Well we would be using it as an aid to relieve some of her separation anxiety…we purchased one, as we've pretty much tried everything else and will do whatever it takes to help her feel confident when left alone. So far we've only tried it on her a few random times (so she doesn't associate it with us leaving), but as soon as it is on she lies down and falls asleep shortly after. Will be interesting to see if it is as effective when she's alone.
Yes, she eats in the crate and we put treats in there randomly throughout the day, as well as meat-stuffed bones chained to the inside (so she can't run off with the bone outside the crate.) She has the run of the downstairs while we are home and sleeps in her dog bed in our bedroom at night.
On a side note, when we give her a really tasty stuffed bone or bullystick outside the crate she acts crazy! She runs around aimlessly with it in her mouth while howling. What is with that? It is comical, yet slightly annoying! I wonder what she'd do with a bullystick IN the crate?!
We are very interested in trying out the Thundershirt for Mowgli's noise and separation anxiety. Has anyone tried this on their basenji yet or know of anyone who has
had a good experience with it? We are also unsure if we should order a small or
medium given the difference in the neck and chest of a basenji. FWIW we have a female who is 22 pounds.
Well, as an update, we decided crate training is the only option, as Mowgli tends to be too mischievous to be left alone to roam. The training has gone at a very slow pace and we still take her to doggy daycare if we are going to be gone for awhile. Today we left a mat in there with her and she tore it up, completely ignoring a peanut butter and meat stuffed bone. For those of you who had to crate train anxious dogs, did you continue to leave your dog in the crate each day despite destruction in the crate? Back to trying to figure out something to leave in her crate for her to rest on when she settles down. Any suggestions? We are also still interested in trying the "thunder shirt," but have not yet. On a good note, she loves the baby and gives her lots of unsolicited kisses!
Oh we can relate. We used to have to walk Mowgli 20 minutes to a wooded trail 3-4 times a day. When road construction made it nearly impossible to cross the road before and after work, we decided perhaps she'd finally pee/poop in the yard if it was fenced and there were less distractions. So after a week of building a privacy fence, she is still somewhat picky unless she really has to go!
So during this crate training process when is it ok to close the door? I feel Mowgli will be onto us once the door is shut and then be even tougher to coax in the next time. I get that we should start out with very short increments of her being in the crate with the door closed, but how do we know she's ready? I also understand that we should be not open the crate until she's calm, but will she actually sit quietly when she sees us right there? I guess this is more geared toward B owners who have dealt with severe separation anxiety. As you have experienced, it is a challenging and painful issue to deal with on it's own, made even more complex with now trying to make an already anxious
dog comfortable being alone in a new, smaller space where she will not get to watch squirrels out the window or roam at all.
I appreciate that opinion as well. It is our worry and why we are having such a difficult time deciding how to keep her safe when we leave the house. It is tough knowing that we might have to learn the hard way that the crate is not the answer. We sure wish it could work, as the damage in the house has to be contained at some point. We even considered getting her a companion, but obviously with the baby due tomorrow that would have to be something to look into long term. We also have heard that sometimes dogs with anxiety agitate the other dog causing both to act up when left alone?
It is good to know there is still hope in crate training and that she can hopefully gain confidence and see her crate as a happy place. Now she just wait (nervously) for the door to close and we havent even gotten to closing it part yet. She is somewhat unpredictable and we will definitely worry that she will do damage to herself should something unexpected happen while she's in there and we are not home (like the fireworks issue or thunderstorms.) I guess that will go away with time?
Well, we have never left Mowgli in the room while one of us is home. When we are home she has free run of the home. She usually chooses to sleep on the couch, chew bones under the dining room table, go outside in the fenced in backyard (that we constructed basenji-proofed just for her) or follow us around. We rescued her at 15 months. She had been on several meds prior to this and we hoped to ween her completely. Our goal from the start was to crate train her but our highly recommended behaviorist suggested using the room while we attempted training. She suggested that if the room worked out not to worry about the crate, as some dogs simply cannot be crated. Her words, not ours. Since up until recently she had no issues in the room anymore we didn't focus on the crate. Now we realize that the crate is going to have to be the only option and were just looking for advice. We initially worried that she would kill herself in the crate. (She came to us with large gashes in her legs and the tip missing on one of her ears…we can only imagine her past experiences.) When we first
adopted her she wouldn't go in the same room with the crate in it. Now she eats her meals in there, goes in for "get it" treat games and we chain a meat stuffed bone in there (so she cannot grab it and take it elsewhere). She has come a long way already. We were just worried that the crate would only complicate her anxiety and traumatize Her more. We've done a lot
of research and truly everyone has a different opinion. We are just looking for any solid advice, knowing full well it will take even more trial and error. She is an amazing little dog
and we absolutely love her, even with the thousands of dollars worth of destruction and attempted remedies. We genuinely appreciate those of you who know where we are coming
from and have offered suggestions. Thank you very, very much,