Brand New Puppy… HELP!?!

Hi guys,

Sorry about the length of this thread… but I'd really appreciate your help.

I'm brand new to the forum, and in fact I'm brand new to the world of Basenji's.... For my Birthday, my Fiancee bought me a brand new 8 week old Basenji Boy.. He's red & White, and absolutely adorable!!
My Fiancee has grown up her whole life with Basenji's and is well aware of their temperament & nature. I on the other hand, had never met one befor I met our little "Rafiki's" mother... and am now willing to jump in 110% for the little guy, cause he's just so much fun!!

for a bit of background on the two of us, I work full time from 8am to 5.30pm every week day, and am unable to be home... my Fiancee on the other hand does not have a structured work day as such, and goes out for about 2-3hrs a day (broken up) for appointments. the rest of the time she can be home looking after little Rafiki.

I have a bit of an issue though, that I'd like to run by you.. and hope that you could give me a hand with this one... the story goes something like this...

on the second day that he was at home We had to put the little guy in the yard by himself for an hour as I had to get to work & my Fiancee had an appointment. we left home at 8am, and at 9am when my Fiancee returned, she found him howling in the back yard.. (I think the guy is suffering from Seperation Anxiety... but it's early days yet). We didn't expect the next part though.... when my Fiancee had opened the front door to the house, and walked to the back door, she found a note stuck to the back door, reading the following:

"Your Dog has been howling all morning. Stop neglecting it or get rid of it."

Firstly, this is extremely disturbing, because straight away my Fiancee went into defense of our actions. I don't think 1hr alone one morning, in a fenced yard with access to water & food equates to "Neglect", but secondly it means that somebody has been in our yard while we weren't home.. and our yard is fenced all around with 6ft timber fencing. Worst of all, Rafiki was there on his own and didn't know this person from a bar of soap. Granted, this was day one, and we have found that when we are in the next room from him for more than a second, he starts up the howling... He stops as soon as he can see us.. but we are now very afraid for him. We want him to have full run of the Yard & house, as he's a big part of our family... but we're afraid that now this has happened, as soon as we put him outside for those hours that my Fiancee isn't home, we can't trust our neighbours!!.

We're afraid this person might be back, and hurt him, or steal him... or even worse, poison the little guy (I know, the brain conjures up the worst).
He isn't going to stop the howling, not yet anyway...

We've started taking him to my mother in law's house of a day so we know he will be safe, but that's not what we had planned for the little guy...

Please help us to help him...??!!

awww … poor lil guy !!! Can u not crate Rafiki when your away for short periods of time...that way he will be safe inside your home ? Maybe try putting a worn t-shirt in the crate. Now is a great age to start crate training.
My Sandie has run of the house and yard when we are home, or not going to be gone for long. But any thing over a hour we crate her for her safety as well as coming home to a house not destroyed by her.

The poor little pup.
First off, I just like your fiance would be upset. To have a stranger in your backyard all alone with your baby would really concern me…not to mention leaving such a nasty note on your door. C'mon....he is just a baby! I'd go into defese mode too.
When I first brought my puppy home which was at 8 weeks too, I used a crate. Yes he cried and it was loud but try turning on the tv. The sounds will comfort him while the two of you are away. Lots of toys and fun things in his crate will help too. Make it a fun, happy place for him so he won't be too frightened.
In my opinion, I wouldn't leave a basenji outside w/out supervision. They can get into anything and not to mention...it sounds like you have an odd neighbor who thinks they can just trespass. I would hate to see something awful happen.
I have a similar lifestyle as you. I too work a 9-5 job and my boyfriend has a much more relaxed schedule. If he needed to go to the office and the pup would be alone, we would crate chance but come home every couple of hours to let him out and give him some TLC.
Chance is now 10 mts and he can be crated for 8 hrs. There are people who will tell you 8 hrs is too long and then there are others who feel its ok. Putting a pup in for that long should not be done. We had to really switch our schedules for the first few months so we could check on Chance during the day. A crate is great...especially since then you know your little guy will not get into any sort of trouble. You can also consider an x-pen for the little guy. Section off a part of the house and he can stay indoors in a safe area.
I wish you the best and keep us posted on how it goes!
Also...welcome to the family! Post some pictures of your little guy. We love puppy pics!!!!!

Put up a NO TRESPASSING sign on your fence….
next time you get a note from this guy, call the cops on him.
In my state (Oregon), it is considered a nuisance if your dog barks, howls or screams in excess of 10 minutes an hour.
Find out who the neighbor is.... tell him you will be watching to make sure he does not invade your private property again.

