4.5 month - codependence? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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4.5 month - codependence?

I'm a single-dog-mom of Poppy who's 4.5 months old. We are doing pretty well together, but lately I've noticed she gets more and more anxious every time I walk out of sight. These past few days I've noticed that when I put her in her crate at night and then walk around the corner and through the kitchen into my bedroom, she begins to bark her head off, panicked, as I'm leaving (even if I usually give her a treat to have in her crate before I go). I try to do the same thing every night (Treat, she runs in her crate, I shut the door, say "Goodnight Poppy" and turn off all the nights to indicate it's bedtime (then I go to my room to stay up on the computer or something). That's when she starts barking - it's not for very long (unless she has to go out one last time before bed, but usually I can figure that out) but LOUDLY for a few minutes before settling down. In the past she's sort of whimpered or whined until quieting down but it's like she has discovered that she has this great bark and does that instead. She will cry and fuss if I put her in the crate and stay in the living room with her, and sometimes will bark occasionally, but nothing like the "Goodnight Poppy" barking.

Question is: is there anything I can do to make this experience easier on her? Is there more socialization I should be doing? Is it a fear thing? I have left her with other people overnight a few times and have heard that she's fine after I walk away for awhile, but it's hard when I'm not quite leaving for overnight but still have to have a friend hold her while I run into a store or something like that.

(weirdly enough, she will sit quietly in my car if I have to run into a store quickly...)

She is FINALLY all vaccinated and has her kennel cough etc and will be going to doggie daycare twice a week so I'm hoping that having more dog-socialization will help? At least she will be able to spend time with people other than me!

When we go out and about she is super friendly to everyone we meet, she will play with kids and is SO gentle with little ones (I am always crouched with my hand near her collar in case she makes any kind of move - no chances).

The thing is, even though she gets upset when I'm out of sight, she still gives me attitude and likes to bite at me, or snarl a little (playfully if that's possible?). A lot of the biting is still puppy-ish so I'm hoping she will grow out of it. But it definitely feels sometimes that we are roommates not owner/dog. Ack!

Help!


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 10:45 PM
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When she fusses in the crate, what do you do? Do you try to assure her it is okay or any of that? (You don't want to.)

Socialization is always recommended, but really isn't related to this.

At worst, you may be seeing some separation anxiety.

I can't speak to this night time crate thing because I had my pup in my bed at that age. (Lots of people don't recommend this. I loved it and never had a single issue. JMVHO)

If she seems unsettled and not ready to calm down in her crate at bedtime, are you sure she received enough exercise that day?

And for the car -- she's probably watching you the whole time.

Congrats, your pup sounds very bonded with you.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, we're trying around here

I definitely ignore her when she barks and fusses in the crate so that she knows it doesn't get her anywhere. Right now I have upstairs neighbors who I feel bad about with the barking, but I'm moving at the end of the month to a new house with a fenced in backyard (!!!) that I'm excited about. Woohoo! And that way if she's barking she isn't bothering anyone. I hope she just grows out of it?

And I LOVE when she slept in my bed a on vacation a couple weeks ago... but I have two cats, too, and they have dibs on the bed (and Poppy takes up so much of my time that it's only fair they get some quality snuggle time with me at night)


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 08:18 AM
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I can't speak for separation anxiety, as I'm a new owner of 4.5 month old Rocky! He is not crated at night, but he has the kitchen with stair gates to keep him in. I have a baby video monitor next to my bed, it's great as I keep tabs on him, so I know if he needs out or he's just being whiny(he sits by back door for toilet, staring at the handle). When I go to bed, I give him a small biscuit, kiss his head and tell him "bed bed". I do not make a big deal of it, even though I want to! He is very good, although now and again he'll whine a little, but not loud.

However, very recently he has started barking at what seems like nothing in particular, I think he's started with the scary phase. It's been bin liners, tree blowing in the wind, usual scary stuff! He doesn't shy away from it though, he pulls to investigate it, bless his bold little self.

Can poppy see any shadows, cos that's what is Rocky's particular favourite at the moment? Barking at his shadow. It doesn't go on for long and is random, but it may be worth checking.

