More crate/separation anxiety issues. 12.5 week old puppy

@tanza just to clarify, we aren’t crating him all day then all again when we’re back...we’re actually on vacation right now to spend as much time as we can taking care of him, getting him familiar with his new environment and training him to set him up for success. We have been crating him in small intervals during the day in order to practice for how it will be like when we head to work during the day outside of which he is out of his crate and roaming freely...and as mentioned, we’ll be ensuring to break his day into two once we go back to work by coming home at lunch/ dog walker/ family visit/ etc.

our main concern is getting him to be comfortable with being crated during the day when we start go back to working...

Try searching for "crate games" on Youtube. Should be able to get him liking the crate.

But not sure how long you expect him to be in the crate. As Tanza says, at 12 1/2 weeks they are going to be very active. And of course it would be a different story if there were other dogs.

@yaleezaforeva said in More crate/separation anxiety issues. 12.5 week old puppy:

screaming in his crate any time we put him in there during the day, whether we are in the same room, a room nearby or outside

Just a thought... you want him to get used to being in the crate while you are at work (right?), but you are crating him and not leaving. Like, leaving leaving. If you are in another room, Benji can probably (both) hear and smell you. If you are just outside, Benji can smell the residual aroma (which will gradually fade depending on how long you are gone). But if you are nearby... like outside the door or on the sidewalk, he may still be able to hear you. If he can sense that you are nearby, then it's not unusual for him to cry out for you. Is it? Since you have a camera set up, why not go all the way out to your car (get in, start the car and drive to the corner), then come back again. One of you can watch him on the camera if need be. The point is: you will be teaching him that the sound of the car starting and driving off means you have left. It will become a signal for him to settle in and calm down. Likewise, when he hears your car return, he will learn that it means you have come home. (My dog uses the sound of my key sliding into the door lock for a similar signal to when I'm leaving and returning.)

Here's the other thing. I don't see any mention about you giving your dog a walk before he is put into the crate. Make a morning walk part of the routine. You get up, make your coffee (etc), then take your pup for a walk. When you get back, you tend to all of Benji's needs. Set up fresh water and a snack in the crate, maybe a special treat. Let him know what a good boy he is and then head out. For right now, just drive around the block and come home. When you get back home, open his crate and play with him a bit. Let him roam around for an hour or so, then begin giving him clues that you are preparing to leave (again). Tell him you will be right back as you put him in his crate, and leave the condo. Go around the block a couple times and return home. Greet him, let him out of the crate, pick up his leash, take him for another (short) walk, back home.... shortly after, prepare to leave. Repeat the routine.

Your pup needs the repetition to learn what to expect, and when to expect it. Things like, going into the crate means you are leaving (the condo), and picking up his leash means you are taking him for a walk. Go over the routine again and again before your vacation runs out. Some short trips in and out to check the mail should be mixed with longer trips to the grocer. The inconsistancies will prevent Benji from assuming that your departure will always be "all day". Benji will learn what your routine is and begin taking his cues from you. He'll be fine.

Avoid a walk every single time you get home, else Benji will expect a walk every time you get home. But, give him some respect. If you have been gone (for hours) Benji may "need" to go out.

@elbrant that’s great advice, thanks for sharing! we make sure to take him for a walk every morning and play once he returns and has had his meal; of course, once we start working we’ll be ensuring we tire him out to his heart’s content before we leave! with respect to leaving entirely when training him as if we’re away for work, we’ve just been hesitant given how loud he could be within our condo walls BUT understand that there’s no way around it if we truly want to train him to be comfortable with us leaving since we’ll eventually be leaving for work for real...so we’ll make sure to actually leave for the next few days and see how it goes. thanks again (ps - we’re also going to try leaving a t shirt with our smell in his crate to comfort him).

I'm sorry to have to say it but I'd scream if I were crated in the daytime as well as having to sleep in a crate all night ! Basenjis are hunting hounds, not toys to put in a cupboard when they are inconvenient to you ! If you insist on crating him in the daytime - and I'm guessing you'll be away for an eight hour day at least - then let him sleep with you at night.

