Since my other post is getting long, and things aren't going well in the crate department, I thought I'd start another. Call it _"The Smitty Crate Saga Part 2"
Is it possible some Basenjis just can't be crated and at what age do most get to roam free?
We are going on 9 months now and still Smitty HATES his crate. HATES it. He totally freaks out. Any time I put something in his crate and latch the door, he freaks out! We've tried an Xpen and found out he can climb! And today he pooped in the crate again. Its all over him all over the crate and the house smells. Here's the quick saga:
We got Smitty at 9 mos. He was in the breeder's kennel. It was a large indoor kennel with wire cages. There were 12 or so other Basenjis and 2 to a cage. The facility was quite nice with outdoor runs, etc. Smitty was the one who screamed when we put him back in his cage (ah, a sign of what was to come). He screamed a good part of the 3 hour drive in his Petmate. We kept him in that crate the first night then moved him to a 30" wire create the next day. He screamed at night. I tried a 36" version to put him and Bonnie (same age female) in together. She started to play and he attacked her (only time ever). So back in the smaller 30". Then he started to cut his nose chewing on the wire, so I switched to the Petmate. He REALLY HATES those, but he's safe. He crewed through a cheap one in only 2 days so I had to get the Mac Daddy version. Still he screamed and paced ALL night. After a couple months we let the puppies sleep in our room (he was a total different dog after that – he had energy during the day since he could now sleep at night!) After few months, with a good nose, I thought I'd try the mesh type again during the day. Guess what -- he pulled a couple bars off! So he's back in the Petmate and won't be using the wire one again.
He's nutso in the crate. I always crate him with a treat and ignore him taking him out. Anything you put in his crate he will shred (we are now using paper towels because we ran out of towels, blankets and rags). I've tried using ComfortZone with DAP – defuser AND the spray for months. Its been almost 9 months. A couple weeks ago he pooped in his crate again (he often pees but stopped pooping months ago)... then he did it again today! So I'm starting to think there may not be any hope for the crate. I don't mind making him deal with it. He can chew and scratch all he wants and if needed I'll replace his crate every 6 months, but the pooping is NOT working. Plus that just tells me he is SO anxious that he is losing control of his functions.
Years ago we had a 1 1/2 yr old female who HATED here crate too. She would poop in her crate and started to hit herself. At the age of 2 we gave up and confined her to a bedroom. It worked. So I'm wondering about leaving him shut in a room soon. I figure he's not going to be in his crate forever. Maybe leave him loose in a bedroom but crate Bonnie in the same room (just in case)? To complicate matters, we have a 13 yr old male who picks fights with him. The old guy has free roaming (except the crate room) so we'd need to address that -- obviously the old guy needs to stay away from the room Smitty would be in.
At what age do most get to roam free? Are there just some who are wired to NOT be crate pets?