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Hi everyone

I've been away from the forums for a while since we lost our boy Hercules (nickname H-Bomb)- thanks for everyone who posted the lovely comments to the pics I put of him.

So we took the plunge and welcomed Ozzy (9 weeks today) into our home- this will be his 4th night with us. He is a smooth V (our old boy was smooth/wire mix)

It's been nearly 10y since we had H as a puppy and the forum was really helpful for him- Ozzy appears very different in nature already and I just had a couple of questions.

He is very clingy and I now realise why they call them velcro dogs.. at breeders he was quite boisterous/confident but on arriving home for the first two days all he did was follow us around crying and wanting to be picked up. He's better now in that he can play by himself when we are in the room but hates it if I leave the room even for a couple of minutes and will cry/whine. It doesn't help that we had to stop of at my in laws the first night on the way back from the breeder, and they would not leave him alone even for a second while in his crate.

He's not very treat orientated and much prefers a fuss/praise at the moment, which is VERY different to H as a pup who was quite aloof/happy to spend time on his own but would do anything for a treat. We always used to say his velcro switch was turned off.

Nights are an issue we tried having his crate in the room with door open initially, but he cried for most of the night and ended up sleeping on top of my husband!! The last 2 nights I have slept beside his crate on the kitchen floor, the door open at the moment but looking to start closing it when he's more comfortable in it-if he tries to climb on top of me I put him back in and he has settled pretty quickly with that and knows that is where he sleeps.

What I am doing is trying to get him comfortable in the crate during the day, putting treats in there, giving him his meals in there with door open, have tried closing it briefly but he gets upset after a few seconds. I have tried leaving the room as well (crate is in a puppy proofed room). I am trying to get him used to being by himself by leaving the room for short periods but even when I am gone for <1 minute he becomes agitated. I tried leaving him for 5 minutes to see if he would calm down, but he got really worked up and really sounded quite upset. I am also trying not to let him fall asleep on my lap so will cuddle him till he is sleepy and then put him in crate.. I'm reminiscing to when my son was a newborn :)

It is the same in the car- we have got him a seat belt and he sits on his bed in the back seat with the restraint on. He cried all the way to pick up my 4 year old son from school, but when he had my son next to him he was absolutely fine lying his head on him and went to sleep! It is like he wants to be 'on' someone all the time.

My husband thinks I am being too gentle with him and should try leaving him until he settles but the thing is he just doesn't seem to and the longer we leave him the more upset he gets (proper wailing/howling/agitated barking)

I know it's early days but would appreciate any advice if anyone else here has had similar pups. He's our 2nd V but our first was very different and we didn't have problems with clinginess really.

On a plus side, his toilet training is going very well and the shark attacks aren't too bad (yet). Because he hates being away from us, if he does bite I stop playing with him and say 'too bad' and walk out and leave him- he hates that so much he will immediately sit and stop biting.

I don't want to be doing anything wrong that may trigger separation anxiety in the future, when he is an adult dog he won't be alone for long periods of time but we would like to be able to leave him safely.

Puppy pic just because! :)
Dog Carnivore Dog breed Liver Working animal
 

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Welcome back, and such a handsome pup.
He was just taken from everything familiar in his life. He should get bolder, as he becomes comfortable in his new family/environment.
Try to set up a routine, as much as you can at his age. Keep working on the crate training, and slowly increase the time. While I would not let one of them howl for hours, some protest barking is to be expected. Some boys can be real titty babies, when it comes to alone time. Not saying the female puppies won’t do it, I’ve just seen it more in males.
If I’ve had to sleep next to one of mine. I’ve kept the crate door closed, and put my fingers through the wire door. Only because I get so tired. I would wake up, and the would be puppy sleeping on me.
In the meantime.
Work on playing crate games. wear a old undershirt around all day, and put it in the crate with the puppy. Just keep changing out the shirts.
 

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He’s gorgeous - congrats!

We have a pointer vizsla cross that we have had since 10 weeks who is now 17 weeks

with regards to crate training. We set it up in our hall which is were he will sleep. We left door open at all times. The first two nights we had whines/bowls but I didn’t cave, I sat ouside his crate and provided reassurance without any sort of physical soothing which seemed to work. After that he was absolutely fine, if anything enjoyed going to bed. We kept this set up for 6 weeks. Yes - it meant most mornings we came down to an accident however it was a small price to pay for a happy pup in his bed. Nowadays, we lock him in on a night and he is accident free, and extremely happy and comfortable with being ‘locked in’ - I’m not sure if this is because we allowed him a transition period, but whatever it is, it’s worked amazingly well!

with regards to clinginess, start as you mean to go on! Im not saying leave a very distrsssed puppy, but you can’t pander to its every wimpier or he will continually expect it. This is just my opinion - im no expert. Our pup was clingy at first but we have jobs (granted I work from home), two kids, hobbies and a social life - he had to fit in with us. And slowly he’s becoming a lot more chilled and comfortable with our routine!

puppies are just hard - Harder than I anticipated but I imagine the memories fade and then when you do it all again it’s like the first time!

good luck and hope your little man
 

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I'm so excited for you getting the new pup! I always enjoyed the way you wrote about Hercules.

Ozzy sounds similar to how Scout was in some ways and while I did do lots to work on her insecurity being alone, primarily it was just her growing up that "fixed" it. I realized I was only trying to crate her at night because it's what I thought I should be doing and we both got better sleep once I let her sleep in my bed. That's not an option for everyone, of course, so earplugs for the whole family might be the way to go for now.

I'll second crate games. Look it up on youtube if you have no idea what we're talking about. I think the high speed and playfulness of it worked better to create a positive association than shutting her in the crate for short periods of time–though I did that too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thankyou for all your replies and also for the welcome back to the forums 😊 I felt quite emotional getting another dog after H, maybe that makes me weird haha!

The crate games are going well, my little boy and I watched some you tube videos on them and my son does them with him every day. He is taking himself off to his crate a lot more.

He is MUCH better in the car- it’s not his favourite place but no more howling. Also at being left - we are leaving him for short periods and when we come back he is usually asleep in the crate. Nights are slowly getting better as well.

His crazy puppy energy is coming out and last night he did his first ‘figure of 8’ dash round the garden

He is literally the cuddliest dog I have ever met and his favourite position is next to you with his nose buried into the side of your cheek!
 
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