Separation anxiety

We have rescued a male basenji - Jacob 5 weeks ago. He is very very timid and scared. At first we had no problems with the crate - it was almost a safe place for him as he was afraid of us. Now he refuses to go in the crate. In fact he has chewed off the wire bars trying to escape. We are so afraid he will hurt himself that we are trying to let him stay on the first floor. Everytime we leave he poops, pees and gets so wound up. He chews his fur off his back and is incredibly anxious. Another issue, which I think may be separate, is Jacob will only go to my husband now and is afraid of and shows NO respect to me. We love this dog and need help!!!

For working on the bonding with you, can you hand feed him one of his meals each day. Does he know any obedience? Practicing commands he knows is a good way to help relationship building. Attending a positive reinforcement based training class is also great.

As for the Separation Anxiety here is a website with some suggestions and some book suggestions for more in depth ways to work with your dog.

http://www.wagntrain.com/SeparationAnx.htm

And what was his story before you adopted him? Was he being fostered before? Have you talked to the people/person that had him before? Many times clues to their behavior for a rescue are closely related to prior living conditions.

Has he had a full medical workup? Especially thyroid panel (this would be a full panel, not just the one a Vet would run with normal blood work)….

Sounds exactly like my B when I first got him. He was quite scared the first couple days. Found the crate to be a nice spot for him to relax. Then after a few days it was no more crate. He was not going to stay in there.

I don't think it's necessarily separation anxiety. With my B it was an issue with crating. I leave him out in my home now and while im gone he does not do anything bad at all. Mostly sleeps all day or chews on his bone. No accidents either.

Separation anxiety would mean he has issues no matter where he is at home while you are away. I think Basenjis are commonly against wanting to be crated from what i've read on here. More than other breeds. I would suggest trying another option while you are not at home.

@Kananga:

Sounds exactly like my B when I first got him. He was quite scared the first couple days. Found the crate to be a nice spot for him to relax. Then after a few days it was no more crate. He was not going to stay in there.

I don't think it's necessarily separation anxiety. With my B it was an issue with crating. I leave him out in my home now and while im gone he does not do anything bad at all. Mostly sleeps all day or chews on his bone. No accidents either.

Separation anxiety would mean he has issues no matter where he is at home while you are away. I think Basenjis are commonly against wanting to be crated from what i've read on here. More than other breeds. I would suggest trying another option while you are not at home.

I don't quite agree with that… mine are very content in their crates... but of course they were crate trained at a very early age.... and they run to their crates for treats or food... and at bed time. The trick to crating is to not over do it.... for me, if you have to crate during the day, then at night they should be loose... and not crated (other then to eat as that gives them a positive).... to crate during the day when you are gone and then overnight... is way too much IMO...

My boy was crate-trained before he came to me. His issue was not being crated, it was being alone, crated or roaming free. He was/is fine in a crate as long as somebody/somedog is with him (not in the same crate, just around). He exhibits SA issues if he's crated/roaming alone. He is much better now than when I got him four years ago. He still has mild SA issues, which we manage by giving him access to an indoor/outdoor kennel which my husband built which gives him room to run around and release his anxiety. I also give him a filled, frozen kong for distraction purposes.

What we do now to manage his mild but lingering SA issues is a far cry from what we did at first…we tried everything and anything. We also had a wonderful woman giving us SA advice.

I suggest you give him some time, and if he doesn't settle down, bit by bit, slowly but surely, you'll need to look into alleviating/managing SA. SA is not an easy issue to deal with, it takes a LOT of time and patience to discover what works best for your pup...there is, unfortunately, no one magic bullet. I wish you the best of luck with Jacob, designcrush72. Don't give up, it CAN get better!

I'm having the same problem with my current basenji that gbroxon mentioned - it's not the crate at all. And working on solving SA (different from boredom) is tough, I've found. You just need patience and lots of it.

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