My puppy has only been home for two weeks, and we have the same problem. The trainer says she has identified me as her new pack leader and is becoming obsessive about me leaving her. He now follows me to the bathroom, and when I close the door he sits outside and cries. When I leave for any reason, he gets very upset and whines and barks. Otherwise, he is an absolutely wonderful puppy. We took him to our doggie daycare for an evaluation yesterday. You could tell he really wanted to play with the other dogs, but was so concerned about where we were that he kept going back and standing by the door. The trainer said he could smell that we were outside. We are now going to start bring him there for half days a couple times a week. Hopefully he will learn that when I leave, I always come back for him. The trainer feels that it will take several times before he develops this confidence.
Find a good doggie day care, they do much better if they aren't alone for more than 4-5 hours at a time. Or get another dog for company:o). I am greatful that Murphy can stay with my folks all day, but when they aren't around I still take him to day care, he needs the interaction.
I have seen what you mean. I know a few doodles (and golden retrievers) that hate to be left alone, even outside on a beautiful day.
Our are great at being independant. They run and play in the yard in the morning while I have a coffee. I can't do dog before coffee. It does help that there are two of them, but even when Gus wants to come in, Hershey is very content to lay in the grass at the top of the hill and watch over her kingdom.
Seperation anxiety is something can be worked on with an experienced trianer, (or a second doodle) .
Allisons advice was perfect. Try to be as nonchalant as possible leaving, and coming. While away from home give puppy special treats (like a Kong stuffed with natural peanut butter) or other treats like a roasted pigs ear that she only gets when aone at home. These will occupy her during that transition.
Also take heart that all breeds of dog have clinginess issues becaue they are pack animals by nature. Solitary confinement is like a punishment to them. BUT that being said a dog can become accustomed to being alone at times and ours have. They get more independent as they age. Just lots of love and understanding and you will get through this.
I think it's a common thing with many types of dogs, not just doodles. One thing that has not been mentioned is good 'ol obedience training. How can this help? Well...if the dog can sit and stay or down and stay in the living room or bedroom or any location in the house that is 'out-of-sight' while you go outside -- it's really incompatible with barking at the door. And out-of-sight stays are part of obedience...
I'm a big fan of aiming for obedience FIRST...once you get as highly trained as possible for Tricia and Doodle, then you're likely to have most of these 'problems' vanish. I think obedience training is to dog problems like a healthy diet and exercise for someone trying to lose weight. You might only want to fix flabby thighs or a bulging belly...but you'll get FAR better results if you approach it by keeping your whole body healthy rather than just exercising one spot. I think it's similar with dogs and training. Work hard to get really solid obedience ... and the byproducts for the dog will be: trust, respect, confidence, and many little issues will go by the wayside.
Thank you to all of the wonderful people who have responded to this post! I have some time now...so I think the training is a great idea. I also have a doodlekisses friend that takes her pup to a place in Sanford...so maybe we can do it together!
Our doodles have become very good at being alone. Dexter had to get used to it quickly due to our work schedule...it took Kirby a bit but they're both fine with it now.
Until recently, they hated being separated from us when they know we're home. However, after working with it a bit it's improved. I work at home one day a week and if I have a teleconference I'll shut myself in the bedroom (in case they bark). For a long time Kirby would cry and throw himself into the door. However I just wouldn't open the door until he was quiet and after a few times it's totally better (they lay quietly outside the door now).
I found it improves a lot with age - our doodles are 3 now.