Post # 1
We just got an 8 wk old puppy the other day, and I’ve noticed he hates being alone. He doesn’t want attention, he just wants to be right near someone…anyone. All he wants is a direct presence, it seems.
When he’s not outside playing, I’ve sectioned off a part of the house to be his space where I can keep an eye on him and keep him out of trouble, at least until he’s potty trained (and better behaved, in general). His space includes a sunporch and living room, which is right beside the kitchen. The kitchen is a high traffic area, so it’s not as though he’s completely isolated when he’s left alone…there’s only a babygate between us. Regardless of this, he’ll whine and howl until someone is on his side of the gate, then he’ll be totally fine. It’s not like he wants to be cuddled or played with, as I’ve tried both and he’ll just ignore it. He’ll just do his own thing until he falls asleep, and then I can quietly sneak away. I find this behavior rather odd, and I can’t tell if it’s some sort of manipulation, or if it’s an actual anxiety thing (or something else..?) As far as I’m aware, separation anxiety has more to do with the dog thinking their master has disappeared forever, but he whines even when he knows we’re still around. Maybe he’s still just adjusting to his new life…? Any tips on how to deal with it and help him feel better about being “alone”? I don’t want to spoil him, but I also don’t want to make his adjustment stressful.
Post # 2
Awww, congratulations on the new puppy!
When we first got our dog, he was 16 weeks old, and he HATED when we would leave. We had neighbors complain that he would bark the whole time we were gone and it broke our hearts. We kept him in a kennel, per the advice of our vet, in the master bedroom, so that it would be the same area where he slept and would hopefully get comfortable with it. We ended up finding two things that seemed to help him a lot.
First, we moved his kennel to a spot in the apartment where he could see EVERYTHING going on. I know you mentioned that he’s in a high traffic area, but our puppy at least seemed to care most that he could see what was going on. He is a herding dog, so that may have played a role in it, but it seemed to really help him.
The other thing that made a huge difference was that we also got a kitten just a couple of weeks after bringing our puppy home. Since they were both young, they got along really well, and they could play while we were gone, and he seemed to really appreciate having the extra company.
I know these answers might not work for everyone, but they really did the trick for us.
Best of luck with your new little friend!
Post # 3
Something that I read that seemed to help when we brought our puppy home was the reminder that puppies are babies and babies have an inherent need to be close to their carers. We just kept our puppy close and, as much as possible, let her determine how comfortable she was being farther away from us. Is there a reason you’re gating your puppy away from where you are rather than having him in the same space as you?
Post # 4
Dogs were bred to be our companions so this is actually pretty normal for them, plus the puppy is new to your home.
Gating the puppy off from the rest of you seems like not the best idea. This is his time to get to know you all and get comfortable. If you need to control his environment you can keep him leashed or tethered but let him be around his people.
Post # 5
When he’s not napping, he’s usually with us. I only keep him in his space after playtime when he needs a nap, or if everyone is particularly occupied such as cooking or eating dinner. Even during those times, he usually gets some “drive-by” attention such as some quick cuddles whenever someone passes by or has to walk through his space. His moments “alone” when he whines are quite short lived, but I still feel bad about it nonetheless and worry that it might become a problem later on. I figured part of “getting to know us” should include getting to know our lifestyle which doesn’t revolve around giving him company and attention 24/7…but am I wrong about that? Should I wait a few more days as not to overwhelm him with change? How would you suggest going about teaching that?
I understand he’s a social animal, and I try my very best to accomodate that (I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom so most of his time is spent with me), but realistically speaking there are going to be unavoidable moments where he’ll need to be alone, such as when I run errands or take a shower. I figure sectioning him off from us a few times a day is a gentle way to introduce him to being more alone and encourage him to learn how to entertain/soothe himself (and eventually become crate-trained)…so far he’s never had to be left completely alone, but I know that day will inevitably come and I don’t want it to be a rude awakening for him when it does. I’d rather not go a “tough love” route if I can avoid it, but I guess I don’t know how to teach him gently since this sectioning thing doesn’t seem to be working so well.
