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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I have recently brought a toy poodle he so lovely, but the barking is so bad that I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a complaint at some point!
Bert is 14 weeks old he has a very sweet nature apart from the barking. We had a dog trainer round and he told us that Bert has really bad separation anxiety if I leave the room and put the baby gate on he goes mental I’ve tried ignoring him but i can only ignore him for so long as he doesn’t stop and I really don’t want to annoy the neighbours. The people we brought him from said they all use to sleep in the bed together so he has had constant human contact and the dog trainer told us they should never of done that and that will explains why he has such bad separation anxiety. We also was advised by him to get a bark collar that sprays citronella so we did and he barks right through it nothing will stop him from barking if we leave a room. Has anyone else had this kind of problem and if they have could they please kindly share how they dealt with it as my partner thinks it’s best we give him away and that’s the last thing I want to do
 

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1. Get a different trainer, that trainer is awful
2. Work gradually.

Google "separation anxiety" and slowly work on it. Your puppy is a baby, and from the sounds of it, has been ripped away from its family twice. Of course he's afraid! And now, every time you leave and he barks, he gets sprayed unpleasantly - poor guy will never learn to like you being gone if he is always punished when you go. Of course he is on edge, watching and waiting to see when you will disappear next and he will be sprayed again. Poor baby.

Patricia Mcconnells "I'll be home soon" is the tiny book I read that helped with my girl's separation anxiety, i highly recommend it.

Sepration anxiety is emotional. To solve separation anxiety- you need to train your dog to believe you will return and he is safe in your absence. Give him a week where he is not alone. Take him to your room at night, take him with you everywhere, rearrange your life so he is not left alone and always has either you or your partner (and work on socialization while you are at it, since it sounds like he is a nervous puppy, and you dont want a nervous dog - check out Dr. Sophia Yins socialization checklist, or one of the many others online if you havent already). Watch him for signs of anxiety and return before he can progress past watchful and into scared and crying. Work on confidence and resilience, and let him settle in. Make him feel like he has a stable home base. And throw out the citronella collar.

After a week - he should be a bit more confident in his new home and that you wont abandon him. Hopefully you managed to keep him feeling safe for a full week. Likely he will already let you get a bit further away, confident you wont escape. Maybe he is already letting you leave the room. Your problem may even be solved. Maybe not.

If not , put him behind a gate with a favourite toy or chew and when he is fully occupied with it, leave his sight for 1s then return, casually, no big deal. If you cant do more than go behind the gate without him being upset, just do that. If you can only reach the gate, just do that. Do that again and again until you leaving for 1s, or approaching the gate, or whatever, is a normal part of the day, not worthy of note. Practice in different places in the house, with him in a crate, etc. Leave, return, ignore. Then move up to the next step. Maybe 2s, then 3s, then 5s, 7 s, 10s, 15s, 30s etc. If you screw up (and you will, because this wont be linear) try REALLY hard not to return while he is crying if at all possible. If he is excited when you return - dont feed it. Calmly brush him away for that moment, and then snuggle or play later. You leaving and you returning is NOT worthy of emotion or fuss, and you want him to realize that. It's quite possible that, with him feeling more confident, you will be able to leave him within a few weeks, with no worries at all. Puppies are resilient.

The key with sepration anxiety is to not let them repeat the stress and amp themselves up. Cortisol stays in the system from stress for days and makes them even more nervous and on edge. Let them feel safe and they will reward you with a bit more trust. Use that trust to get them feeling safe with you gone longer or further, and continue from there.

Also, i highly recommend that you stay away from punishment based methods for poodles, especially for young dogs. They dont understand it, they are very sensitive, and they rarely learn what you want from being punished.
 

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Awhile ago now it was suggested that instead of Like button, we could change globally.to a Thanks button Others would like a wide range of buttons. I think that suggestion for more buttons was made by Raindrops)/ Anyway I hope this suggestion doesn't get dropped .PTP, I love the idea to set a love; thanks, likes. I would probably start with get the idea out there and see if there is many responsive to the idea and then a poll and maybe all that much work to make it happen.. I happen to think that our Supermoderaters can work miracles.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your advice. He is loved so much in our house as our first family pet. If you can understand I do have to be mindful of others with the barking as now our neighbours are slamming their windows shut so they don’t have to hear the barking awks!
I will have a look at the book you have mentioned.and hopefully see some positive results thank you
 

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Thank you for your advice. He is loved so much in our house as our first family pet. If you can understand I do have to be mindful of others with the barking as now our neighbours are slamming their windows shut so they don’t have to hear the barking awks!
I will have a look at the book you have mentioned.and hopefully see some positive results thank you
Trust me, I get it. I am also an apartment dweller who had to deal with a VERY loud case of sepration anxiety - a 8 month old standard poodle wailing at the top of her lungs for 4-8 hrs straight (as long as I was gone at work). Its awful, and embarrassing, and scary, and in my case, dangerous for my dog who was trying to bust out of her crate and escape. Luckily, I chatted with my neighbors and they were very understanding, especially when I outlined what I was doing about it, and asked them to let me know if she was ever crying when I was gone after I thought I had it solved. I also dropped off homemade jam as a bribe for tolerance :)

I read something that has stuck with me - the first few days and weeks of getting a new puppy are joyful and so exciting for us humans. But for the dogs, it can be pretty traumatic. They are lonely, confused, and in a new place. Tolerance for how they are feeling goes a long way towards bonding; I wish I had been more tolerant when I first got my spoo.

Unfortunately, separation anxiety has no quick fix. It takes time, and dedication and a lot of patience. But it's worth it.

Truly- if you can keep your dog close enough for just a week that he doesnt feel the need to cry - I expect you will see major progress. I definitely did, and it meant I could actually slowly start to progress in lowering her sepration anxiety when I started to work on it again, and it gave me a break from worrying. If you cant stay with her all the time for that week-try to find a neighbour, a family friend, or someone to stay close.

Best wishes to you and your new pup, I know it's very challenging.
 
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