Help

Hi all,

I recently got a 6 month old basenji from a breeder. I've had her for about 3 weeks. She was not crate trained or house trained before I got her.

So my 2 serious problems are her constant chewing and her crate anxiety. She also pees on the carpet regardless of pee pads or odor removers.

First, I cannot seem to get her to like her crate. She has somehow managed to pop out the "pan" of her wireframe crate and shuffle the crate along the floor. She completely mauled my blinds. I do not get mad at her and scold her for that b/c when I catch her it's after it's happened. But what should I do?

Should I buy plastic crate?

When I put her in her crate she wines and howls and scratches and bites like crazy at the wire frame. I feel so horrible. But I can't let her loose in the house while I'm at work. When I come back there are scratch marks all over the inside of her crate and sometimes a little bit of blood.

My research has led me to believe she has anxiety/claustrophobia issues.

Also, she is constantly chewing on things she is not supposed to. Corners of wood base frames, blinds, table legs, cords, basically anything she can get to. I tell her "no" and sometimes I grab the skin of her neck and growl, and it seems to work for a minute but then she goes right back to it. So far I have not really been physically forceful or anything of that manner. I'm really stumped and I've read up on a lot of techniques but I don't think using my voice to teach her not to do something is working.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thank you ,

Logan

First off, if she is chewing something she is not supposed to then you need to redirect her to something that is appropriate. You need to make sure you have a good supply of stuffies and chewies at hand to redirect and it takes awhile especially at six months when they are still getting in their adult teeth. Just remember to have patience, the more consistent you are at redirecting the better she will get.

Next peeing in the house, what is her schedule? Again housetraining takes a lot of patience and consistency. When you are home, how are you supervising her? Do you use babygates to keep her in the same area as you so you know when she needs to go out? How often are you taking her out to pee? Do you praise her every time she goes?

As for crate training, what are you doing to build positive associations with the crate? Do you have room for an x-pen so she has a larger space if claustrophobia is a concern?

Also, have you talked to her breeder? What was the routine at the breeder's house?

Thank you for responding Ivoss,

I have about 5 different chew toys for her, but she is not happy with them. A couple are ropes, one is a rubber horseshoe with rope attaches and the others are fuzzy animals. Everytime she chews on something she's not supposed to I put the toy in front of her but she just ignores it. She has never started chewing a toy after I've put it in front of her, she just runs off.

Her schedule is before work, at noon, when i come home from work, and before I got to bed. I've been doing this for 3 weeks, but she doesn't go sometimes when I take her out for 30 minutes or so. I do have to admit she's gotten much better about it, so I guess it will just take time.

I have thought about getting a babygate, but I took her to my girlfriends house and she climbed over the one she had like it was nothing, and that was taller than most baby gates and it had a door - it was actually made for dogs.

I've been trying to get her to be comfortable around her crate. I leave it out in the open when I'm with her, and sometimes she walks in it. But she never goes and lays down it it, she just sniffs around. But the moment I put her in she starts crying and going berserk. If it is claustrophobia, one concern i have with getting a bigger crate is her finding a "bathroom" spot. What is your opinion on wireframe vs plastic. I've heard many pros and cons for both so I'm really not sure what would be best for her. I want to get her a plastic one b/c she hurts herself on the wireframe. But the problem with that is her not being able to see her surroundings as well in a plastic crate.

-Logan

I think a plastic one can pose just as much harm to her, in my opinion. She could chew pieces of plastic off and cut herself and/or consume parts.

I am unable to crate my B while I'm away, but he is not destructive if I leave him out. Rawhides are popular with them, although you should supervise them when they chew those. Perhaps try a sterilized beef bone and fill it with something tasty. That or a Kong and fill it.

None of my basenjis like rope toys or rubber toys for chewing. For chewies I have a selection of nylabones and then use things like Kong Ziggies, Merrick's Texas Toothpicks, or Bully Springs as special treats.

As for the crate you need to work on building positive associations with the crate. That means things like every meal is fed in the crate. When you crate her for the day she should get a special Crate Treat. I use stuffed Kongs or Stuffed Hollow Bones. I would also recommend the video Crate Games, it gives a really good method for building the crate's value.