Poor little guy - at 12.5 weeks he wants to explore and to play and have fun - and to be a puppy !

Set up a room where he can come to no harm, leave lots of things around for him to play with, get him a bone (raw) that he can gnaw on and forget the daytime crate.

Short, frequent, walks at his age. He is too young for a marathon even if that would tire him out. You need to respect his muscle development.

@zande its a little harsh to suggest we're treating him like a toy that we're "putting in a cupboard when he's inconvenient for us." as mentioned, we're simply trying to get him comfortable with us being away as we'll eventually have to do so when going to work...during that time, we'll also be ensuring that his time apart isn't for a full 8 hour day, especially as a young puppy, and rather broken into at least two intervals with one of us coming home or a dog walker or a family member. as it stands, he also likes being in his crate overnight right beside our bed (safe space) so that doesn't seem to be an issue whatsoever.. plus we're simply just trying to understand what the best approach is for him to be left alone when we go back to work.

we really appreciate your upfrontness and transparency about this...maybe you're suggesting the right approach...we're new at this and so we'll message you to discuss further! again, we appreciate you taking the time to provide advice.

last edited by yaleezaforeva

Back when I had basenjis, we had gotten this little girl after we moved into a new house. She was not yet housebroken and so could not be let out when we weren't home. One morning soon after we had moved in, we came back from picking up lunch and our new neighbor came walking over to the car.

She explained that she had called the police to come to our house while we were away. She heard this horrible screaming, and knew we had dogs, and was concerned that something had happened to one of them.

So, the cops look in the front windows and what did they see?- just a little dog sitting in a crate, looking mighty annoyed at being crated.

So, I understand the issue you're having.

We never crated her after that, we blocked access to areas with baby gates and we were lucky she never chewed herself free. If we gated her in the bedroom, the bed usually was too enticing and she just took a nap.

@b5004ever
I understand that people need to crate their dogs for the dog’s safety. My B was crate trained but I jokingly say I “de-crate trained” her. My B has free reign of our house and access to the outside via doggie door - lucky she has never been destructive. I first left her alone uncrated for about 15 minutes and I kept increasing the time increments - until I finally knew she was ok alone. She likes her freedom and she’s a very NOSY dog who wants to know what’s going on.

Basenjis like to be able to see outside. One of the very few times my last boy was destructive, he trashed the blind I had pulled down to keep the sunroom from getting too hot. I learned to make sure there was a space he could see out of after that!

@yaleezaforeva said in More crate/separation anxiety issues. 12.5 week old puppy:

@zande its a little harsh to suggest we're treating him like a toy that we're "putting in a cupboard when he's inconvenient for us." as mentioned, we're simply trying to get him comfortable with us being away as we'll eventually have to do so when going to work...during that time, we'll also be ensuring that his time apart isn't for a full 8 hour day, especially as a young puppy, and rather broken into at least two intervals with one of us coming home or a dog walker or a family member. as it stands, he also likes being in his crate overnight right beside our bed (safe space) so that doesn't seem to be an issue whatsoever.. plus we're simply just trying to understand what the best approach is for him to be left alone when we go back to work.

we really appreciate your upfrontness and transparency about this...maybe you're suggesting the right approach...we're new at this and so we'll message you to discuss further! again, we appreciate you taking the time to provide advice.

If you are home then trying to equal that to when you are gone will not work... IMO... they know when you are at home and when you are gone.... being in his crate at night next to the bed is totally different then in his crate (other for eating) if you are home and moving around. All of mine were/at crate trained... but if we were home, they are with us... I didn't have to crate them during the day as we set up the house with their own dog room... and that room was set up to remove anything important.... BE ADVISED however it if is their dog room and they destroy something, it is on the owner... ours also have access to the backyard via a doggy door, but we have a secure backyard with 12' fences. I will say that with our very first two Basenjis many years ago, they had a crate in the laundry room with a doggy door to outside. At the time we did not have baseboards and found that stripping the wall paper was a great past time.. LOL... and that is the way it was... as we gave them that area... results was to install baseboards... LOL... problem solved

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