• With consistency and persistence it will… Take it from me, Oakleys injured himself in his crate and I too have spent thousands I'm sure. Just hearing that your dog can do activities without you every minute is a good sign... even with the new baby it will be critical to continue the training and also to spend time with her because transitioning her to the new family dynamic is important and the new " cohesion" of the family unit will likely help training. Truthfully, with the family changing it's a great time for new behaviors etc...

  • I think i'd ask your behaviorist about a DAP and ask about doing Dr Overall's Relaxation protocal while Mowgli is in the crate. I don't think either of those is a solution but perhaps part of the solution. Medication might be necessary while learning a new behavior
    good luck

  • I would just like to point out that for some dogs being left in a crate with several other dogs also crated within sight or earshot is not the same as being left in a crate when they are totally alone. The anxiety factor is very high for some in this situation, to the point where they may even injure themselves trying to escape confinement. And again, a dog that is calm in his crate (or in the house) in one location may react differently somewhere else, and unless this has been practiced you cannot say with certainty that he will be just fine in new surroundings. JMHO, having seen a few examples of this…..

  • I appreciate that opinion as well. It is our worry and why we are having such a difficult time deciding how to keep her safe when we leave the house. It is tough knowing that we might have to learn the hard way that the crate is not the answer. We sure wish it could work, as the damage in the house has to be contained at some point. We even considered getting her a companion, but obviously with the baby due tomorrow that would have to be something to look into long term. We also have heard that sometimes dogs with anxiety agitate the other dog causing both to act up when left alone?

  • @Mowgli:

    We also have heard that sometimes dogs with anxiety agitate the other dog causing both to act up when left alone?

    That is certainly possible. However, my first male had separation anxiety/confinement anxiety, and when we first got him we did crate him, as we weren't comfortable leaving him loose with our girl. We did not crate her, but did confine her to the room he was in. She ignored his antics, but he persistently would rock & roll the crate from one side of the room to another, and destroy anything he could get at. We put that crate inside a larger one for a bit, than worked at making him safe in the house. (we did a lot of role playing…...getting ready to leave, leaving and coming right back or returning via the other door, etc.) In relatively short order he could be trusted to do minimal damage, and we started leaving him loose too.

    Have you considered a web cam or baby monitor video cam so that you can see what happens when you leave? Sometimes that can be quite revealing. My guy would invariably do his evil deed immediately after we left, then settle down and be fine until we returned (unless we ran too close to his meal time.....he would get restless if he was getting hungry and his "staff" hadn't gotten back to make his dinner!:D )

    He never destroyed anything important except for one of my husband's shoes that he totally ate.....except for the sole! Well, he and I had a serious discussion about that shoe, and that was the end of his destructive ways except for a token piece of paper he would rip and leave on the couch for me to find. I would verbally chastise him for the rippage. My husband said, "why bother" and I said, because if I don't "notice" it he will escalate.....and I am sure he would have. He was giving me the finger for going out, and needed me to acknowledge it. I know people who say don't attribute human motivations to dogs, but I figure they don't know Basenjis. 🙂

    By the way, I think it is absolutely key to not make a big deal of coming and going when you have this problem. Our current dog seldom even gets off the couch when we come home, and even if he does I do not immediately return his greeting. I keep things absolutely low key.

  • When I leave mine they are loose in two rooms of the house -admittedly there are several of them. I've found that playing a CD 'Relaxation Music for your Dog' certainly helps to keep them calm. I set it on repeat at a reasonable level. I got the CD from Dogwise. It is published by Omnibus Media www.musicsales.com and the composer isHiroki Sakaguchi. Worth a try and its not expensive.

  • @Patty:

    I've found that playing a CD 'Relaxation Music for your Dog' certainly helps to keep them calm.

    Your dogs are lucky. Mine has to put up with whatever is on the CBC! (but I always do leave the radio on for him)

  • So during this crate training process when is it ok to close the door? I feel Mowgli will be onto us once the door is shut and then be even tougher to coax in the next time. I get that we should start out with very short increments of her being in the crate with the door closed, but how do we know she's ready? I also understand that we should be not open the crate until she's calm, but will she actually sit quietly when she sees us right there? I guess this is more geared toward B owners who have dealt with severe separation anxiety. As you have experienced, it is a challenging and painful issue to deal with on it's own, made even more complex with now trying to make an already anxious
    dog comfortable being alone in a new, smaller space where she will not get to watch squirrels out the window or roam at all.

