Basset Hounds Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We are a week into our new adventure with Maggie today. Thankfully, she came to us with the general understanding to potty outside. We have had a few accidents but that was more from us not getting her cues.

Our biggest concern is how playtime seems to disintegrate into ultra boisterousness to the point of barking and growling with teeth bared. We have a 15 yr old daughter that handles her pretty well and will disengage (walk away) when she goes overboard. But her behavior is intimidating to her and also to our 8 year old son. I find this particularly heart breaking because the kids were the reason we adopted her, after they had begged for a dog for years. My son at this point is spending most of his free time in his room with the door closed to just not deal with her at all. :(

We don't have a fenced yard but we do take her out to play two to three times a day on a 30ft tether. She loves to chase toys so we throw them back and forth to try and tire her out. We also go for walks at least twice a day besides the sniff fests that potty trips turn in to.

I am at a loss here. There has to be more she is needing than to be tired out, but I don't know what. She has also started humping her bed in the past two days, dragging it all over the house, growling and wrestling with it.

Ideas?
Thanks!
Stevie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Hi Stevie!

I don't know a whole lot and I'm hoping someone else pipes in here to give some feedback. Sounds like puppy crazies to me, but making sure it doesn't turn into aggression as an adult is the challenge.

We had a lot of energy to deal with in the beginning with Fergus. I think it can be remedied this early with her, but it's hard to say if she's extra active because of her pointer side. We did take a training class, which may help with holding her attention and wearing her out. She's old enough now. We really ramped up the walks and it still wasn't enough some days.

The other thing we did after some advice here and from the class we took was creating a "time out" strategy. When he got too worked up (which still happens occasionally and we're at 16 months now), he goes to time out. Either a crate or his "room" for a few minutes. They say you should really time it so that she knows what has happened and not long enough that she forgets why she's there. We work in a 5-15 minute range. Some days this was repeated over and over again. Sometimes he would just go in there and fall asleep right away.

More good info here: Dog Training Article: Using a Time Out to Discourage Your Dog's Misbehavior

Good luck!!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
You don't say how old she is, but she sounds like a normal puppy to me. It would probably be a good idea to enroll in obedience classes to learn how to bring her energy under control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
878 Posts
Sounds like normal puppy behaviour to me and if Maggie had a puppy or doggy friend to play with, the two of them would enjoy a nice bit of rough and tumble play (like our two litter sisters have always done)I'm sure that Maggie isn't aggressive, she just wants to play!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the help. This morning she went overboard and nipped at me, growling with teeth bared trying to get to my shoelaces while I was tying my shoes. This got her an immediate firm No! and a 5 min time out in her crate.

This evening when playtime started getting heated, we leashed up and went for a 45 minute walk/sniff fest. Which resulted in a pooped puppy nap.



We're just going to take it a day at a time!

ETA: I tried to insert a flickr photo of her napping but it doesn't seem to work. How does one insert images here?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
ETA: I tried to insert a flickr photo of her napping but it doesn't seem to work. How does one insert images here?

001 by psychestevie, on Flickr

For most photos, if you look at the icons at the top of the reply box, there is one for photos (if you hover your cursor over it, the words "insert image" will appear). It's right below the undo arrow. Click that and a box will come up, put the photo's url in the box, click OK and it should appear.

However, in the case of Flickr photos it appears you need to follow a different process. I went to the page your picture was on, clicked on it for the large size. On top of the photo is a set of icons for sharing (email, facebook and twitter) plus an arrow for more sharing options. When I clicked that, there is the option to "Grab the link" or "Grab the HTML/BB Code. Click on the HTML/BB Code arrow and select BB Code. Then copy the code and paste it into your post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,780 Posts
Hi Maggie May's Mom,

First of all-- Welcome! (Worm says your gal is cute and he likes to lie on his bed that way too... [but warning, Worm is a flirt]...)

Somehow, I don't like the "intimidating," son staying in his room to avoid her, and "overboard," in you posts. And I know some will disagree here, but I personally don't like "growling" and "teeth bared" and "nipping either." Re: the latter, my old dog did none of that except occasional teeth baring, but Worm did all of them initially, just a little, and we were able to get him to stop and haven't had problems since. He's now very civil at 11 months.

I'm saying this because you've got the kids and want it to be a good experience for them, and it sounds like you'd like for it to work out w/Maggie May if possible-- to me, if you have the means, I would consider hiring a behaviorist for 2-3 private sessions, so he/she can observe the issues and give you their opinion about what to do. Private sessions are good so that all the attention can be on her. I believe this would be the fastest way to get to a good result... not the cheapest, but the fastest.

I think classes are good (Worm has been doing them for the past 3 months), but the downsides for your situation are: you only meet once/week, your teacher has an agenda so may not get to your specific problem in a session, and the trainer's attention is divided among the participants.

