I am Nick, I just got Basenji puppy 4 days ago he is a few days shy of 11 weeks old. I was definitely planning for sleepless nights, and just general puppy issues but I have a concern. I let my little guy sleep in bed with me because right now that is the safest place for him. The reason I started this is because I bought a large pen and a properly sized crate. Got him used to both of them, he doesn’t mind wandering in and out of them but as soon as the door is shut on either, all bets are off. There is no way he can be calmed, I cannot calm him down. Food will not calm him down, treats, toys, nothing. He gets to a point in the crate or play area that he is going to hurt himself with the excessive scratching atthe door. This obsessive behavior continues if im laying on the bed and hes not or im on the couch and he’s not, and he will do anything to get my attention. I understand a little of this behavior but I cant even get in the shower without him going absolutely nuts. Please help me. What can I do?
Nick, welcome to the board.
He's a baby, and like all situations, someone does the training. Right now, he's training you. It's only been 4 days...calm down, you'll both be okay.
First, how long are you going to be able to give him all your attention? This matters because you need to tailor training to reality.
Second, what type of crate? It will be hard to actually hurt himself in a plastic crate.
Now for solving this. First you have done great. He likes the crate open, that's a good start. So you have something to build on!
Make the crate his the place for eating. Push the door closed, but open the second he finishes eating..lots of praise as you take him out.
Find a new toy he loves, or a chewy, again only in crate, door closed. Stay close, uptalk (happy high tone). At this point you're looking to get a couple of minutes, then slowly increase. Do this every hour or two ..you can even break his meals into 5 smaller ones so he is hungry and gets more training opportunities.
Once you have him comfortable with at least 5 minutes, the hard part starts. Walk out of the room where he can't see you but can hear you. Slowly increase the time. Then go out the door or take a shower.
Be strong. make sure he has pottied, give him a little food or maybe a kong you froze with a little cream cheese smeared inside. You now know he's not afraid of the crate, he's just trying to have his way. As hard as it sounds, do not go back in until he stops screaming. Gets quiet..go in casually and really praise him.
Most puppies want company all the time. Learning to entertain himself or sleep alone is critical for both of you.
Once you have time, start obedience work. A tired mind is a good mind.
These simple training lessons are all you need.
Hi Nick, First, take a deep breath and relax....now realize you are in the "Basenji Zone". It is a place where nothing is a guarantee or straight forward. These dogs will read your mind, play you like a fiddle, chew you up and spit you out while loving you like no dog ever could. I know from experience. Some things will work that you can do with a "normal" dog but many things will not. Part of the journey and fun with having a Basenji is finding these things out as you gradually get your pup to do what is best for both of you. I know this is very general but what works for one Basenji will not work with the next. You have to be the leader of the pack always alert to stay one step ahead.....because your new bundle of joy is trying to do the same. So relax and enjoy the wonderful time in the "Basenji Zone".
Hi Nick. I agree with placing him in a plastic crate. Wire crates are just too harsh and uncomfortable for a Pup. Also, he needs to be in a smaller crate which is much more comforting for him.
Even our female Adult Basenji has separation anxiety (she always has). She has ALWAYS slept in a plastic crate (HATED the wire one). Tried several things to quiet her as sleeping in the bedroom eventually made her too possessive and aggressive.
What works is to put a towel over the crate (it keeps her warm), use a white noise machine AND Basenjis need to be soothed so we also turn on Baroque music for her (we use a specific CD) EVERY night. Bingo! It works. My husband sometimes forgets the music and I can hear her crying through the white noise machine. As soon as I do, I ensure she does not have to go to the bathroom, if that is not the case then I soothe her with my voice, lift the towel and put my finger through the wire part of her crate, cover her back up with the towel and turn on her music.
Eventually I can hear her heavy breathing from which she rarely wakes until morning. I had a Samoyed pup once (@ 10 weeks). I used a wind-up clock I placed near him (recommended by the Breeder) which helped simulate Mommies’ heartbeat. That also worked for him but with a baby Basenji, you cannot put it in his crate or he will destroy it.
Having a Basenji is truly like raising a child in EVERY aspect, and I have raised two.
Our female is like having a Toddler. She is the type of Basenji which must constantly be given lots of affection and affirmation but also needs to be watched (we use a baby gate) or she will get into mischief.
Perhaps you can train your little guy to one day not behave like our beautiful girl. We were not able to have her as a pup as we rescued her. She was 1/2 her body weight when she was surrendered to CBR by her previous owner, which explains lots of her behaviour.
Best wishes to you and your little guy. I would LOVE to have a Basenji baby one day but am also VERY VERY happy we were able to rescue our girl!
@mvdperez - I have always used wire crates, in fact, my litters are whelped in wire crates. I prefer them to plastic... Of course you need bedding and also I always cover the crates at night. Each dog, regardless of breed is different. Because mine have been raised in wire crates from birth, they are very used to them. And of course rescue adults usually present a whole different set of reactions than baby puppies.
Hello all, thank you for the responses, we are still working on crate training and he is not there yet. But he is calming down each day that goes by, he is behaving like I would expect him to at this age. He is so cuddly and loving and is starting to get over his separation issues and is starting to be independent. Ran into an issue last week with him not wanting anything to do with his food but a little water to the food did the trick and he is back to normal. I am not sure If I can post pics but I hope I can.
@nick4 I am in the "Basenji Zone" as well. I have done the putting her in the crate and then walking away while I talk to her and then letting her out and then back in again and I do the same thing where i will step out then come back in again. She does best when i leave her a good greenie for her teeth and I step out really quick she got used to it. Also I had the shower problem I even went as far as bringing her into the shower and to my surprise she did not care and i used it as a way to get her comfortable with the water....then i slowly gave her water from the shower talked to her while I was in there and peeked out the curtain every now and then and she got a lot calmer. I dont know if any this would help. Just wanted to share!