Post # 6
Is this your first dog, OP? The reason I ask is because all puppies act this way, especially at only 8 weeks old. He’s still only a baby and considering the fact you’ve only had him for a few days, surely he is a little confused and possibly scared. Puppies aren’t like babies in that they need you to decide for them when they need to be put down for a nap.. if he is tired, he’ll fall asleep. I understand keeping him in a specific area when you are occupied (cooking and don’t want him tripping you up etc) but other than that I personally wouldn’t keep an 8 week old puppy secluded outside of crate training. Also I don’t think there’s a need to “warm him up” so to speak to crate training… We found that giving our pup treats in her crate when it came time to leave her here worked great.
Post # 7
nalanain is right. Don’t worry about nap time for a puppy. They will sleep when they’re tired. Congrats on the new puppy. I think some whining when crated or separates from people is normal, but I am pretty sparking with it when I’m home. Even when cooking, I just keep my puppy with me(alright, so she’s 10 months old, so less of a puppy now lol). She does get crated at mealtimes though because certain people started feeding her under the table. Hurumph.
It’s only been a few days. Give it a little more time and hopefully things settle down. My dog was a bit older when I got her, 14 weeks old, and I was really happy she got to stay with her mom and one litter mate until she came home with me. She’s been really calm and not nippy at all.
Post # 8
- Wedding: December 1969 - City, State
I disagree with the puppy knowing when he needs to nap. I have a dog who had to be taught that he has an off switch, and at 6yrs old, still at times will get overtired and fight sleep.
What breed is he?
My dog is a Velcro breed, he would literally live in my nose if he could fit. I knew that teaching him that it was ok for him not to be near us all the time was crucial to his adult mental well being. One of the best pieces of advice I got from my breeder was “the more time a puppy spends alone in his crate, the more freedom he’ll enjoy as an adult”.
I would move him to a crate, not a closed off space, and keep the crate in a common area. Puppies sleep a lot, 20+ hrs a day, so get him on a schedule where you’re meeting his needs: feeding, interaction, training, play, potty and the rest of the time he is in his crate, relaxing with a chew or asleep. If you give into his need to always be around you, guess what happens when he turns a year old and you can’t be home with him 24-7.
If all of his needs are met and he’s whining in his crate just to be close to you, ignore him. I would drop treats in my dogs crate when he was relaxing/being quiet. This approach may seem cruel, but it is much crueler and will be much more difficult if you don’t teach him he’s ok hanging out alone.
Post # 9
We started crate training from day one. They need to have their own space where they know they are safe and it’s probably the best place to keep them when you go out, for their safety and the safety of your stuff!
Post # 10
It’s normal for them to be very clingy when they’re very young. Human babies are too. Babies of many species are super clingy to their caregivers.
My pup was literal Velcro at that age. She sat and watched me pee. She slept on the bathmat in the bathroom when I took a shower. She insisted on staying by my side constantly. When she got older and was allowed to sleep outside her crate, she would follow me to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
It was somewhat gradual, but at about a year she was much more independent. She wants me to be home, but she doesn’t necessarily sit by me anymore. She doesn’t come into the bathroom when I pee or shower. When I get up in the middle of the night she doesn’t follow me. Etc.
I think you do need to train is associating certain spaces with good memories so the dog sees it as a safe space. Mine liked her crate (if the door was open) because I fed her lots of treats in there. Mine likes the couch. So when I come back I often find her in one of those 2 spots where she has decided to wait safely for my return. So I would try to make the place you’re trying to pen her in a place of good memories for her.
Post # 11
I wonder if he had a blanket that smelled like you, if he would find comfort with that & therefore not whine for you?
Give it some time. My dog was very clingy as a puppy, but she grew out of it after a couple of months.