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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,
We are new Basset owners, we adopted a basset two-and-a-half weeks ago. He is a 1.5 year old male who was returned to the breeder by his original owner about 6 months ago. Previous owner didn't have the time to spend with/care for him, and said he was showing some signs of aggression. We went to the breeder to meet his dogs, to make sure that this was the breed for us, we have 3 kids, 2, 6, and 9. While we were there he told us about this dog, and said he was looking for just the right home for him. Told us what the previous owner said, and added that this dog was very underweight and malnourished when he was returned to him(the breeder). He also said that the only aggression he had seen in the dog was over food on the second day he had him, but attributed that to having been underfed for so long before. Said it only happened once, and that he hadn't seen anything else since, and he had been around other children with no problems. After a few days, we decided to adopt him...we had been considering a rescue anyway, and he was local.
All was well until the second night he was with us, he showed my husband his teeth. The dog (Bongo) was licking the dishes in the dishwasher and my husband told him no, and tried to move him away. He didn't do it roughly, he put a hand on his shoulder and tried to move him back, and Bongo snarled/snapped at him. We attributed this to being unsettled by his new home, and didn't worry too much about it. We began making sure he sat before he got his food, or went outside, and made sure he waited for us to go through doorways first, etc. Couple days later during a vet exam (we took him just to have a basic well-check and shots) he growled, snarled and snapped at the vet 3 times during his exam/shots. We called a reputable local trainer to have an evaluation to determine if his grumpiness was "fixable", or if our home just wasn't the right one for Bongo. He thought Bongo needed basic obedience training, and to have my husband and I make sure we are strong leaders of the "goggie", as my 2 year old calls him. It's been two weeks since the vet appointment, and things have been relatively peaceful, but dotted by small incidences of lip curling and slight teeth-showing. Yesterday and today, he has snarled/growled at two of our kids, and snapped at my husband. I've been reading these message boards for a couple of weeks now, and I know that if he had meant to hurt them, he would have, I understand that he was telling them that he didn't like what they were doing. I think he gets scared by sudden movement toward him, and with my kids, one of them grabbed his tail, and the other one grabbed his muzzle. I was only a few feet away in both cases, and he wasn't hurt either time, I guess he just didn't like what they were doing. We are closely supervising our kids with him, and are teaching them to be respectful of Bongo, but they are young children and can be unpredictable.
I'm sorry for the length of this post, but some of the folks I see posting regularly on here seem to be very knowledgeable and level-headed. I have fallen in love with this dog, in spite of his grumpiness, and really want him to be a permanent family member. But we cannot have a dog that can't be trusted with our family. As I said before, I realize that no dog should be left unsupervised with young children, and he isn't, but there will always be times that they disappear around a corner out of sight for a minute or two. We have scheduled the trainer to come out today for our first lesson. This training is expensive, and we can't afford to spend that amount of money on a pet we don't end up keeping. I'd really appreciate any advice and opinions you all might have.
Thank you,
Kim:confused:
 

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I don't have time to read all of your message as I have to go out, but I spotted the word "aggression" and having been a lifelong owner (three generations of our family) of Bassets, including between us, numerous older rescued Bassets, never ever would I use the words aggression, Basset and children in the same sentence... even with young children and our older rescues, never once could we not have left our kids alone with any of our Bassets who are just the most docile of breeds and excellent with babies and children... just Google "Basset Hound and baby" as an example of how trusting this beautiful breed is!

Maybe the previous owners used the word "aggression" as an excuse to get the breeder to take their Basset back, just because they didn't have the common sense to realise that puppies need a lot of attention and maybe they didn't have the time or the inclination to spend the time looking after their Basset, especially if working full-time, who probably became bored!!! Any breeders I know, would never part with a pup to people who had no experience of Bassets, (and if no experience, would read about them before deciding to have one) nor if they couldn't spend time with them or had not learned how hounds are different to train than say a Collie dog as an example!


PS: Back later to have a proper read of your message!
 

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My basset would growl once in a bluemoon, only if my husband do something the dog doesn't like, such as taking his treat filled kong away or put the cone of shame on the dog. The dog used to growl at him a lot more when we just adopted him because I am the one who take care of the dog 90% of the time such as doggie play dates and long walks and things like that. Porter have never growled at me, even if I do something he doesn't like such as nail clipping or take his food away. Maybe it'll just take time for the dog to bond with the family? My dog was adopted too and I am not sure about his history. Maybe you can ask your kids to approach the dog slowly and from the side, sometime the dog is less threatened that way, just until he is used to having kids around.

