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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Barking puppy problems! Help!

We've had Moose for almost a week now (he's now 9 weeks old), and anytime he isn't physically able to touch us, he whines, cries, and/or barks. We have a baby gate set up in the entry way to keep him on the linoleum, and even if we are sitting directly on the other side of the gate, he will act like it's the end of the world. We have tried leaving him with stuffed kongs and other chewable toys, and he will only be distracted for a few minutes before he realizes we aren't watching him anymore. We've also tried ignoring him, and praising him when he settles down for a few seconds/minutes. We're afraid to leave him home alone because we live in an apartment and the neighbors might want to strangle us. Luckily for us, my wife currently works from home so he has company all day, but we would like to do things in the evening. Is this separation anxiety? Demand barking? Any advice on how to train him to be more comfortable on his own?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:08 PM
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Very young puppies such as yours have a built in survival mechanism to want to be with their family. In the wild, separation from family would lead to almost certain death from predators, exposure or dehydration. Being so young, I would take his cries seriously and not a "He's going to get spoiled" or "He's being manipulative". A young puppy is like a newborn. Most parents don't go out or make other arrangements until the baby is older. I would suggest you make a temporary similar adjustment, at least as much as you can and within reason, until he is older, more stable and comfortable with you. He also did JUST leave his mother so he is going through that as well. It's a lot to deal with from his point of view. Order pick up with one person staying home, switch off with errands or whatever needs to be done for a bit, and then do short sessions of leaving to gauge how he is. With proper training and socialization, he should be fine in time. Just keep in mind that he really is just a baby that barely left all he has known in life, and that when he cries, he is truly stressed.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:47 PM
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I could not stand the crying so I gave in and didn't have any gates separating me from my pups. I did however have them pinned up when I left. It only took a few minutes and they settled down. I think they knew the difference between me being gone and home.Their are more forum members who have had success being consistent and teaching their pups to be content by themselves so I hope they chime in.

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies! We figured he would take a while to adjust to being away from his mom and litter mates, but we're worried that being with him 24/7 is going to create a separation anxiety.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 08:33 AM
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It will get better and the behavior is normal in the beginning. The easiest times to practice separation when you're home is when Moose is napping. Zelda hates being in her pen if we're home and she's awake. We don't have to do that often any more since she's potty trained but she's teething so sometimes still needs to be penned up when we're around trying to get stuff done.

She's fine when we completely leave. We only give kongs when we leave the house and it took awhile to teach her awesome them are.

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Zelda Violet, born March 2013
Mom: Katherine
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barking , separation anxiety , whining

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