On the puppy front, use a crate.
the previous suggestions are good ones.
Use the crate as a training tool....
then they won't mind going in there when it is necessary.

Good luck!

gwawleyboy, I feel for you. I am trying to see both sides of the situation and what I am picturing is someone who works at night and then comes home to sleep to hear a dog screaming in the neighbors back yard. Although that does not allow him to trespass in your yard, a note on the front door would have done fine. However, as most of us know, a basenji scream is not like any other dog and he may have thought someone was being hurt.

I would be cautious to cause to much of an issue with the neighbor since you still have to live by him. He can make your life hell if he wants. I agree your dog has some separation issues which is totally understandable. A crate or expen in the house would be the best option. The TV or radio on during the day may help. I didn't for me but it is certainly worth a try. We ended up getting a pal ( a beagle female) for our dog and he has been fine ever since. Good luck to you!!

Please bring the pup inside and crate train him. He may still howl but the noise will be muffled and is less likely to disturb the neighbors. It just isn't right to expect neighbors to tolerate a pup howling or screaming. I once had a neighbor who had two German Shepherds who barked all day and all night. As much as I love dogs, I grew to loathe, no not loathe, absolutely HATE those dogs. I had some very evil thoughts about those animals and their owners and yes, I called animal control and the police quite often. My dogs are normally quiet when outside but if they get noisy, I'm immediately out there to quiet them. (I never leave the dogs outside when I am not home.) That's the neighborly thing to do. Also, a lonely Basenji left alone in a yard often becomes an escape artist and a loose Basenji often ends up with a very sad fate.

Firstly, this is extremely disturbing, because straight away my Fiancee went into defense of our actions. I don't think 1hr alone one morning, in a fenced yard with access to water & food equates to "Neglect", but secondly it means that somebody has been in our yard while we weren't home.. and our yard is fenced all around with 6ft timber fencing. Worst of all, Rafiki was there on his own and didn't know this person from a bar of soap.

I wouldn't neccesarily assume someone was in your yard. You don't have to see a howling or screaming dog to hear it. Hearing it and knowing no one was home to comfort it could have been enough to jump to the conclusion the pup was neglected, at least their definition of neglected. Put locks on your gates and you won't have to worry about someone entering your property, at least not without a whole lot of effort.

My best wishes to you.

I have to side with the neighbor, but leaving a dog alone loose in your yard is negligent and inconsiderate to your neighbors and the dog.

I had a neighbor who lived next to us did that and I can tell you it is pure HELL!
The whole frickin block could here the poor dog.

I called the police on them. Here there are laws against that, at least in the cities here. If you lived on a farm it would be different.

You have to crate the dog while you are gone, until he is trained enough to stay in the house alone.

The dog could get into trouble, escape, rained on or get hurt/abducted by animal control.

You have to be a responsible owner. Would you put a baby alone outside crying and just leave the house?

I'm sorry to sound harsh, but It was PURE HELL with my neighbor. I lived in an apartment once and a guy left his Husky out ALL NIGHT and it barked & barked. One night the owner came out a beat the dog so bad, you heard the dog screaming! We called the police on him. This is where I am coming from, from the other side, that has to listen to it!

I never leave any of our B's in the fenced in yard and leave for any reason. I know it can be done without incident, maybe with older B's I'd say it's ok. A young puppy, single B, alone in a yard would really scare me to death. Don't really care about the neighbors, my concern is the safety of the B. Just my opinion.:)
Everybody goes in a crate when no one is home.

I would have to agree with your neighbor as well. Outside of them coming into your fenced in back yard. An hour is far too long to leave a puppy alone in the back yard unattented. They can get into all sorts of things let alone the howling that bothers your neighbors. Why can't he hang out with you or your fiance during that hour? This is part of socialization which is VERY important in the basenji world. You want that baby with you as much as possible whether it be while your showering, getting dressed or whatever you morning routine is.

Keeping a puppy outside while you're not home is not a good idea either. This will not teach him to respect your home. Crate that baby and use it as a training and comfort tool.

Back to socializing; Pick him up and carry him around as much as possible and talk to him, talk to him, talk to him. Let him sleep in your arms or draped across your shoulder while you're moving from room to room. Hand him immediately over to your guests (if they are OK with it) so that he can get comfy with people he doesn't know. This is so important if you want a friendly basenji that likes all people. Don't ever make him feel like is is alone when you are home. Remember that this breed originated in villages and as much as they had their respective families, they were a part of small communities. They thrive on knowing that they are a part of the 'community'.

Good Luck!!!