I'm very jealous of your bonding, as Rocky is a complete tart who will go with anyone! Especially women! It's lipstick out, legs in the air and I'm yours....
He loves everybody, although he does go nuts when I return from leaving him for a bit. Poppy sounds great and I would just check for shadows, flys and stuff just in case she's going through the fear stage too.

Sorry for the ramble, I must stop talking about my boy but I just can't help it!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 08:33 AM
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My dogs have always slept in my bedroom. Anytime I had a puppy and tried to keep them in a different room at night they'd cry & cry. So I put the crate in the bedroom and never heard a peep.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiya View Post
My dogs have always slept in my bedroom. Anytime I had a puppy and tried to keep them in a different room at night they'd cry & cry. So I put the crate in the bedroom and never heard a peep.
Same with me.

It's NATURAL of pups to want to stay with their pack and if they get 'stuck' to bark and communicate so the pack returns to save them. So if our pups hear us in the next room and can't get to us, they just think we 'lost' them and are trying to reunite. They aren't being bad, or co-dependent, they are being NORMAL.

So I keep my pups crate in my bedroom at night, get a happy content puppy and a full nights sleep. I try not to make a big deal and upset my pups over issues like this that can be quickly fixed so we both win. This isn't a 'control' situation that I MUST MAKE MY PUPPY LISTEN.




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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 06:41 PM
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SI was a huge concern of mine because I know how bad it can get in the GSD (had to groom a GSD once who had it bad. The dog nearly jumped out a double-pane glass window to get to its owner, who was already out of sight). Fortunately we got our puppy very young, and because we were always busy she was left alone for a couple hours at a time every day. Our lifestyle was pretty busy, so she kind of had an alternative to bark a lot or just settle in.

I also noticed issues where she was getting very attached to me, and if I would leave her with someone else she would whine and bark. Then for about a week I would go out to play with her and a friend, and leave in the middle and make him play with her alone. Then once she would stop looking for me (and it would take a while) then I'd reappear. Now she's less bothered when I leave. Were still working on it, but at least she doesnt try to run after me anymore.

She no longer cries when we leave the house anymore (at 3 months that stopped), and at night she sleeps in her crate in the livingroom. At first she would bark and scream and yowl, now she doesnt at all. If were in the room with her and she barks I either get up and leave the room until she's quiet (I do this several times usually. She barks I leave. She barks I leave. Usually she gets it after a few moments). Or I get her a bobble (wobbly kong toy filled with treats) and w hen she's been quiet for a few minutes I come back and reward her with it.

Humorously the only time she seems to just not want to be alone at all is in the morning between 6:30 and 7. Thats the only time where I go to do my morning business and I hear every like, 10 mins a howl. Its actually pretty funny, and I dont really care. Mostly because I always wanted a dog who howled, so I dont care if she keeps that into her adult years. ****, I'll howl with her!

But we have always been consistent with her about being quiet when she's alone. And sometimes we'll even stage a situation where we'll leave and it'll be very quiet, and then we'll just pop out and go 'guess what were back! treats!' Seems to work well, but you have to be consistent.

Last edited by Renoto; 06-11-2012 at 06:43 PM.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Hey everybody! Thanks for the helpful advice. Things have settled down lately - surprise surprise, like most things, I think it was a phase. Also, I took her to Doggie Daycare last Thursday, and then she spent Saturday-overnight-Sunday there and it's like I have a different dog. She listens better, rests better, doesn't talk back to me, etc. It's like she learned how to be a dog and learned that I'm a human! I am so grateful! So she'll be going back there some days during the week and I definitely don't mind leaving her overnight if it's going to help this much (Also, I can't help but think about what it's like to be a proud Mama as you see your dog listening to someone ELSE and play with other dogs and things when she thinks you're not looking). This is such an experience!

Anyway, as we speak she is fast asleep in her crate, and I'm still in living room, and she didn't even make a peep. Heavenly! Someday I'll miss her puppy-ness but for now let me just enjoy her being such a good dog!


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