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Hello,
Our family just acquired our first family dog over the Christmas holiday. I am a longtime dog fancier and grew up with a retriever and a Parsons terrier. We talked to many different breeders before settling on our pup and I did a ton of "book learning" about the breed. We have small children and were excited about the poodle's family compatibility as well as its famed hypoallergenic qualities (though this turns out to be controversial and in my experience so far not very helpful for my allergies). Our puppy's name is Henry and we are hopeful he will mature into a great companion for all of us; he quickly made himself a part of the family and we all love him already. He is currently a buff colored red and loves to curl up at your feet. He likes to play with the children up to a point but he is still very young (only 10 wks).
However, I am wondering what kind of anxiety behavior is normal for puppies. He was whining and climbed over the back seat and sat between my children's carseats twice today (yes, I know we need a crate back there... working on it) and he always cries in his crate, usually for 5-10 mins. How long is it until you start to see "leaving litter-nest separation" anxiety level out? My worst fear is having an anxious dog around my kids. Though he doesn't seem afraid of anything (them, vacuums, etc.) and that is heartening to me. He is the smallest in his litter and I've read that can be correlated with a less even temperament. Should I Volhard test him myself? The breeder said he was middle of the road in terms of temperament and intelligent and outgoing. That seems to be the case but I'm wondering what's normal for anxiety for spoo pups this young.
Thank you & Merry Christmas!
 

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Welcome! Yes, get a crate immediately for car travel! As in, don't put him in the car until he has a safe place to be. That is super dangerous. Others will hopefully add some tips about crate training. Basically, it is a process and you have to work with them every day, even if they come to you crate trained.

You cannot Volhard him anymore--the time to do it is at 49 days of age, with a qualified evaluator. I have never heard of the smallest in the litter having a more anxious temperament. To the contrary, many runts end up being little spitfires! He should not have littermate separation issues for more than a day or two of coming home, if he has a good solid temperament and was well raised by the breeder. My Maizie arrived off the plane, trotted right into the house, and started playing immediately on her first day. Frosty cried all the way in the car and was terribly carsick, but once we got home, he never looked back. Those are pretty typical reactions for a well adjusted spoo.
 

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Sounds like he's had a very busy first couple of weeks home! The hustle and bustle and raw EXCITEMENT of the holidays can make any dog anxious, at any age. I'd just make sure he's got a quiet space to retreat to and is getting lots of uninterrupted naps. (20 hrs a day of sleep is normal at this age, which can be tricky with kids around.)

Also: Keep your expectations reasonable and your interactions with him upbeat. He doesn't know what you want from him yet. Your kids are his buddies, and it's normal for him to want to be close to them and you in the car. I don't see that as abnormal. And do you play crate games with him? Did you introduce him slowly to confinement? Again, it's perfectly reasonable that he's anxious when forcibly separated from his new family.

My favourite resource for this age is Ian Dunbar's Before And After Getting Your Puppy.
 

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P.S. Congratulations on your new family member :) I know you're experienced with dogs, but poodles are very intelligent and sensitive, and can be a challenge (albeit a worthwhile one) for even veteran dog owners. Don't stress and don't forget he's just a baby. You're his world now.
 

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Welcome to you and Henry! He will grow into a wonderful family dog. PF is here to help you through the rough patches, and you will have those. Get a flirt pole and start obedience training immediately:)
 

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Welcome - your Henry sure is a cutie. Lots of good information here on the forum. This is a great community of poodle lovers and we will help you any way we can.
 

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My boy took a full week to settle in- he had been crate trained but never on his own, and the breeder was retired so I don't think he had been left alone before.
He whined when crated or when he couldn't see me, but like your pup he was not at all nervous of the vacuum or my kids or other noises. Now he is good in his crate and not anxious at all, but he does sometimes whine when I am in another room for too long, if he knows where I am but can't see or get to me.
I used the crate training recommendations here: Crate Training: Puppy Owners | Austerlitz German Shepherd Dogs
And the first training starting a few days after he came home was attention work from here:
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Wow everyone, thanks so much for the warm welcome! I’ve read a lot of threads on here prior to purchasing our little buddy and I’m glad to become a part of the community.