It could be that the neighbor went into the backyard to check and make sure the puppy was ok? Then when they saw that he was just howling from being left alone, they left you a note? I know I heard screaming from a dog in my neighborhood recently, and several of us went out to see what was going on and to help the animal if needed. The dog's owner was home (he had been hit by a car) and took him to the vet. It doesn't sound like their anger was directed at your puppy–so I don't think they would harm him.

Look at it from the neighbour's point of view-they hear a dog howling, screaming, and crying; become concerned about the dog; look over and see a very small puppy by itself; become enraged because "those people get a dog and then leave it by itself-poor baby!"; and become upset with you without knowing the situation and leave a nasty note before they can consult you because they are so enraged with you.

I'm sure if you think about it you would feel the same way-I know I would! The best think IMO you can do is to crate train the puppy in the house. This is a very young dog the sooner you start to crate train the better-again IMO.

Congrats on the new baby, but please don't leave him alone in a fenced yard. I am fortuante enough to take my Hollie to work with me and quickly learned NOT to leave her alone outside in the dog lot, she WILL find a way out of the fence.

I agree NOW is the perfect time to start crate training your new pup. Good luck and keep posted on how things turn out!

Congrats on your new pup. I know there are two sides to every story but honestly I think the neighbor over reacted in the way they handled the situation. Of course someone elses dog can be annoying but for an hour a day its honestly not that big of a deal, now had it been at midnight I might get a little annoyed. Also, the wording of the note was probably only done to get under your skin (which it did) not to seriously accuse you of being neglectful. It seems like calling you and talking calmly about their concerns would have been a better way to handle the situation rather than writing a seemingly, excuse the language here, bitchy note.

That said, it really isn't a good idea to leave such a young dog alone outside. Like you stated anyone could come by and mess with your dog and he would be pretty defenseless. Like some other people have commented, basenjis are notorious escape artists and I don't even trust my adult basenji alone out back while I'm at home for an extended time. I constantly check on him because I don't trust the little devil. Also, when I worked at a vet office we had a client who's puppy was left alone outside in a fence. The puppy tried to crawl out from under it, got her collar hung, and actually died because she couldn't get loose to breath. Those are just things that unless it happens to us or someone we know you don't really think about, I honestly hadn't thought about it until it happened to them.

Crating is a great training tool that will help you guys potty train the pup in the house. Also, I leave the radio on and the dogs seem to like that. As the pup gets older it might be able to stay out of the crate when your gone, mine started staying out after a year and has been fairly well behaved. Good luck!

Hi there, it's hard leaving them at home when you have to go to work isn't it? They would just love to tag along! 😃 There has been some great advice given already. Here is my bit:
If you are leaving your baby for an hour or two at the most, a large crate will be ideal. This is a great investment when you have a dog. Just make sure Rafiki has had an opportunity to go toilet outside and has a warm blanket and fresh water in the crate and a small chew bone or toy. They normally go to sleep very quickly and feel safe. Put the crate in a warm, peaceful part of the house too and keep it there. I wouldn't leave him outside at such a young age. It's just too risky. If you specifically know which neighbor complained, you could go and have a chat to them and explain the situation? Good luck and enjoy little Rafiki.

Thankyou for your responses to my little dilema,

It has now been two days since that incident, and I can honestly say the dog hasn't been alone since!! We now have a good little routine, that seems to be working well..

the way we've handled the last couple of days is that we wake up extra early, so we can spend a lot of time in the morning playing & walking little Rafiki. We then get ready for work, and he gets to go and hang out with Grandma & Grandad (my inlaws) for the morning… (they have raised many little Basenji's) until my Fiancee picks him up at about lunch time and takes him home with her. He is now loving Life!! and is cuddled severely!!

As for the Neighbour, we're not too concerned anymore.. because Rafiki has been so quiet at home. He has no reason to cry, except when he sees his reflection in the mirror. We don't expect the Neighbour to bother with us at all.
Please don't think that we left him out for very long... it was his second day, and the first and only time he's been alone!! I think we're going to take your advice, and get ourselves a crate for him. it might just help for those times when we need to leave the house for small periods of time. I can understand all of you that spoke of incidents where a dog has barked all day / night and has driven you crazy.. but this was Rafiki's second day, and the Neighbour would have known this. As they would never have heard or seen him before... I mean just a little understanding of the little guy would have been nice. but Granted, the little guy shouldn't be alone.. and now we've learnt this!!

He's such an intelligent thing!! As I stated in my first thread, I had never owned a Basenji, but I've fallen in love with them... in the space of three days, the little guy has learnt the full use of the doggy door, has learnt to do his 'business' outside (Providing he was downstairs at the time) he hasn't quite figured out that we want him to go outside for potty if he is upstairs, but downstairs is all good for him.. Since our bedroom is upstairs, he still has a couple of accidents at night time.. but he is learning sooo fast.. have you all found this, or is my dog just a brainiac??

