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Puppy with separation disorder?

5897 Views 20 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Mercutio
Hi, I am new to all of this, please forgive my inexperience in posting. We have a new Vizsla puppy (12 weeks) and I believe she is suffering severe separation anxiety. She cries and whines whenever I leave the room. She will not go into her crate. I have to leave the house sometimes and crating is a tortuous experience. I physically have to put her into the crate and then she barks, cries, rams into the crate and hypersalivates -NONSTOP! She also is constantly licking and biting her legs. All of this has gotten worse as the days go by. I am at my breaking point - I would love to get rid of her - but my husband refuses - he works and is only home a few hours with her. I would appreciate any advice or help. I am considering calling the vet to see if there is anything he can give her to calm her down. Thanks
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sorry to hear of your trouble, but vizslas are described as the velcro dog although you seem to have a very clingy one! The cage is by far the best place for them once they are used to it, mine now takes herself off for sleeps there when she feels the need. Also at night, although we had to go through nights full of whining and barking till she accepted it.

As for the separation problems I think you need to build up the time you leave her. EG go out of the Room for a second and come back in, praise her when she is calm, repeat till she is ok for that short time. Increase to a few seconds, repeat, increase etc. As for the crate, put tasty treats in there to encourage her in so she associates the crate with a good experience and stay with her at first.

Is your crate covered up so it's like a den for her, and try microwaveable bean bag to give her some warm comforting in there too. Peanut still waits at night till her warm bean bag is in there before going to sleep at night !! Do the same with her in the crate as with the room routine, in shut door then open it straight away and praise when calm, increase the time in there and repeat etc.

Vizslas are smart dogs and given some training will get the message so stick with it before the decision to send her away is made. They are incredibly loving dogs and worth the initial trouble. As I type Peanut has just walked up to me and deposited a half chewed raw hide chew complete with slobber on my clean jeans, lovely !!!

I'm sure more will post on this thread, hang on in there,

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Take a deep breath and know that things WILL get better. Your pup is picking up on your anxiety and frustration which of course is compounding the problems.

Start feeding your pup in the crate. If need be.. put the bowl in the crate, leave the door open and sit down next to it while she eats. Any treats she gets give them to her in the crate... show her the crate is not a bad place, and like the previous poster said...leave her for only a few seconds when you close the crates door and then return... put her in and go out side, let her hear the door slam and just walk around the house and then come back. Do this often so she realizes you are not really leaving her for good but will be back. When I first started trying to leave Ziva during the day she literally pitched a meltdown hissy fit.. would fling herself against the sides of the crate and just scream and cry like she was being tortured!
Now all I have to say is go to your crate and she flies in there, lays down and waits for her treat... and we still feed her in there.. when she sees us putting her food in her bowl she is like lightning getting to her crate and will sit and wait for the bowl to be placed and then wait until we say it's ok to start eating! I will say though at 5 months now her limit of being left in the crate is no longer than 3 hours before she starts to cry. But as you can see most of us have gone thru this and with time, some creative thinking and patience it does get better. Keep reminding yourself that she is just a puppy, the two of you together have to set new habits and guidelines and you need to do your best to stay calm so your anxiety doesn't transfer to your pup.

Hang in there and good luck.
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Thanks Islander and grahama, I will start the feeding in the crate this evening and will try the short times in the crate. I love the warm beanbag idea - she does seem to always be cold. I know all of this just takes time but I worry that since my husband and I are so new to owning a dog that maybe we are making things worse or at least adding to her hyperactivity. Thanks again.
Hi there,
I just wanted to say that my pup hated being left alone for even 2 seconds when we first got her, I was at the end of my tether! She was 8 weeks when we got her, and I was trying to crate train her without much progress.
I came on here and got loads of support, and hung in there, and now at 15 weeks I can leave her for for a few hours without her barking and crying. She settled at about 11 weeks, so it took us three weeks to get her secure enough to know we would come back for her. She used to go mental, barking, crying, actually at times she seemed to be screaming, the noises coming out of her were horrific!
I used to put her in the crate for half an hour at a time, put classical FM on the radio for her, and go in the other room and put on my MP3 player. Eventually she was quiet for longer and longer periods of time, I was so relieved because even though I can spend alot of time with her, I didn't want a dog that I could NEVER leave!
Please stick with it and take all the advice off here, it works. I was in tears at times because its horrible when you are going through it. I just wanted to let you know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I also used to say to myself over and over again "you are a dog, you are a dog" because I was treating her too much like a newborn baby, and she totally played on that. Good luck with your pup.
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I have the same problem :'(
Jemma even cries when I leave her on the couch. At least it is better in the car, I put a dog bed in our van and she is happy with her toys and bones she can walk around from the bed to the front passenger seat.