@MaizieFrosty: Henry sounds a lot like your Maizie in terms of his temperament. He got carsick on the way home but was immediately chipper and playful, exploring our house and greeting everyone when he got home. So it sounds like he’s pretty well adjusted. I’ve never owned a spoo so I’m not sure what to expect.

@PeggyTheParti Thanks for the advice about naps. I don’t think he was sleeping nearly enough. We have his crate in our back room behind the utility room. We let him out from there into the utility room to observe going-ons in the kitchen. It’s baby gated off and we feed and water him here. This is where he stays when I can’t directly supervise him. I have not played crate games with him. I don’t think we introduced the crate correctly. We had a GSD puppy before him (we gave her back to the breeder after we all became allergic; I’m glad it happened because the poodle is a much better dog for us), and she took to the crate like a fish to water. This puppy though, he wants to be with us all the time; he is very sensitive, you are right, and if he even hears someone out in that part of the house when he is confined, he starts up with the crate yodeling. I’m so open to any suggestions here for how to get him to like his crate and to stop the noise. Thank you for the reassurance… I am a worrier!

@Mfmst What is a flirt pole? How is it used in obedience training>?

@Asta’sMom Thank you! We love him…

@Starvt Thank you for the training resources! He goes to pieces if he can’t see us and barks for what I think are fairly long intervals. That’s why I started to wonder if he was a bit on the anxious side. But he shows no anxious behaviors at all outside of the crate/separation, and again we’re going only on 2 weeks of having him.

This is neither here nor there but does anyone else struggle with allergies? I never did until we had our second daughter, was blindsided by reacting to dogs all of a sudden. We'd like to have Henry crated in our room or the main room of the house but we're concerned about the health impact. I've been using Flonase and it's the only thing that helps/makes it tolerable enough for me to keep our Henry. :( I hope I get used to him naturally. I'm going back to the allergist to be re-tested for dogs (I wasn't allergic as of this spring but I am reacting anyway).

Also, to gush... I am so impressed with this puppy's gentleness. He is such a love. Are all poodles like this? He seems naturally deferential around children. I've seen a lot of crazy, bitey puppies, and he's really not like that. He bounces up to them like there's a forcefield around them that he respects the boundaries of, for the most part (we have of course had a couple of jumping incidents). I know not to be blasé about supervising their interactions, I'm just saying I'm pleasantly surprised! My husband can't get over how good natured he is. I included a couple more pictures!

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Aww, what sweet pics! He sounds like a wonderful puppy! No, they are not all that gentle and careful around youngins :) Frosty was super gentle like that with my toddlers in my home nursery school, but Maizie is much more exuberant.

And yes, I have horrible allergies to almost everything on the planet. I had allergies to Maizie the first three weeks, but then thank God they disappeared! I didn't have any reaction to Frosty at all. So, hopefully you will adapt :)
 

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Sounds like you have a wonderful puppy! Once you get him acclimated to his crate, perhaps try covering it. Peggy's is in a central part of our home, but we put a blanket over it when she's confined and she goes straight to sleep. It's actually rather funny. She can be fussy, bouncy, nippy, restless,sticking her nose in places it doesn't belong.....and then into the crate and SILENCE. They're really like toddlers in this way, not always knowing when they need to sleep. And their fear of missing out is strong! That's where the crate cover can help. It also creates a nice dark environment, which is much easier to sleep in.

I'm not sure of the best crate games resource. There are SO MANY videos on YouTube. Maybe someone here can provide a favourite link?

Ian Dunbar also has excellent teachings on this subject. He firmly believes that teaching your puppy to be a chew addict is the key to a happy dog who knows how to self-soothe. I've read his book "Before And After Getting Your Puppy" twice, cover to cover, and regularly refer to his online material: Dog Star Daily

The best approach to crate training is to start slowly and then progress at their pace. Peggy is never "put" in her crate. She goes willingly. But these methods works even for older, adopted dogs, so have faith!

When Peggy was very small, we'd hang out on the floor next to her crate until she fell asleep, including in the middle of the night, after potty breaks - ahhhh puppy life! And we continue to crate her at random times so she doesn't only associate the crate with long nights alone or when we (very occasionally) go out without her. Her water dish is mounted inside the crate, so this is another thing that keeps her going in there without fear that she'll be automatically confined. We never crate her if she hasn't been adequately physically and mentally exercised. And we always give her a treat when we ask her to go in. Every single time. She's always munching on something good when the crate door closes.

