• Hi all - brand new basenji owner here in Boston and all well like this new texas guy. Crate training difficult but am trudging thru. One seemingly impossible thing for now is I cant do anything, anything without him. I cant leave kitchen alone, go to the bathroom etc without him crying- not crying - screaming. He is 10 weeks old and ive had him for 2 weeks. Its beyond crippling for me as there are just certain things i need to do alone. for example my in home workout which is 30-45 mins. The dog screams and screams. Not sure what to do but its turned from me feeling sad for him to now me getting pissed (which I shouldn’t be i know). Just deal with it for now and it gets better? I take him on walks constantly- all else well. Is this just puppyhood? He shreds things all day, has accidents, etc and all that stuff is fine. I will have him in puppy classes soon (still needs some shots). But, this screaming when i leave his sight must stop. Must.


  • @mikesull, is the screaming happening because you are leaving him in the crate while you are in the house? Generally Basenjis do better with supervision but no crating while you are home unless absolutely necessary. When you take on a pup, you take on a responsibility to be observant, which is the fastest way to having a reliable dog. Shredding things or having accidents shouldn't happen when you are paying attention. That said, how do you react to the screaming? If you return while he is making a fuss, you are reinforcing the behaviour. You need to wait for a moment of quiet and reinforce that. If there are no moments of quiet, create one by making an unusual noise, e.g. knocking on the wall or some such, just so the screaming stops for an instant, then make your entrance. Be creative, be patient. This too shall pass!


  • Thanks. Based on all I have read I have been mixing up the crating - 15 mins to start. Then an hour, the 30 mins - then 2 hours etc. sometimes home, sometimes not. I never return when he makes a fuss. By shredding i mean classic puppy shredding - toys etc. he is a great dog but i need to be able to leave the room without him screaming. Is the solution crating him 100% of time when cant be with him? Even 10 minutes? Seems insane but maybe this is it? The crying, whimpering - no, these are not the right words. It is absolute screaming madness. Crippling!


  • @mikesull No - the solution is certainly NOT to crate him all the time you can't be with him. You need to allocate a room or a space, with plenty of toys, chews, bones, things he can't hurt like newspapers, the inside of toilet rolls - and you need to have fun time with him.

    He is a baby, for Heaven's sake, he needs lots of attention and commitment. He needs confidence, which I sense at the moment you are not giving him. He will settle down in the weeks to come if you are patient with him and let him know you are there for him rather than for your work-outs. Give him the confidence that you will come back.

    If you scream back when he screams, you are letting him know that screaming attracts your attention to him. It may not be the attention he wants, but it is attention. Stay calm and try to ignore him, let him know screaming doesn't pay dividends.

    The less crate time you have to subject him to, the better.


  • I wouldn't be crating when it's possible to supervise. Sure, encourage the pup to go into the crate, but don't lock him in if you don't have to.

    When you say he is screaming when you leave the room, are you talking about leaving him in the crate, or leaving the room and closing the door to prevent him following?

    "Classic puppy shredding"? This is the time to teach your pup what toys are for chewing and what toys should be played with gently. If the pup starts destroying plush toys, for example, take the toy away and replace with something meant to be chewed. Supervise play with toys that are easily destroyed. This will pay dividends when he doesn't rip up your clothing because he has been discouraged from chewing on cloth. Raising a pup is being intimately involved with him, being observant, giving direction, with the goal of having a pleasant companion. A pup in a crate is learning nothing. Use the time you are home with him to teach him how to behave. Use the crate for his safety when you can't be there, but with the goal of being able to trust him out of it, maybe in a "dog proof" room, but somewhere he can be comfortable, warm, and ideally able to see outside. It's early days, your pup is not used to being alone, of course he wants to be with you, especially when you are home and he knows you are there. Pups generally relax when they are able to be with you.


  • @mikesull - 8 weeks was really to early for him to leave the pack (brothers/sisters- Mom and other adults) Basenjis are really not ready to leave the "nest" until 10 to 12 weeks.


  • I am giving him tons of love and commitment, etc. not 24-7 and he doesn’t enter the bedroom etc. he’s a dog. quite the condescending crowd.

    I agree with 8 weeks was definitely too early. The dog will be fine. This is not an advice forum as fyi. Its a my way or highway column.


  • @mikesull said in New Basenji owner from Texas!:

    I am giving him tons of love and commitment, etc. not 24-7 and he doesn’t enter the bedroom etc. he’s a dog. quite the condescending crowd.

    I agree with 8 weeks was definitely too early. The dog will be fine. This is not an advice forum as fyi. Its a my way or highway column.

    I have to wonder whether you researched the breed you have chosen? Basenjis, more than many breeds, do best when they are with their people, which would include in the bedroom at night. Sure, not every owner will do it that way, but you are likely to have less issues and a better relationship with your dog if you do. People on this forum are passionate about the breed. We don't all agree.....I have my own "agree to disagree" items with some people.....but I think everyone gives advice in the hopes that it will prove useful and make both you and your pup happier.

    Certainly you can do things your own way, but there is a lot of experience on this forum so inevitably you will get advice you may not wish to follow or that does not work for your dog. I find that if I listen to everyone, try things that seem promising (and even some that don't, you might be surprised at what works), eventually I find solutions that work for me.