I am also a nerve rack !, but she have to learn how to be in the crate...
one other thing you all might want to try is to have her crate near you so she knows you are within reach.
also, someone mentioned it earlier, but try and make it like a den for them. keep it warm and dark when you have to. the feeding works and it's best to get them used to it til you feel comfortable enough with them making the transition of feeding them outside of the crate.
Rememer, no matter how cute and cuddly you think they are, they are a dog and need to be treated as one until you are confident enough that you can claim the "ALPHA" position in their world.

Keep at it, it will only get better... note I didn't say easier Somedays will be better than others and some days you will wish you never got the dog. But once you hit a few milestones with them, you will realize you made the right choice and you will feel like you had a major accomplishment and trust me, it's totally worth it.

Don't give up on them or yourselves... now you have each other.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Quite right CK,

move on, but not easier!! Our problem is running round onto the sofas, lying down and trying to bite, however she is fast asleep as I type, they are so cute when not giving us grief.

Lots of fun to come Samsmom
It does get better. Dexter cried all night when we put him in the crate in a spare bedroom. On the third day I moved it into our bedroom next to my bed and when he cried I reassured him and he slept all night. When we left the house and left him in the crate he would cry a lot.

He's out of the crate at night now but still in the crate when we leave him at home and he doesn't fuss at all. In fact the other day we getting ready to go on a short trip. I helped Sandy put her shoes on, then went into the bedroom to get my belt and Dex went and got in the crate. He knew we were getting ready to leave the house and thought he had to go in the crate. He didn't know he was going with us.

He's 9 months old now and we spend more and more time each day not being mad at him for something. It's great.
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We started the crating the very first day we got Charlie. It was a hassle at first, and we were up every hour at night for a few days, but having his crate in the room and hearing my voice (I would sing him songs about birds...), he would sleep through the night after 3-4 days.

We also kept the crate in the room where we were for most of the day. We'd give him a treat and praise him when he'd go in, and then would leave him in there (while we were still in the room) for a period of time. After a few days of that, he now goes in there on his own. We've created a 'den' of sorts (although we don't cover it), and he considers it his OWN place (and a safe place for him). We never force him in there, nor do we ever force him out either. We felt it important for him to have an area of his own.

It did take time and a TON of energy and attention, but well worth the frustration (for both us and Charlie!)

Hang in there, and remember...v's are more responsive with positive reinforcement, than with scolding!!!!
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Hi there. When we brought Lola home and tried the chance! Not interested. But only for a few hours. We did exactly what others here have done. Put treats and food in but most importantly with the door open!! Remember not to make her feel as though it's a punishment. We right away put a blanket over it to make it feel cosy, and a nice soft bed. Also during the night at first we put a quite loud ticking clock near her, it acts as a soother. During the day we leave her with free reign in our hallway, with the crate door open and with a radio on. Maximum 3 hours. Please do not get rid of her. Vizsla'a are very smart, affectionate and loving, they bring so much pleasure. Lola is really a velcro dog but in a fantastic way. She loves company. I work from home on occasions and she loves to sleep in the office next to me. I am totally new to dogs, never had one before, but I just love her to bits. Plenty of chews and some stupid things like plastic bottles!! She WILL occupy herself chasing them around the house.But take the top off first. They love this challenge but too risky if they swallow it. Please don't get rid!! You will never regret having her.
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I want to thank everyone who has written in to help me with Samantha. We are feeding her in the crate but other than to eat she has no interest in going in there. Unfortunately when I need to go out for something it requires me physically putting her in there. If I could get this crate thing under control I could probably deal a little better with all the other issues! Wow what big babies these dogs can be! We are preparing to leave for a weeklong trip to the beach - I hope the drive (8hrs) is uneventful. I have a different crate and accessories for our beach place so I am hoping to start on a positive note down there.
A special note to tinkerbell - when I read your post I felt like I had written it myself! I cried the first week, and even though I wanted a "velcro dog" I wanted to be able to leave at times! Thanks again
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Good luck with your pup, hope your trip goes well.
Its nice to come on here and realise that even though we love our dogs, they are making us all suffer at times too! Its good to know we are not alone right?
From what I have gathered through loads of research (I am a first time vizsla owner) these dogs are hard work as pups but so worth it in the end.
My husband and I are as a stressed out as if we have had a new-born, no kidding! we have been falling out and everything. Nothing can test your relationship like a new born baby or a vizsla pup!
Best wishes and good luck, I think in 12 months time we will all look back and laugh at the trouble these pups are causing!
I'm glad you wrote that Tinkerbell. Our pup has been testing our relationship too and causing most of the arguments between me and my husband! Talk about testing! We don't crate him but he just gets really bored during his long days at home. We came home last week to find his bean bag (his bed) pulled half way outside through the cat flap - and the 1 metre window completely shattered! The day before he had managed to lose all three of his treat toys. As I type he's just tried to climb up on the chair next to me... Separation anxiety indeed!
Our puppy was really anxious at first, she actually would get so worked up in her kennel that she would diarrhea everywhere, this only lasted for the first month and not at night only during the day time when we left her for maybe 2 hours tops. She now does fine in her kennel with no accidents. It is definatley not her favorite place to be and she won't go in on her own, but she is not so afraid anymore. When I was researching for Ava I found online a plug in that gives off the phermones of a mother dog, they recommended it for puppies with seperation anxiety you could always try that.
I have a 5 month old Vizsla named Blu and I have been dealing with crate issues since I brought him home. The crate is in my bedroom and he is quiet and content in there when I am in the room, sleeps through the night in there but the moment I leave the room he begins to cry and bark. Trainers I spoke with were not convinced that it was separation anxiety but I would tend to disagree. He is in a total panic when I leave him in there and I am out of sight. I have left music on for him, something that smells like me, safe toys for him to play with. Shortly after I got him he would eventual settle down but it seems now that he could cry for as long as 4 hours and when i return he is in an absolute panic. I'm not quite sure what to do with him. I thought he would be comforted with the company of my 14 year old Vizsla but not so - not to mention my old guy wants nothing to do with a barking, panicky pup. He is such a lovely boy but I really feel like a total slave to him. When I have some short errands to do, I take him with me in the car where i have another crate for him and I can leave him in there and he doesn't make a peep. Sadly, at home he just freaks out. I'm not quite sure how to deal with this. Where do I go from here?

