Re-training old dog for crate

Have had a basenji rescue for about 10 years. Got him as a rescue when he was about 10 months old, and crate trained him.

Until recently he spent half his nights in the crate and half upstairs on his bed at the foot of our bed.

About a month ago he started throwing absolute fits in his crate… cried, whined, tore up his blankets, bumped and crashed around. He did this a few nights over about a week. Then I stuck him in his crate in the garage [we're in a very warm climate] and my wife couldn't take it and we brought him upstairs.

I poked around in his crate several times to see if there was something in it getting at him [bugs, a spider?] and nothing.

We've gone through about 2 bouts of this on a much lesser scale in the past 7 years. He spends just a bit too much time upstairs at night and then whines a bit when stuck in his crate. But in those instances he's quieted down pretty quickly and gotten used to his crate. This time seems to be different and his acting out is way off the charts for him.

Trying to figure out what is going on here. Anyone have this happen to them when an older basenji who previously likes his crate decides it isn't for him any more? It has typically been his safe place… he goes in there when he doesn't want to be bugged by us [e.g. me playing my acoustic guitar too much] or when he knows it is time for a bath…

Also trying to figure out of he deserves to spend the last few years of his life upstairs on his bed at night rather than downstairs in his crate? Any votes? He has been and is generally a great dog and an especially great rescue.

Curtis

Curtis, my vote is to get that b on the bed or in a dog bed in the bedroom with you all. Also, if he is good in the house, put the crate in the garage, and let the dog have the couch.

Wow, why he not deserve to spend his golden years in bed with his humans? All of my elders did… even when they were in renal failure and could not hold their urine at times.. including getting up every 3 hours, waking them up to go out to pee... or if they got up by themselves, waking up to help them back into the bed.

And IMO, his crate should be were his humans sleep, that is were my pups sleep when they are being crate trained... in the bedroom with the humans. The get bed time early morning and before bed time... and as they get older will get split bed nights and crate nights, but will be in the bedroom

Houston

I agree with both "votes", let him sleep in your room, if he isn't a bother.

We have three dogs, the largest being a small moose, Moses, he loves to sleep on the bed next to our bed ( his crate is in our den, where he spends his day time naps if he feels like it), the other dogs sleep in their respective "owner's beds..i.e the kids'. The dachshund with my son and the schnorkie with my daughter..when we get out next dog..my basenji, it will be crated in our bedroom, they are part of the family after all.

I second what Sharron said. If he has been that wonderful a dog I think he deserves his last years being special. Maybe he is trying to tell you that in the only way he knows.

First Basenji's

Another vote for sleeping with the humans!

Also, Curtis, if this seems to be a sudden change of behavior for him, I wonder if he has been recently checked by a vet? 10 years is getting up there in age for a dog… Of course, you know your dog and his home situation the best, but if there was some sudden change in my pet's behavior that I couldn't trace to environmental factors, I would also be searching for any internal/medical condition that might be causing the sudden change. Maybe he is acting out due to some physical discomfort or other sense of unease?

And yet another vote for sleeping with the humans. We tried to crate our puppy when she first came home, and it resulted in no success and a lot of broken baby teeth. Neither of mine are now crated, they sleep wherever they want, usuallly with us, and they have always been fine overnight. IMHO, in his elder years, if your dog is really getting anti-crate, I'd just ditch it entirely. At his age, I doubt he'd be destructive, and obviously he wants to spend most of his time with you.

Thanks for the votes (which came out as our dog predicted) and the suggestions! Our dog is way too much of a bed hog to spend all night on the bed with us. So he'll probably get to at least be on his bed rather than downstairs in the crate from now on. Moving the crate upstairs is also an option we are considering, but by the time we do that, might as well have him stay on his bed…

By the way, I don't believe it is some physical/internal issue... have discussed this with the vet...

Thanks again,

Curtis

I find that when my b's get older, they get more clingy..they follow the humans around, they want to be right by them and they take comfort touching them.
I have an older b and I treasure these times…I will call on these memories, in my mind, when my beloved boy passes...until then, if he wants to be where I am I am good with that.

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