  • @Mowgli:

    So during this crate training process when is it ok to close the door?

    That is something that's hard to say. You need to assess how she is feeling. I would definitely not close it until she seems relaxed. Even better if she is occupied with something…..chewing a bone or a toy......and then make it very brief. With an anxious dog, I might work on using the crate as "place" or "mat", as in go to your place and stay there until released, then gradually build the time without actually locking her in. I find this similar to teaching a horse to load in a trailer. If you're smart, you won't force them to stay on until they are comfortable.

    Like most things in training, it takes a long time at the start, but once you begin to make progress it often comes quite quickly. Build the time in there gradually, and when you start locking her in and leaving her alone try to make sure she has something to occupy her time. When you let her out, don't reward her. Put the reward in the crate so she has to go back in to get it. 🙂

  • I have two things to add. Tucker was the same way. Hated crating unless in the car. Never bothered to crate train him. My solution was to throw caution to the wind and allow him free roam of the house and it worked for me. He never peed or pooped or scratched at anything again. Some dogs just need to be free within the confines of the same area their humans are. The more space he was allowed, the more at ease he was. We lived in a 950 SQFT condo and he still peed every now and again, but there was always a change - like being left with a house sitter for a weekend associated with it. Now we are in a substantially larger house and he's never engaged in 'spiteful peeing'.

    I had other issues with Tucker and if you follow anything I've ever written, then you know what they are. I trained Tucker to wear an Italian Basket Muzzle. It took maybe a week to do and within a month, he had no more issues with the muzzle than he does with a collar - which is NIL - no issues at all. I go through about 2 muzzles every 3 months because he scratches his face like any dog would, but there is a muzzle there now. He eventually shaves a lot of the plastic off and they'll weaken and break. I just switch it out with a fresh one. At $15 bucks a muzzle for the protection it provides (re: biting), it's worth the cost.

    I have been forced to crate him from time to time. He stripped two METAL bars off of a crate when left for a few hours while we were at a B&B that allowed pets as long as they were crated when you left the room. Broke the welds and stripped them right off the inside of the metal door.

  • Well, as an update, we decided crate training is the only option, as Mowgli tends to be too mischievous to be left alone to roam. The training has gone at a very slow pace and we still take her to doggy daycare if we are going to be gone for awhile. Today we left a mat in there with her and she tore it up, completely ignoring a peanut butter and meat stuffed bone. For those of you who had to crate train anxious dogs, did you continue to leave your dog in the crate each day despite destruction in the crate? Back to trying to figure out something to leave in her crate for her to rest on when she settles down. Any suggestions? We are also still interested in trying the "thunder shirt," but have not yet. On a good note, she loves the baby and gives her lots of unsolicited kisses!

  • My last two boys have had issues with separation anxiety and confinement anxiety. We used the crate initially, but as quickly as we could worked at getting them reliable enough in the house to leave loose. The first boy we did limit where he could go in the house, the current one has free run of the place and has earned our trust. I find leaving for very brief periods and building the time gradually helps, as does giving the dog a "project", such as a roller ball or similar, helps a lot. For some reason, being outside the crate is calming to my guy. I hadn't heard of the thundershirt, but it looks interesting…..

  • Do you feed Mowgli in her crate? I find that this helps tremendously and I only use the crate to feed and while I am gone.


  • Yes, she eats in the crate and we put treats in there randomly throughout the day, as well as meat-stuffed bones chained to the inside (so she can't run off with the bone outside the crate.) She has the run of the downstairs while we are home and sleeps in her dog bed in our bedroom at night.

    On a side note, when we give her a really tasty stuffed bone or bullystick outside the crate she acts crazy! She runs around aimlessly with it in her mouth while howling. What is with that? It is comical, yet slightly annoying! 🙂 I wonder what she'd do with a bullystick IN the crate?!

Suggested Topics

  • 6
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 10
  • 6