Clingy puppy - separation anxiety

(22 Posts)
Snufflesdog Sun 15-Dec-19 11:18:10

Just looking for any tips on how you got your ddogs happy being alone for short periods

We’ve had her a few weeks and like I was told from day one leave her alone a second with a treat, come back, get her used to be alone in small manageable chunks.
However at an absolute push we can do 30 seconds before she starts crying
And even in those 30 seconds she just waits for us to come back and looks worried!
Also this depends on what mood she’s in, sometimes even a second is too much
She won’t even sleep by herself during the day (at night she takes herself off to her crate no problem)
And barriers also seem to be a problem
I spent ages working on getting her in her pen, making it fun
Sitting in there with her etc.
She will go in for a treat but as soon as it’s finished she cries. I’ve tried treats like kongs that last longer but she’s too stressed to eat them.
I can be literally standing at the pen stroking her and she hates it. Same with any other baby gates etc even if she can still see us.
Or even in the car if she can’t be on us she cries, and when I’m on my own that’s just not safe or possible.

Everything I read online is about building up time by leaving treats, but after 3 weeks there’s been no improvement so I must be doing something wrong.

I know she’s only a baby but at some point she’s going to have to be alone for an hour or so, or at least long enough for me to get a shower!! I’d rather start working on this now, than wait until it’s urgent and then have to just leave her!

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MaryLennoxsScowl Sun 15-Dec-19 12:05:04

How old is she? What breed is she?

I don’t think I can help because my puppy was just the same!

HarrietBasset Sun 15-Dec-19 12:19:43

My puppy is 13 weeks (miniature dachshund) and much the same, she can be distracted by food or a licky mat but not for long. Ive been desensitising her by picking up my keys then not going/'putting my coat on then not going/ opening and closing doors etc. She's terrible if we are upstairs and screams at the stairgate. I've a camera and film her for a few minutes whilst sitting in the car, sometimes she's ok for a few minutes and others she cries. Its really hard and I have a behaviourist on board now but am assured it will improve with perseverance and as she gains confidence. Are you doing the flitting game?

MaryLennoxsScowl Sun 15-Dec-19 12:32:06

We were also advised to try putting a strong-smelling bone/stuffed kong in the hall or another room and letting the puppy go find it, so they choose to be away from you. With a real raw bone I can leave my puppy for half an hour without him fussing. I have to say that it hasn’t translated into him being happy to be left for 5-10 minutes without a bone, though. We are now having another concentrated effort at leaving him alone and he’s improving slowly, so I think we may have tried too young to begin with.

MaryLennoxsScowl Sun 15-Dec-19 12:34:15

I mean he’s better at being left completely alone in the house - he still hates being shut in one room while we are in another room in the house.

Snufflesdog Sun 15-Dec-19 16:16:27

She’s only 11 weeks, I’m not expecting to leave her for long periods, just things like her not needing to be on the exact same seat as me.

Doing the flirting game, she follows non stop for however long I do it, except occasionally when she runs straight to do something she’s now allowed to do and never normally does. Like pulling the curtains - obviously she knows I’ll come running and be less keen to leave her in a room alone again biscuit

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Snufflesdog Sun 15-Dec-19 16:21:17

@HarrietBasset I don’t think picking up keys will even matter as I’ve not even attempted to leave her in the house alone.

Since I can’t even get her behind a baby gate or in a pen and non of the rooms are easy to puppy proof, I’m going to have to go back to basics on that I think

Maybe I did start too early and expect too much

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HarrietBasset Sun 15-Dec-19 16:58:27

Whst about in her crate (is she crate training?) with the pen I sat next to it with puppy in it and gave her a kong and reassured her then gradually inched away until i could be sat on the sofa and her in her pen just for the duration of the food. What breed is she? x

Snufflesdog Sun 15-Dec-19 17:38:22

She’s a terrier
I’ve tried sitting in the pen - fine
I step outside the pen - not fine
Even if I’m stroking her whilst she’s in it

She is crate training
Runs on n out happily all day
Takes herself off to bed there at night and sleeps happily all night

Cries the house down if I try to shut the gate on it during the day
Even if she’s asleep, she will wake up and cry

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HarrietBasset Sun 15-Dec-19 18:13:34

Is the crate in the pen? is she ok with crate door open pen door shut?