At 6 months, chances are she is trainable, and she needs to learn some bite inhibition. A behaviorist can help you get on top of the behavior problems quickly, and also be able to tell you what's just normal puppy behavior, too. This is probably safest for your children, too. Have not been on the forum long, but have read the stories where behavior problems escalate, leading to some bite that results in the dog being turned in. If you are able, I would say it's best to address the problems ASAP and nip them in the bud...!

Agree w/Fergus-- timeouts are good, and Worm gets them when he's misbehaving in his teacher's playgroup (ie. barking at other dogs too much... way too much...)

Please keep us posted...!

ps. we put Worm in daycare 1x/week-- he gets SUPER tired from playing w/all the dogs there all morning and afternoon. it's a good option if available. plus he might continue to learn from other dogs (including bite inhibition, maybe...) while there. "a tired dog is a good dog," so true. Worm is the cutest thing tonight simply because he went to daycare today and is pooped. he's so tired that he won't even type on this forum tonite... (that's pretty tired...!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Wworm! It's the tone of the growl and the teeth thing that bothers me too. I grew up with dogs, all ages and sizes. It has been a long time since we owned one. But it seems like I can "feel" when things get overheated.
Late last night when we came in from our last potty break/ sniff fest, she had some energy to burn off. She chased a ball for a while but when she lost interest she got aggressive towards me. She growled and barked, I shushed her and when she did it again, I forced her into a down with my hand on her neck. I used a calm assertive voice and told her to calm down several times.
This seemed to break the energy, and she walked away calmly.
We are trying to be consistent with stopping the behavior as soon as it starts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,943 Posts
She growled and barked, I shushed her and when she did it again, I forced her into a down with my hand on her neck. I used a calm assertive voice and told her to calm down several times
no need to use physical force doing so with some dog will actual amp up the behavior. It also teaches them that physical force is ok. Simply ignoring the dog turn your back etc while remain calm general works a would not talk to her as this is interaction as well. What I do is switch between games like tug and petting the dog if when I move slowly to pet the dog and it mover to play/bite hand I withdraw and wait some more before engaging again. This becomes an important exercise in self control for the dog.

I assume part of the problem is the puppy is nipping as well. Keep in mind at this stage you do not want to end the game with any mouthing but rather only end games when the dog bites hard. It is critcal to teach the dog to have a soft mouth and the window of oppurtunity for doing this is limit and only when they are a puppies. Any training when they get older in this area is unreliable, but the training as a puppy lasts a lifetime. Teaching bite inibition is the single most important thing to teach a dog.

Bite Inhibition - How to Teach It
Rather than "No bite," I strongly, strongly, strongly urge you to teach your puppy bite inhibition instead. Bite inhibition is a "soft mouth." It teaches the pup how to use his mouth gently. Does this mean that the pup will forever be mouthing you? No, not at all. Actually, regardless of the method used, puppies generally grow out of mouthing behavior after a few months.
So why should you teach bite inhibition? Because dogs have one defense: their teeth. Every dog can bite. If frightened enough or in pain or threatened, your dog *will* bite. That doesn't in any way make him a "bad" dog. It makes him a dog. It's your responsibility, therefore, to teach your dog that human skin is incredibly fragile. If you teach your dog bite inhibition that training will carry over even if he is later in a position where he feels forced to bite.
Biting Pant Legs & Ankles

we leashed up and went for a 45 minute walk/sniff fest. Which resulted in a pooped puppy nap.
works ok for a young pup but very quickly as they grow a simple walk and sniff fest will not result in a tired puppy it really in not that much exercise. Fetch is good exercise if you have one of the rare bassets that retrieve. I also like Tug

Tug of War
Dog owners have been admonished for decades to never play tug of war with their dogs because of the risk of it increasing aggression and/or dominance in the dog. Even many dog resource people such as breeders, trainers and veterinarians caution against this game. This is partly a failure to discriminate between agonistic behavior (conflict resolution & defensive aggression) and predatory behavior. Also, many people have issues about witnessing intensity. Intensity is not aggression, however.
Played with rules, tug-of-war is a tremendous predatory energy burner and good exercise for both dog and owner. It serves as a barometer of the kind of control you have over the dog, most importantly over his jaws. The game doesn't make the dog a predator: he already is one.

The game is an outlet. It’s intense, increases dog focus and confidence and plugs into something very deep inside them. The big payoff is in lowered incidence of behavior problems due to understimulation and a potent motivator for snappy obedience. There is a maxim in training: control the games, control the dog. It's also extremely efficient in terms of space and time requirements

from the same link above an Atticle by Ian Dunbar "PLAY-FIGHTING, TAG & TUG O' WAR "

No topic engenders such a wide range of conflicting advice than whether or not it is advisable to play physical-contact games with dogs, e.g., play-fighting, tag and tug o' war.


