Is there anyone in your area who does home sitting? When I had to be away I had my dog walkers do the sitting for me. They took turns staying overnight with my boy, walked him in the morning, came back at noon for another walk, gave him an evening walk before staying over, and even slept with him. Not cheap, but worth every penny to me. You may have someone in your area who does this. (I would take him in a heartbeat but you are in the States and I am in Canada!)
I am giving him tons of love and commitment, etc. not 24-7 and he doesn’t enter the bedroom etc. he’s a dog. quite the condescending crowd.
I agree with 8 weeks was definitely too early. The dog will be fine. This is not an advice forum as fyi. Its a my way or highway column.
I have to wonder whether you researched the breed you have chosen? Basenjis, more than many breeds, do best when they are with their people, which would include in the bedroom at night. Sure, not every owner will do it that way, but you are likely to have less issues and a better relationship with your dog if you do. People on this forum are passionate about the breed. We don't all agree.....I have my own "agree to disagree" items with some people.....but I think everyone gives advice in the hopes that it will prove useful and make both you and your pup happier.
Certainly you can do things your own way, but there is a lot of experience on this forum so inevitably you will get advice you may not wish to follow or that does not work for your dog. I find that if I listen to everyone, try things that seem promising (and even some that don't, you might be surprised at what works), eventually I find solutions that work for me.
I wouldn't be crating when it's possible to supervise. Sure, encourage the pup to go into the crate, but don't lock him in if you don't have to.
When you say he is screaming when you leave the room, are you talking about leaving him in the crate, or leaving the room and closing the door to prevent him following?
"Classic puppy shredding"? This is the time to teach your pup what toys are for chewing and what toys should be played with gently. If the pup starts destroying plush toys, for example, take the toy away and replace with something meant to be chewed. Supervise play with toys that are easily destroyed. This will pay dividends when he doesn't rip up your clothing because he has been discouraged from chewing on cloth. Raising a pup is being intimately involved with him, being observant, giving direction, with the goal of having a pleasant companion. A pup in a crate is learning nothing. Use the time you are home with him to teach him how to behave. Use the crate for his safety when you can't be there, but with the goal of being able to trust him out of it, maybe in a "dog proof" room, but somewhere he can be comfortable, warm, and ideally able to see outside. It's early days, your pup is not used to being alone, of course he wants to be with you, especially when you are home and he knows you are there. Pups generally relax when they are able to be with you.
@mikesull, is the screaming happening because you are leaving him in the crate while you are in the house? Generally Basenjis do better with supervision but no crating while you are home unless absolutely necessary. When you take on a pup, you take on a responsibility to be observant, which is the fastest way to having a reliable dog. Shredding things or having accidents shouldn't happen when you are paying attention. That said, how do you react to the screaming? If you return while he is making a fuss, you are reinforcing the behaviour. You need to wait for a moment of quiet and reinforce that. If there are no moments of quiet, create one by making an unusual noise, e.g. knocking on the wall or some such, just so the screaming stops for an instant, then make your entrance. Be creative, be patient. This too shall pass!
I am not up to date on current rabies vaccines for dogs, but I know that in the past there was more than one formulation, as my next door neighbour's dog had an anaphylactic reaction when vaccinated and the vet made a note to use a different formulation for the next annual shot. In future the dog had no difficulties. There are known side effects to most vaccines. Aggression is not one I am familiar with, however, with rabies vaccination in countries that require it there isn't much choice. It would not be my first thought with an 18 month old dog showing aggression. Especially a Basenji objecting to being moved from a comfortable place.
@Zande, I agree and I expect we will be seeing a lot of dogs (not just Basenjis) ending up looking for homes once things get back to "normal". One thing people can do is to start now to accustom their dogs to being left alone. With a bit of foresight, this could have been accomplished by anyone getting a pup during lockdown. Making a habit of going out for a time, even if just to drive around the block and gradually increasing the time away would get the dog ready for what is to come.
I have dealt successfully with separation anxiety in two adults. The road to success for me was a distraction when I left (roller treat ball), a relatively dog proof room, no crate, the ability to see out, and room to move around a bit. Mine were worse if they observed me leaving, or indeed if I was outside and they could see me. Once I was gone, any destruction or upset was limited to the first few minutes, then the dog settled down. OTOH, if left crated there was full blown panic that lasted until I returned.
It's too bad doggie daycare doesn't work for you, as that would be a good solution. Alternately, you might want to get a dog walker to come once or twice depending on how long you are gone.
Well, the basics. Introduce away from home on neutral turf. Probably better to bring one into the household at a time. Generally puppies (you didn't say how old) will have "puppy immunity" initially, I mean an adult generally won't attack a pup but may snark and put them in their place. Let her do this as long as it doesn't get serious, she needs to assert her place as "boss". And make sure you give her more attention than you do the pups! I expect you will get some good advice from others here but based on my experience it is easier to introduce a pup than an older dog.
Charlie is adorable! A charming looking little fellow. Where do you keep the crate at night? He will adjust quicker if it is close to you in the bedroom. As far as the chewing goes, all pups chew. Now is the time to let him know what is "legal" to chomp on and what is off limits. When he grabs the wrong thing, say "no", take it away, substitute with something you want him to chew. Diligence now will pay dividends later. And be consistent! Have fun. They grow up so fast.
