The first weeks ....

I sort of can't believe I have so many questions in my mind but ...

I've fostered many litters of puppies and doled out the advice dozens of times yet I feel clueless now that I'm considering getting a puppy. That said my foster pups went home knowing a crate as I set up an xpen with a crate inside where the puppies slept; their den.

So now, it's my turn. I'm going to assume a breeder does not use a crate though I hope many do. So, the last thing I want to do is freak out a new pup by shutting him up in a crate - but I will have to in the car on the way home, and at night (next to my bed, of course, if not on top of my bed!). But during all other hours? Can a Basenji pup climb up and over an xpen 3 feet high? Should I make a top/cover for it?

How do (did) you handle those first weeks re: crate training / confinement?

last edited by Beth314

This isn't as high as 3 feet, but is Ellie scrambling over the dog gate at 10 weeks old 😄

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIOxXoIh1dg/?igshid=aiwy5luh0nbe

@jkent yup. that's what I'd expect.

Much depends on how badly they want to be on the other side. Basenjis are normally quite determined, but motivation is everything, so if you make it attractive to stay where you left them, you have a much better chance of success.

@eeeefarm yes, I would use food toys, regular toys etc but if the pup wants to be on the other side then what? I don't want to inadvertently train my pup to be successful climbing "fences".

@beth314 - Most breeders "sort of use crates".... they may not crate train them but have a crate in the xpens for them to pile into together. Some will begin crate training by pairing them up together at night.... again during the day, crate is open for them to play/snuggle up in together. For me, I use a 400 size wire crate as a whelping box... start off with pig rails but once the eyes are open take them out... That crate is in the bedroom with us. Once the eyes are open and at about 3wks I move the crate into the office inside of an xpen. So in the end they are used to a crate so to speak. Again I only use wire crates as it gives them more visabilty then does the Vari kennel type. At night I cover the crate with a blanket with the front only covered 1/2 way making it more like a den.
I can tell you that at 4wks "climbers" will be over a 3' xpen (or even 5' xpens) in minutes..LOL... so yes regardless of the height get a top! They make tops for xpens.
If you are home the pups are with the family... not stuck in a pen or crate. I feed them in crates take them out after eating.... but the crate is visible with the door open for them to choose to go in and nap...

@beth314 said in The first weeks ....:

@eeeefarm yes, I would use food toys, regular toys etc but if the pup wants to be on the other side then what? I don't want to inadvertently train my pup to be successful climbing "fences".

No, you don't, and if they get over the barrier they will be more determined and persistent next time. As Tanza says, put a top on to prevent this, or you could go the route zande does with fences. If you make them wobbly they are hard to climb. There is a "secret weapon" I am loath to suggest, but a "scat mat" strategically placed will usually prevent climbing. Also good for sorting counter surfers or cats, for that matter. But never underestimate the abilities of a thwarted pup or dog! When in the "trial" stage, make sure you observe (camera or mirror so you can be out of sight) and prevent any attempt from being successful. Usually once the dog has stopped making attempts they won't revisit it unless highly motivated.

basenjis can teach their friends how to climb chain link fence one paw at a time

A top it is for the xpen. I'm a strict +R trainer and electric shock of any kind I will avoid. Never needed that, thankfully, with any puppy or cat. I will say it's now been too many years since I've been actively training dogs as my dogs aged out, mellowed out, whatever. It will be fun to be back in the game again with a pup!

@beth314 said in The first weeks ....:

I don't want to inadvertently train my pup to be successful climbing "fences".

No worries, fence climbing comes naturally.

My first Basenji climbed out of her gated area(about3 feet high) when she was probably 12 weeks old, went and pooped in the living room, then climbed back in!

@elbrant @NancySS - hilarious! ok, can't wait for the adventure! and keeping my baby safe ...

@nancyss said in The first weeks ....:

My first Basenji climbed out of her gated area(about3 feet high) when she was probably 12 weeks old, went and pooped in the living room, then climbed back in!

PARTY FOUL! 🤣 @DonC had some great stories of pups and fences.

My Basenji climbed out of my 3 foot indoor fencing the second day I had her when she was 10 weeks! I was shocked.

We made the mistake of getting a cheap pen with horizontal wiring ($35). Then we got this as recommended by Michelle Lennon ($99). He can't get out of it, though for several weeks he could squeeze through. At 13 weeks, he's too big for that now.

Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard, 4-In-1, Bonus Kit, Includes 4 Pack of Wall Mounts

Regato 192" gate

I also recommend her "Dream Dog" course. I trained 9 years ago with a local pro, but this is more detailed and better organized. Takes a month for a person to get through the course, worth every penny. She also offers a lot of free content, and if you go to the "pro" level for another $75 per month, one can access three weekly zoom meetings with her and co. and get questions answered 24/7 via their facebook interface. For what one gets, it's a real bargain. I used it for a month and found it very helpful.

To be sure, I don't agree on every detail. For example, I do no-leash walks in woods; they don't recommend that. Also, her course is not really designed to train an active "outdoor" dog, but more for an "indoor" dog. She opposes electric fences and doggy doors. I've had great experiences for 9 years with both and will continue to use them (started electric fence training last week and making good progress). But otherwise, her course lays out solid foundation work. She trains you to be a puppy trainer and provides all the real-time help you could need.

Happy training!

last edited by elbrant

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