• I knew ahead of time that Basenjis weren't 'Silent' dogs, but I wasn't quite prepared for the musical interlude this morning…
    We brought our 4 1/2 month old girl home on Friday, and it's been great so far.

    Bassit has been perfect all weekend; we've crated her while out and about for short periods and although there was a little complaint, it seemed short-lived and pretty minor.

    This morning when I went to work, it seems that Bassit was not impressed. I got a call from my neighbours a half hour after I left, and she'd been screaming the entire time. I feel terrible, because I leave the house at 6:30 a.m. and she was keeping my neighbours awake!

    Obviously, not working isn't an option. Is there something that I can do to help her adjust to being crated? (We're only leaving her for a few hours at a time, my boyfriend will go home to her at lunch)

    Thanks so much for your advice!

  • Try to take her out for a longer walk before going to work. I know it's real early, but it would be worth it. Kongs with peanut butter will keep her busy too. Just remember, a tired basenji is a quiet basenji.

  • Thanks for the advice! I tried the kong + peanut butter thing this morning, and apparently it didn't have the desired effect. I didn't walk her this morning, because I worried it would be too cold for her (-16 with windchill). Would it be ok, as long as I put her coat on?

    Other thing I was thinking about doing was putting her carry crate (airline style) inside the larger wire crate we are using for daytime. Is it possible that this would make her feel more secure? What about covering the wire crate with a blanket? Maybe make her feel safer?

  • You would need a coat, but it all depends on the dog. Medjai doesn't mind the cold when he's moving, but he shivers when he stops to pee. If it's too cold, chase her around the house a little, or find some other way to tire her out inside.

    I doubt that would make her feel more secure. Some other things to try would be a little music, or something. Where is the crate located, and is it too big? It should be one of the smaller ones. (mine's like 20*30) What is inside the crate? What kind of toys do you leave her with, and are they some of her favorite?

  • I too am going through a similiar thing with my puppy. What I have been doing is getting up 2 hours before I have to leave for work (I get up at 5am and then leave at 7am) so she has ample time to play, potty, eat and get tired out before I leave her for work. It really seems to be helping with the screaming and whining (as my husband works 2nd shift at sleeps until around 9:30-10am). He said she doesn't make much of any noise now and when he gets up he does it all over again for her.

    As Michael stated, if they are tired they are much more in cline to fall asleep and relax in the crate.

  • So, my boyfriend went home over lunch, and found a quiet girl waiting for him. We've made a few modifications…Moved her into the smaller crate from the bigger one (she sleeps in the smaller crate, so I hope that the consistency will help). Moved the crate into the living room which is a bit darker and cosier (also is away from the neighbours bedroom). Turned the tv on for her so that she has something to watch.

    Tomorrow I'll try taking her for her walk and see how we make out. If the cold snap continues and she's miserable, we'll do some indoor exercise. It's too early to tell what toys are her favorites. We've only had her for a few days, and she's been too busy sniffing to be interested in playing.

    I'll post a follow up when I get home.

  • FANTASTIC! Does that feel great?! I was excited for our little success when we finally figured out how to calm her and to stop the whining. Keep up the great work and keep us posted!!

  • Have you tried putting your other dog with her? That helped Dash as well as our current foster.

  • Well, the other dog is 12, and has the run of the house. Also, she's not really that fond of the baby yet, so I think it would make her a bit cross to be stuck 'babysitting' the new one. I'm hoping that by putting the crate in the room that the older dog hangs out in most, I can force things along a bit.

    Thanks everyone for all the advice! I really appreciate it.

  • So last night we did some intensive 'hey let's all get used to being crated' work. Put her in, left the room, waited for the wailing to stop, returned, treated, etc. Over and over and over again, until she got tired of it.

    This morning we got up at 4:30. It was still freezing, and we'd had such a patently unsuccessful walk last night, I didn't want to risk it in the dark, so we stayed in. I chased her all over the house, tried to expend as much energy as we could. I filled a Kong with rollover and peanut butter, got her really interested in that, put some soothing music on the tv, covered her crate with a blanket, put in a tshirt that smelled of me, everything I could think of.

    10 minutes after I left the house, I got another cranky phone call from my downstairs neighbours. More screaming. Sigh.

