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Can anyone help please?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by anne123, Apr 16, 2011.


  1. anne123

    anne123 PetForums Junior

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    Hi all,

    Our 4 month old pup is doing really well except for one problem that is starting to worry me and I'm not sure how best to address it... wondered if anyone can help me.

    The problem is that he is so attached to ME!! He becomes stressed whenever I leave the room and follows me everywhere if he can. I have tried to ignore this behaviour as much as possible and also try to integrate my family in looking after him as much as I can. I realise he is still very young and hopefully he will get better, but I don't know if just ignoring him is best.

    This morning tho' shocked me... I left him in the kitchen while I went upstairs... meantime my daughter came in and on opening the door he took the opportunity and he bolted straight through and out onto the street, (he must have thought I was out there). Luckily we live on a quiet cul de sac so no harm but this has worried me all day and I'm not sure how to handle it.

    I would really appreciate any help :)

    Thanks in advance!

    Anne
     
  2. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    He will need to begin to learn how to cope on his own because if he is with you all the time, then the problem will just escalate to the point that when you do have to leave him for longer periods he really will start to suffer from full blown separation anxiety.

    It will probably be best if you start to wean him off gradually, starting with very short periods for a few minutes and then building the time up. He should then start to learn that leaving him, also means that you will be coming back.

    The best thing to do is to decide where he is to be left all the time,when you will be going out. DAP Dog appeasing pheromone products have been known to help. Its an artificial version of the pheromone mum emits to calm and soothe the pups. Can can purchase it in the form of a plug in diffuser, rather like a plug in air freshener or a collar. For indoor the plug in is probably best. If you decide to try one, you just leave it plugged in and switched on in the area where they are going to be left. Vet-Medic - the same medicines as your vet at consistently low prices. is where you can get them, available from vets and pets at home too, but usually cheaper on line.
    Another thing you can do that can be known to help, is a tshirt or old jumper you have worn, left in their beds, as your smell can calm and reassure them too. Also leaving a radio on a talking station in the room can help as the sound of voices can help. Also leaving them with chews,some toys and things like a stuffed Kong or treat ball that you fill with kibble and set to distribute pieces here and there as they play with it are good to keep them occupied when being left.

    Firstly I would set up his "area" with some of the things described above, to create a sort of safe haven with pleasureable things, each time he is left.
    Start by putting him in there at first several times throughout the day. Maybe even for 5 minutes or so at first, Just pop him in there, and literally walk away without any fuss, return equally without any fuss, let him out and ignore him for a few minutes, then give attention and praise if he has coped.
    Just do this a few times a day each time slowly building up the time by a few more minutes, until you can leave him longer and longer before returning.

    Hope this might give you some ideas.
     
  3. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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  4. snaps

    snaps PetForums Junior

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    But is the problem being left alone or being over attached to you? What's he like if he's left on his own or at night?

    And what breed is he? We've had two dogs with a lot of Border Collie in them and in both cases they started to become attached more to me as chief feeder, trainer etc. Neither of them ever became real family dogs. Whereas our little terrier is happy to be everyone's friend and happily goes with everyone.

    I had to put in strenuous efforts to get our BCX dogs not to become 'my' dogs. One of them even became reluctant to go out for walks with my OH (but I made him take her!).
     
  5. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    He sounds like a velcro dog, so seperation distress seems relevant.
     
  6. anne123

    anne123 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you all for your replies, its really appreciated :)

    I should have perhaps explained more... apologies, he is crate trained and has no problem being left either during the day when we go out, or at night, we don't hear a peep out of him. Its when I'm in the house... I leave the room and he immediately starts whining, when he is eating his dinner he comes back to check I'm still around!! Today for example I go out to wash my car, put him in his crate but because he could hear me outside he's yelping until I'm finished.

    Its more a case of him being too attached to me as Snaps suggested and I'm not sure of the best way forward.
    I am doing all the obvious things like involving my family in feeding, walking etc. As said, I am trying to ignore this behaviour as much as I can but not sure if this is right? Any further advice would be great.

    Snaps - he is a cockerpoo... apart from this problem he's a gem ;)

    Thanks again,

    Anne
     
  7. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Treat your leaving as if it were everyone leaving the house, just short intervals withouit making a deal of it, but hopefully have other person able to distract him onto something fun. You just want him to learn nothing bad happens when you're off for a bit.

    The fact your pup is crate trained, shows he can feel comfy. Probably he just needs to be able to enjoy, some fun with the others, not be glued to your side.
     
    #7 RobD-BCactive, Apr 18, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  8. anne123

    anne123 PetForums Junior

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    yes, I leave the house with minimal fuss, but I will work more with the family with distraction when I'm leaving. He settles I'm told quite quickly tho'. Its more when I am around the house and he knows I'm here i.e. upstairs or outside.
    It just shocked me the other day when he bolted through the door, he was panicking and out of control, looking for me. Ultimately it was our fault to have been careless with the door being opened, but it was his mind set that concerned me.

    Will work on things more tho' and hopefully things will improve. :)
     
  9. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Still not sure if you understood the point, so I'll try and be as clearly explicit as I can be.

    Treat your leaving the room, as for Seperation Distress. Just where advice says "leaving the house alone", substitute "me leaving the room so the puppy is with X".

    Your puppy will be much happier, to learn, he is safe and has fun with more people, not just "Mom", so you're right to ask about it.
     
    #9 RobD-BCactive, Apr 18, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  10. rocco33

    rocco33 PetForums VIP

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    I would make sure he can't bolt out - put up a stair gate, restrict his area so he doesn't have free access to the front door. He is only a puppy and isn't yet old enough to safely have that access so you need to manage the areas.
     
  11. anne123

    anne123 PetForums Junior

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    yes, understood... I am now treating leaving the room as if leaving the house, I do think there is a small improvement so far :)

    I know... it shouldn't have happened, he was shut in but the wind blew the door open just as someone came through the front door and one thing lead to another... a lesson learnt!!
     
  12. jessegee

    jessegee PetForums Member

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    oh dear, trying isnt it?
    I left Joey as a pup with my husband for a week , when I came back he looked like he hadnt slept at all hehe!

    do you pick him up? I ask because my friend had a clingy puppy, and when she stopped picking him up every time he asked he gradually accepted being petted on his level, and became calmer, although that could be as he grew older, so not sure if that helps! :confused:

    pehaps he just loves you to bits

    best wishes

    jessegee
     
  13. anne123

    anne123 PetForums Junior

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    no jessegee I don't pick him up...he's too heavy now :) I'm hoping its a puppy thing and he will grow out of it :)
     
  14. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Puppy was likely attention seeking, friend caught on and stopped rewarding the pushy pleading, started rewarding pup with attention for doing non-clingy things and you see a very rapid transformation of behaviour.
     
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