Alone training

I need some advise as to how to get Gizmo to get used to being alone when I leave my appartment.

He has his own room now, and I had a babygate in the doorway so he doesn't feel closed in. However, he can now escape by jumping and then lifting himself up and over the top! :eek:

So I now have to use the door and close him in.

I have done some reading, and there are so many different approaches. Some suggest 30 minutes once a day, some say 1 hour. Others suggest short multiple attempts a day.

So, how about you guys? What would you say is the better way?

Gizmo cries a LONG time. Yesterday I had some stuff to do in the city, and was away for 2 hours, he was still crying when I came home…sigh...

I am thinking maybe I should close the door, while I am home and wait until he stops crying and award him when he does. Do this several times throughout the day.

Feedback? Ideas?

Houston

I would start with leaving him, while you are home, in a room seperated from you, for short times, and progress to longer. Then I would take short times away from him throughout the day and praise him when you get back, focusing on praising how good he is for not crying and wimpering..

Are you sure he cried the whole time, or did he maybe start crying the minute he heard the key in the door..That is what my dogs do, I have even left a taperecorder on to see if it is the whole time, and it isn't. They end up falling asleep or playing, but the minute they heard my car in the drive way the crying started.. Sneaky little guys..

Good luck..

@Basenjimamma:

I would start with leaving him, while you are home, in a room seperated from you, for short times, and progress to longer. Then I would take short times away from him throughout the day and praise him when you get back, focusing on praising how good he is for not crying and wimpering..

Are you sure he cried the whole time, or did he maybe start crying the minute he heard the key in the door..That is what my dogs do, I have even left a taperecorder on to see if it is the whole time, and it isn't. They end up falling asleep or playing, but the minute they heard my car in the drive way the crying started.. Sneaky little guys..

Good luck..

Yes, short trips away. I always leave good treats for Buddy when I leave, which is for 9 hours. Cut up chicken breast and a treat I buy at the store. He runs out the back door excited to get it. I'm lucky in that he does not cry when I leave. I walk him too for thirty minutes before. You could leave the radio on a talk show type station. How old is Gizmo?

I gotta agree with Basenjimamma on this. They are fakers when it comes down to it. That said, also, short trips, give much praise when home, then leave again.

All that being said, and fabulous advise it is, My first guy was in a wire crate for about 8 years because I was never sure I could trust him. I come home from work one day and he meets me at the door!!!. I walk into my apartment wondering what destruction to expect and there was none!!! He had not done any…thing that you might expect a basenji to do. From that point on I left him out in my one bedroom apartment everyday with no problems. "Course his best doggie friend around was a Basset Hound" maybe that relaxedness had a bit to do with it.:)

Basenjimamma is right on … that's exactly the technique I've used with all my dogs when they first arrived. One thing I would add is to not make a bid deal when you leave the room/house. You don't want to get Gizmo's excitement level up as you leave only to find out he's now alone. Leaving treats hidden in toys and under his blankets, etc. helps to keep him occupied. I also leave a frozen bone (marrow bone or one with frozen yogurt/peanut butter/kibble) or a frozen chunk of meat in one the the kong style toys. Something to keep him occupied while you are gone. Then don't make a big deal when you return either, just act normally.

I just ordered a Buster Cube, so maybe that will help to keep him occupied when I leave.

So far I have been leaving the house every morning for around 20minuts. Just a quick walk to the store to buy some breakfast.
I will try the keeping him in his room while I am home, but I think he will know I am there are cry longer. But we shall see.

Houston

Buster cubes are great, I think he will like that.
Yes, try it out and see what happens. they always seem to know how to get mom or dad to jump though hoops though, so when you are around or even when he thinks you are around, he probably will be more whiny..

I even trick my dogs (or so I think) by actaully closing the door as if I left, then I sit down with a book or something super quiet to see how the do, they usually end up playing and falling asleep after a while..but if I lock them up, while they can here us, oh my gggrr, they are horrible, Otis his famous b whinning, Moses ( the Podengo) with his loud bark and the Schnauzer mix with her ear numbing schriek of a bark, it is like a circus in there.

We have actually started to look them up while we eat, mainly because Moses, doesn't even have to stand up on his hind legs to steal food, he almost reaches by just walking by (he is tall and sneaky too)..and it is a mad house for the first 5 or so minutes, but they are learing and calm down quicker each time..

Good luck, keep us updated.

Okay, this is my "game-plan".

I was thinking 20-30 minutes alone with each meal, since he does still get meals 3 times a day this should give him a good number of times a day to get used to it. I have always fed him in his room, only now I close the door as he eats.

The only "danger", I can think of is he might start associating his meals with being left alone.

What do you guys think?

Houston

I think you have a great plan. A lot of people feed their dogs seperated or alone, some in their crates others in a different room. I think he will be fine..

That's a tough call…

I had posted back a while when Liyah was home about a month about her not eating...this is the link:

http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?t=5686

Granted, things are different in my house because I have 2 adults. But I found that by only associating eating with her being left alone, Liyah wouldn't eat.

