Separation anxiety

We have a one-year old female, Ella, that is kind of shy and has been slow to socialize. When we leave her home alone she seems to be just fine. But on those occasions when she left in some other place either alone (rarely) or with other people, she gets very anxious and will whimper and whine, usually stopping after about 10 minutes. But it can be an excruciating 10 minutes or so. This is especially noticeable when I leave her at my co-workers office where she likes my co-worker and her dog who is always there. Or if we are at a friend's house and I leave for minute to go outside or to go to the bathroom, she will get very upset.

My question is, how abnormal is this? Should I be concerned about it? How can I work on it?

Not abnormal - and if you can leave her alone and she's fine, only with her whimpering for 10 minutes or so with others, you have it made. The more she knows if you leave you always come back, the easier it will get in time.

Have you had her since she was a puppy? Was she ever abandoned? If your friend would be willing to help you, you may have to just take her to your friends and leave and come back, leave and come back a number of times to get her the idea you're not abandoning her.

I agree that it is not abnormal. I've had Dallas since he was a pup & even now, he will whine when I leave. When he is left at my mom's house, he will whine & pace for around 5-10 minutes after I leave. Eventually he settles down though.

True separation anxiety is when the dog does not calm down after being left. I know of another basenji who injured herself trying to get out of her crate after being left by her owners. Her separation anxiety was to the point where as long as her owners were not home, she would not calm down & would completely destroy the house [after they stopped putting her a crate because she injured herself so badly].

I'm sure many other individuals can comment who are more experienced. I would think though that as long as she is calming down shortly after you leave, you shouldn't worry too much.

Its good to let the b's know when you leave, you will come back. I think you should continue to leave your b with your co worker, and help him learn to deal with your going.
But make sure its very calm when you leave him and very calm when you come back…
No "poor baby" talk or tone...just, ok, we are back together now.
Sort of like you went to the garage and left him inside for a bit of time.
He will take is clues from your manner when you leave and return.

My Basenji and I have has the same issues. Some times his separation anxiety can get pretty bad. I found the best thing is just to figure out what makes the dog feel comfortable. I tried keeping him in a crate but he would flip the crate till the lock came undone. When I locked the crate with a pad lock I came home to a bloody dog. I gave up the crate and he was fine being left alone in the house. I thought our troubles were over until I moved into a new place. Then we had two weeks of full fledge anxiety again. I came home to shredded carpets and drapes. 😞 He finally became comfortable with his new surroundings and we haven't had issues since. Hopefully I won't have to move any time soon!

Holy cow, I had seperation anxiety with my male, Ziggee. I got him thru B.R.A.T. he was 9 months old. I would take him to work with me, I was living in AZ at the time, had a house with 3 other people living there. The house always had roommates and their friends. When I would go somewhere like the grocery store where he couldn't come with, he would throw his body around, screaming. From outside, it would sound like a 3-4 year old child getting his ass whooped. He would throw his body against the picture window in the front of the house, and everyone would try to settle him down, he would scream and shiver. Shortly after, I got a female, Scarlett from B.R.A.T. she was from the same breeder. They have sibbling issues(thats a WHOLE 'nother thread..lol) but with her around he has settled down when I leave the house. I now live in NY and when I go to work they each have thier own areas, including food, water and crates. Maybe another dog isn't for everyone, but it sure helped for Ziggee. He is the best basenji I ever owned. Scarlett, was a show dog she had 8pts and 3 yrs old. She nipped the new handler she was sent out with, and I guess, she either had to be put to sleep or adopted out. The breeder ran into me in town one day, and asked if I would like to try another one, since I did so well with her first "problem" child. lol. The co-workers dog is a friend persay, not a sibbling. We(scarlett, ziggee, and I) are the pack and it really is different than visiting a friends house.

First Basenji's

I am also having a horrible problem with Cody's separation anxiety. Less than 5 minutes after I leave, he begins to whimper for a few minutes, then it's all-out howling like someone is beating him for half an hour or more. It's absolutely heartbreaking. You can hear him 2 buildings over in our apartment complex. I also have a roommate, and even though he'll whimper for a few minutes when she leaves, even if she is there while I'm gone, he still howls. So I know it's the fact that I'm gone that causes him to do this. I guess since he eventually stops, it's not true SA, but it still wakes my roommate up in the mornings after I leave and annoys the neighbors.