FYI it took my dog about 2~3 months to get use to my apartment and me and my husband. maybe he just need sometime to settle down and get used to you and your family?
 

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I show my teeth every so often to my dogs, and that does the trick. We sometimes think that our dogs think they are humans when in fact, they just think we are dogs too. This is the way that dogs figure out their pecking order. I'm definitely the alpha dog in our house.
 

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You may want to consider having his thyroid checked .I've been reading this could have an affect on a dog's disposition.It could just be he has gotten away with doing this at the last owner's house and you have just inherited the problem.There could be many factors to this issue and hard to pinpoint one.Good Luck
 

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All was well until the second night he was with us, he showed my husband his teeth. The dog (Bongo) was licking the dishes in the dishwasher and my husband told him no, and tried to move him away. He didn't do it roughly, he put a hand on his shoulder and tried to move him back, and Bongo snarled/snapped at him. We attributed this to being unsettled by his new home,
It has nothing to do with being unsettled in a new home and every thing to do with being a resources guarder with food. It is something that you need to work on it is lifely something that is never completely resolved. You can not assume the incidents in the past were because he was malnurished etc. Never seen a case were a resource guarder is reformed sundenly/quickly because a resource is more plentiful . It does not work that way. It only way it get better is teaching the dog that your action are not going to have and adverise effect You need to include the children in all training. Keep in mind the food bowl exercise extend only to the food bowl they are not going to make him anyless likely to guard stolen or found food, but you need to start with the food bowl first.

food bowl exercises


Resource Guarding & The Food Bowl Game


Dogs that are resource guarders are generally touch sensitive as well. The do not like to be handled. So a lot of those issue are all related. You need to realise that inorder to make the situation better the first thing that has to happen is stop placing the dog in situation in which he feel the need to act grumpy because all that does it further reinforce his grumpyness. If you have one kid pulling the dogs tail it is quite simple, if you can not teach the child not to pull the dogs tail, you need to keep the two seperated at all time no exceptions,

but they are young children and can be unpredictable.
Think at it from the dogs perspective the chidren are unpredictable and have cause him pain in the past, hes is not going to give them the benefit of the doubt when they approach.


You need to look at this dog very realistically. It is not a bad dog. However he is a resource guarder and touch sensitive. around small you children that are unpredictable. He just may not be the right dog for your family. I know all the sites say howw great bassset are with kid very toolerant etc. As a whole the breed is better than most but you are never getting the average of the breed but ratheer an individual dog with a individual personaility that is going to deviate from the breed average. Are there basset that should never be trust with children, yo betcha.

you need to get your self a copy of MINE! - A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO RESOURCE GUARDING IN DOGS

Read it complete and see if it is someth the whole family can do including the children, if not then the dog and childern need to be seperated until they are.
I an not dismissive of how hard this is actually to do. It is why many breeder will not sell dogs to family with young children, and also why I think you need to think long and hard if you are rady to take on a dog with these issue. It is far better to walk away from the dog now than to put it in a position it is going to fail and potential cause a serious injury. With a touch sensitive dog you are going to need to learn to train the dog how to get hin to mever without being touched etc. For that I suggest hand targeting



Teaching Your dog to Hand Target
 

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We adopted Simone from a Rottie/Doberman rescue group, go figure! She is stubborn as they come but she also a sweetheart, funny, gentle, great dog that LOVES children. But...before Simone we adopted Michael from a basset rescue group after our 17 yo Springer died. Within a few days Michael started growling, showing his teeth, etc. We & the rescue group excused his behavior as adjustment, tried to figure out his triggers, worked on training, exercise, etc. We had him for 6 weeks when he attacked our 15 yo granddaughter. The 1 1/2" deep bites became severely infected despite treatment, luckily the scars are not on her face. The rescue group re-adopted him with restriction of children over 12 & experienced owner. My point is: we knew Michael wasn't right but we let our hearts rule and tried to fix him. There are great Bassets out there that are not aggressive, do not need to be fixed, have proven patience by fostering with children. Don't make the mistake I made.
 

