Success stories of clingy pups who became possible to leave for a bit

(30 Posts)
ValedictoryMessage Fri 28-Feb-20 19:58:19

Got a v clingy pup, always follows someone round, barks if left in room on her own.

11 week.

She sleeps v happily in a crate in our room at night, we’re slowly moving her downstairs.

She’ll go t9 her crate or a bed for a nap or a chew but if she’s not asleep and you leave the room, she whines then starts barking. I’ve tried leaving for 30 seconds and coming back. Does this actually work in the end??

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Squirrelpeanutbutter Fri 28-Feb-20 20:00:56

Ours was like that. We just persevered with her. It takes time and patience and you have to be prepared to ignore them if they make a fuss. Eventually ours got used to being left and now she will take herself off to her basket in the kitchen and settle on her own.

talia66 Fri 28-Feb-20 20:30:08

My pup was exactly like this. I pushed it too far too quickly and we entered the realms of beginning of separation anxiety. So I have had to take a step back and he is improving all the time. I am in the group Dog Separation Anxiety Training Support with Julie Naismith on facebook and have followed the tips and training and so far so good. Although I am not saying your issues are this bad - you will get some great methods to use there.
Another good group for tips is the group 'Dog training advice and support' on facebook. That has training units and there are some great puppy units and it also tackles leaving you dog.

Fizzlestix Fri 28-Feb-20 21:18:30

5 months
Can be left for about 4 hours now (though we rarely do this, she’s regularly alone for an hour or two and perfectly happy)

Originally freaked out at being left, genuine panic.
Once we got over this, to just a bit of protest barking. I tried the 1 second, 2 seconds, 30 seconds thing but after a while to be honest we just had to leave for 5 mins / 10 mins etc. As we weren’t getting much improvement.
I found in the early days leaving the house was better. It was more about fear of missing out if I was upstairs possibly doing something more interesting!
She was fine alone in the house much quicker and for longer than if I was just upstairs.

I was always just sitting in the car for 5 mins or 10 mins, a couple of times a day, neighbours must have thought I was crazy.

GeraltOfRivia Fri 28-Feb-20 21:21:15

Oh my god ours howled and cried if left alone for a moment. Now I can go out for an hour or two and he's fine (I drop in on Alexa to check).

ValedictoryMessage Fri 28-Feb-20 21:49:50

I think it is FOMO, she isn’t bad but I can’t imagine leaving her she’s not v interested in settling herself and likes a lap or a leg to lean against.

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Fizzlestix Fri 28-Feb-20 23:17:07

We had to work on the self settling part first too
And make sure she was tired - at first I could only leave if she’d done training, played loads and been on a walk, eaten, toileted and was ready for a nap
It felt impossible to find times we could actually leave.

You’ll get there though, it’s so much easier now!


StillMedusa Sat 29-Feb-20 00:27:41

11 weeks is a tiny baby! Of course she wants to be with you every moment... you are her world! She's not being clingy..she needs you.

Mine didn't leave my side at all until she was about 4 months old, then gradually she didn't leap up the second I moved. Now 9 months she still follows me most of the time, but will potter off to do her own thing. She is never left more than an hour and a half though..we are gradually extending it as it's the easiest way to not have a dog develop separation anxiety...take it slowly (if your dog is a needy breed as mine is)

Parkmama Sat 29-Feb-20 00:41:19

I posted this exact same thing OP on a FB group earlier! I feel your frustration! Our pup is 18 weeks old, sleeps well in her crate all night but the minute I leave the room she jumps up and follows me immediately! I don't mind this, quite happy to have her follow me around but it's annoying when I think she could do the nap she might have just started!! However when I go upstairs she just stands at the stair gate whimpering and barking, this is a new thing she never used to do that. I think she knows I'm up there and it's interesting! It's hard though as I try not to return until she gives up, otherwise I'm reinforcing her behaviour but sometimes I just need to return downstairs and find myself hanging about upstairs listening to her getting worked up feeling stressed about the neighbours!! We leave her to do school run for approx 15 mins twice a day, sometimes in her crate or just sat at the window and she seems ok with that. Usually I hear her barking as I walk away down the road but upon our return she's always quiet. I can't imagine leaving her for an hour!! But I have faith like others have said, eventually she will grow out of the neediness and will do her own thing a bit more. HOPEFULLY!! Otherwise my house upstairs will look like a jumble sale forever!!

adaline Sat 29-Feb-20 08:55:26

Mine is two and still follows me around everywhere grin

But he can be left on his own now. What worked for us is building it up slowly and never leaving him before he'd had a good walk of at least an hour off the lead. Then we'd leave him with a long-lasting chew (stuffed hooves being the best, or yakkers) and the TV on, and go out.

We can now leave him a couple of hours this way. Luckily I'm a dog walker so he often comes to work with me - so he's rarely has to be left alone but it's very useful to know he can be. I tend to leave him once or twice a week anyway just so he's used to it.

Stellaris22 Sat 29-Feb-20 10:33:22

Mine is 1 1/2 years old and can be left alone for up to four hours, three hours is the max and that's quite rare.

She was terrible at being left and it took a lot of work, but it's definitely worth it. It's really important because if there's ever an emergency like needing to go to the hospital I don't want the worry of a barking and stressed out dog. It can be done, but it's not trained overnight and requires patience and consistency in training.

