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Early onset puppy blues!(17 Posts)
I am on day 4 of having 8 week old puppy in the house and I have no idea if I am doing it right!
Any tips of leaving them alone?
Currently she will settle in her crate, be placed in her crate and spend time in her crate either sleeping or watching me mooch around. However, if I leave her when she is roaming the kitchen/living room, even to go to the toilet or grab my charger, she whines and yelps and howls. We cant even managed 30 secs.
She is currently in other room in crate, happily sleeping. But if shes playing, if I go make a brew she has to follow.
I have 2 weeks till I need to leave her for short periods. How can I ensure she will be Ok?
How long is short periods? Can you plan what you can do if it’s too much for her to be left?
She’s still a very tiny baby and has just gone through a huge upheaval, leaving everything and everyone she’s ever known, so it’s perfectly normal and natural that she wants to be with her primary care giver all the time.
You need to teach her to be comfortable being left at her own pace, done properly it should never involve her crying/howling/barking or being in any distress at all.
I’d highly recommend joining the FB group Dog Training Advice and Support. In the ‘Files’ section there’s a really fantastic guide to crate training which also covers making sure your puppy is happy being left alone.
How long will you need to leave her alone for? Ten weeks old is still very, very young and she may not be comfortable being left for that long at all by then. It would be a good idea to arrange someone to come and be with her (if taking her with you is absolutely not an option), either a friend/relative or a dog walker/pet sitter who offers puppy visits.
We have a pup with severe separation anxiety. Hired a behaviourist to help us, the advice given was to keep leaving the room just for 30 second or so, don't acknowledge the dog before you leave or when you return. Completely ignore. It shouldn't take too long before they calm down and stop barking when you leave.
If when you are out of the room the dog stops barking etc... come back in immediately with lots of praise and treats etc..
They don't understand where you have gone or if you are even coming back, so lots of in and out will show them it's totally normal for you to leave and you will be back. They will get there in he end.
@purpleboy that’s awful advice for a dog that has true separation anxiety. It won’t teach them to be calm. Just panic quietly. Until they can’t cope. And then the problem is twice as bad as it ever was.
You need to ensure the dog doesn’t cry or become distressed. Never leave it longer than it’s happy with.
Don't know if this is the best advice but I have two older dogs and a puppy who's now 8 months. I just let them follow me if they want to I don't shut the doors and they all just wonder around as they please. I use to get escorted to the toilet but I just ignored her no strokes or conversation and she soon got fed up.
I think you're being a bit optimistic thinking that you can leave a ten week old puppy alone for long and it's going to be okay with it.
Some puppies of certain breeds haven't even been taken from their mothers at ten weeks.
How long is .short periods'?
If course the puppy will follow you , dogs are social animals and want to be with people ie mans best friend . What’s the problem with her following you about .? I know people who use crates will probably disagree with me but IMO there is far too much emphasis nowadays on being able to shut a puppy in a cage as an aid to toilet training and leaving them alone .
To be fair wolfiefan its worked perfectly, we just kept going out one door and straight back in through another, into the toilet, shut the door, then open it and come out. No fuss no eye contact, within about an hour of us constantly doing this he stopped whining we started praising and have not had a single issue since? Certainly no long lasting damage as you claim.
How do you suggest ensuring the dog doesn't become distressed and cry?
How long will you need to leave her?
Do you have a backup plan if she isn't happy on her own for short periods by then?
I found baby gates great for getting them used to you being away from them as they can initially see you if you potter about on the other side and then gradually build to to being out of sight.
@Floralnomad - I totally agree with you. We had puppies as long ago as I can remember. No domestic dog owner used crates in the 50s and 60's (and possibly even the 70s). I really don't know when it became acceptable to treat a dog like a pet rabbit and shut in a cage unless you are interacting with it. Alright, I know most people use crates responsibly, but an awful lot don't . I have known people who feel it's acceptable to crate a dog while they go to work, and then crate it again overnight. It is so wrong to expect a dog to spend many hours a day in a small confined space.
