Separation Anxiety – Bringing puppy home too soon

by admin on February 11, 2010

puppy picture

When my wife and I got our first dog (Those are her pics above), I have to admit that we cheated a bit and picked up the puppy a little early.  I think we got our little American Eskimo at about 8 weeks of age.  It honestly might have been a week earlier.  The only reason I bring that up is because we had to deal with a bit of separation anxiety and there are still remnants of that in our dog’s (Nikki) behavior.  I have read that after seven weeks it is fine to separate a puppy for a mother but 8-10 weeks is more ideal because the don’t tend to develop some clingy behavior and have issues when mom and dad leave.  In our case, even if it was 8 weeks, I think that’s a bit too early.

Here are the symptoms we saw with our dog/puppy:

1 – Crying and barking when either my wife or I left.  This would happen regardless of whether or not one of us was still there.

2 – Serious chewing, ripping, shredding of things when the puppy/dog is left alone.  We actually have two Eskimos about six months apart and both had serious chewing phases as puppies.  However, this would only worsen when we were away whereas the normal chewing/teething ended relatively quickly.  Nikki had a real problem chewing power chords.  This was not only horrifying because she could have been hurt but of course it wasn’t fun:

  • Splicing three speaker chords
  • Splicing a new power plug onto my wife’s favorite lamp
  • Purchasing three Mac Laptop power supplies ($100 ea)
  • Buying two new headsets

Some other signs of separation anxiety dogs may show:

1 – Panting or attention seeking before the owner leaves

2 – “Velcro dog” or when the dog doesn’t leave the owners side

Whatever the case may be, if you can’t resist bringing home your dog a little later, be prepared for some issues.  I highly recommend just taking that extra couple of weeks to read up on training, puppy proof your house, or just enjoy being alone.  You don’t want to create unnecessary stress for your little puppy and that stress may very well last a lifetime.

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