HarrietBasset Sat 29-Feb-20 11:35:26

Join the fbook group dog training and support, the modules are great. My puppy was velcro...literally, we played the flitting game daily and I never pushed her over her threshold, she's 6 months now and can be left happily for 2 hours at a time x

itadakimas Mon 02-Mar-20 11:52:45

It gets better.

Mine had severe separation anxiety (he still has it, but a lot better). Be very, very consistent in training.
I'd also give him a tonne of treats/things to do when leaving - I'd get him in the kitchen, close the stair gate, and then give him his treats; Kong, or Nitro or whatnot. Then run!

iVampire Mon 02-Mar-20 12:02:39

I don’t know if DPuppy has separation anxiety, or if she’s just pissed off/indignant when we leave her. I had to today (emergency dentist, took just over an hour)

Should I be leaving her for short periods more often, so she’s more used to it?

She was whining when I got back - have I set back her ability to cope, and if so what do I do about it, I don’t really need to leave her except for up to two hours twice a week, would like to extend that to 3 hours once a week, and number of days to 3 or 4

itadakimas Mon 02-Mar-20 12:19:06

@iVampire - mine doesn't have a crate (he's very big), we use the kitchen with a stair gate. I would put him in there and then potter around the house - at first he wouldn't be happy at that, let alone the humans leaving the house!
I'd then start leaving the house for a few minutes at a time, (even just hiding behind front door). I gradually built it up. Mine is a rescue, who spent the first part of his life in solitude, so he is not happy about being left.

If you have clothes that you've worn (and wouldn't mind potentially being chewed), leaving them in the room/crate may help. Also, Don't underestimate the value of treats!
If your dog cries/whinges/barks as you're leaving, I'd recommend completely ignoring them. Even a quick glance is giving them attention - something they're after! Again, when returning home, blank your dog if they're going crazy. Wait until they're calm before looking at them, fussing etc.

It's really difficult and takes time! I have a husky that would scream at being left. Fortunately I have nice neighbours.

iVampire Mon 02-Mar-20 16:06:42

She has a crate, which we leave open, in the back of the kitchen, which is blocked off from the rest of the house by a stair gate. Crate has bed, soft tight and DD’s sweatshirt for comfy (smelly) sleeping. I leave a couple of her safest toys, her water bowl, a piddle pad by the back door and scatter kibble as a treat just before I leave.

Good tips about not rewarding until quiet (she gets s highest ‘value’ one when I get back in)

She’ll settle in her crate at bedtime!

Thanks for the tip about ignoring fuss and just going.

Is it worth having a set ‘goodbye I’ll be back’ phrase (with a parallel ‘hello I’m back’ on return)?

I have left her a few times. I sneak up to front door and every time before today she’s been silent until she heard the key, I think it must have been the whining that bothered me and caused me to post!

itadakimas Mon 02-Mar-20 16:54:41

I'm not sure about a 'goodbye' phrase - at least not until she doesn't care about you leaving. If she figures out you're going, it might cause her to get worked up.
With mine if he hears the phrases 'Go to the toilet' (I have kids!), 'Get your shoes on', 'Get your coats', 'are you ready', he will start panicking and running about knowing we're leaving. We have to invent a new language almost weekly.
So I'd wait until she doesn't mind that you're going.

With the coming back thing - I've always thought that if you make a massive fuss of coming back (and it's easily done when you see your dog and their tail is going like crazy and they've clearly missed you), it puts emphasis on the point that you leaving was AWFUL! Does that make sense? (I'm not eloquent). There's some good training and behaviour vids on youtube that'll give you a better idea than what I can.

It sounds like you're doing everything right though. It is horrible hearing them cry, but it does get better.

iVampire Mon 02-Mar-20 17:18:07

I’I did clear the decks for her first weeks with us, but life can’t stop on puppy leave indefinitely! So I suppose now I’m going to have to harden my heart a bit and just do it

itadakimas Mon 02-Mar-20 17:41:02

Damnit, I was typing a wicked reply and phone went flat.

Nah, not about toughening up or anything, you're doing her and yourself a favour. What breed of pup do you have? Imagine her as a bigger, heavier, smarter adult (with a stronger bite), and think of all the not so pleasant behaviours you WOULDN'T want that dog to have!
Work on all of them now!
You'll appreciate your ability to leave her at times when she hits her teens wink

ValedictoryMessage Mon 02-Mar-20 19:22:16

She’s fine when sleepy. But will still drag herself out of her bed if I move....

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RedRed9 Mon 02-Mar-20 20:06:42

She’s only been in this world for 11 weeks and then moved to a whole new home with different smells away from her mum and everything she knows. Of course she want to be with you. You’re literally the only link she has to safety and love.

Don’t risk separation anxiety by pushing it too fast. It will get better.

ValedictoryMessage Mon 02-Mar-20 20:11:27

That’s what I want to know, that it gets better.

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gunners111 Mon 02-Mar-20 20:54:42

I agree that leaving the house is easier that going upstairs. I panicked that I would never be able to leave the house again when I first had my puppy as he would cry immediately if I even went into the next room without him but he eventually got used to it.

He would still rather be where I am and prefers company but has improved a lot

Glenthebattleostrich Mon 02-Mar-20 20:58:34

It does get better. Mine is almost 2 and she now takes herself to bed if I don't go out!! She makes sure I know she's not happy that I'm taking up her valuable nap time with my love and affection.

ValedictoryMessage Tue 03-Mar-20 06:54:39

Well she took herself off to bed last night. Frightful little bitey madam is morning though.

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