Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Separation anxiety?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Cockapoomum03, Mar 5, 2021.


  1. Cockapoomum03

    Cockapoomum03 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2021
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi All,

    I have a 13 week old cockapoo and am nervous as to if he is developing or has developed separation anxiety.

    To give you some background, although he is in a family home, due to having the most free time (and being the most willing), I am his key carer - I feed him, bathe him, train him, take him for walks, put him to sleep and play with him. For the first week I was pretty much all he saw 100% of the time.

    Now the issue is that he follows me around the house the whole time. I tried the glinting technique but he simply doesn’t stay alone in a room for more than 3 seconds without following behind me. When alone he barks and howls endlessly - I am trying not to encourage this by only entering the room when he has been quite for a five seconds.

    I’m not sure if this is separation anxiety but I’m becoming increasingly concerned as I will have to spend less and less time with him in the coming weeks.

    People were suggesting just leaving him alone and letting him cry it out but that seems really awful to me. Others were saying it’s because he sleeps in my bed? He only does this in the night for around 6 hours but naps in his beds during the day.

    looking forward to your suggestions.
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    10,447
    Likes Received:
    23,104
    Please don't do that, you are right to trust your instincts. It is old fashioned advice, a dog can't learn it is ok to be alone while he is being anxious.

    Keep at it with the flitting game - if he is still following you, thats OK. He will decide when he wants to stop, and thats when the game works. Try to dedicate several sessions a day to it, with maybe half a dozen 'flits' in each session, and remember to do something really boring for a few minutes in the destination room each time.

    No, the opposite. By you being there for him, he will learn that there is nothing to be scared of and his confidence will grow.
     
    Sairy, Lurcherlad and tabelmabel like this.
  3. Mum2Ozzy

    Mum2Ozzy PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2020
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    125
    Just wanted to add, I'm currently reading a book about recall training and writer recommends capitalising on those first few weeks of puppy following you to build foundation of solid recall. I'm gutted I haven't done it, we're pretty much past this phase;)
     
    Lurcherlad and JoanneF like this.
  4. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Messages:
    8,407
    Likes Received:
    15,706
    @Mum2Ozzy - the recall foundation thing is a completely seperate issue to cockerpoo mum's thread subject. What age is your pup? You're not really past the phase til 5,6 months.

    And @Cockapoomum03 with her 13 week old is right at the start. With very young pups, you can just get them off lead right away (obvs not right next to a motorway or flock of sheep, bit of commonsense needed) but in a safe area and just start walking in a zig zag direction. Walk one way, run off another and your young pup will follow.

    You can build the recall by calling your pup as you run away from him and reward heavily when he catches you up. Hide and seek in the woods is a great game for small pups.

    You dont want to be so well hidden that they go into a blind panic, but you want to be slipping out of sight enough to keep them on their toes a bit.
     
  5. Mum2Ozzy

    Mum2Ozzy PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2020
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    125
    I know it's a separate topic but it's something that can be used to OP advantage (at least that's what my book says, I'm no expert). And yes my pup is nearly 6 months (in 9 days) and doesn't follow me constantly now he's much more confident x
     
    Lurcherlad and tabelmabel like this.
  6. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    26,293
    Likes Received:
    41,669
    @Cockapoomum03

    “When alone he barks and howls endlessly - I am trying not to encourage this by only entering the room when he has been quite for a five seconds.”


    Unfortunately, that is likely contributing to any anxiety imo. Going to him and comforting him will stop him getting more anxious ime.

    Combined with the flitting game and letting him follow you, he will eventually realise that he’s actually ok on his own.

    He will become more confident and independent naturally as he grows up too.
     
    tabelmabel and JoanneF like this.
  7. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Messages:
    8,407
    Likes Received:
    15,706
    Ah - i see what you mean. Yes, definitely good advice to get pups off lead from day one and in a good habit of following the handler. Your book is correct:)
     
    Mum2Ozzy and Lurcherlad like this.
  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    10,447
    Likes Received:
    23,104
    I missed that bit - @Lurcherlad is right, that is just reinforcing that being alone is scary and nobody is coming to help.

    The dogs that stop crying don't do so because they suddenly realise everything is ok, they do it because they have given up hope. It is an extreme example but in trauma victims, it's the silent ones who are most damaged. This article explains the science behind it. http://www.simplybehaviour.com/letting-dog-cry-cause-permanent-damage/
     
    Lurcherlad and tabelmabel like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice