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Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by NatalieSian, Sep 12, 2018.


  1. NatalieSian

    NatalieSian PetForums Newbie

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    Hey guys!

    I have just bought a 9 week old Bichon Frise and I've set him up in my office (the only room in the house with hard floors) he's got everything he needs in the room, a crate, bed, toys, water and we have him on a feeding schedule. He wasn't vaccinated before we picked him up and we're still waiting on his first vets visit so at the moment we can't take him out and about, not even out into our back garden as the neighbours dogs tend to roam in there every now and then. We're using puppy pads for toilet training which he uses fine unless he's stressed in which case he just does his business where he stands (even if that happens to be up against a wall!).

    The issues that we are having at the moment are firstly, that we have a house cat who, for the last seven years, has had complete run of the house and is fairly territorial as a result. Puppy seems very interested in the cat but anytime it looks like they're about to have a sniff around each other puppy either gets over-excited and thinks it's play time or the cat gets nervous and hisses. We have already let them get each others scent by giving each animal a blanket with the other's scent and then switching back and forth and puppy is separated from the cat by a puppy gate. We obviously don't let them come close to each other without proper supervision either. Is there anything else we can do to let them get to know each other without it getting stressful?

    Secondly, puppy has serious separation anxiety. Until this morning he wouldn't stay quiet in his room without someone being in the room with him. Every time we leave he goes crazy, barking, howling, whining, scratching and soiling himself all over everywhere. He isn't left for long periods, this reaction can occur in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. As soon as we're out of view he starts up and if he's left for longer than 30 seconds you can bet he's wet himself by the time we get back. Today he's been okay as long as he can see someone through his puppy gate, but again, as soon as we're out of view he starts up again. Is this a standard thing with puppies or is he a special case, and is there any way to get him more comfortable with his own company?
     
  2. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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  3. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    In regard to letting your pup outdoors can you not fence off a small area (or fix the fencing so next doors dog can't get in) as this will be an ongoing issue if you can't let your pup/young dog out in case the other dog is around or there is an escape route.

    In regard to cats - I would give them time. At the moment both are feeling their way. If pup wants to play then discourage him by calling him away (as the cat will not be impressed) or maybe use a little lead and harness to ensure they can co exist together. The cat is allowed to have a hiss too as this will tell pup to behave.

    Your pup hasn't really got separation anxiety - he is a puppy who has just left his mum and litter mates and been placed on his own in a new and scary place! Of course he wants you near. Over the next few weeks as he begins to settle leaving him should get easier as he will be more confident. Make sure that you do practice leaving him on his own (for a few seconds/minutes initially) so he can learn to be independent but try to understand why he may be anxious. After he has done a wee let him roam the house so he can see that it's all safe and that he can be in a separate space to you (playing/chewing a toy//sleeping) and separation will come naturally.

    And yes, have a peep at the Puppy Thread in Chat - https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/puppy-support-thread.448113/

    Lots of puppy help to be found on here :)

    J
     
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  4. Cayley

    Cayley PetForums Junior

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    It sounds like you’re leaving your pup out of his crate when you leave the room. I was told that they feel safer and more secure in small spaces. We covered our pups crate with a pair of old curtains and dropped a blanket over the front so the crate was dark. We also only gave her enough space to stand up, lie flat and turn around.

    Then, when we left the room and she cried we waited her out. As soon as there was a break in her cries we went back in and reassured her, gradually building up the length of time we left her.

    Even now, at 4 months, she will cry when we leave her in the kitchen, (where her crate is,) and go upstairs. But if she is in her crate she is happy. We are only leaving her out her crate now to try and get her used to this. (As I’m writing this, I realised we need to start leaving her with things to occupy her while we’re gone. A stuffed kong, for example. It will make her time alone seem pleasurable.)
     
  5. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    If you are leaving them for the night or going out maybe, (it may encourage them to sleep/increase Melatonin/dullen outside sounds etc) but not if you are teaching your puppy independence, for that they must learn to cope with their human leaving them to go and make a cup of coffee or popping into another room. And the sooner a puppy owner starts that the better in my opinion. That's why i suggest that in fact the puppy is left to roam free (after wee) so they can gather confidence for themselves. My pups have freedom from day one so that they learn to let us go about our daily chores and not feel concerned.

    J
     
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  6. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Agree with @Jamesgoeswalkies over allowing puppies to roam freely around the house, with you keeping an eye on what they are up to. Ive always allowed my pups to have the run of the downstairs area once they have become reasonably well house trained (passed the ‘oh I need to wee, doing it now’ phase). Yes, they follow me about mostly, but also learn that I don’t go far and come back again regularly so gradually stop following me absolutely everywhere and start to wander about themselves. It seems to give them confidence to cope being by themselves more easily.