As for wire vs plastic, it depends alot on the dog. If claustrophobia is an issue then a plastic crate will only make it worse. As for pottying in the crate, as her housetraining progresses that really shouldn't be an issue.

I almost forgot, there is also a good video you can watch on the web here:
http://www.askdryin.com/dog_movies.php
Look for the one called Crate Training.

And a great crate training hand out here: http://www.askdryin.com/movies/CrateDogLR.pdf

Just wondering, since you didn't say, what was her living situation with the breeder? This will give you a good idea of how she was before you got her for the first 6 months of her life….. Was she ever crated at the breeders? If not and then if you brought her home and put her in a crate and left... chances are she was not very happy and worked herself into a "tizzy".... You need to start out "slow" with crating them and not just put them in there and hope for the best. (not saying you did this)

Also, Are you crating her only for the day? Or are you crating her at night also? If so, too much crate time, in my opinion...

I agree with lvoss about the toys... mine have never really like ropes or plastic things... stuffed toys with squeakers are usually good... Kongs, chew sticks (like bully sticks)...

Tanza,

The breeder had kept her in a small gated area with a male Basenji. I believe she was kept in there a lot of the time. I wasn't too thrilled with the living conditions when I saw it - the place seemed a little shady to me. She was in a room with other dogs and cats who were also in gated areas and the lady who kept them was a heavy smoker and it smelled extremely horrible.

She sleeps in the bed with me at night. I tried putting her in her crate when I first got her but she would not settled down - the crying and howling was constant and I simply could not sleep. So I gave up and let her sleep with me. BUT surprisingly she does great with that. She doesn't chew on anything and she hasn't relived herself as long as I've done it. She just curls up on top of the covers and stays put all night. But the moment I let her off in the morning, she starts chewing on everything in sight, and usually pees on the carpet before I even have a chance to take her outside.

I guess I got the wrong kind of toys, I will try what you all have suggested.

Thanks

  • Logan

Ivoss, thank you for the links, I will look at that as soon as I have a chance tonight.

Kananga,

That's one of my greatest fears right now, her chewing and swallowing something that will harm her. I've been wondering about the anti chew sprays, but I'm a little weary about buying products like that as I've spent a lot of money on training stuff and so far not much of it is working.

  • Logan

As soon as you wake up you'll have to take her right out immediately then after she pees reward her right then with a treat and tell her she's a good dog. Then take her for a walk to burn up some of that puppy energy. How much exercise is she getting? You'll need to wear her out. She'll start to calm down after a while. It's going to take some work and patience. I have an 8 month old male and the first thing do is take him right out for a 30 minute walk, then feed, a little time petting and light play. He's ready to go back to sleep and I put him in the crate and off to work 10 minutes after he goes in the crate.

@logandesign:

Tanza,

The breeder had kept her in a small gated area with a male Basenji. I believe she was kept in there a lot of the time. I wasn't too thrilled with the living conditions when I saw it - the place seemed a little shady to me. She was in a room with other dogs and cats who were also in gated areas and the lady who kept them was a heavy smoker and it smelled extremely horrible.

She sleeps in the bed with me at night. I tried putting her in her crate when I first got her but she would not settled down - the crying and howling was constant and I simply could not sleep. So I gave up and let her sleep with me. BUT surprisingly she does great with that. She doesn't chew on anything and she hasn't relived herself as long as I've done it. She just curls up on top of the covers and stays put all night. But the moment I let her off in the morning, she starts chewing on everything in sight, and usually pees on the carpet before I even have a chance to take her outside.

I guess I got the wrong kind of toys, I will try what you all have suggested.

Thanks

  • Logan

I would tend to agree with you about the living conditions and she is most likely having separation problems, since she was with another dog…. And it will most likey take some time for potty training, as in starting form square one... when you are home... like taking her out all the time... even if she doesn't look like she needs to go and then praising the heck out of her when she does.
You also might want to try and xpen with a "top" instead of a crate... they are bigger and give them a little more room to move around. You can even put her crate in there... for the floor you can go to a home improvement store and get like a 9x12 roll of linoleum and then put the xpen on top of that if she has accidents.... you may need to try and find a corner to put it in and attached to a wall cause they can be "walked" around...

