So last Saturday my husband brought home our male basenji puppy Chupy! He is literally our baby, and we love him so much! He is great pretty much at all times. However, when it's time to go in his crate he screams and screams and tries to get out. This makes it impossible for us to sleep. We've tried to let him cry it out, but 30 min later he is still screaming. The only way he won't cry in his crate is if my husband lays down next to his crate, reaches through the bars and massages him until he finally passes out. 1-2 hours later Chupy wakes up, and the screaming begins again. I eventually give up and get him out and let him sleep with me on the couch. Last night we changed it up by leaving the crate door open, and my husband slept on the floor just outside of the open crate door. There was some progress as he would actually lay in his crate and go to sleep, but every 1-2 hours he wakes up, and crawls out onto my husband who then places him back in his crate (door still open) and he goes back to sleep. This process is repeated all night. Just wondering if anybody has any tips? Past success? Age in which this usually stops? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Not expecting a miracle or anything just want to make him feel more comfortable in there, and hopefully be able to sleep with the crate door closed. Also, just purchased a stuffed animal with a heartbeat and heating pad in it in hopes that it will soothe him. Will update with results once we get it in mail. Thanks in advance!
Here is my tip.
In every situation, someone gets trained. Chupy is doing a good job... not so much you and your husband. You have taught him that if he screams long enough, you'll give in. (Btw, no space to even list all the things my basenji has taught me! So you aren't alone. :) )
Potty him, put him in the crate, do not open it even if it means 2 hrs of screaming. While there's nothing wrong with letting one sleep with you, right now you have created a problem and it needs to be solved. Get some ear plugs, glass of wine, whatever, and just tough it out. He'll be okay, I promise. At this age though, I'd take him out to potty every 3 to 4 hrs so he doesn't have an accident, but do not open the crate when he's screaming.
While I agree with Debra about not rewarding the screaming, I also think that this is a baby, and he needs reassurance. He is in a strange place with new people and you are expecting him to quietly sleep all on his own when he has likely been used to curling up with littermates.
When I brought Tamu home, I slept in a cot right next to her crate for the first few nights, so I could reach out and touch her. Whenever she got restless I took her outside. After a few nights like this she started sleeping in the cot with me, and after two weeks she joined my husband and me and our 7 year old Basenji in our bed. I never left her alone in a crate at night......learned my lesson with the older one. Basenjis are far less trouble when they sleep with "the pack". And incidentally, Tamu housetrained in two weeks and we never looked back. I attribute it to always taking her outside when she needed to go.
If a crate is essential for you, then at least place it close to your bed so he doesn't feel alone.
I should add, if he is uncomfortable it may be another reason for the screaming. Basenjis like to be warm!
Put the crate in your bedroom at night.... next to the bed... you can dangle your fingers to reassure him you are right there... also covering the crate helps. Do you feed him in his crate? If not, do so.... show that it is a good place with good things that happen. Are you using a plastic or wire crate? Mine have always done better with wire crates. How old is Chupy?
Update: so after the night I said my husband slept next to his open crate things have changed! All it took was that one night (albeit with an open crate) for Chupy to take to his crate. We are so happy for him... and us! Now he goes to his crate on his own for naps and just to hang out. We are so proud of our little boy. The next night he slept in his crate (in our room) with his door open, and we slept in our bed. He still wakes up every 1-2 hours and walks out of crate, but if we do not pay him immediate attention he goes right back in his crate and goes back to sleep. We take him outside every 2-3 hours to potty. We're going to try to close his crate door tonight
@Lindsey that is great news, if leaving the crate door open is working, don't change it for a bit... are you covering the crate? Make it more like a dark den? and you can try to start, just closing the door part way. Are you feeding him in his crate? Another way to get them to adjust to having the door closed....