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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have adopted a 13 year old toy poodle who is so clingy he barks when alone. I have 4 large dogs all babysit him and love him but not comfortable leaving him totally alone for awhile to monitor although seems fine they sleep together etc. I have two doggy doors that my 13 year old Rockstar refuses to use and cries when left outside. I spent much time trying to model and teach him to use the doors. Please help. I cannot take him all day ever day with me as i work with mentally ill and at times cannot have him with me. He barks incessently if left alone or cannot get back in. I thought about putting him in a room to himself on days i cannot take him. Im scared to leave him out with all dogs until i have had him long time and can be assure all is well. If he could use doggy door all would be fine. My large dogs all older are super friendly with him after getting to know him. Please please help.
Kat
 

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How kind of you to take in a senior!

At 13 years of age Rockstar is probably loosing his sight and hearing. He may be mostly blind or deaf, he may have cataracts. Plus, he is in a totally new place that he has to learn to maneuver in. Plus, these big friendly dogs may be too rough with him since he is tiny and frail. He may be cold. He may not be strong enough to use the doggy doors.

I would take him out in the morning and count how long he pees to make sure he is empty, and make sure he poops. Run him around a bit to tire him. I would feed him when leaving, using a treat dispenser (assuming he is able to eat kibble). This helps to distract him from your leaving, tire him out, and can help him learn to be on his own. I would probably gate off the kitchen for this. Leave him a couple of toys and a bed.

Keeping him in a part of the house using gates or doors while you are gone will help him feel more secure as long as he and another dog can see each other. Having full access to the house can be overwhelming for some dogs when they are new.
 

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You can also work on him being secure being alone. Pretend you're leaving open the door then walk back inside. Pretend you're leaving open the door walk out come back in. Same thing but this time close the door for 1 second then come back... 2 seconds.... 5.... 1 minute.... 2 minutes. And so on. Also leave his favorite treat that he can munch on when you practice. So he'll think 'when you leave I get something yummy." (Unless the dog's will fight over it then don't do that.)
 

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Was he previously in a home where he had human company during the day? This could all be brand new to him.

Why do you feel the doggy door is the key? If pottying is the issue, this is the rare situation where I might actually recommend an indoor potty spot. You probably don’t want a toy poodle going outside when no one’s home, unless you live in a warm climate with no predators and no chance of theft.

More likely it’s separation anxiety and he just has no idea what to with himself when left alone. A crate helped my senior girl with this, but she’d been crate-trained since puppyhood. A smaller room with a TV and a good stuffed chew toy might be better for your guy. I don’t think he should be left unsupervised with big dogs. An accident could easily happen.

Here’s a booklet that’s commonly recommended here: I'll be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety.: Patricia B. McConnell Ph.D.: 8601420613997: Amazon.com: Books
 

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I agree that I would not encourage a toy poodle to go out into the yard alone. They are small enough to be at risk from large predatory birds.

I'm wondering what this pup's life was like before he came to you. It's somewhat rare for a toy poodle to end up in rescue. I wonder if he lived with an elderly owner who passed away. If so, he may be completely unaccustomed to being left alone during the day. His idea of a normal life might be snoozing on the couch all day with the TV on and a quiet owner occasionally petting him.
 

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I had a rescue chi. He was new to household life. I would probably walk him to relieve himself before leaving him and not bother with the pet door at this time. Maybe too much too soon. A crate with a bed placed inside a playpen may help, he will have space enough and can go into the crate on his free will. Place a bowl of water, feed him there, and some toys. He will have a safe place, where he can see the other dogs or at least smell their presence if he doesn't see well. My chi's actually preferred their crates as they aged , they felt safe. When your home of course you can give him more freedom. Being new and old he probably just doesn't feel safe yet. I'm sure it will get better in time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree that I would not encourage a toy poodle to go out into the yard alone. They are small enough to be at risk from large predatory birds.

I'm wondering what this pup's life was like before he came to you. It's somewhat rare for a toy poodle to end up in rescue. I wonder if he lived with an elderly owner who passed away. If so, he may be completely unaccustomed to being left alone during the day. His idea of a normal life might be snoozing on the couch all day with the TV on and a quiet owner occasionally petting him.
i got him form the owner who had him his whole life and lost her job and home and is a trucker. She spoiled him, took him everywhere and he expects to always be with me. He likes my dogs but if he cannot see me he starts barking. Hes got a heart murmur, unneutered, bad teeth, etc i got him microchipped and was told be too dangerous to sedate him for surgery. I do not want to stress him out but im redoing my life to accommodate him and thought out getting him as a therapy dog as i work with mentally ill but if in cart he jumps out so floor ok but just still observing him. My other three therapy dogs are calm and are not at all anxious themselves. I have one that is not a therapy dog and this new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Was he previously in a home where he had human company during the day? This could all be brand new to him.

Why do you feel the doggy door is the key? If pottying is the issue, this is the rare situation where I might actually recommend an indoor potty spot. You probably don’t want a toy poodle going outside when no one’s home, unless you live in a warm climate with no predators and no chance of theft.

More likely it’s separation anxiety and he just has no idea what to with himself when left alone. A crate helped my senior girl with this, but she’d been crate-trained since puppyhood. A smaller room with a TV and a good stuffed chew toy might be better for your guy. I don’t think he should be left unsupervised with big dogs. An accident could easily happen.

