Leaving puppy, seperation anxiety?

(7 Posts)
Marne Wed 16-Jan-13 09:22:43

We have only had him a few days so i knew leaving him would be very upsetting for him, i have spent hours trying to get him used to the crate, he's happy to play in there but not so happy to sleep in there, i have to crate him as i cant leave him with my other dog (too early to trust her with him). Yesterday he was poorly and spent the morning at the vets and got very upset, dh was home for the school run so didn't have to crate him.

Just left him to do the school run and he howled and howled sad, he does the same if i just leave the room (gets very worked up), a part of it is that he knows there is food on the other side of the stair gate as dd2 let him out and he sniffed out the fridge, so when ever anyone goes into the kitchen he cries and howls.

My question is, how do i get him used to being left alone? i am making a fuss of him when i get in and calling him a 'good boy'. How long should i leave him for at a time ? (obviously i have to do the school run every day which is 30 minutes). Will he just get used to me leaving him and realise i am coming home? and how long will it take?

My other dog was quite bad when she was a pup and is now fine being left, i dont want weeks of howling or my neighbours wont be happy.

I am no expert as our is our first dog!! However, our puppy is fast asleep in his crate while I work in the office this morning, I also popped out, he's been there two hours now so I will go into the kitchen soon tbh, not that he knows!

However, don't make a fuss at all when you go back. Ignore if possible, put the kettle on, put down the shopping etc. Only acknowledge when puppy is quiet. You are encouraging calm behaviour in the crate, it's no big deal etc.

We feed our puppy in there and cover with blankets at night (although he prefer to see us during the day but goes in to sleep and this might help him with day/night differential anyway?). Lots of toys in there, chews etc.

Initially, I threw loads of treats in, clicked, treats clicked, treats, closed door, opened again, clicked. Moved a step away with door closed, treated if calm, step further etc, went out of door, came straight back in, out/in etc. Treats, clicked, treats clicked etc.

It also helped us to move any other forms of bedding in the room (ie a piece of vet bed) so he had only a nice cosy place in the crate.

It did help I think that we were all around for Christmas and then, when he did need to be left, he was very secure in his environment and knew we were always popping in and out and he didn't need to worry. Although, that could have gone the other way I guess and I did worry about this so did the above.

I don't close the door unless I need to leave him though, he's free to go in and out as he pleases.

Experts will be along soon!

Sometimes I don't get him out for 10 minutes if he's happy, to show it's no big deal!

Lastly (!). When he does get out, especially in the morning when I am busy, I have a mat that he goes to that I tap twice, he lies down and gets a chew/bullytick/pigs ears etc. I just need him to be calm sometimes, even though he's only 12 weeks and a puppy!

Hope my ramblings have helped!

Marne Wed 16-Jan-13 12:13:18

Thank you, have just been doing some clicker training with the crate and even managed to get him to stay quiet whilst i shut the door, will keep going with it in hope he will learn to stay quiet in there.

Another thing, how do i teach him not to snatch the food when doing clicker training, my fingers are now soar from needle teeth, even if theres a slight smell of food on my fingers he grabs my hand.

He now has a bed (carboard box) in the kitchen so he can come in with me, have been getting him to sit nicely in his bed whilst i cook/wash up.

He is deffently intrested in training if food is involved grin.

Marne Thu 17-Jan-13 12:28:09

Seperation anxiety seems to be getting worse sad, this morning i filled up his kong with some chicken and rice, by the time i got the kids out the door he was howling very loudly (could here him outside), got home and as soon as i got in he continued to howl and cry getting really worked up, i tried to calm him down before i opend the crate, rewarded him for being quiet and then took him outside (where he did his first outside poo), he then settled to sleep by my feet but as soon as i get up to go the loo he wakes up and the howling starts again when i leave the room (stair gate inbetween us). I then had to crate him again as i had to get some shopping (snow on the way tomorrow so needed to stock up on a few things), so i left him a little longer, again he howled as soon as i went out the door and before i even touched the door when i returned i could hear him howling. He's now folowing me around and wont leave my side. How long will this last?

I have to leave him agin later to do the school run (20 minutes), do i leave him in the cage howling? do i try him in another room (maybe put a gate on the kitchen and leave him in there)? do i cary on with the cage in hope he will settle?

He's doing great with everything else (has wee'd and poo'd outside today after taking him out the crate/cage and is responding to clicker training). How can i make him less clingy? i'm starting to think i should have called him 'shadow' as wherever i go he's there behind me smile.

Help!

Hi Marne,

Sorry, I don't have any answers for you but thought I would bump your thread as other who know lots will be able to help! smile

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