. I've also heard of B's chewing threw doors and I'm concerned because every time I leave him out for practice he jumps and claws at the door I left from. What age did you let your B stay out? He's only 5 months old and has only been in my apartment for several weeks. Just yesterday he left the room I was in and went to sleep in his favorite corner of another room. Until then he always followed me everywhere.
A lot will depend on the dog as well as the age. Some easily become trustworthy and are not destructive, others will always have the tendency and you must be careful. Introducing "liberty" is a process. A web cam is a definite advantage that I never had! As far as attacking doors, that is definitely a concern. A frantic Basenji (or any dog, especially a large one) can do a lot of damage if they set their sights on getting out. One thing you can try that works is a "scat mat" in front of the door (or anywhere you don't want them to be, including on kitchen counters!). But I would try leaving for brief periods of time and monitoring the web cam, so you can see what is happening. Some dogs just have a few moments of anxiety, when they may be destructive, but then settle down. With this type of reaction, you can usually find something to occupy them for that crucial few moments when you leave, e.g. a puzzle toy with treats in it, a stuffed Kong, or similar. A roller ball filled with kibble always worked for my boys. By the time it was empty the dog was over the "she's leaving me alone" anxiety. I set the stage by loading the ball before I was going out, and putting it where he could see it but couldn't get at it, to build desire. By the time I left, his full attention was on getting that ball! Worked for me with two separation anxiety dogs.
Well I just left him home for 45 minutes without being confined to a crate. I watched most of the time through webcams. He just kept bouncing from sitting at the door I left from and all his favorite spots to lay down. Going to keep extending the time and see how that goes. Very good signs so far.
Sounds good. Another key to "normalizing" your absence is to not make a big deal of it on your return. Be as "matter of fact" as you can, no emotional greetings, in fact it is best to ignore him for a few minutes when you return. We all love to have our dogs fawn all over us, but for dogs that show separation anxiety reciprocating is the worst thing you can do. You want to emphasize that your comings and goings are normal and nothing to be excited about. After all, if your spouse went out to run an errand you wouldn't rush to his or her side on the return and smother him/her with kisses (well, maybe on your honeymoon ), so why do that with your dog? What you aim for is a dog that is so relaxed that he stays on the couch, maybe just raises his head to indicate he knows you are back.
Update! Still cautious with keeping Max uncrated while home alone since he’s only 5 months. However, he’s been amazing and hasn’t done anything wrong. Wonder how long it’ll take me to trust him fully. Right now I’m checking the cameras pretty regularly. I also got a robot camera that can scoot around the apartment looking for him. It also tosses treats so Max approves.
When my B was young she also hated to be in the crate when I left home. She would cry and whine when I put her in the crate - it broke my heart and I didn’t like seeing her “caged-up”. So I gradually left her alone increasing the time increments. I have never had any issues of destructive behavior and she is happy to have her freedom. I’m happy to hear the situation seems to be working out for you. Love the photo of Max and the robot - also nice collection of liquors- lol!
This sounds very positive but don't get too relaxed yet. He is still adjusting to this situation, and sometimes something happens that can set things back. My Perry attacked a lampshade for no known reason, but I suspect there could have been a fly buzzing around in it. He also attacked my blinds when I left them down to keep the sun porch from getting too hot. He liked to look out and they were blocking the view! Other than that he was never destructive. Someone coming to the door or unfamiliar sounds outside can also cause problems, but as time goes by you will likely be able to trust him as he settles into the routine. Staying away a lot longer than he is used to can sometimes trigger an issue, so be careful not to push his limits too far.
Zak was 4 months old when I "rescued" him from a family who bought him from a backyard breeder. He was crate phobic at that time as the children (1 high school age and 1 middle school) left him in the crate after the first month (newness wore off). Dad got home and pup sat in his own pee and poop for anywhere from 10 to 12 hours! Which is how I got him. He has never been in a crate with me. Course when he came to me I already had a 5 year old (neutered male) and and 3 year old (spayed) female. At first it was like a mommy and daddy and baby. A few months later, all hell broke loose as Zak tried to "take" Dannii out! Another story for another time. However, Zak learned from watching the other 2 b's as to when to go outside to do his business. He wasn't destructive as far as furniture goes and such. Anything paper he would ripped to shreds.
Try leaving Max out. Be sure blinds are opened, pillows and such put up high and out of the way. Lots of toys to chew or shred. Find some toys that you can fill up with treats that he can roll around and the treats fall out. At 5 months, I'm pretty sure he will sleep quite a bit. Do make sure he gets plenty of exercise, long walks or something before you leave for work. He is one adorable pup! Sometimes they do real well if they have a companion. Nobody likes to be alone. Just a thought for down the road.