Soon to be Basenji mama! Playpen advice.

Crates work for some, not all. I have had two Basenjis that were crate phobic and would potentially injure themselves trying to get out, i.e. damage to teeth, frantic and upset in crate to the point of defecating and getting it all over themselves as they struggled to get out, panting and in a panic all the time crated. Both of these were dogs I did not raise, one had been routinely crated before I got him, but always with other dogs crated next to him. Alone did not work! Proper training with a pup may work, or it may not. Some are accepting at first, then become increasingly anxious especially if left alone too long. My goal has always been to minimize use of a crate by creating a dog safe area that includes the ability to see outside. My dogs generally slept with me at night, so crating wasn't an issue at that time.

If you are home you can also use tethering to keep them out of trouble.

I'm not playing devil's advocate here, but.... the only time any of my dogs are crated is when they travel (by plane).

I allow my Basenji free reign in the house. She has two "spots" that are exclusively hers. One is a huge, 2x4 foot dog bed tucked into the corner behind her club chair/ottoman. Yes, she has her own club chair, and she doesn't particularly like it when I borrow the ottoman. 😉 She is allowed on my bed at any time, but she is not allowed on other pieces of furniture unless invited. And she understands the rules. When I leave the house, she curls up on my bed, often with her head on my pillow, and sleeps. The minute the key is in the slot, she runs to the door. Man, I love this dog!!

I suppose I just find crates unnecessary. Doodle can move about the same as anyone else in the family. And I can trust her not to do things that she shouldn't do. Even if I'm gone longer than usual.

last edited by elbrant

@elbrant said in Soon to be Basenji mama! Playpen advice.:

I'm not playing devil's advocate here, but.... the only time any of my dogs are crated is when they travel (by plane).

I allow my Basenji free reign in the house.

You are a brave woman. I'd say giving a Basenji puppy free reign of the house borders between unwise and crazy! LOL More the latter than the former.

At some point, perhaps two or so, they do become more trustworthy. Before then no possible way would I leave them alone. God knows what they will do, but guaranteed they will do something and guaranteed you won't be happy that they did it.

And even after you can trust them you have to make provision for their getting sick or having diarrhea. It's a lot easier to clean up a mess on a wood or tile floor than on the priceless Persian carpet (which FYI I don't own!).

last edited by DonC

Thanks, everyone! Yea, I am not sure I will feel comfortable doing that but props to you! 🙂 We have a large living room/dining room/kitchen open floor plan so she will have a nice area to enjoy when inside.

@elbrant
Same with my Kembe - free reign of the house and has NEVER been DESTRUCTIVE. She also has 2 special spots - her big dog bed in front of the fireplace and also the end of the couch which have her special fluffy blankets. She is allowed on the furniture and our bed (although she is no longer able to jump onto the bed - due to her age). When we leave the house she stands in the front bay window & watches us leave. When she hears our car pull into the driveway she will run out the doggie door and looks down @ us from the fenced deck as if to say “it’s about time you came home”! My Kembe could be related to your Doodle! Lol

@donc said in Soon to be Basenji mama! Playpen advice.:

You are a brave woman

I give the credit to Janice of Nuttinbutt Basenji's. She matched GCH Undercover Yankee Spitfire @ Adventureland Basenji's (aka "my doodle") to me when doodle was 18 months. So, I brought home a girl who was perfect for us from day one. I was actually a little jealous when we picked her up because when she saw my son, it was "love at first sight". LOL

I will admit that the first couple of times I left her in the house alone, I came home to find the corners of my designer pillows mysteriously missing. We had some growing pains, but nothing overly dramatic.

My doodle has me wrapped around her curly tail and I wouldn't have it any other way!
Thank you Janice!!!

A crate, if the Basenji is properly crate trained and gets to regard it as a refuge, is good for short periods. But it must be big enough to allow room to stand up, stretch, and lie at full length. Not cramped at all. A special bone, only to be enjoyed in the crate and nowhere else, can help too.

Like elbrant, I only crate in the car. I have a gate between the kitchen and the rest of the house, actually saloon-type doors set close to the floor with firm latches, louvres away from the kitchen to prevent climbing (!) and another at the top of the stairs. This is enough to control the pack and keep it where I want it - mainly in the large farmhouse kitchen with access to the great outdoors during the day, but allowed through to the rest of the house in the evenings to share a comfy chair and watch TV.

I may have to rethink my use of crates if and when we get a new doggie. I didn’t crate Jengo because it just made him absolutely miserable. We imagined him crated at the pound for weeks enduring a cacophony of barking dogs and going nuts. Treats didn’t matter, bedding didn’t matter, encouragement didn’t matter. Nothing we tried worked. My vet also noticed he hated crates and would allow him to freely wonder with the vet techs unless he was recovering from anesthesia following a dental. I wish he liked a crate. Would have made our life a bit easier occasionally. But, we just could not bring ourselves to do it. It really did seem like punishment. I don’t fault people at all for using a crate. It just didn’t work for us.

last edited by JENGOSMonkey

@jengosmonkey said in Soon to be Basenji mama! Playpen advice.:

I may have to rethink my use of crates if and when we get a new doggie.

For some dogs nothing will work, but usually you can start by treating them when they get near an open crate. Then when they get inside you start treating them in the back. A clicker can be helpful for the first couple of steps. Also a Kong or something when they go in might also get them happier to be there.

@zande said in Soon to be Basenji mama! Playpen advice.:
This is enough to control the pack and keep it where I want it - mainly in the large farmhouse kitchen with access to the great outdoors during the day, but allowed through to the rest of the house in the evenings to share a comfy chair and watch TV.

Sound perfect. Let's you avoid those "we haven't heard our little darling in quite a while, what is she up to?" moments. LOL

@donc said in Soon to be Basenji mama! Playpen advice.:

Sound perfect. Let's you avoid those "we haven't heard our little darling in quite a while, what is she up to?" moments. LOL

Silence from young children or puppies is always ominous! 😉

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