Here is our situation. We got Roxy when she was 8 weeks. She already had her first set of shots. I took a bit longer than I planned to get her 2nd set of shots (at 12 weeks) when she contracted Parvo (shame on me!! I know )(she must have gotten it from taking her on walks around our neighborhood). It has been one week since she came home from the pet hosp. and has been back to her normal self since she came home. (Thank goodness) Anyway, before she got sick, we were able to get her to pee and poop mostly outside by going through the doggie door and we were able to confine her to the kitchen area with child gates when she was not sleeping in her crate. Now that she has to remain indoors until her shots are complete, she is going ballistic!!!! (and so am I) She can easily get over the gates and hates her crate since she came home from the hosp. and she has no use for relieving herself on the pads no matter how much I praise her. She is probably confused. I think she has separation anxiety because she poops and pees numerous times only when I am gone (has never pooped that much when I am home with her all day). At this point I pretty much have to start over with the crate and potty training. What do you do with your B throughout the day and when you have to leave? Large kennel outside? How large of an area outside would she need? Kennel inside? Can a basenji ever be trusted inside the house alone? Will she EVER calm down on her chewing? I love this puppy very much and is definitely a handfull! Any clues to how long this "challenging puppy stage" will last until I can relax and enjoy her? What keeps me going is that I know this awful stage will not last forever..or will it? Please help? Again, sorry this is so long.
It has been one week since she came home from the pet hosp. and has been back to her normal self since she came home. (Thank goodness)
WOW - So sorry Roxy got so sick. It's a challenge to train any puppy, really. Glad she's 'bout back to herself from the beginning. Don't despair, we got Duke when he was maybe 12 weeks old - started from scratch - You have a puppy who' a Basenji.
When I was home, Duke was never confined. I wanted to be with him so we'd play and cozy on the sofa. Duke was never out of my sight. I kept a vigilant eye on him like I did a 1 to 3 year old toddler. BUT, I was also ready - I mean "ready" to take him outside after we did anything. After play, sleep, eating, drinking - you name it, when I was home we went out every waking 20 minutes - on a leash. Now I work all day long, so then Duke was put in his "bed" (a wire crate). A sister-in-law came on her lunch hour to let him out for 20 minutes or so. He would be in his crate apx. 4hrs in the a.m. and 4hrs in the p.m. Then I was home with my son after school.
There are many good tips for crate training on this forum. You can do a "SEARCH" here for crate training. Duke loves his treats. I use them to lure him to learn everything now. This forum wasn't available when I crate trained Duke, so I just read the directions I got with the crate. He sleeps in his crate every night. I don't ever want to break him from being crate trained. Duke whined/screamed for about 30-45 minutes the 1st week or so everytime he was in his crate. I would hollar out "It's bed time!" to let him know I heard him. He quieted, and all was well. Now when I say I have to go "by-by", he waits in his crate for me to pay-up and lock the crate.
Can a basenji ever be trusted inside the house alone? Will she EVER calm down on her chewing? I love this puppy very much and is definitely a handfull! Any clues to how long this "challenging puppy stage" will last until I can relax and enjoy her?
I don't think a young Basenji can be trusted inside the house alone and definately (from recent experience) not unsupervised when you are home. "Handful" is what a puppy Basenji is and most puppies in general. I can't answer how long the challenge will be - but I think I've read B's might have this stage for 2-3 years??? Lots of dogs have it for atleast 2 years anyway. Enjoy her now, but don't relax until you're in bed or having a nap with her on the sofa. Duke is about 10 mos old now, I've felt more relaxed with him after he was potty trained and crate trained. It took me 2 to 3 months with absolutely no more pee in the house. Whenever he had an accident, it was when I became too confident thinking he was potty trained completely.
Duke is only in his crate at bed time and when no one is home. The rest of the time he is free to go anywhere in the house. Luckily he likes to be with us to play with him. He'll nap usually on the sofa or on my bed. So when I don't see him and he's quiet I quickly spy him napping.
One or more last tip? Have LOTS and LOTS of toys and chewys for her so you don't find your furniture chewed up when you turn your back. There are plenty of tips and techniques throughout this forum. It can get pricey but worth it. Realize too that if something doesn't work, try another way - thank goodness there are a variety of techniques here. And … You are the Leader, not Roxy. Basenjis like to rule so "stick to your guns" and be persistent, stand your training ground and don't waver. Ready?