She's an adolescent now, so I'm bracing myself for some regression. It's a journey :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@MaizieFrosty I'm so glad you stopped reacting to Maizie! I hope I adapt, too! I'm guessing you got Frosty after her?

@PeggyTheParti I will check out YouTube for crate games. Thanks for the recommendation. Oh YouTube... where would be without you? LOL. I ordered the book you recommended by Ian Dunbar and I have had some fun perusing his website. Thanks for your tips, too, about making crate training a success. We are definitely falling short of the mark on this objective currently. I think we will have to start feeding him in there and bring it into the living room and keep our fingers crossed on the allergy question.
 

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@PeggyTheParti I will check out YouTube for crate games. Thanks for the recommendation. Oh YouTube... where would be without you? LOL. I ordered the book you recommended by Ian Dunbar and I have had some fun perusing his website. Thanks for your tips, too, about making crate training a success. We are definitely falling short of the mark on this objective currently. I think we will have to start feeding him in there and bring it into the living room and keep our fingers crossed on the allergy question.
So glad you got his book! Don't be put off by his serious tone, but don't laugh it off either. He knows what he's talking about, and I always do best when I trust his methods.

I sure hope you get some allergy relief. I've had daily allergy symptoms since moving to the Pacific Northwest and it's not been fun. I feel like I'm in a fog a lot of the time.

One thing that's given me some relief is sleeping with the bedroom door closed and a really good air filter running. (I use BluAir.) I also use Arm & Hammer saline nasal spray before bed and when I wake up.

My mom has severe dog and cat allergies, but has always had one or the other (or both) and swears the symptoms improved over time. I tend to think she just got used to them, as she always sounds congested. But I suppose that in itself is encouraging.

Where it can get bad, though, is if you develop asthma symptoms, like I did while keeping pet rats. That's not something you want to mess around with.

But I'm hopeful you'll be okay.

It sounds like you have a really extraordinarily wonderful puppy.
 

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@PeggyTheParti I think I will enjoy his serious tone, actually. I’ve always loved dogs, but I’m wary of anthropomorphizing. I think the canine-human relationship shines the most when each creature is respected for what they are. I really wanted a poodle so I could get into more advanced obedience training as a hobby and maybe compete. I hope my allergies don't prevent me from keeping him. :(

Misery loves company, right? Hail, fellow allergy sufferer. :D I had that brain fog too until I started using Flonase, which prevents any asthma symptom for me - the GSD gave me asthma, so far Henry hasn't. I’m worried about long term side effects, though… hoping my immune system will calm down. I am coming off my symptom management regimen to get re-tested for dogs in about a week—that will be illustrative. Maybe I should try and get pregnant again! My doctor said my allergies will probably change with each pregnancy, LOL. (Ehem, being facetious here!) Thanks for the air filter recommendation, and the encouragement. The market is absolutely saturated for air filters and I’ve been a bit at a loss. Currently using a Filtrete in the bedroom but that was just what I could find at Lowe's.
 

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I was DEEP in research mode for weeks before buying my BluAir. It was rather exhausting. But I'm happy with my choice and have had it now since 2015. It developed a bit of a wobble in the fan at some point during the first year, which created an unpleasant (to me) noise. I'm pretty sensitive to stuff like that. So they replaced it with a brand new unit, no charge.

The only downside is the filters are not cheap. (Though I save a lot by buying through Costco.) And you need to be careful to keep it free of hair, especially if you have long hair like I do.
 

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Ya know, I used to do market research for companies, utilizing forums sometimes to gather insight on how people were talking about their products. I bet there is a slew of allergy product discussion on this forum! LOL. Thanks again for the welcome and the recommendation. I'm excited to try a filter with demonstrable results.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We decided to change his name to Becket. FYI for everyone.
It was between Henry and Becket and we felt Becket fit better after getting to know him.
(Anyone seen Becket? Great film...)
(Don't worry... No more name changes in store, LOL).
 
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