Author Topic: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy  (Read 1437 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Lulabear

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« on: October 20, 2016, 07:13:14 AM »
HI to you all. Needing some help if anyone has had any success in dealing with this issue... cooper is my first cocker. He's now 20 weeks. Gorgeous etc but separation anxiety unless I'm in the same room. If not he'll howl and bark indefinitely.
I'm so confused about whether to leave him will crack it (one line of thought) or to continue with the gradual desensitisation. I have been doing this. In and out within seconds. Minutes and up to an hour but he gets upset. Clawing at the door and making a lot of noise. He does not settle down!
I've tried this with him in his crate (which he doesn't really like and only sleeps in there at night or when I'm out of the room for an hour) or leaving him free in the kitchen (which I thought he may prefer but makes me less relaxed as I am concerned he might toilet or more chances to harm himself somehow).
He wakes up early to wee (5.30am ish) and he'll only continue sleeping beside me otherwise he'll cry and bark til 6.30 (crate or free in kitchen) when I'm ok to get up
Can anyone share what has helped you...
Very many thanks

Offline Patp

  • Donator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3617
  • Gender: Female
  • Jinley
Re: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2016, 02:50:01 PM »
Jinley is 5 and would bark, how and become a one dog demolition machine if she was shut it the next room whilst I moved around the house, but will settle quietly to sleep when we go out.  I put it down to her wanting / needing to be with us at all times so she doesn't miss out rather than separation anxiety.



Offline lescef

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1113
  • Gender: Female
Re: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 04:01:00 PM »
Hi. Do you know if he is quiet when you are out of the house? If he is then I don't think it's separation anxiety.  Bramble creates mayhem if doors are closed on her but is ok in her crate. She's also fine when we go out.
He's only young yet and still learning to be independent.
I would add though that they soon pick up on routine and having a cuddle early morning is preferable to being back in a crate!
Lesley, Maddie and Bramble

Offline minimoo

  • Donator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3099
  • Gender: Female
Re: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2016, 08:07:48 AM »
I have 3 cockers and I cannot shower or go to the loo without supervision  :005: but they are fine when I go out and leave them. cockers are very attached to their humans , they call them Velcro dogs  ;) so I don't think it is separation anxiety just wnting to be with you when you are in the house
Julie owned by Ella, and Bailey the mud monster and little Milo.   R.I.P Kizzy 19.04.97 - 16.06.11, the start of my love for the wiggly ones and Bruno my lovely brave boy

Offline Londongirl

  • Donator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1458
Re: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2016, 08:29:56 AM »
Have to say it would drive me nuts if Henry was a Velcro dog, but he's not. He likes being with me, and often follows me if I move, but I think that's him being nosy! He doesn't like a door being closed if he knows one of his people is behind it, but once it's opened and he's checked out what going on, he danders off again. He often takes a toy or chew to another room from where I am for a bit of quiet time and gives a doggy shrug of the shoulders if I disappear upstairs (behind a baby gate). Of course, when he DOES want a cuddle, that's non-negotiable and you better put down what you're doing quick before 15kg of teeenage cocker lands in your lap.

My point is that having a Velcro cocker is not inevitable, if that not what you want.
Rachael (me) and Henry (him)


Offline Pearly

  • Donator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4211
  • Gender: Female
  • Pearl, Coral, Sally, Purdey and Kukri
Re: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2016, 10:03:22 AM »
Cooper has you very well trained  ;) you leave him, he cries, you reward him by giving him attention  ph34r

Both mine know they will only be let out of a room (or crate) if they are quiet - if Coral is attention seeking (generally silent but jumps 4ft in the air by the stairgate) I ignore her, not even to make eye contact until she calms down.  Pearl used to be a velcro cocker, when Coral arrived I made a conscious decision both should live in the kitchen - this does seem to have helped. I can even go into a shop leaving her with friends outside - something 3 years ago in Linton had her screaming like a banshee!

It may also be worth teaching him a settle command.  Use this when you want him to be quiet and should expect to sleep - this is a very important command for trips to the pub and I find helpful when I'm leaving the house to go to work!

The other thing you can do to help with SA is to encourage him to "earn" affection.  Rather than just letting him choose when he comes to you, make him sit, give a paw etc and then make a fuss of him.  Only give attention/affection when he's calm, turn your back to him if not - cockers dont like being ignored!  Practice this as much as you can and dont give in to those spaniel eyes :005: over time it will teach him that he will always get affection but on your terms and at times that suit you..... its the other way around at the moment  :shades:

Offline Lulabear

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
Re: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2016, 03:14:10 PM »
Thanks for your replies. I'm trying to be clear(which is hard when you're feeling so sleep deprived!). There's two issues 1) he wakes up early 5ish and will cry and paw and bark indefinitely until I come back down again and release him from crate and be with him. 2) when I leave him at all during the day (2 mins loo stop -1 hour work meeting) again hell howl and not settle at all despite being tired from walk fed etc etc.
It does feel like a battle of wills but the only recourse im thinking is to just let him cry himself out BUT is this really going to help him deal with our absence ?

Offline Londongirl

  • Donator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1458
Re: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2016, 03:46:27 PM »
The 'positive' method for dealing with SA is to NEVER leave them alone for longer than they can handle, even if that is one second, then build up the time quite literally a second at a time. I'm sure it works, but it's not very practical in real life. However, if you can manage it, it does seem to work.

I wonder if the early waking is also SA? It may be a natural time for him to come into a lighter sleep cycle, and he is having trouble settling himself back to sleep because he's alone.
Rachael (me) and Henry (him)


Offline Lulabear

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
Re: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2016, 04:15:13 PM »
I think you are exactly right!!!! Thank you!
Today I did that. In and out for one second about 10 times. I think he was so exhausted from watching me go in and out of the kitchen so many times he didn't have chance to bark or miss me!!!
Got him at 8 weeks. Now 20 weeks. I'm kinda hitting the exhaustion phase. It's a bit mad to be thinking 5.45 lie in yeah!

Offline Kiki90

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2021, 04:56:37 PM »
Hello! I wondered if this problem ever settled down?

Our cocker is now 5 months and I am not exaggerating when I say he CANNOT be without my husband.

If my husband leaves the room he howls , barks , whines , cries , scratches the door and becomes extremely unsettled,

It doesnít matter even if Iím in the room with him.

My husband is at his wits end as feels like he canít leave the house or the room as it causes the dog stress and in return Iím stressed as the neighbours have complained already about the noise and the kids are grumpy.

I know itís not the dogs fault but I just donít know how to combat this. Gosh I canít imagine how he would react if we left him alone for longer than a few minutes!

 :huh: :huh:

Offline zazous

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Dealing with separation anxiety in 5 month old puppy
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2021, 08:38:21 PM »
Kiki

Our cocker is now 8 months and follows me A LOT more than my partner, but that's because I'm more doggie focussed and do much more (and sometimes all more!) of the feeding, walking, playing, training and grooming.

Dogs will focus on one human at the expense of others, its kinda understandable that they bond more with the one that gives them the most or responds the most.

Initially our cocker would bark when I left the house but not when my partner did.

I then started a programme of leaving, without fuss and walking round the block, so just out the house for 5 mins, I did that three times a day and within a week notices less barking on me leaving.

Inside the house, I'm doing the 'close the door and leave for 1 second, 90 seconds, 10 seconds, 3 mins, 5 seconds and so on to keep the dog off balance and no clue how long I'll be gone for. I return when I decide, not when he barks or scratches, but always within 3 mins.

Over time I'll build that up. My record - or to be specific the dog's record - is 15 mins with no barking, scratching or whining.