I do have a question for you though, since I'm speaking to the highest grade of Basenji lover... I like to think I can count on your advice...

I do like to spoil the little guy (I know I shouldn't, but he's just so adorable)... anyway, my Fiancee & I are having a few friends around for a barbecue this weekend (We're Australian... it's a function of life here) and I was wondering if I could include something for our little boy on the menu..??

at the moment, he eats complete food from our vet, and has a steady eating pattern. we don't feed him scraps or anything other than top quality Puppy food. He's 9 weeks old, and is in a very healthy state. But this weekend is a special one for him, it's his first Barbie, and I'd just love to cook something on it so he too can feel included. do you have any suggestions... I wouldn't dare do anything to hurt him, so please tell me if you think there is nothing I could prepare for him.. & I'll keep it at that. But if maybe I could cook him some chicken or so, that'd be great!!

Look forward to hearing from you...

Thanks guys..

Gwawleyboy.

You could go ahead and cook up some chicken or beef for him but please make sure there aren't any bones with it as they can splinter and hurt your lil guy's insides. Pork is questionable…most of the time unless it is cooked well through.

As for when you left your pup outside alone and a few people were talking about him being too young to be left outside in the yard alone. No age is too young or old to leave him out in the yard. They are escape artists and chewers. My girl Kiya to this day (3yrs old almost 4) still jumps the fence when it suits her. Mind you, I am home and I catch her every time...AND she comes to the front door immediately afterwards...but you just can't count on any Basenji being that obedient. She could decide one day that that rabbit in the front yard is too irresistable and run off getting hit by a car.

Please never leave your Basenji in a yard unattended, no matter how high your fence is...they will always find a way out.

I hope that helped a little 🙂

Glad to hear you have a good routine to go through, and that you are getting a crate. Because there may be mornings that the grandparents can't watch him.

As for a little something special from the barbie, a little piece of chicken or beef with no seasonings shouldn't hurt him, I'd go with the chicken though, less fat (more fat can upset the tummy). Veggies are good to if he likes them (minus corn, it doesn't digest well and there are dogs that are alergic to it). My dog loves all veggies raw or cooked except carrots, he'll only eat those cooked.

One other thing I HIGLY suggest is if you do cook something on the grill for him, make sure when you feed it to him that you are a good distants away so he doesn't know that food comes from the grill and one day jump up on it.

Here's my bit:

Chicken is good-white meat is better than dark for fat content. Watch there is no charring on the meat though. WBL is right corn is not a good source of food for them-but veggies are great. If you'd like to try something else sweet potatoes are a good nutritional source. And definitely don't feed him near the grill. I would suggest putting the food in his food dish in the regular place you feed him. Don't let others hand feed around the BBQ either-he may start begging when he sees people around the BBQ.

I don't think it's a good idea to give him a taste for human food. It really is not good for him and could make him sick

I love the name Raffiki.

I have witnessed our dog almost chew a hole through our wooden fence in minutes. It was crazy! A large fat ground hog was stuck between our fence & our neighbors, the dogs knew it and our girl literally started biting and spiting out small pieces of wood using her sharp little front teeth. I was so amazed I just stood and watched her for a few seconds. She could chew through our fence in minutes if she wanted too. I never saw anything like it.

When she was a puppy she was jealous of our other dog and went in the living room and ripped a hole in our carpet down to the bare wood within a few minutes.

If they really want something they will stop at nothing to get it, like escaping.

About your neihbors-

I learned a trick from my next door neighbor, who is older and kind of cranky sometimes. He kills us with kindness(bakes us bread, makes salsa & so on), so if he complains about anything we are indebted to do what he wants, like trimming trees over hanging his property line & so on. Also if we screw up he is likely to look the other way.

People are less likely to be mean or complain if you "kill them with kindness" Maybe bake some bread and give it to your neighbor as an apology.

I have had the opposite situation with a "war" neighbor who would call the police if I parked my car on the street too early or if I watered my garden off watering hours. They even tied a two page nasty note when our garbage blew over during a bad storm, which we clean up right away. Things can get ugly.

it is so much better to make your enemies your friends, then start a war.

gwawleyboy, it sounds like you have a good plan. I'm glad you are enjoying him they are very smart and quirky.

We do allow our dogs to have table scraps. What has been said is good advice. I allow the dogs to like our plates when we are done. I definately would be cautious of your friends giving nibbles. Too much will possibly upset the tummy.

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