I have found that taking my Basenji puppy in his crate in the car, has really helped him feel secure in his Kennel. If you do this when running errands, it also helps with separation anxiety. The Dog will see that you are leaving the car, and also can see you returning, so he knows you will eventually return. I started by running short, quick, errands, so my puppy would not be left crated in the car without seeing me for very long. I have done this with other puppies of other breeds, and even older rescue dogs in the past. This seems to work very well, and appears to transfer to how the dog feels about the kennel crate in the home. Another benefit is that is really helps house break a dog and train us as humans to notice different sounds or behaviors when the dog might exhibit. I feel if a dog that is crated is throwing a major fit for over 15 min's, then there is something wrong. Either they have wet their bedding, need to go out to poop or pee, or they are hungry or thirsty. (Of course I am excluding medical issues that might be present here that are not within the norm). Miranda and I have found this to be consistently true with the Dogs we have owned and raised.
If my calculations are correct, Roo is 13 weeks old as of yesterday. Roo has learned to sit on command. Roo knows to he has to sit before we will put his leash on. Roo is also doing very well learning not to pull on the leash and that he walks either or on the side of me or behind me.
Roo will go to and enter his Kennel or Crate on command. Roo has also learned how to come, and a hand signal for sit. We are currently working on the stay command, as well as the lay down command. I am attempting to teach him to sit every time I stop walking.
When we first received Roo, he was only 4 lbs. Roo has doubled in weight and probably more in size. We are not making him a rolly polly puppy. In fact our Vet says he looks great and to keep doing what we are doing. Roo has had all his shots, except for his Rabies. I am waiting until he is 5 months old before I take him for that.
These are my personal thoughts the proper age for socialization.
We received our puppy when he was 8 weeks old. I know there are some that think that 8 weeks is too young for a Basenji puppy to be separated from his mother and his litter pack. Their school of thought is that a puppy needs the socialization of the pack until they are 12 to 16 weeks old.
I totally disagree with this for the following reasons.
1. I believe that if a basenji puppy stays in a litter pack when its older, they have a greater chance of learning to be aggressive or dominant.
I know some will disagree with this, but I really think many bad habits are formed at an early age, and unless they are corrected right away, they are much harder to correct.
For example, in a litter, there is usually a runt. The other dogs or puppies will push the runt around in the little, and of course the runt will be the last one that gets food. This can work two ways. Either the runt will learn to be very submissive, or the runt will learn to be very aggressive when it comes to food or eating.
2. I feel dogs left in a litter until older will rough house more, and develop a more aggressive behavior as they establish the social order in the pack.
Ask yourself, which would be more difficult? Establishing yourself as pack leader with a younger dog or an older one? Which has had more time to learn how to be more aggressive or dominant?
3. The old the dogs are in the litter, the more aggressive they play. Once again it is my opinion, that part of reason that play gets more aggressive is because as the puppies grow strength increases. This also means that getting another dog or puppy to bend to the will of another in a dominance contest will escalate.
Here is what I see as positive about taking a puppy at 8 weeks
Like all puppies, our puppy included, like to put their mouths out things. They also play bite when they are young. They are also still looking for their mother to feed them, so a lot of the pawing and little nips at clothing, hands, and other body parts, are an attempt to find milk or food. They are also teething, so they are looking for anything they find soothing for that situation. In my opinion, these behaviors are very natural.
1. If you separate a puppy from his mother at 8 weeks, you are just continuing the process of what the mother has already started to do.
2. You are also enabling that 8 week old puppy to bond with you, and learn how to fit into your particular household, its sounds, and its quirks.
3. You are getting to learn the young puppies unique habits and personality.
4. You can correct bad behavior quickly.
5. You can head off some separation anxiety because the puppy has to get used to a new home and surround at a much younger age.
Since Roo is full of energy, we have found that walking him every day, twice a day mellows him out, socializes him, makes him more receptive to learning voice and hand commands, and helps him sleep.
Roo is very friendly and even will Barrooo when he wants a new person's attention. He makes frequent trips to our local pet smart, so he is around many different dogs and people. The trainer there is somewhat amazed as his progress.
Roo walks 2.5 miles in the morning with me and my Boston Terrier Bonzo. 2.5 miles takes us about 51 min's to walk. Then I might spend 15 to 20 min's with Roo practicing training commands and hand signals.
Roo, Bonzo, and I meet Miranda in the afternoon after work on her way home and walk another 2.5 miles. This tires Roo out, and then Roo is more mellow. It makes him a much easier dog to deal with and correct. Roo is also more eager to please us.
Maybe some of our thoughts will help some other owners on this board. Miranda and I have decided we will only post our experiences in regard to this and nothing more.
Have a great day.