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Thread: Separation anxiety - Both ME and my puppy

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Separation anxiety - Both ME and my puppy

    Hi everyone -

    I have a 10wk old Golden Lab and am getting ready to leave her again for our (used to be) ritual of meeting on Monday nights for dinner with a large group of friends.

    Problem is that Eva (my puppy) follows me or DP everywhere throughout the house and the backyard and the first time I left her - for approx 5 mins to walk a block to buy a newspaper - I could hear her yelping the whole time.

    Second time was this Saturday - DP and I went shopping for 2 hours and she managed to perform a Superman jump, squeeze her body through a tiny slit and was gone when we came back. Thankfully tradies were working on the house across the street on a Saturday and after going ballistic trying to find her, my DP (who was about to have a coronary) thought to ask the guys if they saw her. Sure enough, she was in the unfinished house and acted like a zombie for the entire rest of the day/night, refusing to let us out of her sight.

    If I have a shower, she's there. Leave the room while she's passed out in La La Land, she's there. It doesn't help that I work at home I know, but I've tried the 'leave her for short periods and gradually increase it' method and she still freaks out.

    It's starting to cause ME separation anxiety. Am I being unreasonable to expect her to cope with being alone for a couple of hours at a young age or am I just the world's worst puppy trainer?

    ANY advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Shari

    Last edited by BloominRoses; March 23rd, 2009 at 05:06 PM. Reason: My friends are starting to think I'm a right nutter so please send any help my way!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Forestville NSW
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    Default

    Ahhhh I can understand, while you are definately not the worlds worst puppy trainer, your puppy is just confused by the amount of attention she's received.

    Often times these pups come into our homes and we lavish attention on them while they are still very young, than we start to venture out and they get totally confused by it. Often times when I hear of this degree of separation issues at a young age I suggest crate training. This is getting them used to the crate, and you start out while you are in the room with her. And then you do things like have a shower while she's in the crate, pop out for 10 minutes etc.... just get her used to being in the crate and feeling safe. You can pop the crate where she sleeps at night & have her sleep in the crate. With our lab, this crate was in our bedroom for the first month she was in our house and then we gradually moved her out into the lounge room in the crate.... Then after the baby came she was used to sleeping in the lounge room rather than our room.

    Also everytime you leave or come home pretend its not happening. Don't run and get so excited when you first come home, but ignore her for the first few minutes until her cortisol (stress) levels lower and then greet her. When you leave, don't make it a big deal, but pop a pigs ear with her and leave while she's entertained by it.

    Training training training... this builds her confidence and she learns what is expected of her, so rather than trying to work it out she knows. There are some amazing courses out there, but trying to find one that is a delta society course.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Forestville NSW
    Posts
    8,944

    Default

    Ahhhh I can understand, while you are definately not the worlds worst puppy trainer, your puppy is just confused by the amount of attention she's received.

    Often times these pups come into our homes and we lavish attention on them while they are still very young, than we start to venture out and they get totally confused by it. Often times when I hear of this degree of separation issues at a young age I suggest crate training. This is getting them used to the crate, and you start out while you are in the room with her. And then you do things like have a shower while she's in the crate, pop out for 10 minutes etc.... just get her used to being in the crate and feeling safe. You can pop the crate where she sleeps at night & have her sleep in the crate. With our lab, this crate was in our bedroom for the first month she was in our house and then we gradually moved her out into the lounge room in the crate.... Then after the baby came she was used to sleeping in the lounge room rather than our room.

    Also everytime you leave or come home pretend its not happening. Don't run and get so excited when you first come home, but ignore her for the first few minutes until her cortisol (stress) levels lower and then greet her. When you leave, don't make it a big deal, but pop a pigs ear with her and leave while she's entertained by it.

    Training training training... this builds her confidence and she learns what is expected of her, so rather than trying to work it out she knows. There are some amazing courses out there, but trying to find one that is a delta society course.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Caroline Springs
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    2,341

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    Hi Shari, if you happen to be on the West side of Melbourne I know of a fantastic dog obedience group that only has delta trained trainers. If you would like more info on them feel free to pm me

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Moody Melbourne
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    Hi Christy and Kristie -

    Yes, I am indeed the worst puppy trainer in the world. NEED TO BUY A CRATE. But if it's any consolation, I knew that before venturing back in here.

    When we came home tonight she had peed a couple of times but was asleep in one of my unpacked just moved home boxes - yes I'm slack there too.
    '
    Christy - I'm going to follow your advice to a tee. Part of me keeps justifying her clinginess with "she's just a baby and missing her mum" and also the fact that she was a birthday surprise combined with her being close to Peanut's age is killing me. For what it's worth I never had this trouble with my last dog - a Jack Russell.

    Again - thank you both.
    Last edited by BloominRoses; March 23rd, 2009 at 10:10 PM.

  6. #6

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    Hi Shari, I'm about to send you an email with the info, so if you want to edit your email address out of your post feel free

    The great news is that the obedience place seems to be very close to you (about a 12 minute drive according to google maps). I try to send as many of my puppy-preschoolers to this club as possible because they are fantastic there.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Moody Melbourne
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    Krystie - you are beyond a Goddess. I wish I had better words for it but thank you so much.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Caroline Springs
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    My pleasure! If you need a good vet I can recommend my clinic too lol! You'll have a ball at obedience training though. They even have games days there!

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