New puppy barks like crazy when we're in another room!

Posted by wmorton
Jun 20, 2009
We've only had our 9 week old Cavachon puppy for a week. We're all adjusting fairly well! But he barks, howls, scratches like crazy if we're in a separate room than him and he can't get to us. The family is home with him almost all the time, but there are those times when we aren't ready for him to be on the carpet much. Is this normal "puppy" anxiety? Is this because he's a true "companion" dog? What can we do other than just leave him a few minutes at a time? He seems to be fine if we leave the house for short periods. He only goes crazy when he can hear that we're near.
Posted by KOPsarah
Jun 22, 2009
hi worton and thanks for your post,
From what you have told me your puppy feels entitled to your attention whenever you are home and it is trying to express this to you. Puppies tire easily and also can get very over excited so it is important for them to be able to spend quiet time alone regularly in their own little bed. Furthermore this sort of attention seeking can lead to bigger behavioral problems later on. I think your dog would really benefit from alpha dog training as this would teach it that you are the pack leader and if you chose to be away from the dog it must respect you. It will also help prevent a lot of other behavioral problems.

Remember that in a wild dog pack the dominant pack member (alpha dog) controls :
-access to food
-access to favoured sleeping areas
-any interactions with lower pack members
-access to favoured items such as toys

In order to show your dog his position as bottom of the pack you and your whole family can take advantage of these keys points. For example

1) Your dog must be the last to eat at every meal and should never get treats from the table, these can be saved for training treats later.

2) Your dog should never walk through doors before you. A good way to practice this is to walk around the house and make them sit at each doorway and wait.

3) If your dog is lying in the hallway or anywhere you have to get past make them move. If you think they will snap leave a lead on them so you can move them whilst maintaining a bit of distance.

4) When you arrive home completely ignore the dog for 15 minutes. Don't look at them, talk to them or pat them. After this go to them and give them some quiet attention only as long as they are relaxed and calm.

5) Only interact with the dog on your terms. If your or someone else is petting the dog or playing with it and it becomes aggressive or badly behaved immediately remove your attention from the dog by either removing yourself from the area or moving the dog to another area. You should do this without displaying any emotion such as anger just be a calm but decisive pack leader and the dog will appreciate knowing where it stands.

6) Similarly you can assert your dominance by not allowing access to beds and couches or by only bringing out favourite toys when you want to play and removing them when you are finished.

Dogs feel much more comfortable knowing their position and being relieved from all the hard work of trying to be the leader so don't feel bad about showing your leadership. Being the leader of your pack is vital to having a happy well adjusted canine family member.

Good luck with your training and let me know how you get on.