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My personal behavior challenge with Basil

As a veterinarian, I have lots of experience with dogs!  I love them.  I live with them.  I work with them.  And I thought I understood a lot about their behavior until Basil became a member of my family.  But all individuals are different and my beagle is no exception.  I adopted Basil as a rescue at 8 weeks of age, and she immediately made it known that she was a special needs kind of puppy.  I was unable to put her in a crate.  And house training a puppy, as well as keeping it safe, without a crate is a 24 hour a day challenge.  Not only did she hate it, but she had a complete panic attack.  I, too, had a panic attack and placed an emergency call to Laurie Luck at Smart Dog University.  

With her help and encouragement I started training.  Very, very slowly I was able to get Basil to walk into the crate for a special treat, and then to go in for her meals.  I worked to close the door and have her sit quietly in the crate as long as I stayed in the room beside her.  And finally I was able to move to the opposite side of the room and even out of sight.  It was a long 6 weeks before Basil was able to be left home alone for even 1 hour.  

It’s been a year now.  Basil runs to her crate as soon as I get out her special yummy kong.  She is comfortable staying home alone for 6 hours or longer.  And she will seek out her crate for a nap when she is really tired.  I am still unable to crate her at anyone else’s house so vacation or travel is extremely difficult.  Basil, her anxiety, and her comfort are a work in progress and hopefully her 2 year report will be even better.  Anyone experiencing similar struggles can contact Kingsbrook Animal Hospital for sympathy and support! 
By Dr Adrienne Cardella

PS:  Basil is super cuddly and we love her like crazy!!


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