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Fiar review of Mine!
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.
In a nutshell, this primarily involves classically counter-conditioning a "conditioned emotional response" where an owner's approach is associated with high-value food treats, rather than representing a threat of loss or punishment. Initially this is done in the presence of little provocation, but incremental advances proceed until the dog can happily be approached when in the presence of whatever he formerly guarded most fiercely.
Anal retentive to a fault (and I mean that as a compliment in this context), Donaldson does an excellent job of breaking down forms of resource guarding behavior into detailed, progressive increments. In order to teach a dog to accept having its mouth opened, for example, she lists 60 separate steps - beginning with touching the dog's rump for a single second. It takes 27 steps before one even touches the dog's head.
if you have not read them in the post you rad earlier the following articles will give you some insite from the dogs perspective

He Just Wants To Say "Hi!"
Aggression or appropriate response to rudeness? Far too many dogs suffer because handlers & trainers don't know the difference between the two.

Dogs Use Non-Aggressive Fighting to Resolve Conflicts
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for the advice. After careful consideration, we've decided to return him to the breeder...he made us promise to do that if we ever couldn't keep him for any reason. I've been researching guarding and being touch sensitive and those things seem to describle him to a t. I'm wondering if we need to wait until our 2 yo is a little older to adopt a dog.
:(
 

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I'm wondering if we need to wait until our 2 yo is a little older to adopt a dog.
:(
I will give you my take. From a dog persepcetive toddler are not humans, the do not move like human act like humans etc. The move unpredictable, have a tendency through no fault of the toddler fall on th e dog etc. There is a reason toddlers acout for the largers percentage of dog bites. There are many a dogs that are good with children that are not so good with toddlers. So rather than a dog that is good with kids you need on that is specifically good with toddlers. These are hard to find not because tese dogs are rare but simply the dog does not have the opurtunity to prove it. and who want to but their child in the position as human guinia pig. Unless you are willing to keep them apart unless strictlv supervise any interaction between todler and dog and keep them sperated with physical parriers the rest of the time you are betting off waiting to the toddler is more mature. I real terms it is not that long.

Toddlers & DOGS

Supervision, SUPER-vision, Super-VISION !
If you see the baby closing in on the unsuspecting dog, intercept him! Cornered dogs have no other choice but to tell the child to go away the only way they know how. Help them out of the situation before they have to.
Surprise is one of the biggest reasons dogs spin and snap. A sudden reach, an impulsive hug, a handful of fur clenched tightly in a baby's fist or twisted lip or ear. Babies lose their balance and fall. You have to be there to catch them before they land on the sleeping dog!

"If you want to keep your child safe from your dog,
please keep your dog safe from your child."
- Lisa Edwards, CPDT, CDBC"


IMHO a dog and todler is more than the average parents can handle, Not saying it can't be done. but are you realy ready for the type of committent that it requires.​
 

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I Know giving a dog back is difficult but you are doing the best thing for your family and the dog. In a few years you will find the perfect dog for your family and you will be so glad you waited for the right dog at the right time.
 

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I grew up with dogs, and was two when my parents got a beagle puppy (my "brother" sonny boy). I was a pretty gentle kid though, and it was just me, my mom, sonny and an older small mix dog. I would think three kids and a dog would be too much to control at once. Would be bad for the kids, and the dog.
When I take Bowser to visit a friend of mine who has a 2 year old, 4 year old, and 8 year old, I know he's a sweet as can be, but we have to constantly be on the kids to not pull ears, smack him with toys, chase him, etc...and they are good kids! They just want to play with him, but the inadvertantly terrify him sometimes.

I think for the safety of the animal, and your kids, I'd wait until their a bit older. Bassets are pretty gentle as a breed, I'm sorry you had to give that guy back because it sounds like he'd been abused.
 

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:( This just makes me so sad! The only person to blame here is the previous owner! He basically ruined a great dog! Basset's are naturally great with children. My husband and I do not have any children yet, so Kenna doesn't have a lot of time around them. But when our Goddaughter comes over, Kenna just LOVES her. She wants to lick her and snuggle her! :( :( Just so sad that some people can get dogs no problem!!! It's so sad, because that dog could be such a great pet! I agree without a doubt that he probably wasn't the best fit for your family! I sure hope someone can take him in and get him fixed :(
 

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Awwww poor Bongo! You made the right decision returning him. I wouldn't have taken the chance with small children around either. Praying Bongo finds the right home for him and gets to live a happy life.
 

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I sure hope someone can take him in and get him fixed
in the right situation for the dog there is nat a problem that need to be fixed.

Avoiding the problem in the first place is as if not more effective than trying to fix it .
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all for the advice and support. Mikey, I agree with you, in the right home, he will be just fine. I miss my gardening buddy, but he will be happier in a home without small kids. One day, when we are ready, the right "goggie" will be ready, too. :)
 
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