• About a month ago I moved into my own house from my parents. My boy Brodie and I have lived in 3 different cities together and the moves were not easy but nothing like how this last one has been. We were at my parents house for about 3 years, during which time they brought home a new puppy who Brodie would play with daily. Since my new place is so close I am bringing Brodie back to my parents house every morning before work for "doggy daycare" since they are retired. He is fine when he is here, but at the new place he is constantly whining, screaming and shaking and panting severly. I thought he would get used to the new routine but it has been a month and he is still acting the same.

    He even acts this way when my parents, me, and his brother are ALL at my new house. It seems he would rather be in the old house by himself than in the new house with his whole family. I'm having to crate him again if I need to run errands (haven't needed the crate in years) just so that I can get out of the house. At night he is constantly scratching at the door to go out (there is a nice sized fenced yard) but when he scratches to come in and you open the door he just stands there and refuses to come in. If you close the door he immediately scratches to come in again (but again won't come in). Also one night he voluntarily went out in a torrential downpour and stayed out for 5 minutes!!!

    I left him with my Dad for a couple hours the other day while he has laying some carpet. When I got back my Dad joked that if I had been 5 minutes longer he was going to cut Brodie's throught with the utility knife just to get him to shut up. My vet recommended a DAP diffuser but the only thing I could find around here was the DAP spray which I put on a bandana around Brodie's neck. $50 later and it didn't seem to make any difference. I tried benadryl and gravol but neither made much difference. I've tried ignoring him and soothing him. He does eventually settle down when we go to bed.

    I'm very close to thinking he might need doggie Prozac.

    Is there anything anyone can suggest?? I'm desperate!


  • Wow - poor pup! And poor you! Much wiser and more experienced folks than I will have suggestions I'm sure, but it almost sounds like he has an aversion or allergy to something in the new place. Are the floor coverings the same (ie is your place carpeted and your folks' place hard surface floors)? A lot more or less windows?

    Maybe Sharron or some of the other rescue folks will have ideas.

  • It does sound like something in the house is a problem for him. New carpet? New paint?
    New varnish on hardwood floors??
    Something like that?
    Otherwise, I have no idea what it can be…
    maybe some of the other folks do....

  • That is strange as he has lived in several other places with you in the past. I agree with Sharron, sounds like some issue with the house. Are there any noises that may not bother you but could have him on edge? Ghosts? Neighbor dogs that bark a lot? Do you keep a friendly noise on, like TV or nice classical music? That must be stressful for everyone, I wish you luck.

    Anne in Tampa

  • Prior to moving in with your parents had you ever lived with another dog? Was you parent's puppy the first time he had another dog companion? The symptoms you describe really do sound like separation anxiety. I would wonder if the thing he is missing is having a canine companion.

  • I'm glad someone else said ghost. 😉 That's what I was thinking. 😉

    Although it is MUCH more likely that it's separation anxiety from being an "only" dog. When we moved to Virginia, Lexi was shakey a lot. But now that we rescued Miles, she's fine.

    Are there any other factors about the house that could be affecting him?
    Prior to this, when did he pant/shake? Is this an "I'm-scared" reaction from him?

  • Actually BDawg, I was going to say the same thing as well. On my trip out to Winnipeg, we broke down in nowhere'sville and had to stay in a Hotel with 5 Basenjis-they screamed and cried and fought all night-none of them had ever displayed behaviour like this before. We didn't sleep very much. I'd say look into the history of the house.

  • Thanks for your replies. My co-workers had suggested ghosts too!!

    It is a much older house than my parents and we painted basically the whole thing so I know it probably smelled bad but I think that is all gone. We are still doing work so the place is a mess with tools and stuff. Also that house is closer to the street so there is more outside noise he can hear. Plus there is a cottage at the end of the yard rented to an older lady. He can also see the beach and park through the chain link fence and he stands there watching this a lot. My parents redid their family room at the same time I moved so we moved everything (couches, chairs, even the carpet) into my basement. I thought Brodie would like it down there because it would smell familiar but he doesn't seem to care.

    I tried during the first week to bring his brother over for a sleepover but that didn't help at all. When he was younger and we lived other places he was an only dog and sandwiched in between he lived briefly with my parents last dog. It does seem to me to be more the house than seperation anxiety since he's only been left alone in the new place for 2 hours max. He's a little better on nights when he's been to the dog park but I can't get him there everyday and with cold weather coming he'll go even less often. Walks don't seem to help. He really just seems to want out of the house. He had me up at 5 this morning whining to go back to my parents - he definately has caught on he gets to go back every weekday morning. Not sure if this is just extra confusion for him or not.

