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Hi, I'm new to the forum, so this is my first post. I bought an unaltered male basset hound in April. He's a beautiful AKC dog with champion bloodlines. He's now 24 months old. At first he was a real sweet heart. He was fantastic with all of our family 100% of the time. But then he would show occasional aggression. For example, if I wanted him to go outside but he didn't want to, he would growl at me. I'd more firmly order him out, then he'd obey. But now he's threatening all of us (my four kids, ages 18, 17, 10 & 8, and myself). He won't tolerate being told to do anything he doesn't want to do and he's begun doing many more things he knows are not OK.
In the past week he's begun claiming the sofa and growling when any of us try to sit down on it. Last night while my 10 year old son was getting ready for bed, the dog (Flash) got on his bed and lay down on the pillow, refusing to allow my son on the bed. He let me know he was prepared to physically fight me in order to maintain control over the bed. When I tried to stand my ground with him, he lunged off the bed at my face, snarling and bearing his teeth. I had to run from him as he ran me out of the room, snapping at my heels, then he went back to the room and got on the bed again. The results were, my son slept on the couch because I was afraid and didn't know what to do. You would have to have seem how angry and aggressive Flash was to know what I mean.
As long as we allow Flash to be in total control, he's perfectly lovely, but do anything at all to displease him and he turns on us instantly.
None of us have ever been mean or aggressive with Flash at all. We've all treated him very well, and from what I understand, his former owner treated him like a spoiled human child. (She had to give him up due to a stroke). So I know abuse is not a possible factor. We would hate to have to turn him over to the Humane Society to be euthanized due to his dangerous behavior, but no-one in their right mind would want such a mean dog as a pet. Can anyone help us???
 

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Hi, I'm new to the forum, so this is my first post. I bought an unaltered male basset hound in April. He's a beautiful AKC dog with champion bloodlines. He's now 24 months old. At first he was a real sweet heart. He was fantastic with all of our family 100% of the time. But then he would show occasional aggression. For example, if I wanted him to go outside but he didn't want to, he would growl at me. I'd more firmly order him out, then he'd obey. But now he's threatening all of us (my four kids, ages 18, 17, 10 & 8, and myself). He won't tolerate being told to do anything he doesn't want to do and he's begun doing many more things he knows are not OK.
In the past week he's begun claiming the sofa and growling when any of us try to sit down on it. Last night while my 10 year old son was getting ready for bed, the dog (Flash) got on his bed and lay down on the pillow, refusing to allow my son on the bed. He let me know he was prepared to physically fight me in order to maintain control over the bed. When I tried to stand my ground with him, he lunged off the bed at my face, snarling and bearing his teeth. I had to run from him as he ran me out of the room, snapping at my heels, then he went back to the room and got on the bed again. The results were, my son slept on the couch because I was afraid and didn't know what to do. You would have to have seem how angry and aggressive Flash was to know what I mean.
As long as we allow Flash to be in total control, he's perfectly lovely, but do anything at all to displease him and he turns on us instantly.
None of us have ever been mean or aggressive with Flash at all. We've all treated him very well, and from what I understand, his former owner treated him like a spoiled human child. (She had to give him up due to a stroke). So I know abuse is not a possible factor. We would hate to have to turn him over to the Humane Society to be euthanized due to his dangerous behavior, but no-one in their right mind would want such a mean dog as a pet. Can anyone help us???
This is a bad situation I am sorry you are going through this. You say he BEGAN to show occasional aggression, what did you do in these circumstances? Biting is not a good thing, when he growls what exactly do you do? You said he lunged at your face...were you kneeling down? were you leaning over him?
 

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The very first time he growled at me, it was when I caught him with his paws on the table, taking food from the plate of a 2 year old I was babysitting. That was about 4 weeks after I got him. I very firmly told him, "No Flash, no," and ordered him out of the kitchen by pointing to the doorway and telling him, "Out." He immediately obeyed. After he was caught food snatching the second time, he snarled at me, but then obeyed. That's when I installed a security gate in the kitchen entrance.
Shortly after that he started showing aggression when I told him to get down from the couch when a person needed room to sit. Previously, he would hop right down as soon as I'd tell him, "Down Flash". At first I didn't even have to speak firmly to him. Once he stated refusing to obey, I would much more firmly tell him, "Down!" He would obey once my voice and tone were firm enough.
In the past week on several occasions when I told him to get down, he bared his teeth, growled very aggressively and would not come down despite me repeatedly ordering him. A few days ago when this went on I reached over to take his collar and pull him down, but he loudly snarled, barked and tried to bite my hand. I stepped back where he couldn't reach me and continued to order him, "DOWN!" After quite a lot more snarling and teeth baring he got down and rushed out of the room. I just installed a security gate on the living room entrance, as I did for the kitchen, to put a stop to the territorial couch claiming.
When he lunged at my face, he was on my sons bed and I was standing upright beside it, (not leaning toward him or crouching). When he jumped at me, he was at a level that allowed him to reach for my face. I of course very quickly jumped backwards. He then landed on the floor and grabbed at my pant legs and as I ran out of the room, he was right with me, putting on quite a show of threatening to grab my legs. Once I was out of the door, he hurried back to the bed and reclaimed it.
Flash doesn't have too many rules to obey, thus possibly causing him to be overwhelmed and frustrated. The rules are, no hopping up to the dinner table, and when someone wants him to move from a piece of furniture because they need to sit or lay there, he needs to move over or get down.
I also expect him to go outside when one of our dog fearing relatives comes to visit, which is a couple times a week. That's about it. His life is pretty easy going.
 