@mddebellis, I agree on the sitting with their back to you. Actually, it is possible to put a reliable recall on a Basenji, or at least on some Basenjis, but I would never rely on food because there is always going to be that time when the distraction is more compelling than the food. In my experience they usually want to stay in contact with you and don't stray too far, so in a relatively safe area off leash is doable, but the right distraction could cause them to take off and perhaps go far enough that finding their way back could prove difficult. That said, nothing is foolproof. Leashes break (or are bitten through!), get tugged out of someone's hands, etc. and I do find that a dog that is used to being off leash is safer when the unexpected happens, because they don't get all silly and start playing "keep away". So if possible it's good to give them some off leash experience, and work on a reliable recall, but not everyone has a good place to do that.
If you are in a secure place, the best fix for this behaviour is to ignore the dog and leave, or pretend to leave. Get in your vehicle, perhaps. Then when they want in, make a show of eating something they like and keep them out for a bit. Attitude adjustment!
It is funny, but not so much when their safety relies on a prompt recall.
I should also add my Basenjis have access to a 80 X 100 foot yard with a chain link fence. But I never leave them out when I am gone in case of severe weather.
Be aware that some Basenjis see chain link as a ladder. Maybe yours do not, but one of mine could go up a six foot chain link fence in no time at all! Board is safer, with the support cross planks on the outside, not the inside. The buggers do like to climb!
I've seen this with Basenjis comfortable on the couch, never in bed unless.....and this is an important unless.....they perceive that you are about to deliberately move them from a comfortable place. If moving them only consists of you repositioning yourself and in the process shoving against them so they are pushed out of your way (with your body, not your hands) I think they are more willing to accept it. This may not be true for your girl, but are you using your hands to shift her?
Personally I would probably show her the error of her ways by a loud "no" and immediately and forcefully kicking her out of bed or off the couch and not allowing her back if she tried to return, until some time had passed. "it is my couch/bed, and you get privileges only when I allow it". And make access to bed or couch only on your invitation, not otherwise. "Nothing in life is free". 18 months can be a time for testing you as leader. She is growing up. She needs to learn it is your house and all privileges come from you. If she behaves badly, she loses those privileges. Possibly excluding her from couch and bed for a period of time is what is required to send the message, and that means all the time. Get a scat mat if need be, and keep her off the furniture even when you aren't there.
I've had five and they are all different. The cat thing fits for most, but beyond that.....some are needy but aloof, which seems to be a contradiction but it's common. They like to ignore you but don't like to be ignored. My first boy was very, very sweet. In the words of my breeder friend, the boys are sweet but the bitches are such bitches! True, often.
I hope to hear actual experience rather that theories or opinions.
Other than the last reply above, you aren't likely to get many people who have experience with this because most Basenji owners would not leave their dog in the garage. In theory you might think it is kinder, but Basenjis like to see out, they like to be warm, and they like to be part of the household. You might want to experiment with a "dog proof" room in the house, somewhere that is light and preferably where your dog can see out. Alternately you might consider doggie daycare or a dog walker to help you out.
when you do something that displeases her, she will no doubt give you the famous Basenji "cold shoulder" which consists of sitting a little ways off, but still in your sight path, and turning her back to you, but periodically looking over to her shoulder to make sure you realize you are being "ignored.") It's a riot.
My boy Sunny did this when we left him at a kennel for the weekend. On our return, when they brought him to the reception room he took one look at us, turned his back, and sat down. A Basenji will definitely let you know when you have crossed the line with them!
@tanza, absolutely. No doubt Basenjis can excel at nose work, just not too many people who own them are into that sport.
Actually, I meant to add that once upon a time people did hunt with Basenjis. An excellent section on hunting in Susan Coe's book "The Basenji, Out of Africa to You" describes hunting both birds and small game with Basenjis, and makes it clear that they hunt by scent as well as sight, even pointing, flushing, and retrieving birds. Sadly, not many people seem to be doing that kind of thing with them these days. What is interesting is Major Braun's description of training a Basenji for the field. He suggests that by the time a pup is four months old it should be solid on basic commands "sit, stay, and come, promptly and happily in a field situation". He also recommends teaching "whoa", to "stop the dog, steady him on point, preventing him from flushing the bird and to teach him to honour the point of another dog". There is also a bit on Basenji Field Trials, which apparently used to be held in Minnesota back in the day. There is a detailed report on a trial held in June of 1980. This comment was interesting. "When a Basenji is given a chance to hunt, he will prefer hunting over any other thing."
Seem obvious when you consider their origins. I also note that in the section on training the only reward mentioned was "Good Dog" and gentle fondling. The recommendation was for "firm but loving discipline and plenty of praise" to turn out a willing and obedient dog.
when I see people talking about dogs that are good at scent work, even outside the hound group, the basenji rarely comes up.
True enough, but consider that the Basenji is a relatively rare breed, and not known for obedience either, although there are some titled dogs out there. Which proves they can do the job, but they would not be most peoples' first choice for that challenge. Most of the competitions offered by various groups for different activities are not all that difficult for the dog. OTOH, for the trainer it can be more of a challenge, and Basenjis can be a challenging breed.