New Puppy Crating Advice ... Feeling Discouraged

I hope this is the right place to post. We got our little girl Basenji ten days ago and I feel like we have done things wrong with crate training. She hates it in there and screams from half hour to an hour and half. We don't open the door when she screams and take her out at night every 3 hours to potty, she hasn't had very many accidents. We used to have the crate right outside our room but since we cannot sleep through her cries we have to go upstairs. We feed her in her crate and give her treats and try to exercise her leading up to bed. She is very sweet and lazy during the day. She sleeps a lot, but not in her crate. She wakes up even if we try to put her in while she sleeps. Work is going to start up again January and I am scared she will never be able to be in her crate. At our apartment we get 3 noise complaints before they are allowed to tell us to move, so we are practicing at my moms house for now. I am feeling discouraged and like I am doing things wrong and have been crying a lot myself lately. Please help.

How old is she? First of all the crate should be in the room where you sleep, next to the bed. What kind of crate are you using? If a wire crate, cover it to make it more den like. I don't and never have used the plastic crates. And being next to the bed she knows you are right there. And you say that "work" will start up in January? What are you going to do with her then? If she will be crated when you go back to work then also crating her at night is too much crate time, IMO.

She is 13 weeks old. And we cover her crate to make it feel more like a den. Both my husband and I able to work from home some days and we can coordinate so we are with her most of the time, just on the days we can't we need to know she will be okay in her crate for atleast part of day (we are close enough to come back at lunch). I will see if moving her beside the bed helps. And it's a wire crate.

last edited by JulieR

Agree with tanza, crate should be right beside the bed, preferably where you can reach down with your hand and reassure her. Also, she needs to be warm. Basenjis do not cope well with cold, and if your house is cool at night she will be uncomfortable......one reason many of us end up with our dogs in our beds.

Congrats on your new pup! Some dogs/puppies like crates more than others. Sorry that you have one that seems not to like her crate at all. Agree that putting the crate in the bedroom is a good idea. Maybe even a great idea. We left our second dog in a crate in the kitchen for one night. Disaster. We put the crate in the bedroom and he slept through the night. We even stopped using the crate and just had a dog bed.

Another idea is to just have a fenced area with a dog bed on one end and an absorbent mat with some pee pads on top at the other. This seems to work better than a crate at nighttime. If they sleep through the night great. If they have to pee or even poop they should do that on the pads. You don't have to worry about anything so you can get a good nights sleep, and it's not a big deal to clean up.

The other thing I'm wondering about, which is related to the setup mentioned above, is the need to take her out every few hours. Every three hours seems excessive. At 13 weeks I'd think she should be able to get through a night or darn close to it.

last edited by DonC

@donc - I disagree with your point about taking the pup out... at 13 weeks, way, way too young to consider they can go an entire night. I would take my pups out every 4 hours and I also woke them up to go out AND most important I would carry them outside. Typically they would pee quick and were carried back to their crate and they would go back to sleep just about immediately. I would do this until at least 16 to 18 weeks... but I would also increase the time between when I would take them out, but slowly. Also if they woke up during the night, I would immediately take them out. But of course not all of us are light sleepers as I am so I would know right away they were awake. Main thing as noted already is that the crate should be in the same room as where you are sleeping and close to your bed

@donc My gal HATED her Crate unless we were going someplace in the Car. She was such a Houdini that she managed to escape the Crate which was placed beside my bed with a Blanket over it. I gave up because she spent a month at the Horse Farm where she packed with a 15-year-old Mutt and a 2-year-old Labrador Retriever. She modled her behavior after theirs. I saw her every day and she slept in my Quarterhorse's Stall. Sometimes she would climb up on his hip when he was laying down for a nap. That was the most stress-free Training I ever did. Just goes to show you that these dogs are stubborn and they are not into negotiating. Being 'Firm' with them does not always work, they ignore you and carry on.

Your Pup may not need a Crate in the House BUT they will always need one in the Car. Why don't you try taking a drive with your Pup in the Car? Mine always fell asleep when we hit 55mph and she remained asleep until we reached our destination.

Let your Pup sleep in your Bed with you, after about 3 weeks of Crying and trying to escape the Crate I just picked her up and put her in the bed. I had her in my bed for 16 years! These dogs are very clean and are fastidious about grooming themselves.

You will get through this!

I tired the crate and getting rid of it was the best move I made....now things are peaceful....Sarge hated the crate. He clawed, chewed, ripped up his bedding, etc. etc. One night after hearing this go on and on I let him out and he jumped on the bed, snuggled up and it has been more calm and enjoyable. I can leave him loose in the house when I am gone and he does fine. He is a wonderful dog...a true Basenji with his crazy ways but very happy and well adjusted. One thing I have learned over 3 years is that what works with one Basenji doesn't necessarily work with every Basenji. You have to adapt to what works best for your dog and your living situation. Trial and error has gotten me to a place where we have a very enjoyable time with our Sarge.

@jhewell I agree 100%! They are all different but some things remain unchanged. They suffer from horrible separation anxiety because they are Pack Animals and if they are alone and another member of the Pack is not there they get hysterical. Being alone in a Crate while the Person leaves to go to work has a very detrimental effect on them.

It is really sad because people do not do their homework to learn about the Breed before getting a Pup. These are the folks that surrender them to BRAT. These Dogs should never be left in their Crate for hours. Others may disagree with me on that but I have been rescuing Dogs, Cats, Horses and sometimes Wolves dumped at the Dog Pound since I was 15 years old. One must learn to read the body language of the Animal and they will always let you know when something is wrong.
I dislike Behaviorism which is a false science. It is also very dangerous because an animal will only take so much of this manipulation and then will respond with a Bite or a Kick!

You did the right thing for your Pup. Other Pups may not have the same reaction but part of the Breed Profile is Separation Anxiety. This is a huge deal so one must find a way to not let that happen.

🙂

A

@eeeefarm our room is very warm. We made sure of that since we knew they do not like being cold 🙂 . She was in our room last night and still cried but did not scream like she was doing before. So that is progress, but we took her out to pee a lot (4 times). Also today we left her to get groceries and put Netflix on so she didn't feel as alone, we heard her cry but when we came home she was lying down (we were gone 30 mins). I feel like that is also progress. We had tried the puppy pen but she would climb to the top even though there was a lid and sometime fall, I didn't like that she could possibly hurt herself in there. In regards to potty training, if we take her out every 3 hours she goes every 3 hours, but if she is hanging out or sleeping beside us on the couch she easily makes it 4-5 hours, we use the phase "do your business" but she seems to just know that outside means time to pee and poo. We started obedience training today and it was encouraging to hear that everyone was going through the same things with their puppies (though they do not have a basenji). We are taking it one day at a time. Thank you all for your comments, this is a really wonderful resource.

@tanza said in New Puppy Crating Advice ... Feeling Discouraged:

@donc - I disagree with your point about taking the pup out... at 13 weeks, way, way too young to consider they can go an entire night. I would take my pups out every 4 hours and I also woke them up to go out AND most important I would carry them outside. Typically they would pee quick and were carried back to their crate and they would go back to sleep just about immediately. I would do this until at least 16 to 18 weeks... but I would also increase the time between when I would take them out, but slowly. Also if they woke up during the night, I would immediately take them out. But of course not all of us are light sleepers as I am so I would know right away they were awake. Main thing as noted already is that the crate should be in the same room as where you are sleeping and close to your bed

I don't think this was my experience. We've never taken pups out at night. With one pup we'd get up when they did in the morning and immediately take them out. With multiple pups, not only do I like to sleep, but we have so many coyotes around I wouldn't risk taking pups out at night. Just let them have access to two areas -- one for sleeping and one for peeing and pooping. They figured this out and cleanup was pretty easy most of the time (not always though!). I am almost certain that at 14 weeks they were capable of holding it through the night (reports from owners) as well as on six hour car rides. I am certain that at 16 weeks they could hold it during a day long plane trip or a day long car trip.

That's why I'm saying 3 hours seems short. Then again I'm not that concerned if they don't make it since things are set up so no damage will be done.

