Need Guidance - HELP!!!

Blaze, my 10-mos old boy, is my first Basenji and he does not like to be alone without access to the surroundings of our home:

We have an awesome Mud Room, which we coverted into his own space versus crate training, and that is where we would have him stay when we went to work. It took him one day to figure-out how to open the 'pocket-door' and roam the house.

He was fine to raom the house, without access to bedrooms and bathroom, for a few weeks; but, then he started to chew small holes in our couch [brand-new mind you], and our pillows, and destroy magazines, and mail, and my Husband's golf-visor.

So we tried crate training! We bought an awesome steel crate, with plety of room for him to stand-up and stretch; and thought we had successfully acclimated him to his new living-area while we were gone. Today was his first-day being alone for more than a few hours: he escapted his crate!

Remember old-school cartoons when animated inmates would leverage their brute-strength and stretch-apart the cell-bars to walk-out of the jail: this is what Blaze managed to do!!! He snapped the welded cross-bars, and somehow separated the vertical bars enough to walk-out of the crate. I am both impressed and horrified, and amazed that he was totally unharmed - not even a scratch.

He didn't destroy the house; as a matter of fact, he was lying on the kitchen-floor, chewing on his Nylabone when I walked-in. My fear is that he will move away from chewing on the items listed above, and will move on to electrical cords/wires and harm himself.

But when we separate him from our living-space, he goes frantic,

Ok folks, now what?

Unfortunately you are new to Basenji World. Karin and I recently put what was at one time a beautiful living room set, sofa and love seat, into storage in hopes that some day we might be able to totally reupholster them, both peices eatten down to the wooden frame by 1 sweet Shiba Inu and 2 B's. If you are really going to join the ranks of true Basenji People you will learn to grin and bare it. They are extremely intelligent and get bored very easily, when bored they look for something to amuse themselves and one of the principal means of amusement is attempting to destroy something that you love. Most material things can be replaced but the joy and amusement you will receive from your B can never be replaced. All we can say is, "You gotta love them."

Is there a way that you can lock the mudroom door so he can't get it opened? In the mudroom, is there access for him to see outside (or have access to the yard, if securely fenced)? Basenjis love to look out the window and watch the world go by…. of course if there are critters in the yard, they are going to want to go chase them.... reason you never leave a Basenji with window blinds in the "down" position!

How old was he when you got him? And didn't know they made steel crates?.... many a Basenji have been able to snap welds on crate wires...

It's not unusual for a Basenji to resent being deprived of the freedom to move around. The smarter ones find ways to regain that lost freedom, as you have discovered. 🙂 Unfortunately, Basenjis do not do well left on their own for hours at a time. Older ones may cope, younger ones will find ways to amuse themselves that may not please you. Sometimes having two is a solution. With companionship your boy might settle down and be more content. However, you could also end up with "double trouble". Do you have access to a doggy daycare or can you hire someone to come and walk him while you are away? How many hours are you leaving him alone?

And how much exercise is he getting when you are home? Even the best crate-acclimated dog may become destructive if not allowed and encouraged to deplete his energy in more constructive pursuits.

I must confess my own basenji has decreased his destruction since neighbors on either side got puppies. They keep each other occupied for hours.

First Basenji's

I came across this new DVD set. Have not viewed it, however, I thought of you and the concerns you had seem to be covered in this series. Nicole Wilde is a well known behaviorist and speaker in my circle for trainers. Having experienced needing 'out side the box' advice, this sounds very interesting. I feel for you, and for your new little boy. Most dogs, esp puppies, esp B, are very much pack oriented and when bonded, don't understand being alone. it becomes a scarey world! My other two cents: (have you left the radio or tv on?-maybe having a 'sitter or dog walker come by to break up the day, or better, a doggie day care) http://www.tawzerdog.com/product/info/1143/Separation-Anxiety%3A-Both-Sides-Now–-Nicole-Wilde.php

sorry to hear of the problems you are having, Basenjis are amazing and frustrating at the same time.
Both of ours are free whilst we are out, our eldest was crate trained successfuly but the youngest was a different story, he too bent the bars, he didn't actualy escape but i was concerned for his teeth.
On a practical note we buried any wires that we could in the wall and any appliances with cables like the lap top, cd player we always unplug.

Usually dogs with real separation anxiety, as opposed to boredom, are most active right after you leave. I have found it useful to give them something to do to occupy them until you are out of sight. For me, a roller ball filled with treats works well. A loaded Kong would also be useful. Really, there are a lot of treat dispensing puzzles out there these days, which would help a lot with any food motivated dog. And yes, for sure leave the radio on. Just make sure it isn't tuned to a station the dog finds annoying!

Ours are confined to the porch when we leave for work. They have an adequate amount of room to move around and they also have a doggie door they can go out to access the yard. It is great, if it is nice out they go and lounge on the deck and chase those pesky squirrels and if the weather is not good they can retreat back to the porch and lay on their bed inside. They are separated from the rest of the house with a baby gate that mounts to the wall. So far, fingers crossed, they haven't been able to figure out they can jump over the baby gate and it's been 3 years since we have moved into the house.

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