Thank you so much for your advice and sharing your experience. I would definitely love for Roxy to be free while I am home but having a 2 and 4 year old at home, it is impossible for me to only watch Roxy all of the time to prevent accidents. So I will crate train her for now. Thanks again for your help:)
We're on Basenji #4 and don't worry, it gets MUCH easier very soon. It won't be long and Roxy will probably be able to roam the house while you're gone and fulfill the portrait of the family dog (not being facetious). We had 2 which did for 10 years and also had early problems.
Our first, Brie, was diagnosed with separation anxiety. We got her at 16 months old. Do a search online and you can find great tips if that is in fact the problem. Start with small steps – teach Roxy to sit and stay, then stay while you leave the room, then you can start to leave the room and close the door but come back in a few seconds, then a lengthen it, etc. Teach her that when you leave, you WILL come back. The biggest tip I found (and difficult for us) is to make leaving and coming home totally uneventful. Put Roxy in her create with a treat (or several) but no praise (that only will get her excited). Same, and especially, when you get home. Ignore her. Don't look directly at her but get her outside right away (you may have to go out with her to get her to do her business), THEN praise her when she does... now you can act normally -- just not at first. That is the advice our vet gave and helped. Anxiety and excitement feed off of eachoher. If possible, walk her before crate time.
Determining whether Roxy has separation issues or crate issues may also determine how soon she can be trusted alone -- yes, Basenjis can be trusted! At first Brie would destroy our house if left alone, but she had issues. After months of working with her we could keep loose in a bedroom (with a view outside) during the day (she did better than being in a crate). When we got #2, Ramsey, we had him and her in their bedroom (he in a crate at first) and by 2 we let him and Brie have full house access while we were gone from 8-5:30... and that was 10 years ago. Rarely a problem, but they also had each other.
Now I have two 11 mo olds -- Bonnie and Smitty. We got Bonnie when she was 4 mos (after loosing Brie) and she was quickly crate trained. She'd even slept in it during the day with the door open. BUT I wouldn't trust her loose if we were gone. She gets bored and chews. By contrast, Smitty HATES his crate. We got him just 6 weeks ago at 9 mos. He doesn't have separation anxiety. He can be in another room without us or hang outside. But he seems to have a phobia of confinement -- latch the crate and he freaks out. We're trying to make his crate a "happy place" but doing the above but giving him a pig ear to chew on to make him forget the door is closed (avoid raw hide when you leave) -- I have a post on the topic. We gave up on Smitty sleeping in his crate at night because we found out he really never slept much. He and the other two now sleep in our bedrooms, but the young ones don't get to leave the rooms at night, but sleep soundly ALL night (in our bed). I actually think Smitty may do ok left out, just not with our other 12 year old male!
I guess my point is there is no definitive answer, BUT there is hope. Once our house is down to 1 male, we'll start to leave Smitty out, then if all goes well, try leaving Bonnie out too.
Don't worry about starting over with the house breaking. They learn very quickly. With Bonnie we thought she'd never get going outside = potty time. I think it took about a month for her to start to get it then another of it being our fault (not catching the signs). You got to watch them like a hawk! Smitty was in a kennel and only took 3 weeks of watching the others to catch on. We still have accidents though, especially when its wet out. Like Duke said, don't become too confident thinking Roxy is trained completely -- let up your guard and it's a step backwards (or in a wet spot).
I started off crating Sahara when she was younger, when I first got her. The first week she was crated she found a way to get the thing opened, and I came home to lots of accidents on my carpet. But it wasn't her fault, so I cleaned up and added something to the crate to make it Basenji proof. She was crated until she was about 5-6 mos. old. I then got a doggie door, and made sure she was totally housebroken and let her stay out why I was gone. I keep her in the den/kitchen, and close the door to the rest of the house. She has been so good, nothing major yet(hope I'am not jinking myself, haha). Of course I make sure there is nothing she can get into while I am gone, I move things I think might be tempting, you know, Basenji proof your house. She is now almost 10mos. old and she loves not being crated, I put her in the crate the other day and she whined for the longest time. She needed a time out, she was being aggressive with my cat who is 17 yrs. old. I keep the crate in my guest room just in case I need it, time outs are good from time to time. So be patient with potty training and crating and things will improve, HONEST!!!!!!