    Prior to this he NEVER panted. He used to shake when we first moved in with my parents and he would shake every morning when I left for work but there wasn't any crying going along with it.

    I'm hoping to adopt an older basenji around the same age as him - almost 7 - I've always wanted 2 and this is the first time I've been in a situation to have that. In one way I think it might be good for him to have the company but then I don't want to bring a rescue into a house with such an anxious dog.

    Argh. I keep thinking he HAS to get used to it eventually, I just didn't expect it to take months and months.

    Thanks for your suggestions…..if anyone has any tip or technique they think would help I'd be all ears!

    SIDE NOTE : Arlene I see you're in Welland - I'm in St. Catharines! I've only ever seen 2 other basenjis in the Niagara Region so it's nice to see some more!

  • Ha! See how close we are! Where in St. Kitts? I've lived throughout the region and may be able to tell you a bit more about the specific area you moved to. We can always chat more. I would imagine you've seen Marie's dogs.

  • I just moved to Port Weller…..but considering my parents live off Lakeshore Rd. it's about a 4 minute drive from where I used to live.
    I can't remember her name....but we've met Jigsaw and I know she got another puppy since then. There also used to be a tricolor we'd see at Woodend back in the day when it was a make shift dog park. Brodie never seemed all that interested when he saw another B.....I was definately way more excited than he was!!

  • Yes, that's Marie-she has Jigsaw and Indy. You should know Port is a little old(actually, older than the hills) most of the houses and 100+ and up to the 1950's built. Those houses were built mainly for the ships coming in off the lake. It is more than likely you may have some issues with the house in the 'ghost respect'. There is a lot of history down that end. When I was young(er) I lived on the corner of Lake and Lakeshore for awhile. If you are interested in a private chat, go to the members list, look up my name under the"N's", go to my website and my e-mail is there.

  • I'll tell you my "ghost story"…

    I got Lexi when I was a soph in college. We lived in a townhouse with 3 other girls. My bedroom was on the bottom floor and the rest were upstairs. I was across from the kitchen. Anyway...

    It was Christmas break and the entire apartment complex was empty. There was no one in any of the townhomes attached to ours. And we were an end unit anyways. We had turned the heat down since no one was going to be there for a while. So when I went to get something from my apartment, it was pretty chilly when I went in. I only planned to be a few minutes so I didn't care much. I had Lexi with me. I was getting some clothes and checking my email and stuff in my room when I heard someone putting dishes away. That's odd, I thought-- No one is here. So I went into the kitchen to see if someone had randomly come home... But no one was there. And I went to open the cabinet to see if I had not put a glass in there right or something and right before I touched the cabinet door, I realized that I had not even been in the kitchen yet. I kind of freaked out and ran back in my room and shut the door. I was trying to finish up quickly and get out fast... when Lexi started growling!!

    GROWLING?! I had never heard her growl before... but there she was, all of a couple months old, hackles straight in the air, face fixed at the bottom of my door. OMG!! I was totally freaked out at that point. I had to get out of the house and there was no way out but to go through my door and down the hall to the front door.

    So I opened the door and Lexi slowly turns the corner, hackles still raised, head dropped, eyes focused, shoulders hunched, one leg forward... And her eyes follow something across the room. (I'm getting chills again as I write this!!) And I'm like, "What do you see?!?! I don't see anything!! You're freaking me out!!"

    I just wanted to get the heck out of there so I pick her up and make a mad dash for the door (which is RIGHT where her eyes had stopped)!!

    Later, I ended up going back to the apartment with a friend to check out the mysterious "dishes" noise (you know the clinking noise when you're putting dishes away). That noise is unmistakable. Anyway, I opened the cabinet and one of the heavy bar glasses was on its side. ? I don't know how to explain that. There is no breeze in the cabinet. And the shelf is not high enough to stack multiple glasses either. I don't know how a heavy pint glass turns itself over.

    I've never seen that reaction from Lexi since that day. And I don't know how to explain it otherwise. But I did tell my other roommates the whole story and they started telling me stories of their own... !!

    How they felt uneasy in the place. And one roommate had a particularly creepy experience. We each had bathrooms in our rooms. When she took a shower, she would lock her bedroom door. And she would often come out to find that one of her heavy silver plated picture frames (8 by 10) would be standing up right behind her locked bedroom door-- moved from the shelf which in normally sat and now on the floor across the room. She said she always thought one of us did it. (Although how would we do that and still be able to shut the door?) Anyway... it just confirms (for me) that creepy things DO happen. Whether you call them "ghosts" or "unexplainable" - it still remains!


