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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I'm really in need of your help and advise please.

We thought long and hard for a couple of months about adopting a Basset Hound. We have a 14 month old bitch already which we've had since 10 weeks old and we totally adore. she really is our baby!!

On Saturday we went to pick up Bertie. He is a lemon and white boy with lovely markings on his ears. He is between 3 and 5 years old but I recon nearer 5 than 3.

He had a permanent family for a year or two. They went off traveling and paid for him to be kenneled for a year. They never returned to pick him up at the end of the year. He must of then gone into a rescue centre. he got placed for a few months and then got handed into Basset Welfare last week as the dog became too dominant in the house and his new family could not cope any longer with him.

Cut a long story short but we've had him home since Saturday afternoon (its now Monday morning here) and he is sometimes lovely and wants to be stroked but he has 'turned' and gone for my boyfriend three times and drew blood on his thumb. the other two times Simon has moved away quick enough.

He is aggressive towards food and has the most vicious growl if you go hear him if he's guarding something or even just walk past him whilst he's resting.

he seems to be fine with me (as imp the food/treat giver and walker) but with simon my boyfriend he asks to be stroked and then suddenly turns on him.

Snoopy our puppy seems to give him a wide birth. if he walks into one room she leaves it. She refused to have treats until Bertie has had one first. He seems to have totally taken control of her.

and to be honest. im afraid to walk into a room with him in it incase he turns on me.

i feel like we've failed if we had him back to the rescue centre where he'll go back into a kennel but then we cant live in our own home in fear that we might upset him and could then hurt us or snoopy.

i already know that we cant have him but i guess im just writing on here to ask for some advice if any of you have any? is there something we can do to stop this behavior or because he's attacked simon should he be sent back or even put to sleep?

im sorry if this angers anyone out there but our hearts are in the right place and we really were trying to do a good thing in giving a dog a loving home but i dont think we can cope with him. we have lots of children that usually visit us but that's definitely a no no whilst Bertie is around.

Thanks for reading this if you have got this far....

Clare
 

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We had a similar experience once. Years ago, my husband and I lived on a farm and we had 3 bassets, all well adjusted happy dogs. Our vets knew we loved bassets, and when they heard of one that needed rescue, they called us, because they knew we had a good track record for plccing them. Any how, one time we got this basset, we called him Barney, that had been found wandering the interstate near Burlington, Vermont, in the winter. He had been taken to the shelter, where he had be advertised for a long time to try to find his owner. No one claimed him, so we took him in. It was just like you, he went after my husband, never bit him though, and would come out with this blood curdling growl if you walked past him at times, but not always. Tom, my husband, never backed away, in fact he confronted him when he did this. He would get him in a submissive position, until he stopped, and he eventually did stop. He eventually gave up the whole agression thing. We had him for several months, he seemed to be OK after a while, and we found a family who wanted to adopt him, the only thing is that they had children, in fact they ran a day care center. We warned them about his past history with us. they wanted to try him out, and we told them if I didn't work out, we would take him back. I know this is a long story, but the good news was that they never had a single problem with him, in fact, the kids at the day care center loved him, and he would actually let the tiny kids climb on his back.....
I don't know if you situation is similar to Barney's or not, but if you back down, and let this dog know he is boss, you will be in trouble. He may need to be dealt with like Tom did Barney, and you may have a wonderful buddy for your other dog after a while. Don't give up on him too soon, is all I am trying to say.
Hope this helps.
Sally and Shermie
PS how could ANYONE leave a dog at a kennel for a year? I will never understand some people...
 

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I can't imagine someone kenneling a dog for a year! What were they thinking? I can only imagine how confused and scared Bertie must be. Was wondering if maybe the rescue could set you up with a behaviorist who could help you with his aggression issues? Looking at the pictures on your other post, he's a beautiful dog and it would be a shame for things not to work out for him. I'm sorry I don't have any other constructive advice. Maybe others will. Best wishes to you all.

Janet 'n Twinkie
 

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I hate to be a downer, but I had a similar experience with Homer. He was given to us without any information. He was adorable looking and I melted and took him in. He ended up having some very serious aggression issues, including resource guarding, growling, biting, etc. He also could be very affectionate and loving as well. I really loved him and kept him for 2 + years hoping he would change. I had a behavioralist look at him, took him to obedience school, but he was trying to do serious damage to my cats, wouldn't let any of my other dogs have any rawhides or anything he wanted. He growled and snapped and would bite if you tried to remove an item from him. I finally found a good home for him with a woman who didn't care about his issues and felt she could handle him. I'm telling you this because giving him up was the most difficult thing I ever had to do. Had I done it in the beginning it would have been far easier. If you think this is not going to work out and that he's a danger to your household, I would give him back now. Don't wait 2 years and get so attached it tears your heart out to do it.
 

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It seems like a lost case to me,
I would never tolerate a dog who bites for any reason.
He's got serious behavior problems,
but maybe Mike can dig up some lecture for you...?



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Hi!

I feel really bad for you. Dogs that bite are a real dilema. My heart goes out to you. Awhile back we had a beautiful Golden Retriever, Rocky, who was GREAT with both my kids, until the day he turned around and bit my 4 year old daughter. REALLY bad day. We ended up putting him to sleep. Even worse day. My son was 18 months at the time and Rocky out-weighed him by a good 40 pounds so we didn't have much of a choice. It takes away a little of your faith in dogs. We now have Daisy Mae (after taking a few years off from owning a dog) and she has restored our faith. I also told the kids that if she bites them I'm putting them to sleep this time. LOL!!! Everyone has had some great advice, wish I could have added to it. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone in the situation. Anyway, good luck.
 