@julier said in New Puppy Crating Advice ... Feeling Discouraged:

@eeeefarm our room is very warm. We made sure of that since we knew they do not like being cold 🙂 . She was in our room last night and still cried but did not scream like she was doing before. So that is progress, but we took her out to pee a lot (4 times).

That is progress. I think together you'll figure it out. I wouldn't worry about the temperature so much. If there is a nice blanket in there she should be fine. Basenjis like to be cozy but some also like to be on the cool side. Heated doggie pads also work if you're worried.

Having them sleep on the bed is a great idea if you're willing to have it continue. But if you start letting them on the bed you are going to have an incredibly hard time convincing them they can't later on.

Just keep in mind that this is a huge change for her. All her life she's been with her litter, always having companions and sleeping in dog piles. Now suddenly this is all gone and she's alone. So a little crying isn't a cause for concern. It's not an easy transition, which is why I don't understand why people want a pup at eight weeks.

@donc When I would go to visit my Pup at the Breeder's home I would sit on the floor and I was in a Sea of Puppies! The Litter was 5 Pups, 2 Female, and 3 Males. Mine was the only Tri in the Litter.

I left her with her Mama until she was 12 weeks old and then I brought her home. She shrieked the entire way home and we were both traumatized so I put her in the Bed and then got in with her. My Cat taught her how to go up and down the stairs and how to get on the bed. They would play and she would groom him which he was not thrilled with but he tolerated it.

I think 12 weeks is long enough for them to make it through the night as long as they are taken out before bedtime. That Sea of Puppies is a very fond memory for me. I know now that my Dog lived the longest of her litter. 16 years is a long time...

There was no way the dog was EVER going to sleep in our bed. My resolve lasted 45 minutes. Rory climbed under the blankets at 12 weeks and slept there until her death at 16 years. With Tim, I didn't even pretend that the little guy wasn't going to sleep in the bed between us. I think if you took a poll of basenji owners you would find almost all of us allow the dogs to not only sleep with us but under the covers as well! I have 2 water-proof mattress cover/pads for the occasional accident (usually vomit), in case sheet changing is required during the night. But, it is a rare occurrence. And the best thing...Corn chip smell! 😉

@rgk9ruler Wow! Another 16-year-old Basenji! The Breed Profile says they usually live for 12 years. I had a stainless steel Crate and it was next to my bed. She spent HOURS pushing on the top of the Crate and she managed to slide the top back and got out!

She was sitting there very satisfied with herself and looked at me and said 'See what I did?!' When they go to that much trouble it is clear they will not be contained. She slept with me and was always under the covers at the bottom of the bed between my feet!

They are amazing and the ONLY time she was in the Crate was when we were driving someplace. She was an awesome traveler and a hilarious little spirit!

I miss her every day!!!

A

@antigone said in New Puppy Crating Advice ... Feeling Discouraged:
That Sea of Puppies is a very fond memory for me. I know now that my Dog lived the longest of her litter. 16 years is a long time...

Yes 16 years is a good long time. Of course we'd like it to be longer but nature will take its course, with them and us as well. Great that you have the memory. Puppies are quite wonderful things even if they are a ton of work.

@jhewell Crates may be lifesavers. Training to a crate also is critical should the dog need to be hospitalized, or even emergency boarding. While I also had mine in the bed, it wasn't until they had crate training and I continued with training for a long time. Being able to settle into a crate is essential, in my opinion.

@debradownsouth - I agree Debra... about crate training. Regardless of where your pup sleeps at night, crate training in general is a must for any dog. And especially when traveling. My Basenjis sleep in their crates (with the door open) their choice.... sometimes they will come get in bed but that is few and far inbetween.

@debradownsouth My Dog was in her Stainless Steel Crate when we were going somewhere. I kept the Crate in the Car and she was an excellent traveler and would fall asleep until we reached our destination. Not crating in the House is something I did not do because it was not necessary. SHE did need her Crate when we would have to drive somewhere. They absolutely must be crated when in the Car or whatever vehicle you have.

@tanza As I have said my Dog was in her Crate when we had to drive somewhere. She was an excellent traveler and fell asleep in the Crate, which I kept in my Car. They must be in the Crate when they are going to the Vet for sure.

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