I may have to give them back to BRAT

I don't know what to do. It makes me very sad but I may have to give them away. We have had our boy since he was a puppy, he is now 6. About a year and a half ago we wanted to get another B. We went through BRAT and adopted 2 girls. We wanted to help out two older dogs that had less of a chance finding a home. Britty and Gracie were 9 and 7. We flew them in from Texas and were thrilled when they finally got here. The first 4 months were good. We had some little accidents but nothing too alarming. Then things kept getting worse. We had been letting them loose in the house, they started peeing and pooping when we left so we crated them. They were still loose over night but then they started peeing and pooping over night so we crated them over night. They soon figured out how to get out of their crates and would pee or poop in the house. We tried different things and we were able to keep them in their crates. Then one day we got home and Britty had gone nuts in her crate…...she destroyed it! We figured out she was fine over night so she is left loose at night but crated Gracie(Deke loves his crate and is not an issue). Hoping less crate time would help her. I am a stay at home mom so they are not crated all day just from time to time. Britty continued so go nuts and ripped off a toe nail trying to get out. We have crated them together and seperate. Britty started peeing and pooping in the crate and eating and drinking it, at times vomitting the poop after we let her out GROSS. We still just never know what will be waiting for us. For no reason we will find pee or poop through out the house, not even knowing when they do it. Our boy loves outside and spends a lot of time there in the summer. Gracie will also stay with him but Britty is a physco, she destroys the screens scratching to get in the house. We trying to let her in most of the time but if we are outside we worry she will pee and poop while we are out. If we don't let hear her right away she will even jump the fence. She doesn't go far and we always get her back. They even go in the house sometimes when I am in the shower and no one else is home.

I feel like a failure. We have tried all kinds of things I guess I just don't have what it takes to deal them. We love Deke so much we thought more would be better and I love watching them play but they are destroying my house and my marriage with it.....HELP!

Has anything changed in the dog's life? Move, child leaving home anything at all. Not wanting to be outside did something happen that you are not aware of? Have you had the vet look at them and see if maybe something is wrong in there little body they be going crazy because they cannot help it. I would have the vet look at them. Don't give up there is a reason they were so happy and now so un-happy. Could be someone on here has had this problem and could maybe have the answer. Hang in there.

We thought at one point is was that my husband had to be away at work for an extened period of time, 2 and 1/2 months. He has changed jobs now and doesn't travel, but it's worse not better. Our kids are 12, 8, and 9 months. I found out I was pregnant right after we got them….(we weren't really trying so that was kind of a surprise) This all started before she was born. Actually Britty and Deke is really good with the baby. Gracie will growl, but doesn't try to bite her.

Could it be you said your husband was gone and now home more. Maybe they think they are left out giving everyone else to much time. I am sure 9 month old getting around more and means more time with baby and they may again find they are left out. Do you give them a little one on one time? I know time is hard to find but just a little time might help. They are getting older I still would check in with the vet it may not be there fault.

The time line just doesnt match with the changes. They are due for vaccines so I will see if there is anything wrong that might be causing the issues. I know she has separation anxiety, I wish she could be with someone that could take her with them all the time. That's not an option for me. I know I could put her on meds but I don't want to drug her for the rest of her life.

It sounds almost as if Britty is the one who may be doing all the peeing/pooping in the house and has anxiety for some reason. I would still discuss this with your vet but in the meantime try getting her an ex-pen to give her more room than the crate but ease her into it - put her there for 15 minutes while you're in the room with her, then increase the time. Spend time with her alone and then spend time with her and your new baby, etc., until you find out what it is that is causing the anxiety. Maybe the extra child makes her feel unwanted.

Call the person at BRAT. Don't give them up yet. There's a reason for the behavior which can be solved. Have you changed their diets? Eating her poop means there's something going on physically. Get them or her to the vet for a check up and blood work done. There may be a thyroid issue which is easily handled.

@nobarkus:

Eating her poop means there's something going on physically.

Sometimes that is true but not always. Usually eating poop because of needing physical nutrients also happens when they poop outside…if they aren't eating it outside, I would say it isn't because of a nutrient issue. I've found that if they eat it after they have an accident in their crate or in the house, it is usually to clean it up or hide it.

@renaultf1:

Sometimes that is true but not always. Usually eating poop because of needing physical nutrients also happens when they poop outside…if they aren't eating it outside, I would say it isn't because of a nutrient issue. I've found that if they eat it after they have an accident in their crate or in the house, it is usually to clean it up or hide it.

Maybe so but I would not rule out a physical problem, that's the first thing I would check. I had a Basenji destroy a chair cushion because he was in pain from a bladder infection. A diet that may be poor in nutrients can cause bad behavior as well. I am not saying these things are the reason only that it is something to check and rule out. A check up at the vet is the first thing I do.

Houston

So sad, I wish I had the perfect, correct answer but I don't. I would ask the vet for advice and maybe have her tested for thyroid and what not. She knows not to behave like that( since she hasn't been like this the whole time and it has progressivly gotten worse), so I am pretty sure something is going on in her life that makes her act up. I read about DAP on another post and it seemed to calm a very anxcious(?) dog down, maybe it would help her..

Thank you all for trying to help. The bad behavoir started way before the baby was born. We did try a diet change which seem to result in flaky skin and poor coats….we thought we were trying better foods but in the long run we went back to what we have raised our boy on. He is from a goo breeder and we have never had any issues with him. Gracie does have accidents but if we crate her at night and make sure she potties in the rain we can deal with that....we want to keep her, but they came together so I don't know if we can keep one without the other. I am in contact with BRAT. I am trying everything before we give up.