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So sorry to hear this Claire. I don't think you have anything to feel guilty about. I had this type of behaviour from my westie, and as Janet said, an animal behaviorist was the route I took, although Iwas dealing with a very small dog, which I think is easier. She is almost normal now, still has a couple of issues, but no aggression. I agree that he sounds extremely dominant and probably very fearful too.

In your circumstances I think I too would give him back to rescue, and perhaps later, one will come up which is a better fit for your family.
 

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Hi guys,

he got placed for a few months and then got handed into Basset Welfare last week as the dog became too dominant in the house and his new family could not cope any longer with him.

Cut a long story short but we've had him home since Saturday afternoon (its now Monday morning here) and he is sometimes lovely and wants to be stroked but he has 'turned' and gone for my boyfriend three times and drew blood on his thumb. the other two times Simon has moved away quick enough.

He is aggressive towards food and has the most vicious growl if you go hear him if he's guarding something or even just walk past him whilst he's resting.

he seems to be fine with me (as imp the food/treat giver and walker) but with simon my boyfriend he asks to be stroked and then suddenly turns on him.i already know that we cant have him but i guess im just writing on here to ask for some advice if any of you have any? is there something we can do to stop this behavior or because he's attacked simon should he be sent back or even put to sleep?

im sorry if this angers anyone out there but our hearts are in the right place and we really were trying to do a good thing in giving a dog a loving home but i dont think we can cope with him. we have lots of children that usually visit us but that's definitely a no no whilst Bertie is around.

Thanks for reading this if you have got this far....

Clare
[/b]
Ok in large part You discribe Mariah my mother basset.

1. The use of the word "dominate in discribing any type of aggression is pretty meaningless.

2. Bertie is a resource guarder. Jean Donaldson has written a fine book on the subject called Mine! for a fair review of the book click here. Ms. donaldson note touch sensitivity is a part of resource guarding. Mariah will only allow three people to pet here. An if she is on her futon where she general sleeps at night the it is only one. Fortunately Bertie does growl, IMHO Mariah was repeatedly punished for growing therefor she skipped that step of aggression esculation straight to biting.

3."he is sometimes lovely and wants to be stroked but he has 'turned' and gone for my boyfriend three times and drew blood on his thumb. the other two times Simon has moved away quick enough."
it Is unlikely your boyfriend was quick enough to aviod being bitten If it is the intent of the dog to connect they will connect. It is more likely the bite was a bit of a miscalcultion. However the drawing of blood is a concern and shows some lack of bite inhibition. Which will limit the extent you can use behavior modifaction techniques without risk. Also important is the type i.e. how blood was drawn what it a punture wound, clear indication of intent to injure or a scratch an the theeth ran across the thumb a much less serious infraction.

4. It is unlikely a complete cure can ocur but it may be possible to lessen the problem with at least those he has frequent contact. But give the lack of bite inhibition it is unlikely that you can condition him to strangers because of the risks involved so managment is the only solution

5. I highly reccommend getting the "Mine!" you will have a clear idea what can ancannot be accomplished other resources also strongly recommend is contact a animal behaviors, or at least something like "tufts Petfax" a remote consulting service for the Tufts Behavior Clinic, and agbeh"Here in the Aggressive Behaviors in Dogs group, with more than 500 experienced dog trainers from around the world, we discuss how to modify the behavior of dogs which sometimes exhibit aggressive behaviors toward dogs and/or toward people. Pet owners come here in droves seeking some suggestions. Oftentimes aggressive behaviors arise from dogs' fears or anxieties. Harsh training and physical punishments may make the problems worse. Trainers give information about using behavior modification as well as suggestions for safe home management and on using positive-reinforcement for teaching new skills. Only "dog-friendly" recommendations are permitted. No physical punishment-based methods are advocated here. "

6. Provide that simon continues to show bertie deferrence in those situation he may be in guard mode there is little likelihood of and dog/dog fighting. FWIW Mariah has no problem with other dogs just human and especially human hands.

7. IMHO it is far easier to deal with and over come resource guarding of food than touch sensitivities.

8. It is unlikely he can ever be trusted with stanger and/or children

9. Personnally I would not return him to the rescue. He has a history of aggression and biting which should make him unadoptable. If you can't manage and modify his behavior use all the resouces you have at your disposal he should be euthanized. There are too many storys of aggressive dogs be moved arround until a severe tradgedy occurs. Not all dogs are rehabable. With the abudance of dogs being euthanized in this country it is far better to euthanize the ones that are imfffirmed or suffer from dangerious behavior problem so that those that healthy can find a proper home.
 

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I would imagine that Claire does not have the right to euthanize this dog. When I got both my dogs I had to agree to return both to rescue if for whatever reason I could not keep them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hi guys

thanks for all the replies.

he's settled in a bit more since saturday and snoopy doesnt seem to walk out of a room every time he's enters it!

he's become very soppy and is wanting to be stroked alot and doesnt really let snoopy have any attension if he can help it. he's steeling her toys if she wants to play and growls at her if she goes near him when he's resting but then sometimes they love to play fight together and go sniffing around the garden at the same spots.

i never realised how much male dogs go to the toilet - he seems to pee on nearly every single tree we pass on a walk!

thanks again for all your advise and we will order that book online which was suggested. I will keep you all updated on how we get on.

Clare
 
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