My husband and I brought home our chocolate lab, our first puppy together, home almost 2 weeks ago. She's almost 10 weeks now. She bonded with us right away, me more so.
I'm home almost all of the time so I do a vast majority of the feeding, training, playing, etc. She follows me everywhere and will wake up from naps to follow me from room to room. Refuses to be in a room by herself and cries if I shut her out of a room to use the bathroom,etc. She prefers me to my husband already. She is left with my husband when I go to classes in the evening. She acts up when I'm gone. She whines at the door to my office where we spend alot of our time for several minutes and gets really rambunctious, running around, biting, tugging on his clothes, crawling under things, chewing on furniture. He plays with her but is turned off by the rough play biting. We know she isn't being aggressive, but she has drawn blood on occasion.
The only accidents that happen are while I'm gone. She'll be out with my husband for 15 minutes, and then pee inside right after. She hasn't had an accident with me since day 5. I don't want her to get overly attached to just me. I want her to be obedient to my husband too. I wonder if she doesn't see him as an alpha and had him give her her meals last weekend and encourage him to give her commands. She usually complies after the 3rd time for him, the 1st for me.
The other issue is trying to leave her alone. I wonder if I'm doing a disservice to her by rarely leaving her home alone? She is only by herself for a few hours twice a week but freaks out still.
We bought a crate, but don't use it. My husband has never used a crate and hes very adverse to it. He couldn't handle the crying and panicking when we put her in there, if even for a few minutes. The last two times we put her in there, she pooped within 15 minutes and got it all over her, the crate etc. I can't see her ever accepting the crate because she doesn't sleep in it. From the first night, she has slept on a doggie bed or her blanket in our bedroom and get me up at about 4:30-5:00 for a potty break and then we go back to bed. (I'm deaf, and she wakes me by bumping the bed. If she was in a crate, I wouldn't hear her fussing at night and know to take her out.) She's never cried or been disruptive and has never had an accident in our bedroom. She seems to think of that as her den. My husband doesn't want to change that routine, because it works so well. We puppy proofed the laundry room last weekend and use a baby gate to keep her in. She cries and has pooped once in there when we were gone for an hour and a half but at least she didn't have to walk in it.
I've made a point to leave the house each day for the past 4 days for an hour or so. I'm not sure how long she barks and cries, but when I come home she's quiet. I don't think she sleeps or plays with any of her toys. I praise her, take her outside, and immediately she wants to nap.
So my question is if she will outgrow the clingyness as she gets a bit older? Is only leaving the house a few times a week enough for her to get used to it or should I continue to leave the house each day to help her get used to it? I don't want her to develop a severe separation anxiety or later exhibit jealous behaviors toward my husband. I'm not sure if its too early to be worried about this or not. Sorry this is so long. Any advice would be appreciated.
She is still a baby so it will take time. However, my dog is almost 6 months old and is a Velcro dog still. Sounds like your husband needs to be more consistent with the rules (not saying he isn't but that may be the issue if it takes longer for her to listen to him than you). Why don't you use the crate? That is supposed to be seen as a safe place for your dog, not a bad thing. When you leave the house, you need a place for her to go when you know she won't get into things she isn't supposed to. If you want to crate train her, make it place that she enjoys going into. Feed her in there, throw toys and food in there, praise her when she goes in there by herself. The crate will also help with the potty training issue, dogs won't go where they sleep and feel safe (generally). I think you leaving for a bit each day will improve the situation. My dog used to cry when we left him but now he just goes in his crate and hangs out quietly until we get back. Good luck!
i highly recommend a puppy class.
YES you are doing a disservice by never leaving the puppy alone. Unless you start training the puppy to be alone in short intervals daily NOW it will only get worse. Dogs with the worse cases of separation anxiety are those that were rarely left alone as puppies.
Honestly I would crate train. It's very hard to keep a puppy safe in a room unless you can TOTALLY dog proof. But crating is not just sticking the puppy in the carte - you need to do leg work to make it a fun good wonderful place Feeding in the crate, throwing high value stuff in there. then you can move to crate games (you can find some videos on you tube0.
oh and yes the puppy has just left it's litter - it's going to take getting used to to be a lone. dogs generally want to be around you. being alone is something to be learned.
use the crate, use the crate.
makes housebreaking so much easier, he'll wake you up but that's better than the alternative.
many ideas on how, here and other places.
my 4 month old just went in his on his own and is sleeping.