I'm at a loss. At the moment, I am trying to keep him in his kennel a little more than usual. I also put him in there an hour before I leave, and when I get back, I wait about 20 minutes before I let him out. A friend has an ultrasonic bark control device that just annoyed him and made him howl more when we tried it. My roommate has joked about getting him a muzzle, but I'm pretty sure part of her isn't joking. I know it takes time, but there's only so much she and my neighbors can take before my apartment managers evict me or my neighbors call animal control.

Luckily there are only 3 1/2 weeks before we move. There, he will have a canine companion and a few acres to run around out in the middle of nowhere. Hopefully that will compensate for me leaving him while I'm at work.

Any and all suggestions would be MORE than welcome and greatly appreciated!

I would not keep him in the kennel "more".
I would make sure you walk him before you leave.
Set up a routine where he gets a long walk before you go, a nice kong filled with treats, and a calm leaving and coming.
When you get home, take him out of the crate, be calm, and take him for another walk…once you get back from the walk, then you great him.
This can be helped, but it takes work from you.
Good luck.

I walk mine 30 minutes in the morning right when I get up then feed him and lastly a little play time before I put him in the crate all day. I put him in the crate 10 minutes before leaving and make no big deal out of it or talk to him.

Is he distructive when you leave?
Would he repect a baby gate?

also try a few 5-10 minutes leaves… leave your house, come back, don't make a fuss over him when you get in, and always return with a treat. This sometimes worked for ziggee, when there was other people there. When I would take him for a walk, is when I fussed over him. We would run, and play, and when we walked in, it was quiet time. He is very smart, he still does this, but really until I got Scarlett, the blood curdling screaming never did actually stop.

The class I went to said the dogs gains comfort when there is a routine that the human follows.
Its all mostly the same, and the key is calm leaving and arriving home.
Also, give the basenji something he NEVER gets, but when you leave the house.
A kong full of treats and cheese, something yummy that he can work on and help burn off some of the stress he is feeling.
She showed us videos, and the dogs worst reactions were within the first 30 minutes.
After that, the dog calmed down…totally stressed dogs, stared to "restress" just before the owners arrived home...
It was a very interesting class.

First Basenji's

Yes, he's very destructive when I leave, ripping up carpets, chewing on the door frame, knocking over lamps, ripping down blinds and curtains, etc, and he'll just jump a baby gate.

I'll try giving him a special treat while he's in there, and another when I get back. And I'll definitely have to make leaving and coming home a calm, quiet time. He always gets at least a 30 minute walk in the morning before I leave, and we go out for about an hour when I get back. We have a routine, it's just not as strict as it should be, so we'll have to work on it.

Thanks, that's all really helpful!

my first basenji was a handful. destructive, chewer, crazy than crazy things I would come home to tore up. a few tricks that worked for him, was a spraybottle filled with listerine, they dont like the smell, and spray it where you don't want him to chew. and it makes your house smell fresh…lol and another one was mouse traps. I would line my kitchen counters with them and furniture, and it stings when it snaps but not to hurt him, Till the day that boy died, I had them mousetraps, after a while I didn't have to set them anymore but once they were removed he would go back and tear it up. Just the sight of them kept him away. People would come over see them traps all over my house and ask if I had mice.... nope just a crazy basenji. I know if you can crate train him, that would be the best, my first basenji it was impossible. He would buck until the screws were stripped, I would put a guinea pig bottle in so he would have water while i was at work, he would manuever his jaw and alway put a hole in it. I gave in and he had some of the house to run, the livingroom and kitchen. and with the mousetraps and listerine nothing more got destroyed.

First Basenji's

I just thought I'd update, but it seems Cody's anxiety is getting better. He still whines, grunts, and grumbles when I leave, but it isn't nearly as loud or for as long. I still keep him in his crate when I'm gone unless my roommate, Megan, is home, but she says that he is better behaved, although he stays near the door or where he can see the door until I get back. He does mope and do his "rounds" around the apartment grumbling (Megan and I swear he was a grumpy old man in a past life 🙂 ), but I think that's a lot better than the constant screaming from before. We still have quite a bit of work left to do, and ideally I'd like to be able to leave him out of his crate when I am not home.

But I wanted to thank you all for your suggestions, they helped us so much.

Glad to hear that he is doing better….

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