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Hi to all
i have my new 6 months puppy for about 3 weeks
I have 2 questions:

1) My Maltese, named Prince, got very attached to me, and when we leave him at home alone, either in the crate or on a xpen , he goes wild , craying, drooling, barking etc
But he sleeps all night inside his crate closed without any problem.
I am forced to bring him to my office everyday, he doesnt bother me taking him, but i travel very often, and when i do i stay away for about 5-7 days sometimes, and my wife cannot take him to her workplace, and if we leave him at home he will cry all day. ( 9am to 3 pm)
My question is: Do you think that if we do leave him inside his crate everyday for many days while we are at work, will he still slowly understand the routine and his crying will decrease, or it will get worst?
A trainer told me that Obedience training will definetly help the separation anxiety, but i dont know if he trying to sell me his program or is actually true..

2) Pee Pee training: at the beginning it was hard but now it seems that she got the point to go just outside, for the past 10 days he didnt have any indoor accident, but we all watch him very very close, but he holds the pee up to 10 hrs at night inside his crate. During the day , when he is with me in the office he holds it nicely for 4-5 hrs, but he is always on a leash, and when he start sniffing i dont let him continue, i giving a toy or something.
My question is, do you think he is really over indoor pee? should i leaving off the leash to see if he makes any accident without my constant supervision?


Thank you
Rubs!!
 

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True separation anxiety is a mental illness akin to depression or bipolar disorder in humans. Obedience training won't fix it. There are methods of dealing with SA that you can try and medications available through your vet, but I would be very suspicious of any trainer who said that their obedience class would fix SA.

As for potty training, he probably isn't totally reliable at 6 months, but he might be. There's really no way of knowing without trying. That being said, just because he can hold it for 10 hours asleep doesn't mean he can hold it for 10 hours awake. Most humans can sleep for 8 hours without getting up to pee, but they don't go 8 hours while awake without peeing.
 

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My mother was a dog breeder, so we had puppies in our house frequently when I was young. Once they were old enough to be without their mother, the puppies would always cry and cry and cry at night and the cure is just to let them be. If you gave them attention or went down to shush them, it would always make it worse. So for a few weeks we just had to put up with it until they grew up a bit and learned that we would 'come back' in the morning.
 

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But leaving him in a crate will cure it or will make it worst at this stage?
I think it will depend on the dog. The advice that most trainers and books will give you is that you don't want your dog experiencing a full blown panic attack because that sets habits and will really slow down your desensitization process. BUT often the same trainers will tell you not to indulge a whining puppy, that it reinforces the behaviour. My dog Pete did the same thing for months after we rescued him (he still does a bit) and here is a list of what we tried and what worked. I would do a lot of reading and thinking about your particular situation and dog, each one is different but this is what we did.

- down/stay command - reward lots and practice all the time and everywhere for varying lengths of time with you in/out of the room
- 'go to your spot' - a designated area where all great things happen (treats, pets etc), either crate or even just a blanket. This is where you leave him when you go.
- stuffed kong - a delicious treat they get only when you're gone. We did an exercise where we would give him the kong and then leave the room/house and before he finished it we would come back and take it from him. The idea is to make him think that us returning = treat disappearing so he hoped we would stay gone for a while instead of wait anxiously for us to return.
- ignore the dog 15 min before you leave and after you come home (except to put in crate and drop off treat)
- Set a predictable routine - this helped the most
- self-restraint - Pete HATED his crate when he was alone, no amount of treats could change it so instead we had him voluntarily stay on his spot then gated the room he was in. He still doesnt like the gates but its much better than with the crate.
- Patricia Mcconnell "I'll be home soon"

In my (totally inexpert) opinion there is a difference between whining with some barking and true SA. A little bit of whining and barking at first is normal but SA is much more severe. Pete would scream without pause for hours (4+), drool puddles, pace everywhere leaving sweaty pawprints, he wouldnt touch food while I was gone and injured himself a couple of times trying to get out of his crate. Instead of becoming used to being alone (as most dogs will when left consistently) Petes anxiety would only increase from the moment we left until we returned. Other symptoms SA dogs often show are losing control of bowels (because of anxiety :( ) and destroying things, *thank god* Pete never did those two things. So, after about 4 months using those techniques (lots of trial and error) we have started leaving him for a few hours at a time. He still doesnt like it but I can see evidence of his anxiety decreasing daily. I suspect someone with a clearer plan could have faster success than I did but it was a learn as you go process for us.
 

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One thing I think would help is a routine. It seems that you decided you didn't like him whining, so you decided to take him to work. BUT, there are some days he can't go with you, as you are traveling. So, that upsets his routine. On top of that, you've only had him 3 weeks. All that is confusing to a puppy trying to settle in.

As Amaryllis said, separation anxiety is a true disorder. Many people assume their dog has separation anxiety because they whine and cry and don't like to be left alone, but it's really just a puppy who is nervous in a new home. I am not sure your pup has separation anxiety.

Will leaving him in a crate cure it or make it worse? That depends on whether it's true separation anxiety or just a very nervous, upset dog. If it's truly separation anxiety, leaving him in a crate, trying to get him used to it, can very easily make him worse. But, if he's just nervous and upset, it can get him used to it.

Try tiring him out, getting him really tired, before you leave him in the crate. If he's tired, he may not have the energy to whine and fuss - if he is just nervous and upset. BUT, if he really has SA, being tired probably won't help much.

Also, give him a special set of toys that he only gets when you have to leave. That way, they seem new and interesting to him. When you come back, pick those toys up and put the regular toys out.

A frozen, stuffed kong can keep a nervous dog occupied. We stuff it with peanut butter and freeze it overnight.

Also, some dogs do better in a pen, rather than an actual crate. Or, some dogs do well when restrained in a puppy safe room, with the doorway blocked off with a baby gate.

A routine is needed, in my opinion. Taking him to work sometimes, but locking him in the crate sometimes won't help a young puppy settle in. Now, of course, once he's settled in, and comfortable in his new home, which can take 2 months or more, then you can alter your routine, and take him to work sometimes. But, I think he needs to settle in first.
 
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