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The very first time he growled at me, it was when I caught him with his paws on the table, taking food from the plate of a 2 year old I was babysitting. That was about 4 weeks after I got him. I very firmly told him, "No Flash, no," and ordered him out of the kitchen by pointing to the doorway and telling him, "Out." He immediately obeyed. After he was caught food snatching the second time, he snarled at me, but then obeyed. That's when I installed a security gate in the kitchen entrance.
Shortly after that he started showing aggression when I told him to get down from the couch when a person needed room to sit. Previously, he would hop right down as soon as I'd tell him, "Down Flash". At first I didn't even have to speak firmly to him. Once he stated refusing to obey, I would much more firmly tell him, "Down!" He would obey once my voice and tone were firm enough.
In the past week on several occasions when I told him to get down, he bared his teeth, growled very aggressively and would not come down despite me repeatedly ordering him. A few days ago when this went on I reached over to take his collar and pull him down, but he loudly snarled, barked and tried to bite my hand. I stepped back where he couldn't reach me and continued to order him, "DOWN!" After quite a lot more snarling and teeth baring he got down and rushed out of the room. I just installed a security gate on the living room entrance, as I did for the kitchen, to put a stop to the territorial couch claiming.
When he lunged at my face, he was on my sons bed and I was standing upright beside it, (not leaning toward him or crouching). When he jumped at me, he was at a level that allowed him to reach for my face. I of course very quickly jumped backwards. He then landed on the floor and grabbed at my pant legs and as I ran out of the room, he was right with me, putting on quite a show of threatening to grab my legs. Once I was out of the door, he hurried back to the bed and reclaimed it.
Flash doesn't have too many rules to obey, thus possibly causing him to be overwhelmed and frustrated. The rules are, no hopping up to the dinner table, and when someone wants him to move from a piece of furniture because they need to sit or lay there, he needs to move over or get down.
I also expect him to go outside when one of our dog fearing relatives comes to visit, which is a couple times a week. That's about it. His life is pretty easy going.
It sounds like he began growling in HOPES that it would keep you back and he would have more time to finish stealing food. Installing the baby gate was a good idea.

With the couch situation, I could see this as being possessive because you are kicking him off for someone else to sit but not keeping him off. It would be like if you took his food from him and gave it to another dog when a dog was over, he would start protecting it. Positive reinforcement sounds needed in his situation. Instead of firmly telling him "NO FLASH" or "DOWN FLASH" first say his name with a happy positive tone then ask for the behavior... "flash... down" and keep a calm happy tone. If he has a favorite toy or a treat give him that when he obeys.

Does he have a crate? Dogs need their own space that is theirs, I think this is what is happening with the furniture. If you do not have a crate I would suggest getting him one. Also neutering him could drive his possessiveness down, something to consider.

His behavior is not ok when he snaps at you, but he needs a different approach to keep it from happening. Does this all make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Flash has a crate that he sleeps in. I don't make him go in, it's up to him when he uses it, and of course I don't shut the door on it. In the living room he has a big, puffy dog bed that's his alone. They both know their beds are theirs alone. When we're all in the living room watching TV or visiting, one or the other of my youngest kids is usually over there with him, cuddling on him. He's been treated with adoration around here, which could also be part of the problem. Maybe he thinks he should be #1 in all things with our family, since he's treated that way so much of the time. Could be he's decided he's the man of the house.
As for trying the gentler approach to making him obey, as I said in one of my posts about this behavior, I didn't try a firmer tone to my voice until he became determined to do as he pleased. It used to be, all I had to do was use a normal tone of voice. I never used the firmer tone until he growled at me.
I explained everything in detail to his vet this morning. She said it sounds like we have done everything right, but Flash is most likely genetically pron to aggressive dominance. She told me she thinks his aggressive nature came out as he became comfortable with this being his home and our family being his to domineer. She's seen many dogs like this in her 32 as a veterinarian. She asked if I knew for a fact where Flash came from before I adopted him. I told her I got the story of Flash's past from his breeder. The breeder told me Flash was returned to her because his previous owner had a stroke. She wouldn't give me contact info for that owner.
Flash is going to be neutered next week in hopes this will help, but she told me to be prepared for the distinct possibility that I may be giving him up in the near future.
 

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If you think you may have to give him up in the future you are setting yourself up for failure, try and think positive. Trust me, positive reinforcement is better than using a firm tone. I know you worked your way into using it and didn't always use it, but the fact is you are now using it and it won't calm him down but drive him further into his aggressive state.

Finding something that he likes to reward him with for doing what you ask will most likely help. It is not wrong to lock your dog up in a crate either, especially if he is having this type of behavior when you have company and at night when your kids are getting ready for bed... If he has his own bed and his own crate you should be redirecting him to these instead of the couch, etc. This way you won't have to push him off the couch.
 

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Your dog is resource guarding. This is actually normal dog behavior.

forget the dominance mumbo jumbo...it wont help you fix this.


Being "firm" will only make him worse. They behave this way because they feel that resources are scarce and he needs to "save" them all. You taking the resources from him (making him give up his spot) only confirms this in his mind. The goal now is for him to move willingly.

You need to pick up the book "mine" and start going through the heirarchy to condition him to not guard.
Amazon.com: Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs (9780970562944): Jean Donaldson: Books

In the mean time, you need to "trade" him. If he has a spot...say "off" (nicely) and then toss som' piece of food he can't resist onto the floor.

When he goes for it tell him how awesome he is and give him another piece.

Quickly fade the toss of the first piece and only reward when he does the task.


I would also get him to use his own bed and start conditioning him to lay in the bed. Feed him his meals in bed if you have too. Everytime he goes to it throw treats into it...or kibble...whatever he likes AFTER hes gone into it and layed down..Eventually he will start to use the bed instead of the couch.

Another tip would be to start using "NILIF" (google it) basically the dog has to work for EVERYTHING and he will learn that all good things come from you :)



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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The advise I'm getting here sounds solid. We'll start trying the treat thing right way, for getting to do the things we ask of him. I'm also going to use the crate as a training method and will buy the book that was recommended. Flash really is a beautiful dog and we would truly hate to give up on him. I'm hoping neutering him will also help with his aggression. I've tried to contact his breeder several times to ask her questions about him that could possibly help, but she won't return my calls or reply to my emails. I know she's getting the emails, because my email server lists when a message is opened by the recipient. A reputable breeder would be willing to communicate with me.
 

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The advise I'm getting here sounds solid. We'll start trying the treat thing right way, for getting to do the things we ask of him. I'm also going to use the crate as a training method and will buy the book that was recommended. Flash really is a beautiful dog and we would truly hate to give up on him. I'm hoping neutering him will also help with his aggression. I've tried to contact his breeder several times to ask her questions about him that could possibly help, but she won't return my calls or reply to my emails. I know she's getting the emails, because my email server lists when a message is opened by the recipient. A reputable breeder would be willing to communicate with me.

Your awesome for giving this a go and not giving up. :rockon:

Keep in mind that the neuter will only take the edge off of him and it can take up to three months for the hormones to leave his system so you wont see any "results" right away :)

This is easier prevented than cured, but if you are consistant and patient you will see a HUGE difference :)



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I agree! Thanks for taking to the advice, to be honest my dog is the same way but not to us to other people and animals and Crio's advice with positive reinforcement has helped him tremendously! GL and please ask questions as you go along!! Also we demand pictures!! :)
 

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Tried the positive reinforcement thing tonight when someone came over to visit and we needed all the space on the sofa, where he was lounging. I tossed a little treat onto his doggie bed as I said, "Flash, down." He hopped right down & went to his bed to eat his treat. I gave him several good pats and told him what a terrific boy he was. I'm about to take him for a late night walk, but wanted to take a minute to share :)
 

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woot congrats!!!! i am happy that the things that were mentioned have worked. I also agree about the breeder if they where a good and responsible breeder they would get back to you. good luck and keep us posted
 

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i would also like to give you kudos for keeping at it and not giving up on your dog. it is hard sometimes to figure out the right course of action when there are a lot of mixed and jumbled bits of BS advice (albeit well intentioned!) floating around.

good job!



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 
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