...fact; customarily, game playing builds confidence and handleability and promotes friendliness. Perhaps the so-called increase in aggressiveness would be better termed excessive rambunctiousness - play-chasing, play-growling, play-mouthing and play-fighting, i.e.,

...
Firstly that dogs, especially adolescent dogs, are going to attempt to play this way with people anyway. In fact, much of a dog's waking existence and certainly most of his playtime focus on mouthing (and/or biting) objects both inert and alive. Consequently, it makes sense to take time to teach the critter rules. And secondly, that many owners, especially men and children and extra-especially boys (ranging in age from two to fifty-two years old), are going to play these games with dogs anyway. And so, it similarly make sense to teach owners how to be better canine coaches, so they may correctly referee Rover and reap the many benefits these games have to offer.


We are trying to be consistent with stopping the behavior as soon as it starts
that is a good start and consistentcy is important but I would look toward playing in such cases in shorter spurts with calm time in between so the behavior never esculates to that point in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Simply ignoring the dog turn your back etc while remain calm general works
Not with Maggie so far, turning away flips her chase switch, and results in back of the shoe, feet nipping.

She loves to chase toys in the yard, but won't retrieve unless it is a ball thrown in the house, lol. Then she drops herself at my feet with it in her mouth, wanting me to tug it out.

The last two days have been remarkably better. She has learned not to jump up on Simon (8yr old) but to approach him all wiggly butt on the floor, at least most of the time. ;) She has even shown the self control of watching him and his sister eat a snack, lying a few feet away with some huffy sighs.

Thank you for the links to further reading. I went to the library and came home with a sack full of books over the weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,943 Posts
Not with Maggie so far, turning away flips her chase switch, and results in back of the shoe, feet nipping.
I willing to bet it is because such action gets attention ie movement from you and or others remaining stationary usually works It is actually rare I turn because it is additional motion that can beget a response, some dogs and human do better with turn some not. Some dog will react to being observed, staring at etc so it is better to look up other it makes no difference. Its all about obeserving the dog and how it reacts to stimuli and/or the lack there are. There are typical dog behaviors in which general rules are constructed but certainly not all dogs play by the same rules so a respose general need to be tweeked slight for the individual dog The above is mention as tweeks to the be a tree, withdraw attention method that might have it work better for you. Also it is my experience that younster's tend to have trouble employing this technique because the can not stay still enough for it to work. It is not alway that the technique fails but rather the execution of the technique. Bottom line is you have to do what works for both you, your family and the dog and not continue something that does not work because some so called expert says that the way to do it.

Insight into Puppy Mouthing
And about the yelping out in pain technique. I hate when people suggest this as if it is the Holy Grail of stopping mouthing. It totally depends on why the dog is nipping, how you yelp and how they respond to the yelping. With some dogs this idea alone can stop nipping and play biting in its tracks. But as you have discovered there are other dogs who are simply more triggered by the response. And you actually escalate the intensity of the behavior.
We can't ever just say if a dog is doing X behavior that a handler should always do Y handling technique. It just never is that black and white.
Its all about probabilities. If a dog does X behavior and the response is Y technique than we can often say there is a high probability of a particular response happening with most dogs. There are some fundamental things that are very high probability that apply to many dogs that do nothing or get a completely opposite response from other dogs.
Run away there is a good chance the average dog will follow or chase. Squat down or make little cooing noises then the probability is high they will come closer. But you must always take into account the dog's personality, relationship, situation, current emotional and mental state, temperament and history.
Run away from another dog and them may take you down with a bite in the butt. Squat down for and make cooing sounds with an abused fear biter and you may loose your nose.
It looks complicated when plotting it out but in general people have a much better feel for what the dog's probabilities for certain things are then they do in applying that knowledge to specific situations.
90% of the time if I clearly define something for owners and ask what their dog will likely do, they have a wonderfully detailed knowledge of what their dog will probably do. But most people don't look at the perimeters objectively or with clarity and worse they fall into a pattern of waiting until the dog has done the thing they don't want that they knew was probably going to happen. They then respond to what the dog did even though they could have predicted the Undesired response a week ahead of time.
bold added for emphysis this does a better job of explaining the variability and why there is always more than one way to train. but the bold section speaks to my point in the early post of not wating till the pup is too overexcited in play to control itself but stop or slow down the play before that stage is reached. Once the dog has more control then you can slowly esculate the excitement level of play. That should be the goal but it is understood that no one is going to be 100% perfect in this regard either so you still need something that works when the dog is overly excited.


She has learned not to jump up on Simon (8yr old) but to approach him all wiggly butt on the floor, at least most of the time
while jumping up is a normal dog behavior it is also a learned reinforced behavior. by having your son and others only reward the dog with attention when she appraoches and remains with all four feet on the ground will end the jumping behavior. This is especial important with stragers or new people she meets. It is not unusual to find a dog that does not jump on family members but will on all guests because quite simply guest reward the behavior and family members don't


If you have not done so you should investigat puppy kindergarten classes in the area. A well run puppy class, provides socialization with other dog which is still important, socialialization with other people, and training under distracted situations. all very good foundational building blocks for a perfect dog.

