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Help! New Puppy in condo, big separation anxiety!!

Kristyn25
March 16th, 2009, 08:26 AM
Hello all!

I'd really appreciate any advice for me and my new 2 month old mini-Schnoodle named "Cash".
I've wanted a dog for a long time and I picked one out finally, and my husband came home to surprise me with it 4 days ago for my birthday present. The problem is that I have been home with him for all these 4 days because I'm on holiday, and every time we try to leave him, he yelps incessantly, but I know he has to learn.
I want to be considerate to my neighbours, and I wrote them a letter letting them know that we are in the process of training a puppy so perhaps they'll be a little more patient. Ive been trying to work my way up minute by minute, but he goes way more bezerk when he's in his crate. (I know I'm going to be scolded for this..) but he sleeps in our bed. He's just a miniature and I don't mind the dog sharing the bed, because Ive always slept with my dogs when I lived at home.. We tried to crate him at night, but the constant yelping at all hours of the night was making our neighbours a littttle bitchy, which I totally don't blame them for.
Some people have recommended a clicking clock..I was thinking of getting a puppy gate to section off an safe area for him to roam around in, with a pee pad etc, so he would stop his yelping if he had more to do...I really want to erect the inner "Caeser Milan" in me!!! Please, if anyone can help I'd really appreciate it. I dont want to give this guy up because of our living arrangements, that's ridiculous.
If you could help I'd SOOO appreciate it!! THANK YOU!

Bailey_
March 16th, 2009, 10:54 AM
Congrats on your new puppy!! It's a fun time but also a LOT of work. So hang in there. :thumbs up

Crate training can be very hard and an emotional experience for the owners. It's really hard to listen to your puppy yelping and crying, especially when you have the added concern of neighbors. But just remember - your dog's crate WILL be his 'safe zone'. Once a puppy gets over the initial stage of wanting out, they very quickly come to realize that their crate is their place and will be totally fine in it - if not LOVE being in it.
The number one no-no is letting your puppy out of it's crate when it's crying. If you put your dog in the crate and then go to bed, usually puppies will settle down within 10-30 minutes. It's important to keep this structure in your dogs life, not only to prevent seperation anxiety from becoming very bad, but also to ensure your dog has an organized system, which dogs thrive on.
(I won't even talk about the dog sleeping on your bed, because you already know about that one! lol)

The other thing I wanted to mention is that I think that a penned area with pee-pads is a bad idea. Not to mention dangerous.

A puppy is a very curious creature, explores everything and tests it all with it's teeth and by jumping. A puppy gate is okay if your dog is being supervised; but until a dog is a bit older and understands it's boundaries and limitations in your house (or like I said, supervised) I would not put your puppy in a gated area.

For one thing, I can almost garauntee you that your puppypad would be destroyed by your pup - ripped to shreds and eaten.

Secondly, I also just had a client who thought of penning up their dog while they were at work - only to come home and see her lying on the floor - outside of the pen - with what they thought was a broken leg. (It was only soft tissue damage, but they spent quite a lot at the vet trying to discern what had happened.) These owners learned the lesson the hard way; that the crate IS the safest place for your dog.

When we crate-trained our puppy, it was just a matter of putting her crate on the other end of the house where we could barely hear her crying. Generally, it took her about 10 minutes to settle down each night. Eventually we moved her crate to our bedroom, and now (she's almost five months old) we trust her enough to leave the crate of her door open. Occasionally she'll wander outside of her kennel and sleep literally under our bed. We also tell her "Kennel Up" and that's her cue to head to her crate, which she does easily and happily.

So there is hope! But the key is to be patient and consistant! You can't expect your puppy to love being in it's crate if you don't help him get over his intital problem with being away from you.

Good luck!

SnowDancer
March 16th, 2009, 12:02 PM
If you can afford it, I would get a dog walker - and or take puppy to day care. AND GET ON THE CONDO BOARD! This is what people I know did when they adopted a Basset.

BusterBoo
March 16th, 2009, 04:07 PM
Congrats on the new puppy!!!!

Cash is still very young and probably very confused having left his momma and litter mates. Have you tried just leaving the crate door open, throw in a little treat and a toy and let him go in and out of the crate, without the door being closed? Hopefully once he realizes that the crate isn't a bad place, he will go in on his own.

It takes time and patience (and lots of understanding neighbours :D )

Good luck (and hope to see some pictures!) :thumbs up

sugarcatmom
March 16th, 2009, 05:10 PM
Hi Kristyn25, and welcome to pets.ca! I highly recommend reading as much as you can on Dr. Ian Dunbar's website Dog Star Daily (http://www.dogstardaily.com/training), especially the stuff on chew-toy training (http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/errorless-chewtoy-training), crate-training (http://74.205.124.79/training/errorless-housetraining) (which goes hand-in-hand with chew-toys), and creating a puppy play-pen (http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/puppy-playroom-amp-doggy-den) (for those times when you'll be out of the house longer than a couple of hours.

This section on how to get your dog used to being home alone has excellent advice: http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/home-alone. And don't forget about socialization (http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/puppy%E2%80%99s-first-month-home-8-12-weeks)!! It's one of the most important things you'll ever do for your dog.

maui_blue_eyes
March 18th, 2009, 01:14 PM
Hi,

I personally don't think there is a problem with letting your pup sleep in the bed. It's if he starts claiming the bed as his own, that you have a problem. So, if he sleeps through the night that way, and it's what you want, then let him sleep in the bed.

As for the crate training, you need to take it slowly. Remember he has just gone from being with his family all the time, and being left alone is a very scary thing for him. So when you think of that, you can understand why just being put into a crate, without any adjustment, is frightening for them. It is normal for them to cry. So how do you get them used to it? Start slow, having the crate open on the floor. Toss a treat into it or a favorite toy to encourage him to go inside. Keep at this, if he is nervous at first, he will eventually go in. Usuaully it doesn't take too long. Once he goes in, let him come out right away at first. When he is comfortable and going inside eagerly, you can add the cue "Crate" or whatever, as he is going in. Now you can close the door after him for a second after he goes in. You really only want to hold it closed for a second, but if he starts to whine, don't let him out until he is quiet like Bailey said. Now you can close the door behind him for longer and longer. He will become comfortable with the door closed and you there. Now stand up, take a few steps away, and come back to let him out. Gradually build up to you leaving the room for a second, then coming back. Then you will build up the time that you are out of the room. Eventually he will be fine being left alone without you around, as he will know you will come back.

Pay attention to him for how fast you should take these steps. If he seems fine with the door closed behind him, you can move a little quicker there. However, if you go out of the room and he panics, come back where he can see you, wait until he is quiet, let him out, and take things back a few notches before you try leaving the room again.

flipgirl4
March 26th, 2009, 11:27 PM
I had the same problem when I got my puppy. She would bark in the crate or if I was in another room. I live in an apartment condo too.

What I did was feed her in the crate so she would associate a good thing with the crate. I would also throw treats in the crate when it was time to go into it. I covered it with a blanket and for the first few nights, I slept on the floor beside her crate with two of myfingers in between the wires. Then eventually, put the crate beside my bed and using my fingers to reassure her she was okay. Eventually, she realized she would get treats if she went in her crate and that she was safe.

Also, when I got ready to leave, she became attuned to my routine so I started doing my routine, getting my keys, putting shoes on etc. and not leaving at various times of the day. Sometimes Iwould just go out the door and come back in right away. Only if she was quiet. Then I would stay out a bit longer and come back in if she was quiet.

Just some suggestions that worked for me. She still has some issues in other situations.

Good idea to let your neighbours know about your puppy. Good luck!