My husband and I adopted a 5-month-old mixed breed puppy from the pound last week. Two days after we adopted him I had him at the vet’s office for shots and upset tummy issues. He tested negative for Parvo so they gave him meds (but no shots) and sent him home. The next day he was so much worse, I took him in and he tested positive for Parvo. We hospitalized him and he made a miraculous recovery and was home the next day. It’s now two days later and he is doing really well physically, loves playing etc. but he seems to be showing signs of separation anxiety. I put him in a pen in the living room to crate train him and he barks incessantly.
He already knows “sit” and is learning “lay down” and “calm” (what we use for our Saint) and will respond when I give him commands but as soon as I leave the room again he starts up. He won’t even go outside without freaking out if I’m not with him. I understand why he feels this way (who wouldn’t?!) but I need to break this habit.
What should I do? He is really attached to me. No matter where I go, if he isn’t in his pen or on his lead, he is right next to me. He walks right next to me, not leading or following, so close that he bumps into me. If I have the windows or front door open when he is outside he will try to climb through them but if I close them he calms down and does fine outside without me.
He is a really smart dog, really loving, really loyal and really great but he needs help with this anxiety. We also have three young kids (6, 4 and 1) and he does great with them. He isn’t food aggressive but when I feed him he scarfs it down like he might not see another meal for a long time. It’s sad 🙁 — Christy
Sounds like you are really on top of the situation we just need to address the little guy’s anxiety and develop his confidence.
Have you started training with him yet? Simple basics: Sit, Stay, Down, Come?
If not, I would break his training into little segments during the day- no more than 2-3 minutes at a time and 5-8 times a day. He is old enough to pay attention for that amount of time and the focus and praise will assist him in building his confidence.
With each week that passes, add another minute to your training sessions. Consistency over the course of the day is far better than trying to cram it all in at once and then leaving him to his own devices.
Have you started walking him on leash yet? If not, I would highly recommend the Walk In Sync(tm) Humane Dog Walking and Training System (www.WalkInSync.com) this harness and leash combo is great for teaching puppies to harness their own energy and builds confidence in them- if you do purchase use it for walks and don’t leave it on him without him being in your site as with any nylon product they can chew through it.
Have you ever heard of Bach Flower Essences?
They are liquid tinctures that work really well to assist in balancing emotions. To balance separation anxiety, use Heather and for confidence use Larch. Place 6-8 drops of liquid on the pup’s food or in his water and you should see changes pretty quickly.
In addition, due to the antibiotics and the way they imbalance the natural stomach flora and fauna I would recommend putting a product called bio nutrition to add about 1/2 a capsule in his food to help balance his stomach and strengthen it back up.
The last thing is to not feel bad for him. Dogs don’t feel bad for themselves- so don’t feel bad for him, just support him in his health and work with him with training and you should see some great progress in a very short time.
Let me know how things work out!
Alecia Evans, HDT, Inventor
Alecia Evans is the inventor of The Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System with her exclusive 5 Minute Manners Makeovers using the Walk In Sync™ Harness and Accu-Grip Leash, along with her Walk In Sync™ 3 Easy Steps to teach any human/dog duos to Walk In Sync in just minutes.
The former host of the award-winning GrassRoots Aspen TV Series, The Whole Animal-An Alternative Approach to Animal Care, Alecia takes a natural approach to dog training and health care. Her work has been featured on Fox and Friends, The Sandra Glosser Show, NY 1, and in Aspen Magazine, DogTipper.com, The New York Daily News and Woof Report.