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My dear little Violet is struggling with being alone for any length of time. I have tried warming her up to the idea of her crate in the kitchen, with treats and toys, leaving the door open so she could go in and our for treat or toy. But, on the 3 occasions we left her in for an hour, we came home to a poo disaster, her wearing a bit of it. She has room to lay in the crate, and turn around, but not enough to get away from any accident she may have in it. I then tried her in the kitchen , but with similar results only she wasn't wearing it. She cries quite a bit when she is left, long and loud. Should I continue to crate? I am leaning toward leaving her in the kitchen with the crate open so the mess would just be on the tile, and not over her but I want to help her get past this. She is now 4 months old. I don't think getting another dog for a companion will work with our living arrangements at this time. I was also considering these new CDB treats with hemp. Any thoughts on these?
 

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Get her used to small increments. Leave, wait a minute, then come back in. If she is whining, wait until she stops, then come back in. If she is going to whine, do this routine while she is eating. Put the food down, then quickly duck out. Come back in, ignore her. If you can, do this every time you feed her. Gradually stay out longer. 30 seconds a couple of times, then 60 seconds a couple of times, then two minutes. In between meals you can give her a chew toy, something she really loves. This would be a chew toy she only gets when you leave.

If she is messing in the crate then you need to take a rolled up newspaper and and tap it harshly on the head. Your head. Don't ever leave a dog that is not empty. This may mean that you accompany her outside with a couple of treats. When she goes, immediately give treat. Then run about for a couple of minutes. This will ensure she is really empty, and makes her associate a treat with relieving herself instead of leaving fun time when she relieves herself.

You can bring her to the potty door and have her sit. Maintain sit until you open door and say "out". Then, go outside. This helps to teach her to go sit at the door when she needs to potty. Some people put a bell on the door.
 

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Michigan Gal made escellent points. I won't repeat her comments, but rather adda couple of my own. First you (and anyone else in a similar situation) nee to remember that a 4 month old puppy may well understand the concept of housebreaking (pottying indoors is not good) but most 4 month old pups are not neuromuscularly well developed enough to resist the urge to empty when they feel pressure. They just don't have good enough control over the appropriate sphincters. Teach the pup to potty on command and never put a pup in a crate for more than a few minutes if they haven't relieved themselves just before doing so.

Addressing another of your points, IT IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA TO GET ANOTHER DOG TO TRY TO SOLVE A PROBLEM WITH A DOG ALREADY IN THE HOUSEHOLD.

Additionally I would never give CBD or Rescue Remedy or such to a young puppy (or for that matter an adult dog) or without exhausting non pharmacological options first.
 

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Good comments above. Pooping when you leave her is an emotional issue, not a behavioral one. It indicates that she is really distressed and needs to be conditioned to feel comfortable with it.

Do you use an x-pen? When I first got Misha he was a terrible screamer and would scream any time he had to go in his pen by himself. But I just ignored it and only gave attention when he was quiet. Over time he cried less and less. Now he only cries if I leave the house, for maybe 15 seconds. He is crate trained but I only put him in the crate at night when he is sleepy, because he likes to pee on soft things. The pen has been very very useful, and he goes in the pen any time I am not actively watching him. That way he is penned a good percentage of the time that I am home, so he does not associate the pen with me leaving him alone. He always has fun chews in his pen to keep him occupied.

Violet needs to learn a few things. First, she needs to learn to be confined when you are home and that crying will not result in you letting her out. Second, she needs to learn that being alone can be fun and relaxing, because she gets fun things while she is alone.
 

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I used to have the same problem with Zeke and Dory (when I still had her). The second I walked out the door the screeching and crying and scratching would start. I learned to totally ignore, and within a few times, by the time I made it all the way out to my car, the noise had stopped.

I also used to make a big deal about saying hello when I got back home where they would get all excited, jump up on me, and run around.

I changed how I left and returned. Now when I leave I simply say, “I gotta go out for a while... see you soon. Be good “ and not sound playful or exciting them in any way. It’s just very matter of fact.

After a short while of toning down my exits and entries, they stopped even walking me to the door to see me go. They just stay on their bed or playing by themself. Maybe this will help you too. I have heard it said that big returns = bad exits.


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Everyone has given great advice. The one thing I will add is if her separation anxiety is in any way impacting your living situation (condo or apartment with shared walls), you might want to contact a trainer or behaviorist before you get complaints from neighbors. If this continues, enrolling her in a class for anxious puppies/dogs (after puppy training classes have been completed) might also be considered.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all. I am considering an x pen. There has been one occasion where my wife had just brought her in from outdoors,left, and I came in 10 minutes later to poo, and a very anxious pup. We both try to make sure she has taken care of business before leaving her, but maybe her nervousness brings it on. I will try very short increments of separation while we are here, and see about making the area where she will stay while we step out a bit more fun for her. I had put some bells on the door early on, to try reinforcing going out. She seems to be making progress in the car. I will do a quick shop while leaving the AC on, multiple stops around town, and no mess in her car seat. Some of those stops are 15-20 min. She is in her seat, which is a small area, which may have to do with the absence of any mess. There are times of a little crying , but brief. She seems to understand it's a quick return. the car is also associated with places to run and play ball :>)
 

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There has also been several occasions where we have just come in from a walk around the yard, and she will urinate on the floor. Not much, little bit. I'll bring her right back out and she'll lay down, roll over, grab a stick. She sleeps with us the entire night without incident, and sometimes I'll sleep in, so it may be for 8 hours. Out first thing, and she takes care of all her business.
 
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