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Please to forgive the long post. I used to visit this forum a lot when my basset Winston was younger, and we were learning all about this wonderful breed. But, I haven't been on in awhile. So first let me say greetings and hope everyone is doing well.

Now about my situation. We love Winston. He is like our child, and we have given him a great life. We rescued Winston about 10 years ago. He is around 11 years old now. We believe he was badly abused because he has always been agitated by people sneaking up on him and being near feet. He is now starting to slow down (has a little bit of arthritis and minor cataracts) so he hates being moved.

Lately, he has been sleeping with us every night, and let's just say it is not always a good situation. We joke that Winston wants to touch us but does not want to be touched. He growls when you move or roll over. And my husband comes to bed later than me, and Winston often growls or snaps when my husband tries to move him. I think it may partially be the dark and/or the fear of being moved b/c it hurts (arthritis), but its hard to tell b/c he is very stubborn and has always had a little bit of fear aggression due to his background.

Last night, he growled at my husband and we kicked him off the bed. I wanted to not let him back on the bed at all last night. But my husband felt that we would be punishing him beyond his memory. So we ended up letting him back on the bed after a half an hour, and he was a bit better. Also, my husband has noticed that the more we punish him about the bed the more he gets agitated when my husband comes in b/c he anticipates being in trouble. So, its creating a vicious cycle. Since we can't have an intellectual conversatoin with him, I'd love to get the next best thing--your thoughts.

So my question is what do we do? What's the best way to handle this? How can we make it clear that he is not King of the bed but that we allow him to be on the bed and where he can be on the bed? We'd rather not banish him permanently if we don't have to.

One thought we had is that we move the pet stairs and only allow him on the bed when we want him to (most likely when my husband comes to bed).

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
 

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First of all, is he on any medication for the arthritis? That would be the first step. You might also want to have him checked for any other issues.

For the growling if you roll over or move - if he's just "grumbling" I would pretty much ignore it. If it escalates you may have to consider having him sleep elsewhere.

For your husband moving him, I would suggest either luring him to a new position with a treat (less painful/threatening for the dog than being physically moved) or keep him from getting onto the bed until hubby is there - moving the pet stairs as you suggested.

If you want to get elaborate, depending on your setup, you could always build a "bed addition" at the end of the bed, with a barrier to keep him off the actual sleeping part of the bed, so that he could still be "on the bed" but not in the way or getting jostled.
 

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I've had good luck by making sure the dog is awake and realizes what you want to do. That way he won't be startled and may cooperate as much as a Basset will. Good luck
 

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We have a grumbly bedtime basset as well but as long as its not the snarly "mean" growl we just ignore him... we also have a senior - Samantha is 9- we bought an ottoman a few years back that pushes against our bed. She sleeps there at night and then comes up on the bed around 5am for a snuggle (we get up at 6)- this helps her (and us) have a more restful night.
 

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its hard to tell b/c he is very stubborn and has always had a little bit of fear aggression due to his background
If you need to put a name to it, then use resource guarding. As dogs become older a soft comfortable place to sleep becomes more important to them They may begin to guard such a resource as the age

How can we make it clear that he is not King of the bed but that we allow him to be on the bed and where he can be on the bed? We'd rather not banish him permanently if we don't have to.
You need to designate a spot for him wher he will not be disturbed if this is not possible another sleeping arrangement is inorder. Giveing the dog a physical guide where he is to slep on the bed can help i.e. a blanket etc at the foot of the bed for him to use.

Training an off command can give you the control you need without needing to physically manipulate the dog. It is also easier on the dog. You can also train a {mat) or place command. using the same blanket for where the dog stay while you eat dinner (throwing an occsional reward to him) See table manners Given that dogs are poor generalizers using the same mat/blanket for both helps speed the dog training that it is a good place to be.
 

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Our bassett sleeps on a bed by our bed. She is 6 and has had back issues so I would not ever let her up that high. She seems find with this and always goes to her bed when she is tired
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the ideas. He is on medication for his arthritis.

Last night--he did a bit better. No major growling.

We've been considering getting a big chair/ottoman for the room so maybe we will do that too as another option. When he is sweet and cuddly, he is wonderful to sleep with.
 

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Even sweet old Franny occasionally growls when moved on the bed.
Spoiled rotten he is.
 
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