Here’s a booklet that’s commonly recommended here: I'll be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety.: Patricia B. McConnell Ph.D.: 8601420613997: Amazon.com: Books
thankyou soooo much yes a trucker who lost her job and home did not want money to keep him in her care and entrusted him to me she had him his whole 13 years and hes spoiled and always with her till recent coronavirus lots of upsets
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How kind of you to take in a senior!

At 13 years of age Rockstar is probably loosing his sight and hearing. He may be mostly blind or deaf, he may have cataracts. Plus, he is in a totally new place that he has to learn to maneuver in. Plus, these big friendly dogs may be too rough with him since he is tiny and frail. He may be cold. He may not be strong enough to use the doggy doors.

I would take him out in the morning and count how long he pees to make sure he is empty, and make sure he poops. Run him around a bit to tire him. I would feed him when leaving, using a treat dispenser (assuming he is able to eat kibble). This helps to distract him from your leaving, tire him out, and can help him learn to be on his own. I would probably gate off the kitchen for this. Leave him a couple of toys and a bed.

Keeping him in a part of the house using gates or doors while you are gone will help him feel more secure as long as he and another dog can see each other. Having full access to the house can be overwhelming for some dogs when they are new.
again wonderful idea, did not think that access to whole house may be overwhelming, your the best thanx
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can also work on him being secure being alone. Pretend you're leaving open the door then walk back inside. Pretend you're leaving open the door walk out come back in. Same thing but this time close the door for 1 second then come back... 2 seconds.... 5.... 1 minute.... 2 minutes. And so on. Also leave his favorite treat that he can munch on when you practice. So he'll think 'when you leave I get something yummy." (Unless the dog's will fight over it then don't do that.)
what a great doggy psychologist you are, great idea ive been trying to go in and out the doggy door myself and even get him licensed as a therapy dog to prevent problems but after few days he should be fine thanx
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Put your replies on this page.
thankyou, you have given me many many great ideas, i appreciate your time, knowledge and compassion, im just new at having such a small fragile elderly dog that is so anxious--funny thing is he loves my 4 large dogs and even cuddles up with them and wants to be with them as well but seems to need to see me-i can tire him out and he falls asleep and then i can leave but little by little ill keep trying, but guarantee ill protect him. your right the one of two doggy door is high and it seems the flap is maybe heavy for him hes only 9 pounds. I will have to get him to go in morning and then at night and put down pads, I do worry my neighbors may complain about the incessant barking and more importantly his heart, i will get him calming treats, calming music and oil as you suggested thanx again
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I’m not seeing oil mentioned here. Please be very cautious with this. Many are dangerously toxic to dogs.
I’m not seeing oil mentioned here. Please be very cautious with this. Many are dangerously toxic to dogs.
I’m not seeing oil mentioned here. Please be very cautious with this. Many are dangerously toxic to dogs.
thankyou for your help i really appreciate it, i went to PetSmart and forgot the name of the calming scent so i did not get it. I got a humidifier with incense to help calm dogs, but ill wait to use it as now im scare the calming scent is oil inside humidifier to calm. I will not do anything with calming scents till i fully research it. He is very fragile, tired most of the time but super alert if i leve room for long, has cataracts, seems to be arthritic, poor teeth, just got shots and chip which all is very stressful to him im sure. He seems to love me and my dogs allot and feels safe seemed not to care much about leaving previous owner, weird but i now he probably now has separation anxiety big time. I will do what ever it takes and never give up on him.
 

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Rescue Remedy from Bach. A health store should have it, but Pet Smart does not.

I would also give him raw chicken wings when he is crated or penned. It will help his teeth. The chewing also helps to relieve anxiety. If he does not take to the chicken wing, make little slits in the muscle and tuck in a bit of his dog food. When he pulls out the dog food he will realize the bowl is edible.
 

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thankyou for your help i really appreciate it, i went to PetSmart and forgot the name of the calming scent so i did not get it. I got a humidifier with incense to help calm dogs, but ill wait to use it as now im scare the calming scent is oil inside humidifier to calm. I will not do anything with calming scents till i fully research it. He is very fragile, tired most of the time but super alert if i leve room for long, has cataracts, seems to be arthritic, poor teeth, just got shots and chip which all is very stressful to him im sure. He seems to love me and my dogs allot and feels safe seemed not to care much about leaving previous owner, weird but i now he probably now has separation anxiety big time. I will do what ever it takes and never give up on him.
Poor little guy. His whole world has been turned upside down. I’d say just take it slow with him, preserving as much of his previous routine as possible while he adjusts. It will take a few months for him to acclimate.
 

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What challenges you are facing with this new to you poodle. Sounds like you must very patient while he is adapting to the new situation - I think it takes longer for senior dogs to settle in, could only be my impression from fostering Springer Spaniels. I love your attitude about doing whatever it takes. Think this dog has really landed in a place that is special.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
" I Think this dog has really landed in a place that is special".
I think so too
you just made my day im still hoping to upload photos im on computer, photos on phone and when up load takes lots of time and too many pixels but i hope to show you hoiw my 4 dogs love him and so do i they often choose to sleep in same bed although they all have beds occasionally when im around
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What challenges you are facing with this new to you poodle. Sounds like you must very patient while he is adapting to the new situation - I think it takes longer for senior dogs to settle in, could only be my impression from fostering Springer Spaniels. I love your attitude about doing whatever it takes. Think this dog has really landed in a place that is special.
i really appreciate your comments ive tried super hard thankyou, its all paying off my four dogs love him and often they choose to sleep in same bed, when im around when im gone i take him at night hes with me in my bod or his next to mine, thankyou
 
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