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Puppy separation anxiety?

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Shanti Lall, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Shanti Lall

    Shanti Lall Member Registered

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    Hi everyone. More advice needed please! We are really not making progress with teaching our puppy to be alone. We've had her for nearly four weeks and if we so much as go upstairs when she is downstairs (behind the stair gate) she howls and whines piteously.

    I've tried going when she's occupied with food or a toy or when she's asleep so that when I return she finds she's barely noticed my absence. I've also tried going frequently for just a few seconds at a time.

    We haven't tried more as we didn't want to traumatise her during the 'fear impact period'.

    She also gets really upset if she's behind the stair gate even if I'm within feet of her, but she would otherwise run up and down the stairs.

    My husband is retired so she will nearly always have someone with her, but we don't want to never be able to leave her, even for a short time.
     
  2. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    She's still very little. Harri wouldn't let me out of his sight for the first couple of months and he'd sleep on my feet in the evenings to make sure I was still there. Now he's totally chilled about being left.

    How is she overnight? Does she need to sleep with you?
     
  3. Shanti Lall

    Shanti Lall Member Registered

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    Hello. Thanks for replying. She sleeps in our bedroom, either in her bed or under our bed. We put her there from the first night so we haven't tried making her sleep alone. I'm torn between thinking we should just not leave her while she's so young (12 weeks old) and worrying about advice to make puppies spend time alone from the very start. We haven't done at all well with the latter because I'm a teacher currently on summer holiday and my husband is retired, so she's never had to be alone.
     
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    It's really early days so try not to worry.

    This is good, just keep doing this and gradually build up, aiming to come back just a tiny bit later every time so she doesn't get anxious - you are looking for her to be aware she is alone but not distressed by it.

    Four weeks is nothing - as long as your husband keeps up the good work when you go back to work she will get there.

    This sounds like FOMO - fear of missing out - she knows you are there but she isn't involved in what's going on. So maybe a little more work is needed here - popping out of the area she is in for a moment and back in, maybe while she has a Kong, and building up from there.
     
  5. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    It really sounds like you are doing everything right. She may just need to grow up a little bit. I wouldn't worry just yet. If you push too far too soon then you may cause the very problem you are trying to avoid
     
  6. Shanti Lall

    Shanti Lall Member Registered

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    Thanks, that's reassuring!
     
  7. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    An excellent (small) book on separation anxiety is I'll Be Home Soon by Patricia McConnell. It should really help you pace her progress in steps that will work for her.
     
  8. Shanti Lall

    Shanti Lall Member Registered

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    Thank you!
     

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