Crate type/size and training advise

Well, I definitely wouldn't leave the two males out together unsupervised. And I would be reluctant to leave any two basenjis together, inside, unsupervised. I prefer to keep mine in crates when no one is home, but it just doesn't work for Querk…but the girls (even though there is one that would be reliable in the house) stay in their crates.

You might try crating the others, particularly if they are good in their crates, and try leaving Smitty out...I think that is what I would do in this situation.

You don't think leaving one basenji out & one IN the crate? I'm curious because I just got my 2 b's & I was hoping to ONE day be able to leave them in the same confined kitchen while we're out. hmm

@Quercus:

Well, I definitely wouldn't leave the two males out together unsupervised.

Agreed like you wouldn't believe! Unfortunately the 2 males are starting to not get along even more – to the point of it being a problem. At first Smitty was fine with Ramsey, but now he is standing up for himself. They can sleep in the same room, etc, but once Smitty and Bonnie start to play, Ramsey gets nervous and starts to growl. He'll follow them around the house when they're playing and if they collide, that's it -- FIGHT! So, yes, that is NOT an option now.

@Quercus:

You might try crating the others, particularly if they are good in their crates, and try leaving Smitty out…I think that is what I would do in this situation.

Well that could be interesting to try. Ramsey isn't use to being in a crate but can deal with it if forced (he'll whine and scratch a little but gives up soon). We've been having to crate him when the younger ones play at times.

I'm still a bit unsure of leaving Smitty and Bonnie alone since she ALWAYS wants to play and Smitty wants to sleep. Obviously my experiment with leaving them together in a cage didn't work. During the day Smitty and Bonnie are out all day and play just fine (often Ramsey is shut in a room with me), but that doesn't mean that would be the case once they figured out the house was empty.

Your suggestion may be a good answer… though Ramsey will hate it!

@jys1011:

You don't think leaving one basenji out & one IN the crate? I'm curious because I just got my 2 b's & I was hoping to ONE day be able to leave them in the same confined kitchen while we're out. hmm

Sorry, not 100% sure what the question is. We we were able to keep ours out. Eventually they had access to the entire house. Rarely a problem. They force you to keep the house clean : ) Just be careful, Basenjis can open cabinets very easily!

@jys1011:

You don't think leaving one basenji out & one IN the crate? I'm curious because I just got my 2 b's & I was hoping to ONE day be able to leave them in the same confined kitchen while we're out. hmm

I am not sure what this is asking…but I think it really depends on the dogs, and the situation whether I would leave two basenjis (or even one) loose in the house unsupervised. There are two separate issues, one is will they be more destructive together? And the other issue is will they have a fight?

With our five basenjis there are only two that I could leave out together, and be pretty sure everything would be in place, and there would be no blood shed. In every other combination, there would be things destroyed, or there could be a fight. Our male, Querk, and our 2nd female, Blondie, are very trustworthy with "things"....but I tend toward the ridiculously over-cautious side sometimes 🙂

How is Smitty doing with the crating by the way?

@spitfirekrl1:

How is Smitty doing with the crating by the way?

Ironically had you asked yesterday I would have said he is getting use it to. He hasn't pooped in it for a couple weeks and doesn't seem to scream when I leave (however, I also make sure I walk him prior to crating and always put a treat in there with him now). But last night when we went out for dinner I set up the video camera to watch him. Not good.

For an hour he paced, scratched, chewed and protested. When we leftt, I put him in with a pig ear and and Kong. He is in a Vari crate next to Bonnie who is in a wire crate. I turn Smitty's crate so he can see her. After only 5-7 minutes of ripping the treat apart, he started biting at the door and yelling. He turned in circles panting and whining. Every few minutes he would lay down for 5 seconds then start it all over. Even with the new plastic crate he is close to chewing through (where the molded plastic creates a lip near the door opening). It REALLY got bad when our 12 yr old, who is loose, came up to his crate and started to growl. Rightfully so Smitty growled back at him and they started to go at it through the door! I'm sure Smitty felt cornered. This went on for about 20-30 seconds and happened twice during the hour. This CANNOT be good for his conditioning!

Also, I'm not sure if the ComfortZone is helping, but even at $20/mo for the refills, I'm afraid to stop using it – sure isn't making it worse!

SOOO, looks like I need a new plan. First off I need to keep Ramsey away from his crate. This may mean having to relocate their crates so we can close off part of the house to Ramsey OR keep Ramsey in a crate too. Second, I filled the chewed on bits of plastic in his crate with toothpaste (they hate the stuff) and sprayed it with Bitter Apple (I don't want him eating through another crate, especially a $80 version!).

I hate to change the environment by moving their crates to another room, but I don't think he exactly likes this location anyway! I still have the open wire crate and thought of another idea. He messed up his nose chewing on the wire mesh which is why he's been in a Vari crate, but seemed to like the wire one better (he never pooped in the mesh type). If I attach plexiglass to ALL the sides so he cannot get his nose through, I may be able to put him back in the mesh crate. I would of course have to drill ventilation holes (maybe 1") all over each panel. Sounds crazy, but I do it if it helps. Hey, plexi is cheap and might be worth a try. I really just want him to get use to his crate, but given the current condition of his new crate after only a couple weeks, he's probably going to eventually get a hole started in the plastic then I'll have to buy another.

Fortunately he's in his crate very little -- maybe an hour every day, some days not at all, and 3-4 hrs once or twice a week. We found he wasn't sleeping at night so we've let him and Bonnie sleep in our bed (Ramsey with our daughter). It works great. We knew once it got cold we'd need to. We keep the house at 62º at night and Basenji's don't care for the cold! Oh and Bonnie -- the whole hour of taping she slept, even through the fighting. What a good girl.

Ugh…Well, glad to hear it's going a little better...but sorry to hear that it is still rough. Definitely, you must find a way to keep Ramsey away from Smitty's crate...not only will it damage the crate training, but I am sure it will make them have more animosity towards each other when they are out.

Is there a room that you could close him in, away from Ramsey and see how that goes? Did you try leaving him loose at all?

I wish I had some better suggestions for you. Hang in there 🙂

Good news – though I probably shouldn't say this just yet. We moved the dogs crates to the dinning room where we can close the room off using a couple door jam gates. Smitty's crate cannot be seen from the door (in other words, he can't see Ramsey if he comes up to the gate). I again set up the camera. We did the normal crating routine (treat, meat filled Kong, music, etc) and left for a couple hours. After only 10 minutes Smitty laid down! BUT this time he actually laid down and stayed there -- for the entire remaining 50 minutes of taping!! That is huge and certainly gave me hope.

It may have been Ramsey coming up to his crate or into the room that was causing him the most frustration. In fact when Ramsey came into the room before I got him out, Smitty freaked out scratching and screaming. I don't want to say all is better just yet, because he was also pretty tired last night, but it gives me hope.

@Quercus:

Did you try leaving him loose at all?

I really wanted to try leaving him out for a short period, however that would have meant Ramsey would need to be crated and he's not use to that. BUT since your suggestion I've caught Smitty being a puppy. He occasionally "samples" things, as we like to say. He'll walk up to something, a toy left out, a furniture knob, the new Dyson we just bought (awesome vacuum BTW), and chomp down to see how it tastes. I yell NO and he stops right away. So I don't think he's quite ready to be trusted. He hasn't yet chewed up anything but I can image a corner of the couch, table, etc pretty far gone after a few hours.

@cmd:

That is huge and certainly gave me hope.

That sounds like progress.

@Basenji_Boy:

That sounds like progress.

I agree…let's hope it just gets better and better 🙂

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