Snufflesdog Sun 15-Dec-19 18:42:44

Crate isn’t in the pen
I’ve been scared to mess with the crate tbh and risk her hating it by association
But I think that would be a good idea to try tomorrow

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Snufflesdog Sun 15-Dec-19 18:53:17

Have just put the crate in the pen
With the best toys
And a delicious chew
And walked away
And she’s ok!!!!

I don’t want to speak too soon
And I’ve obviously not fixed the situation
But i could cry with the improvement

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yasle Sun 15-Dec-19 18:57:43

She is a teeny baby. I had not picked my terrier up by this age - got him at 12 weeks. I wouldn't stress at the moment. 3 weeks is a long time to have had an 11 week small breed for and at this stage, I would not try to push this.

HarrietBasset Sun 15-Dec-19 19:02:44

Whoop! Sounds promising. Fingers crossed. Mine was happier in crate in pen, so door open on crate but shut on pen. Still can't leave her for more than 5 minutes but its progress!

Snufflesdog Sun 15-Dec-19 19:43:06

Yeah it’s crazy
She’s in n out the crate now
I think maybe she likes the security. I’m likening it to being sat in the middle of the restaurant is never as nice as a cosy corner booth

I’ve thrown all the best toys in there and keep throwing in the best snacks and she’s still in there!!

@yasle she’s actually fairly big! I feel like it would be more irresponsible to not help her gain confidence on her own
At some point she’s going to have to sit on the passenger seat alone in the car, or someone who dog sits may want to go for a wee without her watching - since unfortunately I’m unable to quit my job and all other activities including medical visits, grocery shopping etc to stay home 24/7. I’d rather enable her with the confidence to be comfortable for those short minutes, now whilst I don’t have to push her too far. I’m of course not trying to leave her for a couple of hours unattended at this point or any time soon.

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Mummacake Sun 15-Dec-19 20:15:06

We cover our pups crate when it's bed time. She does cry but she settles after a few minutes. During the day we leave her for 10 minute stints or I won't get anything done!! She still cries but it is getting better. She's now 16wks

Boristhecats Sun 15-Dec-19 22:00:51

They are still tiny at this age. And they will follow u everywhere. And then one day you will suddenly realise you managed to go to the loo on hour own.

Girlintheframe Mon 16-Dec-19 05:47:17

Sounds like your doing all the right things!
Pup is very young. Our Ddog was the sane, very cling. I used to worry that he wasn't getting enough sleep as every time I moved he would follow me.
Things massively improved as he got older and more confident. Can't quite remember how old he was but think around 6-8 months when I suddenly realised he hadn't woken and followed me room to room.
Now he is 18 months we can leave him no problem for around 3/4 hours. Though he is still pretty much a Velcro dog.
Just keep doing what your doing and in time Dpup should be fine. Some dogs are just more clingy than others.

StillMedusa Mon 16-Dec-19 16:34:36

Mine was the same..and it's only in the last month (she's 7 months now) that I sometimes realise she hasn't followed me every time I move.
I wouldn't force it.. she's a tiny tiny baby and you are her source of comfort.
I 'flitted' and she flit with me ! I thought I'd never get to pee alone again but I can now. Some days she still follows me everywhere, but others she follows me for a bit then potters back off to the living room. Don't hurry for her to separate from you because if she becomes more anxious it will take longer in the long run.

*mine won't let me have a bath in peace still... she has to sit by the bath and check I haven't gone down the plug hole!

Snufflesdog Mon 16-Dec-19 18:17:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Snufflesdog Mon 16-Dec-19 18:19:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Snufflesdog Mon 16-Dec-19 18:22:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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