Op, your dog wants to be with you. It's a baby and needs your companionship. My dog followed me everywhere as a puppy. However, in her own time she started going off on her own and I'd find her in a patch of sun in another room, or see her mooching round the garden. She was only ever in her crate for safety reasons (because they are a real trip hazard when you're cooking!) or for nap times when she got tired (and tiresome) and bitey. Your pup will become independent, but it takes time, and dogs vary so much in temperament you never know how long this is going to be.
I do tend to agree with Floral too. My grandparents raised generations of mild mannered dogs from puppies from the 40s to the 90s. Crates weren't invented. The dogs could be left as necessary and the antique furniture does not have a legacy of chew marks.
There is a part of me that wonders if some dogs fear being left alone in part because they associate it with being locked in a tiny cage.
I can understand that some dogs like having a crate as a den to retreat to when they want some peace and quiet, but I think the same effect can be achieved by having a bed in a quiet place and leaving the dog alone when it goes there. I know PestDog wants peace and quiet when he sits on the second sofa, for instance, and respect that. The second you close the door to the crate it goes from a den to a cage, because the element of choice has been removed.
I also can't see the problem in letting a puppy follow you around - they're seeking security and really need to find security in their humans at that age. Adult PestDog sometimes follows me around the house and sometimes takes himself off to another room for hours at a time, because he has the choice. On the occasions when I've had to shut him away in a room even only quite briefly (largely during his phase of hating visitors), he's been desperate to be out and be with me because the choice has been removed. He's not a dog with separation anxiety; he can be left for far longer than 4 hours when needs must without issues.
My hamster lives in a cage that is literally twice the size of some crates that are sold for small dogs.
My parents dogs (talking over 30 years ago) did eat the house when they were left. God knows how they lived so long and didn't have any obstructions .
@purpleboy what you describe may well work for a normal pup. But not a dog with separation anxiety. They can’t be left. Not to start with. You need to allow them to be close to you until they develop their confidence and their anxiety levels drop before slowly working at their levels. Leaving a dog alone that has true separation anxiety is like trying to treat a spider phobia but dousing someone in spiders.
We used a crate overnight. And whilst she napped or we ate. It was that or have her put herself at risk. But we never left her alone in it until she was happy.
How long do you plan on leaving her? Most dogs won't want to be left alone at all at 10 weeks old!
I found that if I let the dog follow me around (within reason because when you are toilet training you need to keep the area they are in quite limited otherwise you are going to go mad dealing with pee and poo everywhere - ie in bedrooms) after a few weeks he actually became super confident and went off by himself exploring bits of the house and garden and didn't need to be with me every minute. It is a bit like a toddler really. Once they know where YOU are, they become quite adventurous.
The best place to practice free ranging is the garden. So when they pee in the wrong place, it is n't ever the wrong place, and you can lavish praise on them.
It is such early days. The more attention you give puppy now, the more confident he will be later. And as you say, he is asleep in his crate for a lot of the time, so the rest of the time he needs your full attention. could you establish a sleep routine so you know just when he is sleeping and when he is awake - ie times of day you can leave the room and times you need to hang around with him. I had a routine which was every two hours AT LEAST(at 12 weeks - so at 8 weeks he would be sleeping more frequently) I expected a long sleep. I sat next to the crate at first, and then I was able to leave him in it when he slept in a different room. That took a few weeks.
I agree that it is always worth letting dog roam around [limited space, like a kitchen and corridor area] when it is not asleep. If you shut dog in a crate when it is awake and playing it isn't learning to cope with you coming and going or experiencing the environment fully. But you have to baby proof the environment or have a very large puppy play area fenced off with baby gates. Very quickly puppy will find the confines of that den too small for everyday stimulation, which is why you are the most interesting thing. A bit like leaving a baby in its cot or a playpen too long.