Lots of questions about puppy aggression

Maybe he just doesn't like your MIL. Jazzy has certain people that, for reasons known only to herself, she CANNOT STAND to have in our home, and others that she LOVES LOVES LOVES–gets very excited when they come over, tail-wagging, etc.

Maybe have your MIL become a font of treats. When she comes over, give her treats to give to Jackpot. Every time she approaches him, there's a cookie involved! He may well learn that he LOVES GRANNY because she's walking cookie jar. Eventually you will be able to give a treat every other time, then every third time she approaches, etc. until he finally just accepts her.

He may get used to cars in time. Probably they're just something new and noisy. And he's very small -- I think they'd be intimidating if they are close.

Jazzy was well-socialized: by the breeder, and we took her to puppy classes, walks in parks where there were other dogs, etc. and she still hates dogs.
Sometimes that is just who they are.

Jazzy's mom-
Thanks for the response 🙂 I'll let you guys know how things are going…and when I get a minute I'll post some pics 🙂

Thanks again for the reply!

For car rides, you need to take him out lots.. and to fun places so that he doesn't think that every time he goes someplace that it is the Vet's office… and that is a fact, sometimes they just plain do not like someone.

Did you MIL let him come to her in he own good time? Sometimes if you try and force yourself on a pup they take great offence to it...

I think that a behaviorist is a great idea.... good luck

And about food, just give him the food (is this different then what the breeder was giving him?) and give him 15 minutes to eat… if he doesn't eat, take it away... as we have all said, he will not starve himself. Remember when he was with the pack there was competition for food, now there is none and he needs to learn good eating habits. Is the heart worm pill chewable? Usually they are not a problem.. if just a pill, you most likely will need to "shove" it down his throat... your Vet should be able to show you how, or one of the Vet Techs

Thanks again for the replies! No, I think the first problem was that the meeting with MIL was not well planned (she called that day and asked to spend the night at our house before heading to the airport)…so we didn't have much time to prepare the meeting and it wasn't well planned out (major learning curve on this one and I will make sure to plan introductions to people much more thouroghly in the future.) I don't want to put Jackpot (or a guest in our house) in that position again.

I will definately use the "let him come up to you in his own time" as part of introductions in the future.

I still have the heartworm med (yes its chewable...but he doesn't want it). I'll see if we can force it down & if not we'll take him in to the vet tech and see if they can show us how! 🙂

Thanks again...you are all such valuable sources of info and I truely appreciate you taking the time to respond! 🙂

First things first…every experience your little Jackpot has with the world needs to be a happy one. Start small with taking him outside and praising him with tons of yummy treats. Try cheese, if cheese don't work try small pieces of a hot dog. If that don't work try some jerky, etc. When a car goes by...praise him and tell him how much of a good boy he is being and give him a treat. Constant praises while he is out of his comfort zone.
When people come over...dont let them go to him. He needs to go to them. Give your guests treats to give Jackpot. Keep the treats by the front door so you will have them available. Dont have many guests over right now. Jackpot is already in a new environment and it may take sometime for him to adjust to his new home.
Its going to take time...just be patient. Take baby steps with little Jackpot and I think the situation will get better. 🙂

First of all, I think you have completely overloaded the puppy with changes. Just reading your description of what you have done since Saturday made me feel nervous and overwhelmed 😉 Try slowing everything down, and let him adjust slowly to new things.

Secondly…I wouldn't force this puppy to do anything right now,force will most likely make your situation worse. He is already showing signs of resource guarding (bone on couch at MIL)...that is not good for four months old. Definitely contact the behaviorist...and make sure she is experienced with resource guarding and positive reinforcement techniques.

Sounds like he also is either going thru a fear period, or just has a naturally fearful temperament...either way try to avoid putting him in situations where he may get scared, particularly if he is fearful enough that he can't take treats from you in any given situation. You don't want to flood him with the stimulus that makes him afraid, you want to introduce him to new things slowly, with lots of reinforcement.

I agree this boy has been put into a lot of new things, and he needs time to slow down and adjust.
Are you in a major heart worm area? I mean, if he doesn't get this med this week, but next week, would that be ok?
I wouldn't force this pill on him, at this time, unless his life will be in danger.
Slow and positive things for his boy now.

Hi everyone,
thanks for all the replies! I agree that we overdid it with the stimuli (we were just so excited to have a puppy & got a little too excited I guess). We are paring it down as much as possible and I was able to get him interested in a little bit of hot dog…so that might be a very good treat (as long as it keeps his interest). The vet just called and asked how he was doing and asked if he was still throwing up the little food that he does eat...and when I said he was...the vet asked me to bring him in tomorrow to ensure that Jackpot isn't dehydrated, has a virus or anything else. So, that will be the third trip to the vet this week (poor thing). We are going to try to take a very short car ride tonight to the park across the street...just to give him a "fun car trip" and see how that goes.