I too felt completely overwhelmed when I first brought Blu home. I thought I would be prepared given that I had gone through the whole puppy thing with my senior Vizsla . . . not so. There were days were I would just break down in tears because I just could not control the little monster. Having a senior V and a puppy V is a tremendous amount of work. Things are getting easier and if I could just get this crate thing sorted out, things would be GREAT!


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Hi, my pup Bella cried alot when we first got her at 8 weeks. For the first month I couldn't even leave the room without her screaming for me. It took her about a month to settle down. We left her gradually for small amounts of time, and all of a sudden one day she just stopped crying after us. So stick with it, it does take time. A piece of advice would be to make sure he is really tired before you leave him, take him for a really long walk etc. If Bella has been on a good walk, she will settle down really quickly when we are leaving her.
Also we have a crate in our bedroom with a lovely snug dog bed and blankets etc inside, she settles in there at night no problem. If the occasional whimper comes out I just say in a firm voice "go to sleep now" and she usually shuts up! She also gets in bed with us for a cuddle in the morning, I mean who can resist!
Good luck
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Hi Amanda, thanks for the post. Blu is a very well exercised pup. He runs in a wooden area where does are permitted off leash from anywhere between 1.5-2.5 hours a day. On days when I can't exercise him as much, he goes to doggy day care where he plays ALL DAY! Today was one of those days . . . he is sound asleep on the floor in his donut bed. In spite of all the exercise he gets, he still cries in his crate. Tonight was an interesting night though - I actually went to take a shower and left him in his bed as I wanted to see what he would do. When I got up to walk to the bathroom, he followed me. I closed the door behind me, and he cried outside of the door for a minute or two. When things were quiet I went to see what he was doing and he had run back to the bedroom into his crate like a good little man. I then went back to the bathroom, and he followed me, cried, and then ran back to the bedroom. When i checked on him, he was in his donut bed. I decided at that point I would leave him, take a shower, and hope for the best! When I finished and came back to the bedroom, he was still in his donut bed, sound asleep!!
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Hi everyone, it has been a long time since I have posted! My Samantha will be 8 months old tomorrow - hard to believe. The crate issue has gotten so much better. About a month ago she started to go into her crate without a fight whenever we needed to leave. She doesn't bark or cry or drool now - it is amazing! She still doesn't like it but she does it. Now we are dealing with a host of other issues - jumping on people and other dogs, biting (not agressive), whining, and the inability to entertain herself. I feel like I have a teenager! I have her in school - but I think we get an F almost every class. I end up looking like the bad parent who cannot control her dog - embarrassing! Unfortunately where we live she is not around other dogs nor does she get enough outdoor time. We play in the house quite a bit but I am sure it is not enough.
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Sounds like your girl does have a lot of pent up energy! In another few months once she is older, you should try riding a bike with her on the leash. Takes some time to build up speed and endurance, but a great way to drain V's energy without spending HOURS outside offleash like I do :)

Then you will get A+ in class. :)
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