And if her sire and dam have not been DNA tested for Fanconi, you might want to get that done (www.basenjihealth.org)

Houston

Logan,
First off welcome and congrats on your little B. I am sorry she is giving you such a hard time, but in the long run it will be well worth it..
I would say, like I have seen on here before, to start the crating in small doses. Like leaving her in it while you are in the room for a few minutes, don't let her out when she is wailing, then she won..in her mind at least. Slowly try to increase the time she is in the crate and then start leaving the room..let her know that you are still in the house and that she is going to be OK..after a while again, increase the time she is in the crate. When you come to let her out just do it matter of fact, no big hoopla or anything..this is supposed to be common place, right. If you want you could try letting her have something of yours, and old t-shirt or your pillowcase, anything taht smells of you and comfort, there are also some products out there that have DAp in them, I just bought some the other day to help in going on a trip and it seemed to work really good. Google DAP, dog appeasing pher…mones(spelling..lol), also search DAP here on the forum. My dogs get raw bones, chuck bones with marrow to be exact and they go to town on them for hours if you let them. Kongs with peanutbutter is also popular..
I am a newbie as well to the B world, My Otis is 5 months, but so far he has been an angel..if you don't mind the occasional food stealing of the table, toiletpaper torn like snowflakes and Basenji-500 run through the house...and I don't mind it.
We live in Houston, TX so again fellow texan...a BIG welcome to you and your B.

So we know she likes to be close to you maybe you could place a piece of the bedding in the crate when you leave then she could still smell you. Might try leaving the tv on or a radio.
I would try to pick her up off bed and carry her to the door and go outside do not let her feet onto the floor and this might get her to going outside.

Jaycee has a couple of those nylon bones and she really does chew on them. She has lots of toys but she loves her tennis ball. Couple of hard toys that really loud and she likes those.

You might try putting her in kennel during day when you at home just a little while go into another room and she gets upset just tell her its all right your there.

Also were ever she has a accident this stuff really works well to rid smell and clean so usually do not go back. Nature's Miracle and is a stain and ordor remover. Got my at Petco comes in orange and original.

Good luck lets all know what happen/

Rita Jean

Vingar and water also works great to remove urine smells… cheap enough and usually safe for all materials

Our Bassitt really doesn't love her crate either. When we first brought her home, she'd scream for hours (when I left her to go to work). In desperation, we did a combination of 'really really tire her out' (i.e. I get up at 5 in order to walk her long enough to make her sleepy) and 'fool her into thinking she's not crated'. We bought a very tall metal gate with vertical bars (nothing for her to climb) The gate's adjustable, so an area of the hallway has become 'baby jail'. She's pretty happy to go in there, because it's not so restrictive. We still crate her sometimes (for example, we start the night out with her in the crate, but within a few hours she's lonesome and needs to come into bed with me…spoiled!) and when she's in the car, but because she doesn't associate it with 'mom leaving' she doesn't hate it as much.

The secret for us was to do a bit at a time. (put her in baby jail, as soon as she stopped making noise, let her out. After a little while, put her in again, same thing) Exposing her a bit at a time seemed to help.

Good luck! I know your frustration.

(Can't help at all with the chewing. Bassitt hates toys, all she wants to chew are ipod chargers)

Nature's Miracle which is a natural enzyme product mixed 50/50 with water or full strength really does a good job on urine and is safe and non toxic. The enzymes eat the urine and feces and that ammonia smells disappears. My past Basenjs would not pee outside when raining, only in the garage so that sprayed on the urine took care of it.

Also there is a product call Nok-Out that I love… my girls have always been concrete peeing pups... and usually they would all pee in the same spot, one over top of the other.. in the summer it could get pretty strong with 4 girls... The Nok-Out was the only thing that really removed the smell... out of everything I tried.

http://www.nokout.com/

Additionally, if you feed your pup kibble, i'd suggest a food dispensing toy. 3 of my dogs get their morning kibble in this type of thing. it keeps them occupied (for a little while) and their brain engaged. I need to get some more so i can rotate them.

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