What kind of crate do you use? The metal "cage" or the plastic Vari-Kennel.
Any way you could pad the door?
Could you put something unpalatable or unpleasant smelling to him on the door of the kennel?
I'd also talk to your vet. He may have some ideas. Might even think about a mild tranquilizer when he is crated, even on a temporary basis until he learns to remain calm in the kennel.
do u have a area in your yard that is safe for him to stay maybe on a cable or something…My husband built a 4 foot solid wood gate that we put across the kitchen for sandie i know is a big difference between a 11 week old puppy and a full grown dog ... but this area contains her and she is content there... i agree with Jazzymom maybe u can get a sherpa crate pad and some how pad the door to his crate if all else fails...wish i had more suggestions..
<<do u="" have="" a="" area="" in="" your="" yard="" that="" is="" safe="" for="" him="" to="" stay="" maybe="" on="" cable="" or="" something="">>
while there may be some yards that are safe for basenjis to stay in during the day, it is always a little risky to leave a dog outside, unsupervised for hours. And being tied out on a cable or chain (unsupervised) is VERY dangerous for a dog like a basenji, IMO.</do>
how old is Ripley?
or if you need to crate, have you tried a vari-kennel instead of a full wire-crate? where is the crate located? IN your room with you? While my pup was young, I kept the crate right smack next to my side of the bed, so I could reach out and put a few fingers in to calm him. I slowly moved the crate to across the room as he grew older.
during the day, crate Ripley for 30 seconds, let him out and PRAISE! TREAT! act like he won a gold medal!…. try again, and work your way up in time. go for 1 min in the crate, then 2 min, then 5 min, then 10 min, etc... so you slowly desensitize him to the crate.
My suggestion is to follow the crate training Jessi76 noted here above - practice even when you are home on weekend nights. For Ripley's and your own sake. Also, I didn't see mentio, does Ripley have something to play with or chew in his crate to occupy himself. Maybe you could even put in one of your shirts that has your scent on it to help him feel secure.
All the best.
Im sorry i really wasnt thinking bout the cable and not being supervised maybe a enclosed large outdoor kennel would be better idea… i had one for my racoons it was a cement floor 8 by 8 enclosed... i agree just work with the crate when ur home .. im working with sandie now... i leave the door open with her toys in it.. she actully goes in there and falls asleep...
My suggestion is to take a step back and start at the beginning with the crate training. Since he already has some bad associations with the wire crate, if you are able to get a plastic vari-kennel that may help since it is different. I have found some dogs have a strong preference for one style crate over another.
Try to start the new training on a day you have off so you can build up to longer times in the crate instead of just leaping to a full night. I use clicker training so my first step would be to leave the crate open and click and treat every time the dog approaches on its own, then start rewarding only when the dog goes into the crate. At this point I would just leave the door open and reward for being in the crate. If you bring home a new crate the best time to start this is when he first sees the crate because he should be naturally curious about the new object in the house. Feed him his meals in his crate, closing the door only after he has his attention on the food and at first opening the crate door pretty quickly after he has finished. As he starts to associate good things with the crate, start building time. Never open the crate when he is pitching a fit, wait for him to take a break, it may only be for a second but that is when to do it. Give him extra special treats in the crate, stuffed kongs, chicken, etc. Something that is reserved only for in the crate. Do not give treats for leaving the crate.
I would suggest a Vari-Kennel and also putting a shirt with your scent on it in the kennel. I also agree with trying to take Ripley on a walk or playing with him until he is tired and this should help him sleep throughout the night.
When I first got Cali she hated going into her crate(I have the welded wire type crate like you). I had to start from scratch and put a treat in her crate to entice her to go in it and continued this for a couple of days. I then began to close the crate for 15-20 minutes while I was at home and whenever she whined or tried to get out of the crate I would calmly say NO!!! Of course it took a few days of constant repetition because Basenjis can be very stubborn. Now I can tell Cali to go to her room and she will get in her crate and stay with the door open until I tell her to come out. Sometimes she will go into her crate without me telling her to and will take a toy.
When I go to work I put an old t-shirt on top of her bedding and leave the tv on. I also take her for a brisk 20 minute walk before I go to work every morning. I got her from the Humane Society so this is probably why she didnt like to be crated at first just like Ripley.
There are a lot of good suggestions posted so I hope you will find something that works for Ripley.