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Puppy in mourning and has separation anxiety

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Nikki250, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Nikki250

    Nikki250 New Member Registered

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    Hi I’m need of your help and advice ,I had a very old golden retriever , so I bought a new puppy to help with the pain of when we lost our older dog .Unfortunatly a few weeks ago his back legs went and he was in pain so we had to have him put to sleep . Now my cocker spaniel puppy is mourning the loss of our other dog and won’t go out into the garden to toilet , he went off his food but that is slowly improving but he is really out of sorts also he has gone very very clingy , and won’t leave my side , he follows me everywhere and cries if I’m not in the same room if I have to go out he tries to lie in front of the door so I can’t get out he constantly wants cuddles and attention . Any help or advice would be fab . I am considering getting him a playmate but can’t afford the down payment for another puppy yet .
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    First, I am sorry for your loss. I would say as advice for your puppy to give it some time. You don't say when your older dog passed but dogs do grieve. Balance a few more cuddles with slowly encouraging independence by leaving the room for a few minutes while he is occupied with something like a Kong so he doesn't really pay attention to you going. Try to make no fuss, you don't want to prepare him into thinking "oh no this means they are going out" - the aim is for him to barely register you coming and going - ideally for him to have a 'oh, you're back, I didn't notice you leave' reaction. Very gradually build up time alone.

    Please think very, very carefully before introducing another puppy. Two puppies are more than twice the work, you risk littermate syndrome (depending on your pup's age) and generally advice is to wait until after your pup goes through adolescence before getting another pup. That said, would an older rescue work? It avoids the two puppies issue, wouldn't incur such a great cost, and rescues a dog. So perhaps worth considering.
     
  3. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sad that you've lost your older dog- it's a terrible hurt however elderly they are. Your puppy does have to grieve- it's world is less secure so will be a bit nervous as well. I'd agree about not another puppy. And if money is an issue a rescue that you could foster long-term might fit the bill. The rescue will help with vets bills often and it takes the pressure off as well. Spaniel and lab rescues are worth contacting. They may have just the dog desperate for a home!
     
  4. Ari_RR

    Ari_RR Well-Known Member Registered

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    As for another puppy or rescue... I would advice against getting it for the purpose of comforting the currently existing puppy. It's an enormous commitment, well beyond financial, so I would recommend to first be 100% sure that you are getting a second dog for YOU, and that YOU are ready to put in 3 times more work in.

    The puppy I think will get over the loss, sooner or later.
     
    JoanneF likes this.
  5. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    How old is the pup, currently?

    I’m sorry the elder dog needed relief from his ongoing pain, but that’s the final kindness we can do, for the animals who give us so much in their brief lives. :(

    The clingy behavior, depending on Pup’s age, may be perfectly normal - pups are dependent on their caregivers, & separation distress is an age-dependent behavior; U don’t need to “fix it”, they literally outgrow it with no help needed. :)

    Separation ANXIETY is quite different -
    That’s a panic attack brought on by being left alone, without a human present, & it may be specific to one person [hubby / wife / one of the 3 kids...], or it might be “any human will do”.
    The primary symptom of sep-anxiety is attempts to escape -
    Clawing the lino or hardwood floor AT THE DOOR, digging at the door, chewing windowsills, gnawing on the crate if crated, blasting out the door ahead of U to avoid being left behind in an empty room, etc.
    The average age of diagnosis for SA is 18-MO.


    For pups under 3-MO, separation DISTRESS is a normal reaction to being alone; that said, we don’t want the pup to be miserable when solo, so easing those transitions & gradually increasing the duration of time-alone is worthwhile.
    Confining them by using a chew-proof lead to secure them nearby, but out of reach of U, is a good beginning. They can see, hear, & smell U, but cannot touch U. // Lay down a folded towel, a bathmat, or a fleece to serve as a “cushion”, that will give the puppy a sense of place, & boundaries - “lay here”.
    Then give the pup a long-lasting safe chew, such as cow hooves, a hunk of antler [NOT sawn in half - it goes much faster when split!], a thick-walled sterilized marrow bone, a raw meaty joint, etc, or give the pup busywork - such as half their next meal, stuffed in a Kong & frozen the night before.
    [Stuff the Kong with moistened kibble plus other heathy add-ins, such as coarsely grated carrot, diced broccoli stems, grated low-fat cheese e-g, Mozzarella, a dollop of canned pain pumpkin, etc; turn the Kong point-end DOWN in a yogurt cup, slip the whole thing in a reclosable bag, & stand the bagged cup in the freezer.]

    Once the pup can be on their own, tethered nearby in the same room, move them a bit further away. Or leave the room BRIEFLY while s/he is happily absorbed in their pacifier, returning before the pup has time to realize U are gone [2 to 5-seconds is brief - 2 to 5 minutes is too long].
    Build up the time U spend out of sight, but don’t go too quickly - adding duration too fast will make the pup hypervigilant, & they will watch for any tiny precursor to Ur departure & instantly protest or get upset. :(

    BTW, an easy way to have the pup WITH U but have both hands free, is to tether the pup to U, using a belt [slide the wrist-loop of a 4 to 6-ft leash onto the side of the belt after threading it thru the 1st few loops, continue threading the loops, buckle the belt, & go],
    Or if U are slim enuf & the pup is tall enuf, hold the 6-ft leash across the small of Ur back, slide the clip thru the wrist loop, & clip that free end to Pup’s collar.
    Then when U move, s/he goes along. :)


    - terry

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  6. Nikki250

    Nikki250 New Member Registered

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    Hi sorry puppy is nearly 11months old xx
     
  7. Nikki250

    Nikki250 New Member Registered

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    And thankyou for all your advice it’s benn really helpful will keep you posted on Oscars progress xx
     
    leashedForLife likes this.

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