Morning Routine

It has been a while since I lasted posted on here. Life has been busy! However, things have been going really well for me & Dallas. Well…except one thing...

We actually moved into a house back in May. The house has a huge fenced in yard, which Dallas adores. We have had a standard morning routine since moving. I get up at 5:30am & let him out. He stays outside until I let him inside for his breakfast. After eating, I put him back outside to go potty before being crated all day.

Lately he has not been following our routine whatsoever. :mad: For the past month or so, he has been refusing to get out of bed. I have had to carry him to the back yard. Then, after getting outside, he has decided to stop coming inside. Have you ever tried catching a basenji in a backyard at 6am? Yea, it ain't easy! I obviously cannot leave him outside all day & thus, he has made me late for work more than once!

On the off days where he actually does come inside on his own, he won't eat his breakfast. Actually, he never eats his breakfast anymore. There are days lately where I haven't even put him outside prior to leaving for work because I know I don't have time to try getting him back inside. I have tried taking him into the backyard with a leash to get him to go but he refuses to go potty that way. I only have so much time I can stand in the backyard in the morning!

He has been trained to be in his crate during the day since I brought him home at 9 weeks old. He is given toys in his crate to play with during the day. I give him treats whenever he goes into his crate. I just don't understand why he was accepting of his crate for so long & now he refuses to come in the house knowing that is where he's going to be put. :mad:

Do any of you have suggestions???

I'm about to just go get a tie-out & use that instead of giving him free range of the yard every morning. Although, I don't believe that would solve the no eating in the morning issue...

To me it sounds like he's upset about something. I run into similar issues every now and then with my B. Sometimes he refuses to follow me to the door so I can put his leash on to take him out in the mornings, resulting in me having to play games with him so I can get him motivated to go outside. And like you've mentioned, he won't eat some mornings.

Maybe it's just a Basenji being a Basenji, but it easily could be something that has upset him.

Good to hear things are going well for you and Dallas! 🙂

About your routine, I would still put him outside in the morning, so he can run around a bit before being crated. Maybe you can plan in some quality time before he has to come in the house? Maybe go for a small walk together or play a nice game? Of course with some really nice treats to be earned 🙂 (Or just his breakfast..) I think he really dislikes the fact that you are leaving him and this is his way of making sure you hang around a bit longer 😉
Would it be possible to keep him in a certain room in the house without crating him? Maybe that will help him to accept that you are gone, but he will still have room enough to 'do his thing' (as long as that's not destroying things… ;))

Tillo actually did this before going to bed.. :rolleyes: First I thought it was quite a funny game to catch your B.. but one night I was really tired.. and well.. I didn't find it very funny then.. I decided to leave him downstairs untill he would give up and do a nice puzzle with treats once upstairs. It has worked wonders.. Tillo now walks to the stairs after his last walk and cries (new behavioral problem ;)) because he wants to go upstairs..

About not eating his breakfast.. I would give him 5-10 minutes.. If it's not eaten by then.. well.. new chance for Dallas in the evening..

I walk mine for 30 minutes in the morning first thing at 4:30am, then feed. For the first month I had him I crated him while I was at work but now leave him in the yard all day with the crate out there, with the door open under a shade tree. Why can't you leave him in the yard during the day? He sleeps all night then with no exercise he has to stay in a crate all day? No wonder he's not hungry and is probably frustrated and wanting to stay out in his new yard.

If putting him in the yard is not working, do you have time to give him a walk instead? Mine get a morning walk, they enjoy having that time with me and/or my husband. They also enjoy participating in our morning routine like being able to lick wet toes when you get out of the shower and catching some morning rays of sun before we leave which our backyard doesn't get in the morning.

I also wonder how is overall energy level and his appetite? You say he doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning nor does he want to eat his breakfast but how is he when you get home in the evening? It could be that a vet check is in order if he seems to have a significant change in energy and appetite.

If it is just his morning meal, try a Kong with his breakfast in it. You can mix it with a little yogurt and pumpkin and then give it to him in his crate. If you think the crate is the issue, can you give him more space like an ex-pen or gate off an area like the kitchen.

Along with what everyone else has said…the only thing I would add is don't chase him out in the yard...make him come to you - easier said than done at first. Pick a really high value treat to get him to come to you. Do you have any food item that he just never gets, but absolutely loves? It might take some trial and error to find exactly what that treat is.

That was what I did with Aaliyah - she is such a player, that it was always a game when I wanted her to come in - no way I can catch her. Found some freeze dried chicken treats and voila, Liyah instantly comes to me. The other thing I did was leave a busy buddy and/or squirrel dude with breakfast kibble and some other special thing stuffed in - peanut butter, cream cheese, pumpkin, that sort of thing. Now she waits for me at the gate. She knows she gets the treat at the gate and then the treat when she gets in her crate.

It doesn't sound like just kibble or his dog food is going to work - so up the ante.

Oh, and I second what lvoss said about the walk...could you maybe walk him (even 15 minutes) and then leave him in the yard until you are ready to go to work...then lure/reward with the treat.

How old is Dallas? Maybe low thyroid.

Should it not be health realted. Could it be that Dallas is one very smart Basenji knows when to act up and when not to. Like a 2 year old I can stay out longer today because no one is leaving. You just wait until you have to go I just will not come into the house. I love it life is grand.

Rita Jean

@lvoss:

If putting him in the yard is not working, do you have time to give him a walk instead? Mine get a morning walk, they enjoy having that time with me and/or my husband. They also enjoy participating in our morning routine like being able to lick wet toes when you get out of the shower and catching some morning rays of sun before we leave which our backyard doesn't get in the morning.

I also wonder how is overall energy level and his appetite? You say he doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning nor does he want to eat his breakfast but how is he when you get home in the evening? It could be that a vet check is in order if he seems to have a significant change in energy and appetite.

If it is just his morning meal, try a Kong with his breakfast in it. You can mix it with a little yogurt and pumpkin and then give it to him in his crate. If you think the crate is the issue, can you give him more space like an ex-pen or gate off an area like the kitchen.

I suppose I could get up and walk him in the mornings. It's just difficult because I already get up at 5:30. I work in DC & have an hour plus commute from the suburb I live in. I do walk him in the afternoons when I get home. Those have been less frequent lately with summer storms coming through every evening.

Energy wise, he is fine when I get home. He darts out of his crate, ready for our walk. I let him run in the backyard after our walk for a little while. Then, typically before bed, I will chase him around the house, play some fetching or something similar to really wear him out.

I think it's more that he just doesn't want to be crated during the day. My roommate won't let me leave him out during the day though. She does not just laugh it off when he has detroyed things. He did rip a hole in her new carpet & well, he's lucky we are even still living at the house! Haha. A kong put in his crate is a really great idea. I will have to try that!

@nobarkus:

How old is Dallas? Maybe low thyroid.

He will be 2 in Nov. I do believe it is him just being a stubborn basenji who doesn't want to get put in a crate all day long. He's fine in the afternoons when I get home.

@nobarkus:

I walk mine for 30 minutes in the morning first thing at 4:30am, then feed. For the first month I had him I crated him while I was at work but now leave him in the yard all day with the crate out there, with the door open under a shade tree. Why can't you leave him in the yard during the day? He sleeps all night then with no exercise he has to stay in a crate all day? No wonder he's not hungry and is probably frustrated and wanting to stay out in his new yard.

I just don't trust him in the backyard all day. I truly believe that if he really wanted to get over the fence we have, he could. I worry that leaving him out all day will just be too long unsupervised & if he escapes, he'll be gone.

He does get exercise. While I have the yard, I do walk him in the afternoons once I get home from work. I also chase him around the house or play some games with him. He just doesn't get much exercise in the mornings.

@Ninabeana26:

I suppose I could get up and walk him in the mornings. It's just difficult because I already get up at 5:30. I work in DC & have an hour plus commute from the suburb I live in. I do walk him in the afternoons when I get home. Those have been less frequent lately with summer storms coming through every evening.

Energy wise, he is fine when I get home. He darts out of his crate, ready for our walk. I let him run in the backyard after our walk for a little while. Then, typically before bed, I will chase him around the house, play some fetching or something similar to really wear him out.

I think it's more that he just doesn't want to be crated during the day. My roommate won't let me leave him out during the day though. She does not just laugh it off when he has detroyed things. He did rip a hole in her new carpet & well, he's lucky we are even still living at the house! Haha. A kong put in his crate is a really great idea. I will have to try that!

Your roommate won't let you leave him outside? Why not? Aren't you sharing the house. He can't hurt anything outside, correct?

I think she said that her roomate wouldn't let her leave him loose "inside"… she didn't want to leave him loose outside....

Is there no way to confine him to only one room???

With mine, they have access to the yard via a doggy door and to the dog room (climate controlled) indoors.... so mine can come and go as they want. My opinion is that since they can get to both areas, they have never tried to get out of the yard, but then again we have 12' privacy fences, locked gates, and houses that are set pretty far away from each other, as it is a very old neighborhood

How high is the fence? Is it low enough for him to jump over? Can he dig under easily?
How about getting a dog run set up in the backyard?

@nobarkus:

How high is the fence? Is it low enough for him to jump over? Can he dig under easily?
How about getting a dog run set up in the backyard?

I believe he could jump over it. He hasn't yet, nor shown any desire to try. However, I'm not convinced that if he didn't try he wouldn't be able to clear it. I just don't want to take the chance. I could put in a dog run. Although how expensive are those usually? I cannot really afford anything too expensive.

I think that he loves that new back yard and as you said, he is protesting spending the day in the crate. Before he had the yard, it was not an issue, now he has seen an option!

A short morning walk, then time on a tie-out (so you aren't chasing him), then into the crate with a kong, hopefully he will get the new routine. More high quality, high energy time in the evenings, which you said have not been as regular due to weather.

good luck!

Gossy started doing something similar a couple of months ago (and it would really frustrate me too being late for work). But then I decided to get up an extra 20 minutes earlier (5:15 now), let her outside if she wants or just let her be, while I'm getting ready, then I take her for a short walk to make sure she poops and pees. Letting her do what she wants inside or outside while I was getting ready then taking her for a walk seemed to do the trick.
When I'm ready to leave for work, I leave a toy with kibble in it (keeps her occupied for awhile), a frozen marrow bone, and a special treat biscuit.

It figures that the first morning I decide to get up early & walk him for a few minutes, it's down pouring! :rolleyes: Ah, summer weather.

He did go outside to use the bathroom & came inside immediately when called. I know this was due to the rain though. Haha. I gave him his breakfast in a kong, mixed with some peanut butter. He went into his crate very easily after sniffing the kong for a second. Hopefully this continues 🙂

I will start walking him for a few minutes in the mornings, when it's not down pouring of course 😉 I am hoping that helps him burn a little energy before being stuck in his crate all day.

Thanks for all the advice!

Houston

I just saw this thread so I am late but wanted to give my 2 cents worth..how about testing him on one of your days off, to see how he does in the backyard all day. Meaning leave him there on a saturday/sunday at least for a longer period of time, maybe not all day, and see if he acts as if he wants to tear out of there.
Maybe the kong thing worked out though..

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