We brought our 13 weeks old Basenji, Omar, home last Saturday, and are struggling to train him to spend any time alone. We are crate training him, and are currently also litter training him (he still has pee accidents when he gets too excited/distracted, etc, but considering it’s only been a week, I think he’s made good progress in that regard!).
He is refusing to learn (or acknowledge he knows) how to “go to bed” in his crate, but the last two nights he actually put himself to bed in there when he got tired, and slept through the night with only one request for a pee break, which has been a very welcome breakthrough!
If he is in his crate in a well trafficked area and he knows one of us is around, he’s generally ok to stay in his crate for short periods of time during the day, but as soon as we leave the room, he goes full banshee mode. We are not acknowledging him when he does that, and not opening his crate until he is quiet again. Because my husband and I both work, there are some days when he does need to be alone for 4-5 hours. We have set up an xpen that fits his crate, litter box, and a small play area, so that he will be able to eliminate outside of his crate when we are not home for longer periods of time, but he starts his screaming in there, too.
We have been doing the “leave for short periods of time then extend them” training but he seems unaffected—if we are gone or out of sight, he’s going to scream (whether he is in his pen or the crate). I suspect, when he was left alone for 3 hours yesterday, he screamed the whole time.
We have been playing with him in the pen so that it’s a “fun” place, and tried only giving him a special treat when he’s in there (Kong toy, etc), but at most this keeps him occupied for 5 minutes before it’s abandoned.
I don’t know if he will eventually get used to being alone and we just need to keep at it (like we did with him being crated at night) , but I’m concerned that, rather than him learning we always come back, he will start hating going into the xpen specifically, because that’s where he will be when we are gone for longer.
Any suggestions you have for an approach/solution would be fantastic!