    Isla rarely used her crate during the day, occasionally going in for a snooze, but more often or not finding a place she liked somewhere and sleeping there. The only time the crate was used was when we went out or a night.
     
  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    I don't think leaving puppies to cry is a good idea.

    If they are distressed I want the dog to know I am there for him and he has nothing to feel anxious about, which in turn makes for a more confident dog. If a puppy learns that crying gets him ignored, he may stop crying but he is still upset or anxious about something.
     
  8. Cayley

    Cayley PetForums Junior

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    I do agree with what you are saying here. But when she is still nervous, having a safe small space without people is preferable and once she is a bit more comfortable with that, maybe move on and give them more and more freedom slowly at a rate they are comfortable. When our pup was 9 weeks and we first got her, we put her in her crate and left the room for a very short time. Then we returned. We built the time we left her up slowly and once she was comfortable being alone in her crate we started to leave her out of the crate for short periods. I’m honstly just going off what I read in our puppy book and it worked for us. We also didn’t really get any chewing as we were always there to redirect her until she redirected herself.

    This was what it said in our puppy book. Leave for a short time, wait out the crying for like, a couple of minuets, and then return when there is a short break. Gradually increase the break length. I was told it teaches them to soothe themselves and teaches them that it is okay to be alone and you will come back.

    My pup still cries if she is anxious or needs us for any reason. And, depending on the reason, I now decide if I’m going to leave her for a short time, or if I’m going to go and see to her. For example, if she hasn’t been outside in a while I’ll go and let her out to wee or poo. I have a puppy cam set up to watch her in her crate and while she is alone in the kitchen to make sure she isn’t displaying any other signs of distress. I also know what her different cries mean, to an extent.

    But, everyone has their theory’s. It’s the same in childcare. And each theory works for different children, which is why people still follow them.
     
    #8 Cayley, Sep 17, 2018 at 1:47 PM
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018 at 2:02 PM
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    There is certainly a lot of conflicting advice out there - the sensible thing to do is read and read from a wide range of sources, be aware of the "age" of the advice (ideas change as we learn more about canine psychology), see where weight of opinion generally falls, then use your own judgement for what is going to be best for the dog.
     
  10. Cayley

    Cayley PetForums Junior

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    That is what we did. It’s a fairly recent book... all positive reenforcement. The crate training method sounded very much like a baby sleep training method which involves returning to the crying baby at increasingly large intervals to let them know you are there. (The first interval is like 3 mins.) It allows them to slowly sooth themselves and teaches them that you are there and they are okay. It’s usually used by parents whose children will not settle out of a parents arms.

    It isn’t the same as the cry it out method. But, because pups learn quicker than babies, we wait for a brief moment of silence. So, probably crying for no longer than 5 mins? She settled quickly the first day and by night she slept through. (We took her out to the toilet twice... where she did nothing, and by the third night we quit that.)

    Now she is 4 months she has full access to downstairs during the day if we are home. No stairs as it’s bad for her hips. She will sleep in a seperate room from us at times, and at other times she likes to be near us.

    During the day if my husband has to go into the office she is crated for 4ish hours. I work two mins walk away so come home for an hour at lunch. Our camera takes photos when there is movement and my husband watches the camera. Mostly she eats a kong and sleeps. She will cry once in a while whilst sat up alert in her crate. But it’s a very short period, like less than a minuet. We think she hears something outside? Basically, she does what she does when he is home with her.

    I just wouldn’t say our training method caused separation anxiety or that she’s quietly anxious. People are acting as though I’ve let her cry in her crate for 5 hours?
     
  11. NatalieSian

    NatalieSian PetForums Newbie

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    Hi guys, thanks for all the replies there's been a LOT of reading going on here. Pup (Remy) has responded well to the leaving then returning at slightly longer intervals routine, my partner told me that after I left for work today he slept in for two hours and was amazed Remy hadn't barked or cried once, this is from just over a week ago when we literally couldn't be out of his sight. So far he's still in his own room, separated by a baby gate so he can see us when we're in the living room and has taken to sleeping by the gate. We've made sure when we're leaving/coming back that we're not making a big fuss so he doesn't see it as a big deal.

    When we take him into the courtyard area (which is now secured by a gate) we've let him wander around downstairs and sniff around on a lead. He's pretty much got the hang of going to the toilet on his pads for the most part and we've bought some artificial grass to get him going outside. He has his first vet visit tomorrow for his jabs, microchipping and check up and all in all the progress made in just 8 days is amazing, also found out that playing fetch and tug of war REALLY tires him out which is a nice bit of peace! We're putting treats etc in his crate occasionally and he sits in there with his toys but as of yet he's not been closed in, just trying to take everything one step at a time.

    IMG-20180915-WA0007.jpg
     
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  12. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Is he in his own room when you’re home?

    How long is he actually “with” someone in a 24 hour period?
     
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