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PetGround >> New Pup; worried about seperation anxiety

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7/2/09 11:29 AM
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Member Since: 4/8/08
Posts: 157
Just picked up a beautiful baby girl boston terrier. She is doing great overall, but I am wondering if by giving her too much touch/holding that I could be creating separation anxiety issues.

It seems that if I am not playing/holding her, she might start whining and usually follows me/fiance around. Is this just normal puppy behavior, or should I cut back on the holding?
7/3/09 10:04 PM
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Member Since: 7/29/02
Posts: 331
It's hard to tell right now. How old is the puppy?

If the puppy is between 7 and 24 weeks, then this is normal puppy behavior. Pups are imprinted to follow mom around, and when we take them away from mom they start to follow us around. They still need love and attention just like any other mammalian baby.

Don't stop holding, petting, touching or loving your pup because at this stage of it's life this is important for it's psychological growth. You need to bond with your pup and this is the stage to do it. But, don't show affection at the wrong times, or you will encourage/perpetuate bad behaviors.

When your pup is calm and just chilling, go pet it, praise it love it, cuddle with it. Whenever your pup is doing what you want, you should show it attention/praise/touch/affection. When your pup gets hyper (at the wrong time), pitches a fit, starts whining, gets scared, misbehaves, or does any behavior you don't want - don't pet it or show affection to it. Ignore it or correct it.

So, if you go to leave the house and you kennel your dog and it pitches a fit. Don't show it any attention until it calms down. Don't talk to him, show him affection, nothing. As soon as he settles (stops whining, lays down, etc.) let him out of the crate. A few weeks of that and they will understand the situation.

But if you're just worried that you loving your pet will create separation anxiety, I would say "No." But only as long as you show affection at the appropriate times. Do it at the wrong time and over time you will give your dog a complex that will take a while to fix 100%.

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