Puppy separation anxiety?

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jskm21's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-19

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Hello everyone,

And here we are again, in need of your suggestions and opinions!

It's been 5 days since Dante lives with us, and we've had our ups and downs. Honestly, at the moment more downs than ups. We totally understand that puppies lots of attention, care and patience, and we are happy to provide it to him.

Let's start with problem #1 - Biting:

We understand that at his age biting is totally normal since he is teething at the moment. We provided for him all different types of toys, from soft toys to ropes and nalgene bones different shapes sizes, etc. He plays with them for period of time and then just goes constantly biting me and my husband, very unexpectedly. He would be surrounded by toys, but it doesn't help. When we are trying to substitute our hands with the toy he gets even angrier and more aggressive towards us with his biting. We are not sure how to proceed. Our hands and legs are covered in scratches from bites. 

Problem #2 - House breaking:

This is a very interesting situation. When we picked him up from the breeder and brought him home, surprisingly, we've had no accidents for 2 days at all (Sunday and Monday)! Monday evening we took him to the vet for his puppy checkup and second round of shots. He acted normal that evening, a little more tired than usual (probably from shots). We took him out few times and around 11pm he just passed out until 5am. On Tuesday without any warnings he peed at home few times. We cleaned and sanitized all the areas he peed and decided it's probably because he is still drowsy after his shots from yesterday. On Wednesday, he peed at home right after we came back from 30 min walk, and later that day he pooped. Everything was cleaned and sanitized of course. But now he keeps doing his stuff at home. We are taking him out constantly every time he wakes up from him nap (which is pretty much every 1.5-2 hours) and 15-20 min after each meal. Is there anything we are doing wrong?

And finally, the most important Problem #3 - Separation Anxiety:

My Husband works from home, so he is able to take care of Dante during the day and spend all the time with him. We have 2 crates at home, 1 in our bedroom next to bed and another at my husband's home office under his desk. Dante is never alone since the day we picked him up. We tried to give him as much attention as possible to make this transition to a new home easier on him. He sleeps in his crate in bedroom perfectly during the night, knowing that we are in the room with him, and during the day he naps at his crate under my husband's desk. I told my husband to start leaving him in bedroom crate during the day for 15-20 min at a time to teach him spend some time separately, in case we would like to get a dinner in the future, or just be able to leave him alone for a couple of hours. So far we've had no luck. All that time he would spend yelping and crying, and when we come back to the room 15 min later and open the crate, he would be shaking, crying and acting very scared. We even tried to leave the TV on as a background noise for him. It didn't help as well. Is it an early stage of separation anxiety? What should we do about it? Maybe somebody had similar problems?

 

Please, help us with any information or suggestions. We truly don't know how to act and what to do. He is only 10 weeks old now, we want to make his puppy-hood happy, but at the same time have well behaved puppy.

Thanks a lot for all your help!

Jason and Kamila

 

Max's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-16

Hello and welcome to the community!

The biting can mean a lot of things. It can be their way of getting your attention and just wanting to be pet. Correcting him and letting him know that licking the hands gets him a treat or being pet, and the biting doesn't get him anything. It's completely normal behavior. We have a 4 month old Border Collie we got not to long ago, and we're dealing with the same issue.

House breaking is the patence game. At his age, you're not going to see any results. He will go when his bladder lets loose. He has no control, so don't be discouraged. However, when he does poo inside, take the poo outside to a spot where you want him to go. It'll help register it in his mind where he's supposed to be going potty. Also, when taking him out, make sure he knows what he's doing. Tell him you're going outside, and teach him to ring a bell or scratch his paws on the door or something to let you know he needs to go outside. That way he has a communication method with you. When you're outside with him, continue to say go potty/outside/whatever your word is for him. And don't praise him until he's done going. I don't know if he's an affectionate dog like Max was, or a food driven dog like our Border Collie is. You'll figure it out pretty quick.

With seperation anxiety, keep putting him up in his crate. Don't ever let him out because he is whining! He'll think that's his way to get out, and will do it every time. Wait until he calms down, then let him out, and praise him for being such a good boy while in his crate! Give him toys too, and using an item that smells like you can help at the young age. We threw in old t-shirts, old blankets we wrapped ourselves in, anything with your scent. It could be the difference maker. But, Dobermans are a "velcro" breed. Which is one of their amazing characteristics. They want to know where you are at all times. Max goes with me everywhere, and trys to help me out with everything I do (he's yet to understand he's not a master carpenter yet).

Best of luck to you!

Hope I was of some help!

jskm21's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-19

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Max's Dad,

Thank you very much for your response. Dante seems to be doing much better with housebreaking. We started to put him in his crate for 20-25 minutes at a time and leaving the room and planning to increase the time little by little. First time he was crying and whining non-stop for all that time and in the past 4 days his behavior started to improve. This morning he cried for 5 minutes and then settled down and started playing with his toys. 

Biting is still a problem and probably will be for the next 6 months :) but we are still encouraging him to bite his toys and give us kisses instead. Sometimes it works, sometimes not really. He just love the taste of out hands for some reason :)