Do you use crate covers to seperate your dogs?

Zahra tends to be very dependent upon Chase, today we went to Bark in the Park a local dog event and we chatted with Chris Stakes the Pet psychic/Animal communicator. Okay, now I know that may sound a little wacky, I have to agree I did it for fun but she offered some good advice on breaking Zahra’s dependence on Chase. First was to separate their kennels so they are not right up against each other, she suggested starting out with having them across the room from each other so that she could still see him, she also suggested putting crate covers on their kennels so that she could have a place with a little privacy and security. My question is do any of you use crate covers? Do you find that your dogs enjoy having a cozy little place to hide? Do any of you believe that by separating them Zahra will learn to be a little more independent?

Her other advice was common knowledge type stuff that I could have thought about on my own, spend time separately with each dog, talk more to them (I am guilty of this, I try to praise them but I probably don’t vocalize it enough), take another training class with Zahra so that it re-enforces to her that I am the Alpha not Chase.

Okay, now that you all think I am crazy because it took someone with a fake crystal ball to tell me how to bond with my Basenji (She didn't really have a fake crystal ball, I am just being sarcastic) give me your thoughts on the crate separation and den converting! LOL!

Here is her website in case someone wants to know about her http://www.askyourpets.com/services.html.

I am pretty sure if you could communicate with my basenjis on the topic of a crate cover the mental image you would recieve in response is lots of little fabric confetti, especially if shredding the fabric would give them a view of their best buddy.

On the other hand, the suggestions to spend individual time with each of the dogs is good. Obedience class can be nice because then you are making a commitment to do it for at least the 8-10 weeks the class lasts. Also, just making 1 of their daily walks an individual walk can help. Also, just because the dog is bonded to its housemate doesn't mean that it doesn't see you as the leader.

@lvoss:

Also, just because the dog is bonded to its housemate doesn't mean that it doesn't see you as the leader.

I hope she sees me as the leader but she tends to follow Chase on everything. What I am trying to do is break some of her dependence on Chase, she can not go around the block without him, if I take him and not her she is screaming so loud that I am sure the police will be breaking into my home to save someone inside before I get around the block with Chase. I guess I created this by doing everything with them together and not doing things seperate; we have done obdience classes before and she usually does rather well while we were there.

Zahra actually had to be pulled out of the crate tonight after dinner, typically she bolts right out but tonight DH had to pull her out. That could also be because she is tired because I have had her on the run all day today.

What we used to do with Nicky and Rally for walks is my husband would go out with one in one direction and I would go with the other in some other direction so they would each get a separate walk and we wouldn't have one at home hollering about being alone.

It sounds like you need to raise your value with Zahra. Hand feeding is great way to do this. Start handing feeding Zahra one of her meals each day. Working on obedience can help too but she really needs to see you as a source of "good things". Chase right now has a very high value to her, if she is ignoring you in favor of him it is not because she sees him as "alpha" but probably more that she sees him as the source of "good things".

@lvoss:

It sounds like you need to raise your value with Zahra. Hand feeding is great way to do this. Start handing feeding Zahra one of her meals each day.

I actually do this sometimes just to get her to eat, she really just has no interest in food unless you hand feed her sometimes or add something really yummy (melted peanut butter, wet food) to her food.

With DH being military and gone a lot I tend to have to walk them together or take them out on a bike ride seperate. I will try what you and your husband do though and start our walk out in opposite direction.

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