• Hello everyone,

    I hope that this concern can be answered, as myself and my girlfriend are exhausted from this new Basenji puppy we have gotten. Now first things first, she is 8 weeks old and her name is Waffles. She was picked up Saturday Jan. 21st and brought back from Michigan to our apartment in Chicago.

    Now onto the important and worrying facts that we are witnessing:

    Last night she went insane every hour or so, which to our knowledge so far has been in smaller increments compared to any of the other nights we crate her. She tears up her puppy pad every time now, and she peed on one of her plush toys last time instead, albeit the only time she has peed on something besides the pad in her crate. The crate she is living in at night and 2 times a day while we are at work on weekdays is 30"L x 21"H x 18"D, and is covered on top with a blanket for it to be more "den like." I believe from what I'm seeing on the forums that we need to use the divider we got with the crate to make it smaller at her age?

    We have to leave her in the crate on weekdays while we are at work from 9am-12pm, I come home at 12 and let her out/play/feed her and return to work at 1:15ish. I return again at 5pm to do the same thing, so she is in the crate no more than 4 hours during the day. Now at night, we put her in around 11pm, wake up at 2am to let her out once, and up for good at 5am to play/feed/let out until we go to work at 9am. We cannot tell if she is shrieking because she's insanely upset, or because she has to use the restroom. Our thoughts are separation anxiety….

    We have tried feeding her treats and Kongs with cream cheese (we found she LOVES that) to lead her inside, but once she's about 2 feet from the cage she won't go any further. Should we start feeding her in the crate with the door open so she gets comfortable? Should she sleep with us in the bedroom on the floor at night so she isn't crated as much in a 24 hr. period?


  • Mine screamed for about the first 3 weeks till they got used to the crate routine, and I have never been able to have any bedding in crates without it getting shredded. Instead I used crated with a grate in the floor so the pee would end up in the tray below for the first few months while still housetraining.

    have you asked her breeder for suggestions? I'm sure she is not used to being alone now without her siblings around to keep her company. ou might try a DAP difuser to help calm her, but this is part of puppy training.

  • Is she nice and warm in her crate? You might want to try a hot water bottle that she can snuggle up with while you are away. I wouldn't wake her up in the middle of the night unless she wakes up herself. She is still in her crate for 8 hours a day, if you would let her sleep with you in your bed or on the bedroom floor on a pet bed she may be very happy. Probably much happier in the bed with you though. Start feeding her in her crate so she associates it with something good. Give her a kong full of stuff when you leave in her crate, filled with something yummy, like cream cheese or peanut butter, I use CheezeWhiz. Lots and lots of play before bedtime to wear her out. She is just a baby and has not been alone. It will take some time but keep at it. She will grow up to be a wonderful little dog.

  • Too much crate time. If you have to crate during the day while you are at work, can she sleep with you at night? She is screaming because she has been separated from her littermates (and in my opinion, 8 wks is too young to take a Basenji from the pack unless you are an experienced owner or you have another pup) And have you spoken to your pups breeder?

  • Welcome to you and to Waffles! 🙂 Is this your first basenji?

    There's been some great advice already given… and as a mom, I'd like to gently remind you to try to "relax", lol. When Waffles gets anxious, try to do your best to remain calm and not to feed off of her frantic energy. I know some people are completely against sleeping with their dogs, but I must admit that all of our dogs sleep with humans, and they love to be under the covers.... normally by your feet.

    By nature, basenjis love to be in packs, and perhaps Waffles is missing her family.

    As for crate training, when my sister adopted her basenji, he had the same type of reaction as Waffles. When she would return home, she would immediately give her dog a treat while he was still in the kennel, then she would leave to put her purse away and come back in short order. At first, he would frantically paw at the gate until she came back, but since she made this a routine, he knew that yes, Mom left a treat, but she was coming back soon. When she opened the crate, she'd take him outside right away, with high praises for going to the bathroom, and a couple of treats for going potty. When they would get back inside, she would casually leave a couple of treats in the crate and leave the door open for him to find at his leisure.

    In the morning, her routine is very similar: he sleeps in the bed, so before they go out for their morning walk, she will strategically position 2 - 3 treats on the counter (near the crate). He sees that the treats are there, but he doesn't get them until he goes outside, does his business, and return to his crate. He knows that he gets treats when he goes into and out of his crate, so he really is okay with this!