    I'm not giving up yet, it's only been a day, and she's just a baby. I'll spend some more time working with her tonight, and hopefully my boyfriend and I can work from home this week, or at least leave the house a lot later in the day. (6:30 a.m. is no fun to be awoken)

    Does anyone have an opinion on using a penny can? (i.e. crate her, leave the room, when the howling starts, shake the penny can and tell her 'quiet')? It feels counterproductive to me, but I'm getting just a tiny bit desperate.

    Thanks everyone, for the advice and support.

  • Are you crating her at night and then again during the day while you are away? That is a lot of crating for a puppy. Being social animals being away from their "pack" for that much time is stressful for them.

    Your puppy should be getting all of its meals in its crate to build a positive association. As much as possible you want the puppy to choose to enter the crate on its own. In the evening training sessions instead of skipping right to the part where she is uncomfortable with. Try just tossing treats into the crate and letting her go in for them. Then when she is eagerly entering the crate for her treat toss in something that is going to take a little longer for her to work on and is really high value. Some sort of chewie is good, I have used Puppy Ziggies. Then while she is working on the treat close the door. You don't even have to latch it at that point just close it. Then open it before she has a chance to get to the screaming. You want to build time without her ever getting to the point where she feels she needs to scream.

    Get an ex-pen to use when you are out and put her crate in the ex-pen so she has more room when you are out and so she isn't associating the crate with bad experiences while you are still working on crate training.

  • Wow, that's really great advice. We keep her nighttime crate next to the bed, and she happily goes in there without a peep. It's just during non-sleepy times, when we put her in the bigger cage that she gets unhappy.

    I think that an ex pen might be the right idea. Can I get those at pet smart/pet cetera?

    In the meantime, we'll try what you've suggested. I had been trying a 'cry it out' method, where I left her in there wailing and then when she stopped, letting her out. I will attempt it the way you've suggested, thanks

  • Have you heard of Comfort Zone spray or plug in with D.A.P.? You can get it online or in the petstore. I have never used it myself but was thinking of trying it as I have heard it really helps with seperation anxiety and crate training especially in puppies. It helps to calm them and you as you spray their blanket or put the plug in. I will post a new thread to see if anyone else has used it as I am curious myself.

  • @ljsabo:

    Have you heard of Comfort Zone spray or plug in with D.A.P.? You can get it online or in the petstore. I have never used it myself but was thinking of trying it as I have heard it really helps with seperation anxiety and crate training especially in puppies. It helps to calm them and you as you spray their blanket or put the plug in. I will post a new thread to see if anyone else has used it as I am curious myself.

    Myself, I've had zero success with either the dap plug-in or spray, when Ruby was an only dog and had separation anxiety. That said, even though it didn't work with Ruby, I'm going to try the plug-in with my new pup when she comes home on Friday. My understanding from my vet is that some it works on some it doesn't.

  • So, the latest…We figured out that Bassit mostly objects to the big steel crate. It's not her little plastic nighttime one that upsets her. Problem was, my work schedule can be unpredictable, and if I were later getting back than planned one day, I'd hate for her to have to use the potty and be trapped in her crate with no ability to do so.

    We went to toys r us last night, and bought a HUGE steel gate. Up and down slats, so no chance of her climbing it, too tall for her to jump. This way, she's got her own special little part of the house that's safe so that she can't hurt herself, but we don't have to lock her in the cage of doom. She was really interested in the gate last night, so we'll see if we have better luck today with it.

    Again, thanks for everyone's advice. I'd like to try the spray, but I'm not sure where to find it...Pet stores?

  • sherry…yes, Comfort Zone (or D.A.P same thing, but no special packaging) can either be found at pet stores (petedge.com - much cheaper there) or the vet. The plug-in is around $30, the refill for it is around $26 - but I think it is $15 at petedge.com. I would probably advise the plugin vs. the spray.

  • Guys, thanks so much for all your help! We are absolutely making progress! Bassit isn't exactly happy to go into 'puppy jail' (the gated off area where we keep her when we're mopping floors or something/not at home), but the screaming has lessened HUGELY. 2 walks a day, kong full of peanut butter, and doing this over and over again, has things greatly improved.

    Now all we have to do is get her to stop getting into everything while I'm working, we'll be just fine!

    PS - This community is great. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

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