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Just taken in a dog and need advice

(6 Posts)
busyprocrastinating Tue 02-Aug-11 21:29:33

hi, I have just taken in a 8 month old lab and as a virgin dog owner I could do with some advice. So far she seems to be settling well, is great with dd, walks well on lead and eating well.
However she is really clingy. When we went to bed last night she cried and howled and pooed at the door until we let her upstairs (I really wanted upstairs as a dog free zone but not as much as I needed my sleep last night especially as dd is teething as well) anyway everytime I have gone upstairs today she has been the same and pooed and did two wees at the door, despite the fact I'd only taken her out a minute before and I was only gone long enough to nip to the loo.
Can anyone give me advice? She came from a loving home so hasn't been mistreated in the past

MotherJack Tue 02-Aug-11 21:56:25

I am not an expert by any means, but my experience in this is that she might well have come from a loving home, but now she has been removed from that loving home and is probably experiencing separation anxiety.... she has no idea that she will ever see you again when you go to the toilet as she can't see you anymore.

I think that you need to absolutely ignore her on your return from the toilet, silently clean up any mess... no telling off, no bad words... no huffing... nothing and do not pay her any attention until you have cleared it up and/or made yourself a drink (or whatever) and then pay her attention. It IS very hard when they are wagging their tails furiously at you and trying very hard to get your attention, but you have to do it.

I personally wouldn't have a dog-free part of the house as I think that dogs need our company, and to be shut away from their family on their own for all those hours at night must be hard on them. Each to their own and all that, but I would ask you to ask yourself why you feel you need a dog free zone. I love the sound of my dog snoring from the foot of the bed/somewhere under the duvet when it's cold smile.

busyprocrastinating Tue 02-Aug-11 22:30:13

Thanks. Seperation anxiety makes perfect sense when she has been moved. I will do the ignoring (though it is very hard when she is all giddy that I'm back) and hopefully given time she will feel reassured and not be so clingy and upset.
Have you any tips for leaving her in the house alone and how to make it easier on her? (she won't be left for long periods but I return to work in a couple of months- but even then it will only be for a couple of hours when my and dh work hours overlap a couple of times a week)
My main concern about the dog free zone was that she might get into dd's room when I am not around to supervise. However I might have to rethink that- especially whilst she is settling in. I can easily ensure that she cannot access dd's room but still has access to us.

CoffeeIsMyFriend Tue 02-Aug-11 22:34:32

start off slowly, tiny steps. Shut the door for a minute, go out, come back, ignore. Increase your time from 5mins upwards in 5 min increments until you can go out and in without the dog bothering. It is tricky but persistence is key.

Have you considered crate training?

I have stair gates in my house in the dining room - hall and from dining room - lounge. The dogs can come in/out but only when I say so. Also I have upstairs as 'dog free' that is the cats place. grin

busyprocrastinating Tue 02-Aug-11 22:38:47

Thanks coffee. Small steps make sense as well. I try to ignore her if she has made a fuss whilst I've been upstairs, but have been fussing her if she was calm. Should I just ignore her each time so that I'm not making a deal of it?

MotherJack Tue 02-Aug-11 23:40:12

Yes, ignore her every time you walk back into a room where she is, whether she makes a fuss or not... I would say.

In terms of leaving her for a couple of hours, I agree with Coffee. Whilst you have the time to do it, you need to go slowly. Walk out the front door for a minute. Walk back in and do not fuss her until you have got in, made a drink or whatever. Build it up gradually to 2 mins, 5 mins and so on. Go out the front door, come in the back and vice versa. Never fuss on return. 2 months seems a lot, but you do need to start now if she is showing anxiety smile

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