Separation anxiety - basenji vs whippet


  • @micah - Depends on your home situation... if you have yard that they can access when you are not home, windows they can look out of?.... and if gone that long in an apartment home, a dog walker or put them in day care or both. Other than TP, I have never had an issue... but I did have more than one until our elders past and the next elder was alone, but was raised with her Mom and the rest in the pack... She was fine with a few howls during the day, but again she had access to the back yard...


  • Thank you everyone for your sharing your detailed experiences, seems like a great community here.

    I do work from home now and it seems like this is the norm for the medium term, when things go back to 'normal' I think I am expected to come into the office once or twice per week. So my plan is to work towards building the confidence in the puppy as he/she grows so I can trust it in my home roaming free.

    I would definitely not crate the puppy if I eventually have to leave it for 8 hours or so but seal off certain areas of my home like the living room where I won't want it to destroy my couch or have access to too many electrical outlets. The access it will have would possibly be my bedroom or the other spare bedroom I have, the dining area and the balcony (which has a 1.5 meter high fence).


  • @organicshadows Our female recently came into heat and we had to keep her separated from our male. I was traveling and my wife was saddled with the chore. And chore is a gross understatement. She had to go in to work for a few hours during my time away, so she put Sparkle, our female in the Master Bedroom. Logan was kept downstairs and the stairwell was blocked with a 48 inch tall fencing. They howled a good amount talking to one another. Sparkle who is normally very chill and non destructive did her best to dismantle the bedroom door in an effort join Logan. She did a damn good job too. A determined Basenji is just that. Single minded and often inconsolable. And that wasn't 8 hours...

    Think of the worst and be prepared for that. Ask yourself if you're willing to accept it. Never blame the dog. Logan chewed up a remote control this morning. Oh well. I'll just get another. You might start looking for dog walkers in your area. Call them and get to know a few, Get prices and decide if that cost is something you can afford. Getting rid of that excess energy on days you're away will go a long way in keeping your Basenji happy. Especially if he/she is it's own one dog pack. My two cents...


  • @tanza AND if you have more than one - they need company. Preferable yours but another Basenji does as well.


  • @tanza yes that’s right depending if they have a garden to access whilst you are out etc.

    Dog theft is all still high in the uk so I wouldn’t risk a basenji at home for a really long period unattended and having access to the garden incase “worse case scenario happened” and someone came into the garden.

    In the Uk I haven’t seen any positive news with a basenji at day care, I personally won’t put my two in daycare at all.


  • @micah Mine are never alone in the garden, not for 5 minutes if I am going out. When I am away for ANY length of time, let alone for hours, they are shut in the house. With the radio on and in the kitchen with comfy beds.

    There is a gate at the top of the stairs and a radiator half way up. They love to lie on the stairs as the sun shines through in the afternoons !


  • @organicshadows said in Separation anxiety - basenji vs whippet:

    I am expected to come into the office once or twice per week

    Perhaps you could compromise and work at the office 3 or 4 days/week. Then your pup would be alone for 5-6 hours instead of 9-10 hours (you didn't allow for the commute and lunch break).


  • @elbrant 5 - 6 hours for a puppy is still far too long.


  • @zande said in Separation anxiety - basenji vs whippet:

    @elbrant 5 - 6 hours for a puppy is still far too long.

    And then people come to this forum because they have created a problem dog and wonder why....

    If you don't have time for your dog or can't make appropriate arrangements, why would you get one?


  • I agree that a pup, in a new place, without supervision, for any amount of time, is too long. But dogs, like children, can be resilient. Even adults might not like changes in their environment, but they tend to adjust and adapt to it. Of course, a Basenji's adjustment period generally includes chaos, destruction, and the outright carnage of any accessible object. 😉

    @eeeefarm said in Separation anxiety - basenji vs whippet:

    If you don't have time for your dog or can't make appropriate arrangements, why would you get one?

    Psychology 101(?):

    • People generally want what they want (oftentimes, until they get it).... and,
    • Most humans are not evolved enough to see the "whole" picture....

  • @elbrant said in Separation anxiety - basenji vs whippet:

    Psychology 101(?):

    People generally want what they want (oftentimes, until they get it).... and,
    Most humans are not evolved enough to see the "whole" picture....

    True, and the reason why so many unwanted dogs end up in shelters once the novelty wears off or they become "too much trouble". IMO, a dog is a commitment, not a toy. I say this having had the experience of getting a dog when my lifestyle wasn't suitable....my first Basenji, Val....and realizing it a bit late. Fortunately I had supportive friends and family, so Val never was left to her own devices for any length of time, and I was so fortunate to find a family who were a good fit for my girl (she adored children, there were 3 in her new home). Had I not been so lucky, I would have kept her, not let her go to an uncertain home, but as it worked out it was best for both of us. I kept in touch with that family for the whole of Val's life, and I learned from the experience. My second Basenji was Lady, and she was with me for 16 years....


  • Ok, so I'm not saying that I'm going to leave the puppy alone for a number of hours straight away. I'm saying it's going to be incremental to eventually build up the confidence of the pup for when I need to and for when it gets older so it's used to it. That's what I'm researching and reading about online for pups in general. But if you are all saying that you can never leave a basenji unsupervised for a number of hours then ok that's something for me to think about.


  • @organicshadows most of us who have had years of experience with single and multiple Basenjis are indeed saying you should not leave ANY pup for several hours on its own. You could, as @eeeefarm has suggested, be creating a problem dog.