@senji:

I know I could put her on meds but I don't want to drug her for the rest of her life.

Please don't think this way.
My Katie is on prozac and it has helped her so much that I wish I had put her on it from the beginning. She is still herself, and still my sweet lovely girl, it just helps her to take the edge off. Along with behavioral interventions it made it so that the good days outnumber the bad, and so that one scary incident doesn't lead to days of hiding.

Make sure you work with a behaviorist, (http://www.iaabc.org/) and give it time. But definitely do not rule it out outright.

-Nicole

Please take her in for a vet check and full blood work up right away.

In addition to a full chem pannel, also consider sending blood to Dr. Jean Dodds at Hemopet for a full thyroid panel. Just a normal T3 isn't enough because autoimmune thyroiditis is missed that way.
Have blood checked for rickettsial diseases as well. Lyme and erlichia can display as behavioral abnormalities.
Thankfully all of these tests were normal for Katie, but it does help peace of mind to know that you have checked everything possible, and I have known dogs with sub-clinical hypothyroidism that were helped immensely by low dose thyroxine, and I have known one dog who had lyme and erlichia that explained his behaviour changes.

-Nicole

I now you say you don't want to drug her the rest of her life, but look at in another way; how many people in your family or people you know have to take a daily medication. We may not want to but we have to because there is an imbalance in our bodies so we have to take the medications to help us balance out.

I have to take medications 2 times a day, not by choice really but if I don't I become very ill because I suffer from debilitating migraines, and the meds I take are preventives. If I don't take these drugs I seriously cannot function at all, I get migraines to the point the I literally loose vision and my other things, it's bad. But that's my point I know we don't all want to to take meds or give meds, be in that situation but if it will help your animal it's a better choice for them.

Crate habits - start all the way from square one again, limit the size of her crate; dogs will not like to potty in the same place they sleep this is true. Okay you are thinking but she does and then steps in it or maybe just goes in one corner of her crate and then stays smooshed into the other side of the crate.

I have a foster from BRAT and he's about 24wks now and when I got him he had little to no potty understanding for the crate. I had him in a medium size airline crate, and he decided to "finger paint" in his crate gag my husband and I had to carry him outside before letting him out LMAO after that I took a round laundry basket that I had and then a cardboard box and stuck those in the crate and it made so the crate was about a 1/3 the size. The pup literally had just enough room to squeeze himself turn around and lay down; he couldn't fully curl up in a basenji ball. But with that he did stop peeing and pooping in the crate. I left his crate like that for a week, then I tried taking everything out, nope he peed in it again, I stuck the laundry basket back in. Another week went by then I took the basket out, now we have gone 3 days with a dry crate when ever I have left.

I am like you and only leave for short periods also.

Try this starting this training method with her: http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?t=2055&highlight=NILIF basenjis are such stubborn little dogs LOL and they will test you at every chance

Here's another good one from Tanza (about just placing yourself as the pack leader): http://www.tanzabasenjis.net/welladjusted.html

Sometimes with rescues (even adults) you have to start all over like a clean slate a fresh puppy slate - basically pretend you are getting a puppy. And unfortunately it sometimes happens that you won't notice changes or behavioral difference until after they have "settled" in for a bit (sometimes months).

Do let BRAT know what issues your having and ask for their help.
I know they try to support everyone who has adopted from them.
I so hope you can get this worked out.
Please let us know how it goes.
Let me ask, are they crated when your at work and then again at night?

@sharronhurlbut:

Do let BRAT know what issues your having and ask for their help.
I know they try to support everyone who has adopted from them.
I so hope you can get this worked out.
Please let us know how it goes.
Let me ask, are they crated when your at work and then again at night?

You're absolutely correct. I just brought home a tri from Southern CA BRAT, Medfly Brigade Basenji Rescue. The lady who runs it, Karen Jones is so helpful, she calls to see how it's going and answers all the questions I have. She insists I call with anything I need. They are really wonderful!

@sharronhurlbut:

Let me ask, are they crated when your at work and then again at night?

I am a stay at home mom so I leave for things but no set schedule. Deke and Gracie are crated when we leave and at night. They love their crates and go right in, curl up and sleep. Britty is only crated when we leave because if I don't she pees and poops in the house. At night she is fine.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I think it is more difficult when you are trying to do the right thing and have a difficult time with it.

Thanks for adopting from BRAT and doing your best to give these girls a good home. As others have said contact your BRAT coordinator. Maybe the foster parent can give some tips.

I agree with the ex-pen idea for starters. However, it sounds like she has separation anxiety like you said. My guess would be that it started that she was anxious and then had an accident and it has now become a habit.

Have you tried restricting her feed or at least feeding/watering when there is plenty of time to go potty before you leave?

Increasing her exercise?

Do you start to notice the nervousness when you are getting ready to leave?

Was she fine in the beginning and then all of sudden she started messing the crate or did she always have accidents and you just weren't sure which one was doing it?

Have you tried videotaping her when she is in her crate? I am guessing she probably pees and poops within 10 minutes after you leave.

You mentioned that she freaks out when you are all outside together and wants back in the house. Is it possible that she was startled when whe went outside to potty and now does not want to go back out? That happened with my previous fosters.

Crate habits - start all the way from square one again, limit the size of her crate; dogs will not like to potty in the same place they sleep this is true. Okay you are thinking but she does and then steps in it or maybe just goes in one corner of her crate and then stays smooshed into the other side of the crate.

I do not agree with this for dogs with separation anxiety. Their mind is in a different place and this will make it worse.

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