    And a gentle reminder: adjust the food level to make sure Waffles isn't getting too many treats throughout the day. My dogs love their dog kibble enough that I can fortunately give regular food as treats.

    Hugs and Roos! (Does Waffles roo?) We would love to see pictures when you get a chance. 🙂

  • I would also be concerned about whether she is warm enough. She will have been used to sleeping with other warm bodies. A cold Basenji is not going to be a happy Basenji! I also agree…..too much crate time. Especially for a pup that has just left its siblings.

  • Thanks everyone so much for all of your help with this situation.

    Last night we made a bed for her to sleep on in our bedroom and she didn't cry at all. We put her to sleep around 11:30pm and woke up to let her out around 4:30am (because we heard her sneezing and itching haha). When I got up to take her out she immediately peed in a 2 minute window on the carpet haha so now we know to let her out a bit earlier next time? We took her outside immediately after her peeing to reinforce holding it to go outside instead of inside.

    But the good news was no crying AT ALL. I played with her to tire her out for an hour after letting her outside at 4:30am so she would fall back asleep easily, and she did. It's just amazing how hyper she gets just from a restroom break hahaha.

    So the question now is, how will she respond to the crate training tips that I have been given from this thread? We have moved her food and water bowls to the crate entrance, so she is less afraid of going near it. But tonight for her last meal we are going to move them inside so she feels comfortable going inside to be rewarded with food.

    I will keep you all updated as this is an intense process!

    Also, for those of you interested, here are some pictures of our cute pup 😃


  • Oh, my, she is beautiful! Sorry, i can't help with the crate training a Basenji, we never crated our Basenji. With my chihuahua puppies, I would use a pen with a bed, potty pad, food, water and some toys. All that energy cooped up in a tiny crate would be harsh on a puppy IMO. I have a wonderful pen, but being a basenji, you may need something bigger or with a top on it. Or pee pad an entire bathroom and let her loose in there, but you may run the risk of her teething on the cupboards, maybe once she's older. An x pen would be a great alternative, too. Being in her bed in your room seems to have helped at night. Best of luck with her.

  • Oh wow she is such a cutie! And such mischief in her eyes. I am glad that the night went good for you. Yes once you get her up you don't even have two minutes to get her outside, but obviously you already know that!! Keep us updated with how she is doing.

  • At her age you should be carrying her outside till she gets the idea and the body control to hold it until she gets outside. I carry mine outside after a sleeping (even just a nap) and do so till they are about 3 or 4 months old. Especially in the mornings. They get too distracted to remember to hold it…

    She is very cute, who is her breeder, many of us are related by our Basenjis.

  • Very cute b. Glad things are looking up at your home.

  • Oh, is she adorable! 🙂 😉 It's funny,even though one of my basenji girls, Becca, is 5 years old, I still carry her outside when I wake her in the morning.

    So glad to hear that things went better last night… yes, she is a baby! If you do let her wiggle into bed with you, just a forewarning that she will consider the bed to be HER bed, that she shares with you. 🙂 My basenjis have always been good bed partners, in that they don't hog the bed, but they curl up, settle in, and zzzzz uninterrupted.

    Enjoy the puppy breath! 🙂

  • What a cute puppy 🙂 I too find it nice and more rewarding to allow my dogs to sleep close to us. The crates are for when I need them safely confined and have to leave them on their own 😉

    Just remember baby bladders can be unreliable until almost 12 months of age depending on the dog.

  • She's a beauty! If she can hold her bladder from 11:30 until 4:30 am at only eight weeks, she is doing amazing! Is she shrieking while you're gone during the day? (The neighbors will usually let you know.) She will be lonely and insecure for a while, but it sounds like she's already settling in. If you can get her into a routine, where she knows when to expect to be fed and let out and played with, then she will start to accept it. She certainly is adorable. Enjoy her– they grow up fast!

  • Once again, thanks everyone for the comments and compliments on Waffles. She is on my lap sleeping for a bit while I type this haha.

