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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

My partner and I have just got a new standard poodle puppy, she is beautiful!
This is our third full day with her so this post may be a bit premature but I was hoping for some advice in regards to teaching her to be left alone as she is crying whenever we leave the room.
She has been sleeping downstairs in her crate and has been really good once we settle her, no crying all night if she’s asleep when we leave. If she’s awake she really cries out. Even if we leave the room for 1 minute when she’s awake she will start to cry.
I really want to try and stop this ASAP to avoid it turning in to separation anxiety in the future. I was hoping for some advice on how to stop the crying and for her to be comfortable on her own.
Thank you in advance for your advice and support! X
 

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EDIT: for some reason, I thought puppy was only crying at night. Changed post to situation.

It’s normal for a puppy to cry when alone. It’s how they find Mom and siblings when they’re young! But now, she has to learn to get attention in other ways. You can teach her to understand alone time by leaving her with some tasty treats and chews for a moment in her kennel, or by playing peekaboo behind a couch. Also important is to make sure you aren’t returning to let her out of the kennel or comfort her because she’s whining—otherwise, she’s training you to come when she cries! Only go back when she is quiet. Try and get her tired out if and before you put her in the kennel, so she is nice and sleepy when she goes up.
 

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I'm not sure we left Peggy alone so soon after bringing her home, except when she was sleeping in her crate. But we keep her crate covered with a light blanket, so she can't actually see us puttering around or coming and going.

Is your puppy crying in her crate during the day? Or does she have an indoor exercise pen? I strongly recommend attaching the latter to the crate, and using it for occasional confinement throughout the day.

Then just very slowly start building duration. So if she currently cries after one minute, leave for 30 seconds. Or maybe even less. Just out of the room and back. And always make sure she's got water in there with her and a yummy stuffed Kong or something similarly safe to occupy her.

Are you following any puppy training methods? If not, I've not found anyone better than Ian Dunbar for those early puppy days:

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your tips and ideas. It’s been a few more days and I’ve tried what you’ve both mentioned and I think there’s been a little improvement. If she’s sleepy she will cry for a few minutes and then go to sleep now which is good. If she’s quite awake she will continue to cry though which is what I’d like to get her out of the habit of.
I’ve tried to trick of building her time alone up slowly starting with a minute and then 2 minutes. It sounds silly but I was wondering if you could give me a step by step process of how to do this correctly as I’m worried I’m doing it wrong. I’ve been putting her in the crate then leaving the room for 1 minute returning giving her a treat and then moving straight on to 2 minutes. Is this right? Should I be treating her when I return or not making a fuss and just showing my presence? Should I be doing it all at once or separate it throughout the day?
Many thanks again for your advice! X
 

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Dont stress it too much, but do think about what she is being rewarded for.... Be calm, casual, and act like you have all the time in the world to progress. It should be stress free for both of you.

If you walk away, and then come back and give her a treat - she is learning to anticipate and wait for you to come back -basically learning to be alert. Instead, especially if you have a somewhat longer lasting treat, you might give her a treat then immediately leave, returning after she is finished and ignoring her. This teaches her that good things happen when you leave, and it's not really important or worthy of notice when you come back.

I would watch her, and let her choose the schedule. These things are really dog driven. Usually I try to do a few successful repetitions before making it a bit harder. A successful repetition is not just not crying, but also not becoming nervous.

Try to only increase one thing distance OR duration at a time. If you walk and sit at the edge of the room, in the doorway, how does she react? Does she watch you? Does she eventually settle and lie down or ignore you to do something else? Does she cry? If she cries, the next time, try it a bit closer to her. If she settles, the next time, try from outside of the door. If she watches you, keep sitting there until she settles or looks away, then approach.

If she seems calm when you come back from one min away a few times, next time try 1.5 min. Going from 1 min to 2 min is a huge jump (double the time) though 4 min to 5 min isnt, and 10 min to 15 min too bad either.

I would try and do it casually throughout the day. I also find doing something audible while you are gone helps when first starting out (YMMv). So j would go and rattle around in the fridge, or open and close a door elsewhere. If those noises are familiar, then she knows you are still around, she may be more relaxed.
 
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