Separation Anxiety
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Thread: Separation Anxiety

  1. #1
    Lazaretto's Avatar
    Lazaretto is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultSeparation Anxiety

    Hi,

    My husband and I recently brought home a nine-week-old yellow bitch, named Juno. I took a little more than a week off work to settle her into her new home, and things were going very well. She sleeps through the night in her crate with minimal fuss, she was eating well right off the bat, we took her out every hour and she's exclusively pooping and mostly peeing outdoors - and indicates to us when she needs to go out, and she's even got a lot of basic commands down already.

    But when I returned to work, it was a nightmare! I used my time off to try build her up to my leaving, by crating her, leaving and returning, then increasing my time apart from her. The second day was a nightmare - she freaked out and had horrendous diarrhoea all over her crate within 10 minutes. We moved her to a smaller crate, and she definitely preferred that, and could be crated for up to about 1.5 hours at a time while I was out of the house.

    I come home everyday on my lunch break so that she spends no more than about 3-4 hours alone, but whenever I come home, she's defecated inside her crate. I hated the idea of her being trapped in there with her own excrement, so we bought a baby gate and moved her to the laundry. She seemed quite happy in there while we were at home, but when I came home on my lunch break, I saw that she had pooped in the corner on the newspaper, then tracked that all over the floor, the washing machine, the cupboards, her toys and the walls like some kind of horrible fingerpainting.

    Does anyone have any tips to combat this problem, or could anyone direct me to a useful thread or article? What are we doing wrong? Or do we just need to give it more time and patience?

    Oh, and just so that you can all put a face to my little terror:



    Thanks, all!

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    MidwestGirl is offline Senior Member
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  4. #3
    dek
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    She is beautiful! I'm sure you'll get some responses from more experienced owners out there, but I believe 9 weeks is too early to expect her to hold it for 4 hours in the daytime (nights they can hold longer). She'll get more control as she gets older (16 weeks seemed to be a magic number for my pup). Just make sure you're cleaning up any "mistakes" with a cleaner that removes all the scent and if you don't want her tracking it around, you may be better with her in the crate for now



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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    I would not call that separation anxiety. That really is not something you see in small puppies. Most puppies are not going to be happy about being left alone and she is typical, but since you are not noting behavioral issues after you used either the small crate or the x-pen - I would assume that the only problem here is the pooping?

    She's too young to hold it for very long. Usually puppies poop within a half hour from eating. If you get her out and wait for that to happen you will be more likely to come home to less of a mess. You should make an area where she can safely pee/poo in a corner of the x-pen you might also have less of a mess.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for all of your responses. I knew that not wanting to be alone would be typical for a puppy of her age, I was just so worried thinking about her being distressed and cooped up with her own faeces. And especially in that one case where she pooped within 10 minutes of being confined whilst shrieking about being left alone.

    We take her out before confining her each time, and we don't confine her until she has an opportunity to poop, but this happens anyway. She did have a corner to poop in that was a distance from her bed/toys, yet she still tracked that all over her own stuff.

    We talked to the breeder last night who recommended putting her crate in the laundry, if she's already comfortable sleeping through the night in there, it might make her feel better about being isolated in the laundry, so we're trying that today.

    If patience is what's required, and this is normal, we're happy to wait it out. I was more concerned about doing something wrong and causing any kind of long-term damage to her!

    Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazaretto View Post

    I saw that she had pooped in the corner on the newspaper, then tracked that all over the floor, the washing machine, the cupboards, her toys and the walls like some kind of horrible fingerpainting.
    I'm sorry, but the way you wrote this^ paired with her sweet picture seriously made me LOL!
    -Stephanie
    "Apollo", CGC- black Labrador Retriever
    "Molson"- buff American Cocker Spaniel
    "Patty"- black American Cocker Spaniel
    "Pepper" Najaco's Northeast Storm- black Labrador Retriever 5/11/92-9/18/05

    http://blacklabbie.blogspot.com/

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    Hey, you have to try and see the humour in every situation, right? Because if you don't laugh, you'll cry!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazaretto View Post
    Hey, you have to try and see the humour in every situation, right? Because if you don't laugh, you'll cry!
    Very true!
    -Stephanie
    "Apollo", CGC- black Labrador Retriever
    "Molson"- buff American Cocker Spaniel
    "Patty"- black American Cocker Spaniel
    "Pepper" Najaco's Northeast Storm- black Labrador Retriever 5/11/92-9/18/05

    http://blacklabbie.blogspot.com/

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    Samson is offline Senior Member
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    She is beautiful and well worth the aggravation !

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    Just an update on the situation...

    We put her crate in the laundry yesterday and when I returned on my lunch break to check on her, she had pooped on the paper and the rest of the laundry was spotless. When I took her out, she was nowhere near as distressed as the day before. Putting her back in was difficult, she shrieked like crazy, but calmed down again soon enough and when I returned at the end of the day she had pooped on the paper again. Granted, she also shredded the paper this time.

    I was a bit worried that her stool the day before seemed a bit loose, so I'm taking her to the vet along with a stool sample (upon the suggestion of someone else), but her stool was much more firm yesterday.

    We read some advice that moving her into isolation should be a gradual thing (in our bedroom, then to the lounge, then to the laundry/outdoor dog run etc), but the breeder seems to think that that could've been the cause of her stress, all of the changes and inconsistency, and that perhaps she would've been better isolated from the beginning and she would've been used to it by now. Live and learn!

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