Thanks again for all the knowledge, suggestions, and "reality checks" guys! I can't thank you enough! 🙂

or should we just skip the short car ride to the park (I was just trying to make sure that not all car rides are to the vet)…but I don't want to overstimulate him my getting in the car tonight, going to the park, etc. Ugh, I just want to do what's best for him! :o

I am pretty sure you just need to give him time and socialization is a big key. When I got Medjai, Phil was feeding his dogs the WalMart brand dog food. If you put him on better dog food, he will get much better skin and coat.

It may take a week or two for the pup to settle down, but I'm sure it will happen. Medjai is not a huge fan of the car, but he doesn't mind much. He is GREAT with social situations and even really surprised me at the dog park.

Just remember that although Phil is not the best parent of the dogs, he does raise good dogs, and they just need more TLC at the beginning than people who are always with the pups and socialize them often.

Thanks for the input Michael! Pat, I appreciate your knowledge and input…I hear what you are saying and respect your opinion. At this time, we are just trying to go forward (can't change the fact that we already have him and where he came from)...just learn for the future, right? 🙂


Thanks for the input Michael! Pat, I appreciate your knowledge and input…I hear what you are saying and respect your opinion. At this time, we are just trying to go forward (can't change the fact that we already have him and where he came from)...just learn for the future, right? 🙂


Exactly…. I totally agree.. you are a good Basenji "parent/slave"... and you are doing the right thing..

<<they know="" what="" cleaning="" the="" house="" is="" and="" can="" help..="">>

Uh…my pups don't know what that is...and actually I doubt my son does either ;)</they>


Sounds like your pup was really overwhelmed with all that was going on. The vomitting may be a slight reaction to shots or car rides. You can test for dehydration by pinching the skin. The skin should snap back, if it stays "pinched", the dog is definately dehydrated, but of course take you new puppers to the vet if you're unsure. In the future, personally, I'd separate the shots. Don't give your pup everything at once. There are many reasons for this and I won't go into all of them right now.

Be careful of puppy classes. Some are better than others. I've seen and heard about lots of puppy classes that tend to over-excite the pups and the pup just seems to be over threashold whenever they are around other dogs. I see you're in Co, if you'd like to meet up sometime and do socialization or talk training, I have some nice dog-safe dogs. You're welcome to pm me.


<<they know="" what="" cleaning="" the="" house="" is="" and="" can="" help..="">>

Uh…my pups don't know what that is...and actually I doubt my son does either ;)</they>

OK, I should have "put"… when I do clean....;)

I think our house is cleaner when we have puppies than it is any other time since I want to make sure the pups are socialized to all the sights and sounds of cleaning.:D

Just a quick update on Jackpot…we found out that he does like hot dogs...so that is our treat we are using now. He also likes his bully stick (A LOT)...to the point where I let him chew on it for 10 minutes or so and then I take it away. He hasn't had a problem with me taking it away.

He hasn't thrown up since he's eaten (I threw a couple of very tiny pieces of hot dog in with his dry food) and he ate all the hot dog and a bit of the dry food. He's been drinking a little more water and he seems to have a lot more energy today (playing with toys, etc...where as for the past few days he was pretty listless and sleeping a lot).

I think we are going to try some wet food and see if we can "trick" him into eating some more without having to use hot dogs in everything 🙂 LOL

We took Jackpot out to go potty and he was very calm around a very psycho pomeranian who was barking up a storm and straining on the edge of its leash...Jackpot just sat by us and focused on his treat...what a difference it makes when we can hold his attention with something! I contacted the animal behaviorist and we are going to get together early next week so that she can meet Jackpot and we can begin the "intervention" 🙂

Thanks all for your input and suggestions (the hot dogs were a huge hit) and the advice to scale down all the stimulation was very helpful!


I think we are going to try some wet food and see if we can "trick" him into eating some more without having to use hot dogs in everything 🙂 LOL

Just what others have warned me about: don't take those extra steps to feed him unless you are going to continue to do this. You adding wet food may help him eat more but then if you take away the wet, he probably will stop eating again. I was heating Dallas' kibble up because like Jackpot he would only pick but not really eat & I was concerned but I was warned that by making special accomodations like heating it up, it is only making him more of a picky eater. You just need to start a routine & eventually he'll learn it. I can tell you that leaving his bowl in his crate for 15 minutes max then taking it away no matter if he has eaten it or not, has helped A LOT. He still will walk away from his food occasionally but overall he knows that after 15 mins. his food is gone so he better take advantage of it while it's there & eat!

Hope this helps some. Search for my old thread about Dallas' lack of eating…it's called "Should I be concerned?"

Hey Nina,
Thanks for the words of wisdom…I have heard the 15 minute rule from Pat and others as well...we are doing that (bowl in the crate for 15 minutes)...and I know he won't intentially starve himself. I was more thinking about the wet food as a "supplement" and I didn't think about the fact that if we start doing it...when we stop he'll act the same as he is now...great point! I'll have to reconsider. 🙂


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