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Experienced dog owners, please tell me how to get puppy used to sleeping on his own in the day!!

(7 Posts)
FoxesAreFabulous Fri 19-Aug-16 19:49:49

Hello lovely dog owners! I would really welcome your advice please. We got our Miniature Poodle puppy in July and he is now 14 weeks. He is absolutely lovely and is doing brilliantly with his training - apart from one thing! We cannot leave him in a room on his own during the day for even a few minutes, as he starts barking and whining if the door is shut, or follows us around if it's open.

At night, he sleeps in his bed in the puppy pen in my room and is as good as gold, sleeps for 7 hours without a sound (apart from slurping his water which I always hear as I'm a very light sleeper!!). During the day, we initially intended to have him in the pen in the sitting room but he hated it and would eat any food we gave him in there then immediately start whining and barking to come out. We spent the best part of a week trying to get him to spend even tiny amounts of time in the pen or sleep in there but after a stunning lack of success, we had a rethink! Now we have set up his bed in the kitchen - which is where we intend him to be when we have to start leaving him for short periods - and put a baby gate on the kitchen door. We give him a kong with sardine in it and close the gate, and then take turns going in and out of the kitchen.

He is as happy as Larry while he's eating but as soon as he finishes, the whining starts and rapidly becomes barking if left. My daughter and I are currently coming out of the kitchen for 2 seconds, then going back in, pottering for a moment or two then coming out again. We take it in turns to do 10 trips each, for the best part of an hour twice a day, but quite honestly it's knackering! I'm happy to continue if this is the right thing to do, gradually increasing the time. and I know it won't be a quick process but would really like some advice about whether this is the right way to go? We did a lot of reading before we got him and I know he should be having all his daytime sleeps in his bed in the kitchen. The problem is that although he does sometimes eventually fall asleep in there while we are to-ing and fro-ing like a pair of lunatics - at which point we then leave the gate open for him to find us when he wakes up - the minute he does wake up (which is after no more than 15 mins max) he comes straight out. If we leave the gate closed, he starts barking and whining again.

I am slightly frazzled by this as there doesn't seem to be much improvement - I go back to work on 1st September and although my mother has offered to dog-sit for us to start with, I think if she has to be with him from 9am - 4.30pm on her own every day, the novelty will quickly wear off!!

Please tell me how I can get him used to being on his own and sleeping in his bed rather than on the sitting room floor, which is where he will choose to park himself if left to his own devices! Thank you!!!!

insan1tyscartching Fri 19-Aug-16 21:09:10

You wouldn't be able to leave a puppy for seven and a half hours on its own regardless so think you really need to sort out some sort of care for her for September regardless.
Does it matter if she sleeps on the floor? If he's happy to be left asleep on the floor then surely that's all that matters. I think Eric was about a year old before he actively chose to sleep in his bed, he slept on a rug near my chair, on the sofa, on the back of my chair, on the window sill wherever he fancied tbh.
We got him used to being left alone by building it up gradually and by a year he could be left for two or three hours and now he can be left for four but don't if I can help it because he likes company so one of my dc have have him instead.

FoxesAreFabulous Fri 19-Aug-16 21:25:17

Hi insan1tyscartching
Thanks for your message! We would never leave a puppy for that long, the idea is that when I leave for work, he will be able to be left for up to an hour (with this then increasing over time), just to save my mother having to come over at sparrow's fart! I will then be back at lunch time for 45 mins to give my mum a break and she is at my house in the afternoon anyway as she looks after DD after school. Tbh I don't really mind if he sleeps in the sitting room as long as he settles but we seem to have the same issue there as he gets up as soon as someone leaves the room and follows us out. We do shut him out of the bathroom and bedrooms, except when he is put to bed at night, and he does now accept this without fuss but is to be found lying right outside the door when we come out! So he can accept being shut out of a room for a while but not confined to one.
I know we'll have to build it up gradually but it seems very slow going and rather demoralising at the moment. We just want to help him to realise that he is fine on his own and wanted to be sure we are doing all the right things

insan1tyscartching Fri 19-Aug-16 21:37:10

It is a long process though, Eric followed me relentlessly for months and still does although if he's asleep he doesn't bother. Have you tried actually leaving the house for a few minutes? That was how we helped Eric learn to be alone starting with five minutes and building up from there. I think if they know you are there it's harder for them.
I used to give him a treat, leave the house, wait a few minutes and then go back in but didn't make a fuss when I walked in.

FoxesAreFabulous Sat 20-Aug-16 10:36:42

We haven't tried actually leaving the house yet - will give that a go today. Thanks so much!

Anyone else??

Ames84 Tue 23-Aug-16 08:18:37

You are allowing him to be with you all the time, so when he is without you, he isn't happy.
My dog had separation anxiety, which was made worse by allowing him to sleep in my room. He actually improved when he wasn't allowed to be with me all the time, he learned that he was ok on his own. Have you spoken to a dog trainer? I didn't realise I'd made the situation worse by allowing him to be with me all the time until I explained his behavior to the dog trainer. By returning to the room when he make a noise, you might be teaching him that making a noise gets you to come back. Have you started puppy training classes?

Ames84 Tue 23-Aug-16 08:22:32

Just want to say, dog training can be difficult, I'm not an expert, that is just what I learnt from my dog trainer. Alfie got to the stage where he was even coming to the toilet/shower with me. He was banned from coming upstairs and things did improve but it takes time.

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