  • Thanks and yes I researched. All well - agree to disagree on dogs in beds.


  • @mikesull He's only 8 weeks old...he is really young to be away from his pack. Now, you are his pack and he wants to be with you. Can you take him with you when you go to the bathroom and to your home gym for example? Remember he had brothers and sisters with him ALL the time...and now he panics when he finds himself alone. You sound really frustrated...I am concerned that you are "getting pissed" this early in his adoption and training. He will settle down but it is going to be a difficult process if he senses that you are angry with him every time he calls for you. That's what he is doing, calling for his pack. You are all he's got now. If you feel that this is too much for you, I think everyone here understands that. Basenjis are not for everyone, they are pack animals, but if you find out he is too much trouble for you, I ask that you return him to his breeder or go the Basenji Rescue and Transport site and they will take care of him in foster until he can be adopted. It would be better for you and better for him....and I mean this kindly, not in a "condescending" way.


  • @nancyss - I would say this is true for 99% of puppies placed at that age... especially at an early age and depending how they were raised.


  • @mikesull said in Screaming must stop!:

    "he doesn’t enter the bedroom etc. he’s a dog", "tons of love and commitment, etc. not 24-7", "my way or highway"

    He's a baby... where are your expectations at? Realistically, what did you think having a 2-3 month old dog would be like?


  • I will admit that I am not the best at this either...
    Young dog, so scary to be alone: Let's make it more fun! Good stuff happens when you go away (like the washroom)... so get the good treats out! I used to throw quite a few Cherios or kibbles on the floor to keep my dogs busy in a positive way.
    Clicker training is good for Basenjis. Train him to go into his crate by himself but don't close the door yet. Teaching 'down time' is important and takes time.
    Tire that Basenji brain with training.
    It is difficult because Basenjis are pack dogs. They do their own thing but do not like being alone.
    Good luck!


  • Hi - all has improved dramatically with the crating rules. Its just 100% better and structured vs me breaking every rule so he didnt cry. Now he cries some but already slowed that down. Today he ran on beach for an hour and was so tired i had to carry him home lol.


  • @mikesull My first B would scream the house down whenever he was in the crate alone. Neighbors told me it sounded like a small child being tortured or something terrible. Finally solved the problem with a second basenji, she kept him company and he was fine with that, no screaming.

    Second B was fine so long as another B was in a separate cage close to her.

    Third B just sits in the crate alone and stares at the door waiting for you to come back lol, (we set up a camera to monitor him).

    One thing that was consistent, all three are far better off staying alone in a room on their own napping while you do stuff BUT only after they are about six years old. Seems 6-8 is the mellowing age.

    So I guess all are different.


  • @mikesull "Today he ran on beach for an hour and was so tired i had to carry him home lol."

    A tired Basenji is a good basenji, rule #1 in my book.

    I look at it that I enter a contract with each dog, they get lots of walks, play, good food, warm sunny sun room, sleep on bed, worshiped like kings and queens. In return they don't drive me too crazy and when I am really serious, they obey me lol.


  • Sorry Mike about the hostility you feel on this forum. I have figured out they just can't help it. Lots of Basenji advocates that are experts and I think their dogs may be more important than people. It is a good idea to read others questions and learn from that rather than putting yourself out there to be chopped up.
    I researched too but still had no idea what I was actually getting into. We went to puppy school and then I hired a private trainer who had lots of Basenji experience....it is hard to get through the first year. But trust me it will be worth it to persevere.
    I used a crate, and no it has not been in my room near the bed ever. She started in the laundry room at night only and I used daytime gates so I could control her location with me. Also I bought a playpen type fence to be on the deck.
    Now she is 3 yrs old and we are down to one gate and a fenced back yard. She has a bed on the sofa and in the guest room, and on the back deck.
    She basically has the run of the house minus the bedrooms. (Well she thinks the guest room is her room).
    I am sure you are doing lots of things right. What I find with this breed is that they are so smart you have to develop dog psychology. They must understand that you are the boss without you raising your voice or hand against them. I have developed a routine and it seems to work for us. For example while you are establishing that you make the rules don't put your dogs dish down until you begin your dinner. Small thing but once she learned that we eat first and she must wait until I put her dish down that made me the boss. But you need to be consistent. She gets it and she sits licking her lips as she sees her dish on the counter. There is no jumping or drama about it anymore.
    This process of you being a dependable and caring provider that your dog can predict behavior from you will pay off.
    I have had times of discouragement too. I think if you limit the crating to when you can't be there and keep your life in a predictable pattern you will find the dog fitting in and settling down.


  • get a recording from the breeder of the dogs in his kennel when they are all crated up and talking to each other-play that while you are 'out'. a little young for a basenji to 'leave home'?


  • May not work for everyone but the best thing I did was to throw that crate out the door. Afterwards Sarge seemed to be more relaxed and adjusted. Now 5 years later and no crate in sight things are great. Just give him a spot on the back of the sofa to look the window and he's happy.


  • Basenjis sleep with you or you pay the price. We crated our pup for a while short periods but now only for behavior issues. We still have the crate and leave it open where we put her toys she is free to go in and out we seldom use it now she is 3. Basenjis are people dogs and need lots of attention and exercise.

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