    Even if you have a room dedicated to the dog, with bones, toys, and lots of interest, a Basenji should not be left alone for more than 3 to 4 hours. Even if you have 2 or more. And to crate them for hours at a time is simply not the way to treat a hunting hound. These are not toys to be put in a cupboard when it is not convenient for you.

    Please think again.


  • @organicshadows said in Separation anxiety - basenji vs whippet:

    But if you are all saying that you can never leave a basenji unsupervised for a number of hours then ok that's something for me to think about.

    There are ways to mitigate, as has been suggested. Easiest is to hire a dog walker for those days when you must be away for more than four hours. When I wanted to travel, I hired a dog sitter to stay at my house overnight plus give my boy three walks per day, one in the middle of the day, so he was never alone for long. It can be done, but also can be expensive unless you have a relative or neighbourhood kid who is up for the job.


  • @organicshadows - When I got my first Basenjis back in the 90's we were both working full time. I was able to set up the house with a dog room that was upstairs with big front windows. At the bottom of the stairs was the bathroom/laundry room were we installed a doggy door. Also we had gates at the bottom of the stairs to the family room so they for sure knew when someone was home and unless we were having work done and workmen around they were either in their room or if need be in their crates. After they were house trained they move to be bed dogs. They slept in their crates at night (wire crates) in our bedroom... they were fed in their crates so I knew exactly what they were eating and how much. (I don't believe ever in free feeding) Our yard is large with 12ft solid privacy fence and padlocks on the gates. The windows up stairs give bird's eye view of the front street for people and critter watching. I was able to come home at lunch time, feed and play a bit with the pups. All this said, if it was not the home we live in, I doubt I would have gotten pups at that time, as I would not have crated them all day... I could have set up the family room/kitchen with a doggy door to the backyard, but honestly they love being able to watch the world go by with the windows. They were totally crate trained, but as already talked about, no way to raise a pup... again this is in my opinion. A closed solid door is not good because they want to know what is on the other side..... again IMO. On weekends and holidays where we were not at shows or lure trials, they were in their room with the gate open. There was a gate to the hallway that is NEVER left open to the front door.... No one comes or goes without that gate being shut. (I do have to say we had wooden gates made). We raised a number of litters here using this just with a bit of setting up with puppy pens (big ones..LOL). And when the girls were in season we did block off the rooms with regular solid doors... yes they got scratched but they are very, very solid wood doors... never doubt that with a bitch in season that a male will try to find a way to get to her. And in the end, with this setup, honestly after a weekend with no work or a long holiday weekend they would look at us and say "hey when are you going back to work, we need our rest... LOL" I can also say that my two girls now prefer to sleep in their crates with the doors open... if they are not feeling well, they come to bed.
    Just thoughts on what I did when I got into Basenjis....


  • Thanks for all your responses, I can't help but feel judged lol. I never said I would crate the puppies if I leave the house for a long period, I said I definitely would not do that but leave them free access to a couple food rooms. Thank you for all your responses, take care.


  • @organicshadows said in Separation anxiety - basenji vs whippet:

    I can't help but feel judged lol.

    It's not about judging, it's about honest information that will hopefully inform your choices. Please consider it in that light.


  • @organicshadows Oh, please don't feel that way. You don't even have a dog yet, so there's nothing to judge. You've done nothing wrong whatsoever. Look... you know your living situation better than any of us. And I often find it difficult to write down my own thoughts in their entirety. Invariably I find myself editing again and again to make my thoughts clear.

    I think what we're trying to do is give you honest thoughts based on our experiences. So in that light our opinions have more to do with us than with you. I/we want you to feel welcome here. Apologies if we've come across harshly.

    You'll hear this repeatedly here... Basenjis are a special breed unlike most breeds. They are independent intelligent clever determined dogs. Those characteristics make them good hunters. As does the fact that they are muscular. They love to run. When they're pent up they can get despondent which can lead to destroyed bedspreads, pillows, extention cords, bed skirts, doors, remote controls... what ever they can get their mouths around in an effort to dispell their frustration.

    When this happens, SOME, not all ownwers decide they've made the wrong choice and rehome the dog. This breaks our hearts. It's rough on the dog, who has no control. I just want you to step into the wonderful world of Basenjis with your eyes open. Chances are that you'll get a great well adjusted pup, but there's always an outside chance he/she might take 18 or so solid months of training. Good luck and hope we haven't scared you off.


  • @organicshadows If we come across a bit harsh it is for the reasons @JENGOSMonkey enumerates so well. And it is much better to realise that a Basenji is an inappropriate dog to own BEFORE you actually take delivery of the puppy !

    If, of course, it IS not the right dog. It may well be ! Only you can know that.


  • @organicshadows - Don't feel judged, that is not what we are doing... just as been said, just honest opinions. And many, much, all of the things we have talked about goes for all breeds, not just Basenjis. And I laid out what I have done, because I could... the main point I wanted to make is that Basenji (and Whippet also for that matter since they are both sight hounds) is that they like windows to watch the world go by. And by window, NO blinds or you will find that redecorated as so to see out. Just as a point, I have friends that had many years ago a West Highland White Terrier, they lived in an apartment and she was the best pup... then they rearranged the room and she started to eat holes in the rug... until they figured out that they blocked her view of the outside... being bored in the house she showed her displeasure by eating holes in the rug. They put the room back the way it was and that all stopped period. The pup was happy! Just something to keep in mind.

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