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My pit/lab puppy is 4 months old now. He seems to be very needy. Whenever I leave the house, he starts barking and whining. It got really bad over the weekend when I was at my brother's house (his first time over there), whenever I left the room to get something, he would start freaking out and barking and whining. At one point we had to lock him in the back yard and he really freaked out, would not stop barking for 10 minutes.
I'm not sure if all puppies do this when their young. Maybe it's because I took him from his mother early at 5 weeks? Or that I'm home all day after I lost my job, so he's just used to me always being there? Is there such a thing as too much attention?
Any advice is much appreciated. :)
-Steve
 

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There is such a thing as too much attention. Your job is to give him the confidence and coping skills to be alone on his own. That's a slow process because he's still a baby but, you need to start practicing a little every day.

A few of the main tactics are leaving him alone with a Kong, a favorite toy or a meaty soup bone. He gradually learns that being alone is OK...he gets good things.

The 2nd tactic is to catch him while he's quiet and calm. Quietly praise.

Another is to practice coming and going at various intervals...1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. where you again praise for calmness...you don't go back when he's barking or whinning...unless, of course, if you think he's crying to go out for potty. That's a judgement call you'll have to make.
 

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Your pooch has separation anxiety. This occurs because of lack of exercise and/or lack of human dominance.

The first is easier to tackle-- lots of walks, playtime, etc. Playing fetch can actually help teach the pup you are in control AND get enough exercise. Likewise, making sure the pooch walks correctly on a leash (next to you and not pulling or lagging) is another combo of exercise/submission.

The second, human dominance, is more difficult but well worth the effort. If you don't already, start crate training. Also google NILF and put it into practice asap.

You will see a drastic improvement once you up the exercise and start teaching the dog that you are in control.

Keep in mind that dogs have no conception of time. A minute for you is forever for him. So once you accomplish the 2 previous goals, it's equally important to provide your dog with distractions when you are gone so he doesn't get lonely or bored. Crates and play areas should always be stocked with toys and treats. If you have a backyard, you can try hiding little cans of wet food (you can get them for a quarter from Petco) or treats for the puppy to find. Even though you are home all day, puppy should spend a few gaps alone throughout the day. Teach him that the crate is his safe place and take that safe place with when you go to your brother's house and then he can hide out in there if he gets stressed.
 

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Your pooch has separation anxiety.
Why would you tell someone their puppy has a neurological disorder? Separation anxiety is a medical condition that requires medical treatment.
 

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Your pooch has separation anxiety.
From the sounds of it.. this dog does NOT have separation anxiety. Separation Anxiety is SEVERE. Dogs with SA don't just cry and whine when you leave.. they totally.. flip... out. They scratch and chew at doors and windows, sometimes all the way THROUGH doors, they will chew their way out of crates with no concern for the fact that they are injuring themselves and causing themselves severe pain. Some dogs will even attempt to jump through windows to reunite with you. They will drool, they will destroy things. They will eliminate in the house even though they are 100% house trained...

Now, I'm not saying that this couldn't escalate into SA if you don't do something about it, but at the current stage, it is not SA. I would follow TooneyDogs advice and desensitize him to being alone. Plenty of exercise will also help him be calm while you are gone.. It goes back to the old saying "A tired dog is a good dog".
 
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