She has even shown the self control of watching him and his sister eat a snack, lying a few feet away with some huffy sighs.
If you ever plan to train the dog with food, which I highly recommend with basset the following video about self control and train self control around food is critical it also helps in situation like above.




I went to the library and came home with a sack full of books over the weekend.
Its likely there is going to be conflicting information between book and in case of some older book techniques that have become out of favor because of the effect they can have on "softer" dogs You need to keep in mind when deciding what to try and what to discard Do you think it will work for your dog given its personality and what you know about how it reacts to certain stimuli.

Is it a technique I am comfortable with from a moral, physical and compentency perspective. that is, is it a technique You are comfortable using, something that you are capabile of performing. and have the competency to perform. Shaping for instance is a none punishment technique most are comfortable using and it requires no special skill other than a moderate level of timing, but compentency in it is rarely garnered from simply reading I find most need a class with feedback from instructs to really become profiencent enough to be effective. It is why I general don't go into any detail about use that technique here because in the end I don;t think it is effective for most without some prior training. But there are things that once you have that training you can do with shaping that simply can't be done with other methodologies.

The other thing I general recommend against is positve punishment. In behaviorist terms positive means something is added , negitive something taken away, So positive punishment would be say a shock for an ecollar where as a time out is negative punishment the withdrawl of attention. Also Punishment is simply anything that reduces a behavior and a reinforment somthing that increases a behavior. So if an action does not reduce a behavior it is not punishment by a behaviorst definition. That is what I try to stick to in my post rather than conventional definitions just to be clear.

The problem with punishment all punishment negative or positive is they only stop a behavior, they don't teach an apropriate behavior. This is important because most inappropriate behavior are tied to either a lack of self control, attention seeking or both. With only stoping a single inappropriate behavior there a litteral million of other inappropriate behavior for the dog to chose as well with only a limited number of appropriate behaivors so the odds are not in your favor of ending up with a wel lmanner dog simply by using punishment you are far better of training an appropriate behavior to the dog So for instant instead of training the dog not to jump , which still allows the dog to whine, bark, paw, nip, bark . run in circles etc. you teach the dog to stand or sit calmly.

The fallout of improper use of reinforcement is negligable the fallout from inappropriate use of punishment is huge. and then their are the unintended consequences as well. Unless these are fully explained and methods for overcoming them are presented I would avoid the use of punishment especially positive punishment


AVSAB Position Statement
The Use of Punishment for Behavior Modification in Animals

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

AVSAB’s position is that punishment1 (e.g. choke chains, pinch collars, and electronic
collars) should not be used as a first-line or early-use treatment for behavior problems. This is due to the potential adverse effects which include but are not limited to: inhibition of learning, increased fear-related and aggressive behaviors, and injury to animals and people interacting with animals.2
Punishment: How not to do it

Also many people fail to heed the behaviorist definition of punisment= reduction in a behavior and simply think an adversive = something that is avoided, is automatically a punisher, when in fact it is often a reward

Jack Palance vs. Fred Astaire
The process of teaching a behavior by getting a critter to avoid something is called aversive control. There are two types of aversive control, punishment and negative reinforcement. Punishment causes behavior to decrease, while negative reinforcement causes behavior to increase. The more technical scientific definitions of these terms are pretty confusing, but these simple descriptions are good enough for most situations.

...Things which increase behavior through force, intimidation, fear or avoidance are called negative reinforcers. If you sit on a thumbtack, the pain associated with the tack is a negative reinforcer, which causes you to do a behavior -- "jumping upward." The key difference between a reinforcer and a punisher is that one increases behavior, while the other one decreases behavior. In the case of our couch chewing canine, the swats and scolding did not affect the bad behavior at all. What actually happened was Fido's tendency to hide under the couch look "guilty" increased because of the harsh treatment. Those behaviors were negatively reinforced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,943 Posts
getting back to the pups over excited behavior. People often forget the effect there actions have on that of the dog. In mine experience espelcial with how pre adolecent males tend to interact with dogs there avoidence behavior when the dog starts to get a bit rambunctious cause the dog to esculate the behavior, because they interpret the running the screaming the pushing the dog away as the child actual wanting to play rougher. It is important to keep in mind the human part of the equation. and to this end I think the following video illustrates that beautifully. Keep in mind the dog in the video has been trained exceptional well by all the rules used to play the game of tug properly. In this case the trainer deliberately breaks all the rules to build excitement to a very high level demonstration how the human interacts with a dog has a profound effect on how the dog responds as well


 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top