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Thread: HELP! 14 week old puppy with separation anxiety

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    5

    Default HELP! 14 week old puppy with separation anxiety

    Hi all,

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. As I write this I am sitting in my bedroom, crying my eyes out for the third time this week.

    My 14 week old mini foxy chihuahua x broke her leg 2 weeks ago when she took a little tumble. I took a few days off work after we went to the vet to help her adjust to the cast on her leg which is bigger than she is.

    She seems to not be bothered by it.

    My issue is now, unless she is free to walk around the house, following me everywhere I go, she gets anxious. I have a small play pen in my living room that I put her in when I leave each day for work. I also want to be able to put her in there when I am busy about the house and cannot fully supervise her. At the moment, the only thing I can do is put her in her crate, wrapped in a blanket in my bedroom when I need to do things or I am going out for a short time. She seems to not be bothered by this at all, usually just curling up for a snooze because this is how she sleeps at night. BUT... whenever I put her in the pen, even when she can see me, she barks and cries - I'm talking major serious wobblies. She has her crate, doggy bed, toys, water and if I'm going out - a puppy training pad in there with her. I've spent almost every waking hour for the last week reading training material about how to help train her to be calm in the pen, but nothing is working.

    Last night, my neighbour told me that she has heard her barking after I leave for work in the morning. I didn't know she was doing this because I usually leave when she is occupied with breakfast and when I come home she is calm, sometimes sleeping. My neighbour is also a dog owner and not bothered by it. She know I am taking her to puppy school and doing what I can to get through this time, however she knows that there is someone in the area that is a serial complainer to the council and was just giving me the heads up because she didn't want me to get upset if I got a note in the mail about it.

    Now, I'm not particularly worried about a complaint to the council because I can prove that I am doing all I can to combat this issue. I figure they cannot take my puppy from me if I am doing all of this. But I am worried about my baby girl. As hard as this is for me to deal with, I cannot imagine how hard it is for her.

    Please, I feel so helpless but graduated exposure techniques are just not working when I'm in the house and I'm worried that if I keep trying these methods while I am home, her anxiety will worsen and she will stop self settling when I leave her in the pen while I go to work.

  2. #2

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    Can't you leave her with your neighbour's dog?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    5

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    Hi Mosh,

    I would love to but my pup is not yet fully vaccinated. I don't really know my neighbour that well, but thank you for the suggestion, we might just have to get to know each other better! I never would have thought of asking.

    Thanks!

  4. #4

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    Mrs H - Have a look on the web and You Tube for information from the following people - kikopup and Susan Garrett. I am sure that you will find something there that will help you. I find them excellent.

    If she is happy to be in her crate - then that is where I would put her. Remember that she is only a baby and a really small one at that. Also with her broken leg she needs as much rest as is possible for a pup her age. Having her free range will not assist the healing of her leg.

    Pups like to be in a cave type area where they feel safe. Do you put her crate in the pen area ? If not, then I would try that and leave the door of the crate open. Snacks, toys, toilet rolls, drink bottles with a peg or stones in it and anything she likes to chew on are also helpful in the pen to keep the pup amused.

    So dry the tears Mrs H - there are ways of solving this problem you seem to have. You being stressed and upset will affect the pup and what you are trying to achieve here.

    A little bit of tough or ruff love (look it up on the internet) never goes astray either.

    Heaps of Good Luck !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bundaberg QLD
    Posts
    3,301

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    Hi Mrs H

    I know what its like with leaving a new pup who obviously loves you too bits.....it can be a bit heart renching, especially since she's had a tumble and broke her leg aswell....poor thing. Somtimes a radio or TV left on can help a bit too. She might feel better hearing voices throughout the day thinking someones home somwhere.
    Like Riley said....your dog will pick up your vibes if your upset and that wont be good for her either. Try and be strong,.....tuff love can be good love too.
    Frozen bones, Kong or similar stimulating toys can keep them busy throught the day too.
    I'm sure there will be some more great advice from other more experienced members coming your way soon, i just wanted add my little tips and say good luck and be strong. It will get better.
    If someone does complain, dont think its the end of the world.....if you can show the council your trying and be polite to them they will surely understand. The fact you come home to a sleeping or calm dog means she settles down at some stage so thats a bit of a win for you. The more you cave in to her barking, the more she will do it to get your attention.
    Good luck.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rural Western Australia
    Posts
    2,636

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    I have left puppies in crates when I have gone to work and older dogs recovering from cruciate surgery. They all seemed fine with it. If it is where she feels most secure, in a crate in your bedroom why not try leaving her like that for awhile. My dogs love their crates and when I am working around the house can often be found curled up in their crates.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    near Sydney NSW
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mosh View Post
    Can't you leave her with your neighbour's dog?
    This is a good suggestion so long as the neighbour's dog isn't likely to cause fear in someone who isn't dog savvy.
    Many many years ago I had a gorgeous lab pup, I was working full-time and my pup spent his days in next door's yard with a GSD. One day a tradesman went to their side gate, opened it and the GSD gave him a fright, the gate stayed open just long enough for my pup to escape (as only puppies can) and race down the street to a major road where he came to an untimely end.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southern NSW
    Posts
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    I will start with what i start with every time I meet a new dog...change a few things. And the hardest thing for caring owners to do is ignore.

    Every-time you go out of the room or out of the house the dog is, say nothing when you go. When you come back, even after a couple of minutes.....ignore.....not until the dog settles and either sits quietly or lies down, call the little one up and say hello, cuddle and make a fuss.

    I always tell people never to allow dogs to demand to be petted, ignore if they ask...wait until they are settled and call them to you and make a fuss. We make dogs of any size anxious with always petting and fussing over them. Give them some time to calm down and ignore. When i say ignore, I mean don't even look at them. And they will settle down.

    This one simple thing made such a huge difference in my life with dogs....Dogs are less anxious, dogs are more settled. We fuss too much, because we love our dogs and we make the anxious.

    If your puppy is happy in her crate, allow her to have the crate, but maybe inside the puppy pen, so that she has both. Also do this, lots of times when you are home ( sounds like you already have at times).

    The ignoring when you get back to your dog is more important then the graduated times away...they need to be done together. Also no fuss when you leave......

    Good luck
    Pets are forever

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    5

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    Thank you all so much for your help and support!

    Joining this forum was the best idea ever!

  10. #10

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    Mrs H - any news on your pup ? How are you both going ?
    Last edited by RileyJ; 09-03-2012 at 07:48 PM.

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