Donaldson presents resource guarding as a normal, adaptive behavior and rejects notions that resource guarders are not "nice" dogs or are "dominant aggressive". Instead, she focuses on a behaviorist approach to conceptualizing and remediating such behavior.[/b]
On of the basic principals it teach the dog to trade high value Items. This of course must begin with trading low value items for higher ones. In bassets traing a toy for food is ussually such a trade. Dog has toy , show dog treat. when you thing the dog is going to drop the toy say trade when he does give him the treat. repeat often. After a few try do not show the treat to the dog but besure to act like you have one and attempt a trade. If he trades reward with the treat. if not Try again but show the treat first. however do not attempt to many time this way without again trying to trade without showing the food first. It is imporant to fade the need to show the dog the trade first before he will iniate a trade. Over time you can begin trading lower for higher value items with even higher or equal reward. In the case of food. it could be a raw hid chew for a piece of steak. At this time it is imporant to add the prospect of the Tweo fer. That is if they are willing to trade they get both what you have to offer and also get what they dropped back as well. This over time beget the willingness of the dog to trade a high value item for a lowever value item on the pretense he will in the end get both.

also see PREVENTION of GUARDING IN DOGS AND PUPPIES

Food Bowl Safety...Making Deposits in Your Dog's Bank Account For Good Behavior!

You also must keep in mind most resource guarders will garder more than one type of item and many also have touch sensitivity issues as well. That is they do not liked to be touch at certain parts of their body. The success rate of behavior modifcation is highly dependant on just how much bite inhibition the dog has. That is how much damage he causes. A dog that does not inflict injury while garding is going to have much more success than one that can and dose induce pucnture wounds. This is because unfortunately bite inhibition has not been able to be taught to older dogs reliable. The lack of bite inhibition reduces the repetition and situations one is willing to train the dog through.

You have also discover why it is imparative all dog child interaction be actively supervised that is the child is only allowed to interact with the dog when you can give your undivided attention to supervising the situation. Secondly with dogs that are food aggressive on must avoid mixxing food in the child dog interaction unless it is an active training session under supervision as the exercises in the links above.

domance theory myth links

<a href="http://www.nonlineardogs.com/socialorganisation.html" target="_blank"> The Social Organization of the Domestic Dog
A Longitudinal Study of Domestic Canine Behavior and the Ontogeny of Canine Social Systems</a>
Not the easiest of reads :rolleyes:

Myth 29: The domestic dog is a naturally aggressive species

10 life-threatening behavior myths
"Dogs that are aggressive are acting dominant."
Aggression is more likely due to fear or anxiety than to dominance. The terms dominance and dominance aggression are probably the most overused and misapplied terms related to animal care today. And worse, a misunderstanding of aggression and dominance has resulted in training methods that make no sense from an ethological point of view and can cause a lot of harm.[/b]
Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals by American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

Debunking the Dominance Myth
So-called dominance exercises were — and in some circles still are — widely recommended to
prevent the dog from taking over the entire household. These exercises include not feeding him
until after you’ve eaten, letting him through doorways only after you, forbidding access to
furniture, and not playing tug-of-war.
In reality, there is no evidence that these procedures prevent dominance aggression or any other
behavioral problem. One study found no correlation between playing tug-of-war or allowing a
dog on the bed and the development of aggressive behavior.[/b]
What ever happened to the Term Alpha Wolf?
For example, 19 prominent wolf biologists from both Europe and North America never mentioned the term alpha in a long article on breeding pairs of wolves. The article, titled “The Effects of Breeder Loss on Wolves,” was published in a 2008 issue of the Journal of Wildlife
Management. In the 448-page, 2003 book Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, edited by Luigi Boitani and myself and written by 23 authors, alpha is mentioned in only six places and then only to explain why the term is outdated. What gives?

This change in terminology reflects an important shift in our thinking about wolf social behavior. Rather than viewing a wolf pack as a group of animals organized with a “top dog” that fought its way to the top, or a male-female pair of such aggressive wolves, science has come to understand that most wolf packs are merely family groups formed exactly the same way as human families are formed. That is, maturing male and female wolves from different packs disperse, travel around until they find each other and an area vacant of other wolves but with adequate prey,court, mate, and produce their own litter of pups.[/b]
<a href="http://www.4pawsu.com/dominancemyth.pdf" target="_blank">MOVING BEYOND THE DOMINANCE MYTH: TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING
OF TRAINING AS PARTNERSHIP</a>
FALLACY ONE: THAT THE DOG‐INCLUSIVE FAMILY IS TRULY A “PACK”
Dogs and humans are alien to each other and our societies have different rules and mores. If our
household were in fact a canine pack then we should have to expect to live by dogs’ rules, and that is
clearly impossible. Dogs must live by human rules, which means that dogs have to surrender their
ordinary modes of interaction insofar as they are interacting with humans and not other dogs.
This fact alone tells us that our relationship with our dogs is not intraspecific but interspecific. The
same actions which if directed by one member of a given species against another member of that
species would lead to some settling of hierarchy and order take on a far different quality when
directed by a member of one species against a member of another species. As Lindsay suggests, our
acts of physical “discipline” are in fact a form of interspecific aggression.[/b]
Beyond the "Dominance" Paradigm

The History and Misconceptions of Dominance Theory

<a href="http://wcco.com/petcorner/Anne.Hendrickson.Dog.2.373905.html" target="_blank">Being the Alpha
The Truth About Dominance</a>
Most of your dog's behavior is driven by one of two things:
1. Instinct
This would include fear responses of fight and flight, hunting (frequently manifesting itself in the form of cat chasing), herding breeds nipping, and puppies mouthing. These behaviors are not driven by a status struggle. They are traits carried over from dogs' wild ancestors and/or traits humans have selectively bred for in order to enable the dog perform a given task such as herding or hunting.

2. Training
I don't mean formal obedience training. I mean conditioning. Your dog has learned which behaviors get him what he wants.[/b]

Dominance

Some Thoughts on letting go of the Dominance Paradigm in Training DogsBy Beth Duman (Court certified wolf expert and dog trainer)

“Pack Leader” Myths

How Wolves became dogs

Controversial origins of the domestic dog
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Mikey T, your reply was informative and much appreciated. As you can imagine, I've been getting a lot of advise here at home from friends. Everything from, "Ignore Flash when he's up on a counter or table chowing down on your families food" (this from a person who allows all their cats free roam of the kitchen including eating from peoples plates at dinner time) to, "Have Flash put down immediately". Your advise makes the most sense :)

I've decided to be put a hinged child safety gate in the kitchen entryway. As a child care provider, I already have these gates to keep children out of various areas of the house and I should have had one for the kitchen as well. Now I will!
I realize I shouldn't have allowed Flash to be in the kitchen unsupervised in the first place.

I do have a very firm rule that children can never be anywhere near any of my pets without close supervision. I learned that several years ago when a 3 year old child strangled one of our kittens to death. Until I get to know my new dogs much better, I've not been allowing them to interact with the daycare children even with close supervision. One sudden skin breaking nip would mean the end of my license (and the end of paying my mortgage).
 

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Everything from, "Ignore Flash when he's up on a counter or table chowing down on your families food"[/b]
this is actual nat as bad as advice as it may first apear. Unless you have the tool inplace to deal with the stolen food issue safely, confronting the dog will only encourage it be more fearful of the loss object and react increasing more forcefully over time. Avoiding the confrontation through better management such a not leaving food on the counter and managaing the dogs aces to the area and avoiding confrontations through not provoking the dog when it does steal an item is certainly safer than confronting the dog if you do not know what you are doing.
 

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this is actual nat as bad as advice as it may first apear. Unless you have the tool inplace to deal with the stolen food issue safely, confronting the dog will only encourage it be more fearful of the loss object and react increasing more forcefully over time. Avoiding the confrontation through better management such a not leaving food on the counter and managaing the dogs aces to the area and avoiding confrontations through not provoking the dog when it does steal an item is certainly safer than confronting the dog if you do not know what you are doing.[/b]
...Which is the reason for the security gate in the kitchen entry way, because to me, allowing a pet to eat from the table or counter top is outrageously unacceptable in every way. I won't eat one bite or drink one sip of anything at the home of a person that I know allows something that disgusting to go on. Though my other dogs and my 3 cats won't dare do such a thing, Flash is obviously an exception, so the gate seems like the sensible thing to do. This is a new issue for me because, though I'm new to Basset ownership, I've always had dogs and cats, including when I was growing up, but until yesterday I never had anything like this occur. My Border Collie, Bear did try to swipe food when he was new to our family but I firmly ordered him to drop it, which he did without incident, then I sent him outside for awhile. That was the first and last time he did it. As for the cats, a water bottle set on stream has always worked wonders. After getting wet a few times, they always decide the table and counter top are not worth getting wet for.

I talked to my veterinarian today. She told me a dog who threatens it's owner for any reason is a dog in serious need of obedience training. She said that no matter what anyone else tells me, the fact is, a well trained dog will not threaten it's owner. She also said that negotiating with a threatening dog (offering it something in return for the item it's threatening you over) will tell the dog that threatening a human being results in rewards, and this will eventually lead to the dog becoming a serious threat, which in turn will lead to it being euthanized.

We'll be signing up for obedience classes asap!
 
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