    @ tanza - I always carry her outside (we live on the 3rd floor of an apt. building so its a necessity at her age anyways) and I stay out there when I know she has to go, even if she comes back to my legs to get warm….I put her back out several times to let her know that I want her to do business. We got our puppy from a breeder called Sun-Dance Kennels in Grand Haven, MI. The breeder has been having litters for over 20 years with very positive remarks from owners, and his mother was one of the first people to start breeding this type of dog in the Americas.

    About 30 minutes ago I put her in the crate while myself and Sara (my girlfriend living with me) went to the store. I lured her in for the first time in a week with her favorite Kong filled with cream cheese and a treat for going potty (#1 and #2 yay!). She didn't cry as we left, and I didn't return to her shrieking either...so that was quite a relief. We will see how she does this week though with her being in the crate and all during the day. She has also started to eat her meals all the way inside the crate, so I'm very happy about that...she will even sometimes scope out a scent or two inside, so I know she's getting more comfortable being in there.

    @ownedbyspencer - she used to shriek while we were away...and also at night when we used to put her in the crate. Felt terrible for the neighbors....she "said" she couldn't hear much of it, but we got her a thank you card and gift certificate just to say "thanks for putting up with the noise" haha.

    As for her sleeping in our room, the rule we put in place before getting this dog was no sleeping in our actual bed with us. While we both love the idea in theory, we would like to spend some time with one another without a dog in the bed.

  • You are doing a great job, Waffles' Dad…. but I have to let you know that basenjis will wiggle into your heart (and then you may waffle in your determination for it NOT to happen, lol)... but when a basenji gets into your heart, there's no way out. As I write this response, my little Lola, is sleeping on my lap (with my laptop, mind you:))... with her little nose tucked under my right elbow, because she wants to be where the action is!

    And for the shrieking... the previous owners of Lola came home to find the sheriff outside of their home, as someone had reported a dog being held under abusive conditions. Lynn had to let the police in to see that little Lola was perfectly fine, but simply confined in her cage! 🙂 I think the gift card was a great idea, especially if you included your phone contacts, "just in case" she needs to make a phone call in the morning.

    With that being said, RELAX... set up a "normal", for both you and Waffles, and be consistent with it! While I love dogs in the bed, you may not, so simply be consistent with what you do. Give Waffles a routine to follow, and as long as keep the routine, she will learn that it's her routine, too.

    (At this point in time, basenjis can't read... or can they, Miss Lola?)

    Hearts and Roos-

  • She had a difficult time this afternoon wanting to get at her Kong with cream cheese inside the crate, unlike like she normally did this weekend with ease.

    This morning I put her in there no problem with her Kong and treat, but unfortunately had forgotten something on the way to the DMV so I had to return home. Bad move. I came home and woke her up and she was NOT happy. A couple of hours later once I was finished she was STILL whining super loud…so audible I can hear her on the street through our windows.

    I'm posting another thread regarding our recent issues with her changing priorities during potty breaks where she likes to explore more now, whereas before she didn't enjoy being outside as much.....here it is:

  • Word to the wise: Oakley is 14 months old today and I make it my mission not to come home for anything and go back out, while he is now what I call "crate stable", he would be so upset if I came home to pick something up only to leave again… And I don't think that will change with time..

  • It sounds as though your puppy is getting used to her routine especially as she gor upset when you broke it. I'll be looking at the pictures later and I look forward to seeing them!.

    Be patient and remember that she is such a baby. Like Tanza I don't like the thought of an 8 week puppy leaving her mum and siblings. Often mine have been still suckling at that age and she was probably feeling the wrench very nuch.

  • I'm in the "too much crate time" camp on this one…plus 1) she's too young to have left her mama 2) she's probably cold (crates on floors are DRAFTY!) and 3) She's used to sleeping with in a "pile" of basenjis. None of my dogs have been crated at night, not even fosters--especially not fosters, since most of them have needed the comfort, reassurance & rehab of sleeping with a pack including humans. If you're concerned about her peeing the bed, I've never had a dog or puppy do that--they always wake up

    I think you'll find that with so much crate time and insufficient exercise she could start developing issues, especially since she's an only dog. Did you do much research on the breed b4 getting your pup? Basenji Rescue and Transport has some interesting articles that will help prepare you for Life With An Adolescent Devil Dog : )

Suggested Topics