Let me start by saying this….Labradors are piranha puppies and velcro adults. Your puppy will likely never outgrow wanting to be right next to you..touching if at all possible. I have a multi-Lab household (four of them to be exact, plus a mixed breed tri-Pawd) and the adults want to be in the same room with me at all times and are very unhappy when made to stay in another…which is happening a lot at the moment because two of the four are puppies - 6 months (Kona) and 10 weeks old (Dreama) respectively.
Second, I would suggest using the crate. To begin with - and to address your inability to hear the puppy at night - I would simply move her doggie bed into the crate with a favorite toy and encourage her to sleep in it at night with the door open. I would also cover the crate with a blanket to make it more den-like. Both of our puppies have their own crates with special toys in them that are theirs alone and with a blanket to cover them. It all helps to create a "safe spot" for them to go when they feel vulnerable - like when their main care giver isn't at home.
In actual fact, I have four crates set up at the moment for the two puppies (the older dogs outgrew their need for them at different stages in their growing since they are after all individuals with their own maturity rates). Each of the puppies has a crate downstairs and upstairs in our bedroom.
Kona took a long time to adjust to the crate training. She found every note in every octave of the musical scales for about three weeks after she came home….I couldn't leave the room without her becoming hysterical. The first week I tried to stay in her sight but every day after that I would leave her field of vision for slightly longer periods of time…after three weeks, I would leave the house for about 15 minutes and gradually increased the times she knew I wasn't in the house. Each time I returned to her, it help her gain confidence that I WOULD return. After about five weeks, she could be left for a couple of hours with no problem.
Dreama (the ten week old) had no issues with crate training at all; the day she came home, I sat on the floor in front of her crate with her on my lap. I placed a few bits of kibble inside near a stuffed animal (with eyes and other things that may choke her removed) and a nylabone and a couple of nice soft towels. Within 15 minutes, she voluntarily entered the crate, ate the bits of kibble and curled up and slept for two hours. I didn't close the door that time, but that night at bed time, I closed it and she was fine.
Kona cried at night for about four nights but wiggling fingers inside the crate worked to calm her; Dreama never cried at night until we moved her upstairs and she went to bed at the same time as my husband and Kona…she cried until I got in bed. Seemed she needed her "mama" there for that first night in the big unknown upstairs. My bad. I should have taken her up there a few times before moving her there for the whole night. The next day, she went up with me as I made beds and sorted clothing….and she still cried until I went to bed…but the third night? No issues.
The point is that they are babies. What works for one won't always work for the other. Right now, you are the main caretaker, but as she grows more confident, she will bond with your husband and not need you so much. Don't rush it. Take it in small baby steps. Have him feed her a few times and take her outside to potty when possible.
As for the biting and rough play, Dreama is the puppy for that one. In fact, I am covered in bites and scratches as I type this because I just spent 15 minutes on the floor with her teaching her not to bite me or my clothes or my shoes. Each correction sees her go a bit crazy….so I grab on, hug her tight and securely and say "love Moma" in a soft voice and then place her back on the floor with a toy that goes into her mouth. It is hard work with some of them….others seem to learn in just a few days.
And here is where the crate comes in handy again…when she absolutely doesn't calm down and she has drawn blood again, she goes right into the crate for a calming period for her and for me. Each time out afterwards, I see a bit of improvement in her playing with me. Your husband needs to have a place to put your puppy so she can calm herself down when she has been corrected and is upset. (Not to leave her there for long periods of time, just for a cooling down period at which point she is taken out to potty and then brought back in for more training at playing nicely.)
To end this very long post - it is necessary to repeat that again that each puppy is an individual and what works for one won't work for another…You and your husband have to find what works for your household, but there are some basic things that you can use as a starting point to help your puppy with her insecurities and also to learn to play appropriately with you and your husband.
Good luck! And Congratulations on your new family member.
Our Yellow Baby Girl "Dream A Little Dream" born December 16 2014
Our Chocolate Girl "Kona of the Storm" born August 8 2014
Our Black Boy "Angus Demetrius" born April 26 2013
Our Yellow Girl "Calliope" born January 6, 2006
Our TriPawd "King" - Shelter Rescue born late fall 2004