Greetings! It's been a long while since I've been on this forum. I'm remembering how much I loved the conversations here and am glad to be back.
What's brought me back is that I would love some advice with a tough situation. My husband and I have a 5 year old Basenji, Lola. We've had her since she was one. She's always had separation anxiety, but in the past we've been able to slowly train her to be used to our absence for short periods of time. Over the last couple years, we've been lucky because we lived with my parents in Seattle who have a yard. That was a dream. We recently moved to at apartment in the Bay Area and our daily lives have changed a lot. Lola's SA symptoms have been worse ever since. When left alone, she chews and cries much worse than ever before. She has chewed window blinds, carpet, door trim, etc. It's getting expensive and frustrating..not to mention heartbreaking to watch her get so unhappy.
We hadn't used her crate in a few years, but now we're pulling it out again and working on crate training. She had been doing well over the last week. She could happily chew on a kong treat with the crate door closed while we were home and would occasionally hang out in the crate. Now that the holidays are over my husband and I are starting work and school again, so we have to leave her alone for 4-5 hours a day.
The problem - this is where I could use some help - is that she's not ready to be left alone in the crate. We crated her yesterday and she cried, peed, chewed her water dish and just generally freaked out. This causes her to backslide, understandably, in her crate comfort level. We even exercised her for two hours (1 hour walk and 1 hour at the dog park) in the morning. I left her with her kong, which she only gets int he crate, and she ignored it. That's SA sympton, I believe. Has anyone out there found way to crate train, while still leaving their dog alone? Today I'm trying a "Happy Traveler" capsule. It's an herbal calming remedy and might help.
Any advice or thoughts are welcome! Thanks in advance.