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new pups separation anxiety, help!

(9 Posts)
ladybella Fri 23-Dec-16 12:38:18

Hello, long time lurker but I've just joined today as I'm after some advice on how to help our new 15 week old pup!
We picked her up last Thursday and she's been brilliant during the day, well behaved and toilet training is going well with just the odd few accidents when we're with her but as soon as she can't see us or even if she can't get to us (on the other side of a baby gate as it's open plan downstairs) she cries and barks hysterically and loses control of her bowels! It's worse at night/if we have to pop out as we have to pop her in the crate and it's a huge clean up job once we go back to get her out and I'm pretty sure the whole street can hear her crying sad
I know it's only been a week but she gets so upset it's breaking my heart, and it's just not practical to have her upstairs with us during the night due to space and taking her with me everywhere during the day isn't possible. She eats her meals in the crate and will sometimes go to sleep in there during the day on her own accord but the problems happen when we're not there, any advice would be appreciated!

arbrighton Fri 23-Dec-16 13:41:55

You have to train her that it is ok.

That means you start by leaving her for just long enough to shut the door then go back. Build up the time. She won't have been on her own before and understand that you are coming back. Of course she panics.

Make sure you toilet her before leaving her but don't expect it to just be ok.

And you may need to sleep downstairs with her for a few nights too.

TrionicLettuce Fri 23-Dec-16 14:08:28

I'd recommend having a look on the Dog Training Advice and Support FB group. It's an excellent resource and separation anxiety is something that comes up on a regular basis.

There are some articles in the 'Files' section which may be of help to you, particularly this one about separation anxiety and this guide to crate training.

You need to get her used to being alone very, very gradually. If at any point she becomes distressed then you're moving too quickly and need to go back to a point where she's comfortable. This includes night time so if she's unhappy sleeping alone you'll need to have her near you until she's more settled and is comfortable enough on her own for you to start moving her to where you want her to sleep long term.

Getting her used to being left doesn't have to start with you actually leaving the room, as covered in the above article you can start by giving her something to do then completely ignoring her for the duration. You can then ever so gradually start to move further away, then just step out of the door, then nip out of sight for a split second and so on.

Do you know if whoever you got her from had started training her to be alone and whether they've been socialising her properly?

Wolfiefan Fri 23-Dec-16 14:15:37

Trionic. Thanks for the FB link. Off to have a look. We have a pup with separation issues too.

ladybella Fri 23-Dec-16 15:57:12

thank you for the links!
and she was the last one left in the litter and was kept with her mother for most of her time, and on the evenings she was taken into the house and was around another dog and their family before coming home with us, she's very sociable on her walks and even stops walking and pulls towards anyone who walks past looking for a stroke and has been great with the other dogs she's met too, it's just when she's on her own, but thank you both for the advice!

Wolfiefan Fri 23-Dec-16 16:00:46

Mine is very well socialised. She came from a large litter though. She seems to have decided I'm her person! She sleeps well and alone. The issue is when she's awake. I'm working on wandering in and out and around the room she is in. I don't go back if she whines. Just when she is quiet. (Sometimes I make a noise. She's quiet. Then I can slip in.) Don't make a bit fuss when I leave or enter.
I figure she's just a baby and we will get past it. I just want to do it slowly and not have her get upset and anxious.

GinIsIn Tue 27-Dec-16 17:15:58

We spent a long time helping our dog to overcome her separation anxiety. First we'd pop her in her crate with a chew whilst we left the room for a minute, then lots of praise when we came back. Then we built it up to 5 mins, then 10, then 30, all whilst we were just in another room. Then we started actually leaving the flat, just for a few mins at first, and built it up. Then once she was happy for a while, we worked on first leaving the crate door open, then eventually leaving her outside the crate with her chew. Now as soon as the cheapy key rustles she knows she gets a reward and is actually pleased to see the back of us!

GinIsIn Tue 27-Dec-16 17:16:43

By cheapy key I mean chew packet!!

BiteyShark Tue 27-Dec-16 17:22:34

With my puppy I did a bit of separation training every day but straight after he had had a pee and a poo so I knew he was comfortable in that regard. The crying almost broke my heart at first but he did settle and each time it got better and I made sure I never made a big fuss leaving or returning and now he is happy to sleep if I leave him with a stuffed toy. All I can suggest is to keep at it for short times and then increase it as they get more used to you coming and going.

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