I am researching like a crazy person to make sure I make the absolutely right decisions, so I'd love the feedback any of you wise folks can offer.
I had a Sheltie for 13 years, and he passed away earlier this year. I miss having a dog, and am preparing to get a new puppy. My research all indicates that I would love a standard poodle (great size, intelligence, wonderful personalities, all that great stuff). I'm a little nervous after a couple of standard poodle fostering situations, though.
In both cases, these were adult standard poodles. They bonded really well with me... which was part of the issue. They would howl whenever I left. With one, she didn't get any better over a period of about five months, and I feel like I tried everything: she had plenty of toys, I would exercise her very well before I left, I crated her some when I was home too so she had some alone time while I was there, I tried leaving articles of clothing in the crate or leaving the television on, I tried leaving her in the crate or outside the crate... I feel like I tried everything. With the other standard poodle, I just started fostering him today, so it's too early to tell, but I did come home to a nasty-gram from a neighbor (I live in a condo).
Have you guys found standard poodles to be any more or less prone to separation anxiety than other breeds? With the dog I'm fostering now, I feel hopeful that it's just the adjustment. My options are a bit limited, anyway, because he will go back home when his human parent recovers from surgery. I just really want to avoid any similar issues if I do bring home a standard poodle puppy (which I hope to do next weekend).
My girl is six month old now, I got her from a very reputable breeder who worked on socializing his puppies from the very beginning, so when I picked her up at 9 weeks old she already was well adjusted and very socialized. Because I'm a groomer, Aria pretty much goes everywhere with me, but on occasion, I have no choice but to leave her home alone and crated. Sometimes she will through a fit for about 3-4 minutes, but she is usually lays down and goes to sleep before I even am out the door.
A foster dog is having its world turned upside down, unfortunately they don't understand why all of a sudden they are not with their people and are stuck with someone they barely know, and that causes anxiety, or at least I know it would cause me anxiety if I was thrown in that situation with no choice. Lol
So, what I am trying to say is, in my own opinion, if you get a puppy from a very educated breeder, and know your puppies background, you will end up with a very well adjusted dog.
Also, once you pick up you puppy, if you do classes with them and take them everywhere to meet other people and dogs, it will help them build confidence. Make the trip to the vet and the groomer rewarding experiences. Especially the groomers, because this will teach them it's ok to be away from you for a period of time. That way, if you ever have to have your dog boarded somewhere, they already somewhat understand you will come back for them.
And most importantly, crate train. This becomes handy for SOOO many different reasons.
Based on my experience with Sushi he reacts much more than my non-standards dogs when I leave and he also reacts much more when I come back. I was lucky because I was home most of the time from when he arrived at 9 weeks until he was about 6 months old. He was able to gradually get used to see me leave and being alone.
At 7-8 months old he could stay alone free in the house for 8-9 hours 3 days a week without distroying anything. I think this is to long but the fact that I have another dog helps. She is 11 years old and doesn't really play with him but it's still company for him and she "teaches" him what he can and can't do!
Another thing that helps I think is our large bay window where he can sit or lie down to watch what the neighbors do, he just loves it.
Before I leave for long periods I always give them a frozen Kong filled with peanut butter and various treats so they think my departure is something positive. It does work because now rather than looking at me like if I was abandoning him he starts playing with is Kong.
I think a dog and specially a standard should not be left alone for more than 3-4 hours before they are 8 months old and after that no longer than 5-6 hours. If they have to be left alone for longer than 6 hours they should either have the company of an other animals (cat or dog), or someone to visit them. This is just a personnal opinion, I would like to know what others think about it.
I think a dog and specially a standard should not be left alone for more than 3-4 hours before they are 8 months old and after that no longer than 5-6 hours. If they have to be left alone for longer than 6 hours they should either have the company of an other animals (cat or dog), or someone to visit them. This is just a personnal opinion, I would like to know what others think about it.[/QUOTE]
I think that's great advise. I don't think any dog should be left alone for a long period of time without some sort of a companion. Dogs are pack animals, it's not in their nature to be alone ever.
I also love your kong idea, and making your departure a rewarding experience. I have a treat dispenser also that I will fill with my puppies kibble and will give it to her when I kennel her that way she doesn't get bored also.