  • Ok, BDawg…now I have to share my ghost story!

    An old boyfriend of mine had a big 100yo farmhouse. One night when I was staying there, I woke up because I kept hearing a ball rolling on the floor and a dog running after it. So, I'm awake but my eyes aren't open and say to the boyfriend's dog..."Katie, go to bed." Well, I keep hearing the ball. This time I open my eyes, sit up and go to tell Katie to go to bed, only to see that she is asleep on her dog bed. No other people, no other animals in the house. Needless to say, I pinned myself up next to my sleeping boyfriend. The next morning I say something to him about it, and he tells me about the ghosts in the house and that the dog is one of them. Ok, didn't know the house was haunted...he tells me that there is nothing to worry about.

    About a month later, I'm staying at his house...he's in Vermont at a trial...I'm taking care of Katie. I'm asleep, and then for some reason I wake up. When I do, I look up and there is an elderly man with a hat and wool suit on standing there looking down at me...can't really make out his face. Needless to say, I sit up...he turns and walks out of the room and is gone...FREAKED ME OUT. I call my boyfriend, he tells me that is one of the ghosts (don't worry, he's friendly)...I take Katie back to my apartment until he comes home, because I couldn't stay there.

    After that, I wouldn't stay there by myself. I mentioned it at a dinner party a couple weeks later, and some of my boyfriend's friends said they too had seen that ghost.

    So, needless to say, I definitely believe in ghosts because I have seen one.

  • I thought I would revive this thread to see if anyone has any suggestions for me. It has now been 7 months and while Brodie has improved slightly (no more panting and a bit less crying) he still shakes every night when I bring him home, he is still pacing and whining.

    I got another dog back in December and I thought this would help him but it hasn't made a difference either way. My parents recently went away for a couple weeks and so I had to leave Brodie at home during the day with my parents dog - the new puppy comes to work with me everyday. The first day was fine but the 2nd day he tore my curtains out of the wall and shreded the roman shades that I handmade for my bedroom. So day 3 he went in his cage where he proceded to slide the pan out and tear up the carpet underneath down to the bare floor (the whole room needs to be recarpeted now). After that he spent the days alone at my parents empty house and he was fine.

    He has his annual checkup/heartworm appointment on Monday and I was hoping to try out prozac but it sounds like my vet has never prescribed that and I would have to go somewhere else to get it. My Dad is now on a campaign to have Brodie go and live with them and while this is looking like the best scenario for the dog I can't imagine giving him up after 7 years.

    If anyone has any suggestions they think could help so that I can keep him I will try ANYTHING at this point!

    oh, and neither of the other dogs have any problem with the house so I really don't think it's ghosts. Brodie has always been a very anxious dog, used to have really bad seperation anxiety but I'm not even sure what kind of anxiety this is!


  • I, personally, have never used an anti-anxiety med. I'm unsure where you should go from here. BUT, if he's not exhibiting this behaviour anywhere else, I still put it down to the house. It could be a smell he doesn't like! But if your Dad is on a campaign, perhaps he sees something outside the box you may not want to. As I said, in Port, it has history!

  • My GSD started acting strange last September. He began panting, pacing, and just looking uncomfortable wouldn't settle down and I found myself really bugged by his pacing. The habbit before was to lay down on the kitchen floor while I prepared dinner in the evening. BTW he seemed okay most of the day it was just our evening routine that went away. I thought well, he is almost 10 now and maybe he is in some pain?… The vet did a full workup on him and he checked out to be in great shape. Then about 2 months later I ran across an article about the new low energy light bulbs. Dogs were being bothered by the high pitched sound that we can even hear sometimes, but they can really hear them. I changed mine back in the kitchen area, a total of 3, to the regular bulbs and he was just peachy after that. During the day he wasn't around the lights so that is why he seemed fine then. I hope this information helps someone!

  • that's really interesting - I know I have some of those bulbs in my house I'll have to try changing them and see if that helps.

    However, Brodie starts his whining as soon as we drive onto my street and gets worse as we walk up to the house. Is it possible something like that could have given him such an aversion to the house?

  • Not sure, it could be so many things that a human can not see or smell. But, my terrier would do a low growl every time we drove by our old vet. We changed vets and he stopped but he still knew even 10 years later that he hated that vet. Not sure what happened to him that he hated them so much but he was neutered there!

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