Well I've had my Flat-coated retriever puppy for just over a week now and he is almost 15 weeks old. We have a problem with SA and I would like anyone who has successfully overcome this problem to give me some advice. Im also wondering how bad it is and how long it can take to 'fix'.
1) If he's totally pooped and sleeping he's fine to be left alone almost anywhere. He is quite independent that way. I leave him alone when he's like this or if he's awake but relaxed in his pen or crate I will praise him.
2) At bedtime he yelps/barks as soon as we are out of his sight. He's in the back area of our house, with his crate, toys and newspaper and a baby gate so he's got a bit of room to move around (not a lot). (He's not really crate trained yet, he will only stay in there if we are near him, otherwise that freaks him out too). For the first week we just let him bark til he was too tired to do anymore but after a week of no sleep we decided that wasn't really working and so we shout Oi! from the bedroom everytime he pipes up. This seems to work although Im not sure if this is really helping the issue. He will pipe up 2 or 3 times in the night and come 5.30am he is yelping the house down again because he wants to play.
3) We did a couple of exercises with him yesterday, leaving him alone in his pen and we walked into the other room and every time he piped up we would say Noo and he did seem to chill out a little.
Im not sure if being 15weeks he will grow out of this or develop into something more serious. At the moment my partner is home full time but next week he goes back to work and Im stressed about Yogi being stressed! I do have the option of taking him to Doggy Daycare at 16weeks but I want to address the issue so that when we can't take him to daycare he will be okay.
Food, exercise, clocks, smelly tshirts etc dont really work. I've been thru numerous websites and most of them recommend leaving for very short periods and building this up so if anyone has used this method with success I would love your advice. I am in a position where I might be able to take a month off work to tackle this problem but trying to avoid that if possible. Otherwise I am able to go home at lunch time and walk, feed and play with him.
The other thing is he's not fully toilet trained so I dont want him to have the run of the house and like to leave him in the back area. He seems okay with this most of the time as he doesn't feel the need to be right next to us unless it's bedtime!!
Any advice is appreciated.