I do think that poodles in the situation that you are fostering will have a lot of issues to deal with and as a result might have more anxiety than at other times. Having said that, my granddad's poos howl when he comes home, not when he leaves. Go figure. But they are excited to see him. My standard poo does not howl and she is an adult adoption. Granddad's are poodles are a mini and a toy.
I hope you find your special spoo They can make life wonderful!
No separation anxiety issues with our 19 month old dog. We got him when he was 12 weeks old, we don't baby talk to him, we don't get him all riled up when we're leaving the house. In fact we keep it very quiet, no big goodbyes. He also sleeps in his crate at night on the main floor of our house. He learned crating from day one. I don't think this is exceptional but it's all he knows. Good luck.
I did the same thing in researching for a very long time before obtaining a standard poodle, since neither of us had been around one. She is now 8 1/2 months old and we love her more than we could have ever imagined. She has never shown any sign of anxiety in anyway, but we did get her from a good breeder, and we have been diligent to socialize her by taking classes and taking her places. We both do work and she stays at the most 4 hours at a time by herself, but there have been 2 times she has stayed 7 hours with no evidence of any problems. She does have a crate which is now left open most of the time, and she has access to a small fenced area to go outside. The only thing that we were not expecting is how much energy she has. We have about an acre of a fenced in yard, and we let her run hard for awhile every day, and run hard she does-like a gazelle. This is in addition to our walks which are between a mile and a half and 3 miles. As long as she gets her exercise, she is as calm as ever in the house.
Poodle Type: Standards, Solid Silver and Parti Silver
Location: Athens, Georgia
Thanked 2,120 Times in 616 Posts
I agree with the others that your experiences probably have to do more with them being "fosters" and less with them being "poodles".
If you start your puppy off right, do plenty of socialization, but also make sure that you do prepare them for the occasional "being left alone" scenario by making a crate a happy place and making you leaving be NOT a big deal, you won't have to worry about it. None of my spoos have ever had separation issues.
My standard isn't yet six months, and we've have no problems as of yet.
I haven't read all the replies yet (I'm at work) but have you considered that its perhaps not the breed at all? Poodles are very loving creatures and your fosters have probably had an unstable past. Perhaps their anxiety issues are from being abandoned or otherwise stem from their history. If you get a puppy it is easy to raise it to be independent enough not to develop anxiety issues like this, whereas rescued dogs are often more prone to them.
Poodle Type: Standard White Poodle, Standard Parti poodle
Thanked 300 Times in 116 Posts
I saw this on "It's Me or The Dog". It was an episode about this dog that would literally jump out of the second floor window to try and follow the owner because it had huge separation anxiety. Some of the tips Victoria gave were as a lot of people here said "making leaving not a big deal". Victoria would tell the owners to perform the "triggers" that mean leaving (so grabbing your keys, walking around and getting your shoes, jacket, w.e. because dogs notice these things) but don't actually leave. Basically pretend that you're leaving, but don't actually leave (they would sit after grabbing their jacket and keys and just watch tv). The owners felt stupid. but it did help with the dog a little bit so the dog didn't freak out every time the owner would go grab the keys and what not. Also, they said not to make coming back such a big deal either; so don't greet the dog when you come back. Wait a couple of minutes for the dog to calm down and then say hello gently.
The owners eventually turned on music that was supposed to be soothing for dogs and left the dog with a frozen kong full of peanut butter and the dog seemed to be much better. The desensitizing to the triggers of the owners leaving (and not greeting right away when coming back) definitely helped with the course of training. I'm not a trainer, but thought this might help since that dog on the episode was NEUROTIC, but adorable, and it might help even more with your dog more than it did with those owners. I do believe the dog was eventually put on medication but I don't think your dog needs to be. That's on a case by case basis.
Also, my spoo used to be a service dog in training and he used to go everywhere with me, and then he got released. So, he went from being with me 24/7 to staying home while I go to class or whenever I go out. I have an app that lets me live stream my dog from my laptop to my iphone so I would watch what he would do. He would whine a little in the beginning before going back to bed and sleeping (which is what he does when I'm home and am busy with homework) so he's pretty calm and collected. I checked more recently and he just does what he wants (not bad things of course). So, I don't think its all poodles or anything like that