Otherwise, she was great in her crate…and pretty much always has been. On occasion, she'll cry, but mostly she is content with kongs, squirrel dudes and Dental Dinosaurs. I can leave her with her meal now, but when she was a baby, she wouldn't eat.

Things aren't going very well. Actually, I think he is getting worse.

I decided being alone with every meal was not a good idea, it didn't take long for him not wanting to go into his room to eat. So now I feed him with the door open, and with me at home. Instead I just leave at "random" times.

He claws at the door constantly now, and yesterday I think I see blood in the markings. And one of his toenails is far more red than the others. Looks like he managed to scratch down to the blood spot in his nail (I forget what that area is called).

So I went back to using the baby-gate, I increased the position of it so he can't jump over (he has managed to jump and lift himself out), or crawl under. The increase in height didn't work at all, also it looks VERY SCARY what he is doing on the video, I think there is a risk he could hurt himself.
This is filmed this morning when I went for my breakfast run to the store: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheNerdyDogOwner#p/u/0/0m6Wn2pqbyk

So I am a bit stumped. I don't want to use the baby-gate anymore, that's for sure. It works as long as I am home, because he acts like he can't get out, but once I am not there he goes for the jump! The door and listing is starting to look very bad, and I know the more he claws at it the bigger the chance is it will start to splinter, which will most likely result in giving Gizmo a bad splinter.

How about two baby gates, stacked one on top of the other…

We figured if ours ever learned to get over the gate that is what we would do.

@ComicDom1:

How about two baby gates, stacked one on top of the other…

We figured if ours ever learned to get over the gate that is what we would do.

Take it from one that has actually uses this set-up - it doesn't work 100%. Liyah will either scale both baby gates or will body slam the lower one a couple of times 'til she eventually gets thru. Once the gate is body slammed the first time, if it holds and isn't reset immediately to its original position, the next slam is usually enough to do the trick. BTW, we're not talking cheap $10 gates.

The only way for me to 100% stop Aaliyah is an actual door. :rolleyes: If I see her actually make a move toward the gates, if I say her name as I see her picking up speed toward the gate, she will look at me and it throws off her timing. She is super responsive to looking at me when I say her name - part of her training that paid off. The problem comes when I'm not watching her - but isn't that always the problem :rolleyes:.

The one thing in our house that we are still amazed at - Brando was the one that broke his leg - and we have a kamikaze like Aaliyah. Besides scaling double dog gates, she dive bombs off the tops of chairs to pounce on the other dogs when they are playing. It isn't dull in our house!

It almost sounds as if Gizmo is starting to get separation anxiety. Have you tried going back to crating him (use a bigger than usual size)? You might have to contact a behavior trainer (but find one that has worked either with basenjis or sight hounds).

Yeah, that's what I am worried about..

But I would think being in a room would be more comforting than in a crate. His crate is pretty big (Size Medium: 76x54x61 cm), and I do keep it in his room as well.

Hm, maybe I should go back to the crate and have him in it while in his room?

What a great escape artist! 😮

I've owned different breeds, and now only owned a Basenji for 3 weeks and from what I've seen with my Benji if there is somewhere he can not get to, he simply just wants to get there. Basenjis are real funny that way. He has not figured out how to get down wooden stairs to basement and it just kills him that he can't. Too funny.

Anyway, I had a baby gate blocking stairs to the 2nd floor. It worked a few days, then I came home and the bunji cords holding it in place were chewed off.

Due to stool problems (switching foods) I had confined him to a room (laundry room) for a few days just until he's stabilized. Yesterday I came home, my underwear were on the floor, he had chewed his brand new retractable leash in half, opened the closet door and pulled down some hangars, chewed some of my daughters crocks, and clawed the door frame like mad.

I somehow think these little guys just want to feel free and know that they are not confined. My Benji just HATES when a door somewhere is closed even though he does not want to go in there.

In your case, if he is being super destructive to your home or himself, you need to crate him and go from there. Crating is not a bad thing, you can make it very warm and cozy as if his bed. You might even want to make it is permanent bed and leave it open when you are home so he just sleeps there.

Good luck no matter what you do!

Here is a great article on crate training. Maybe it will help you to get Gizmo more comfortable with being in his crate and ease his anxiety when he has to be alone.

http://askdryin.com/movies/CrateDogLR.pdf

Oh, suddenly there is life here again.

I have started to use the crate instead of having him in his room when I leave. I think I should get him to settle down in the crate before moving up to the room.
Gizmo doesn't mind the crate, and will happily be in it even if I lock it. He goes in there himself to chew on bones etc. It's just when I leave the appartment/room the problem arises.

I have ordered Homeopet Anxiety, but it takes a long time to get here. As well as D.A.P. spray to use in his crate. I am hoping they will help.

If he likes his crate, I would work with that. Make sure he spends more in it while you are visible and also while you're in another room. You can also get DAP as a wall plugin - which I think is better than the spray as it is emitted constantly and consistently.

Some dogs view the crate as their personal little safety zone. The crate is a small area that, to them, is like the den wild animals use as home. Perhaps the smaller area is more comfortable to Gizmo than being left alone in a large room, like a newborn baby who feels secure when snugly swaddled. It is not cruelty to crate a dog if that is where he is comfortable.

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