The importance of early separation

  • Breeder
    • Attached to mother – allow mum to leave litter for short periods from 3 weeks
    • Mini separations – take take pup away from litter for short periods from week 3, 5 weeks is ideal – allow pup to see, hear and smell the litter at first – small amounts of stress
    • Crate train – initially 2 pups in crate, crate is in the pen next to the litter

How to create a secure attachment

  • Bowlby & Ainworth Attachment Theory
    • Caregiver that’s going to respond sensitively to pup’s needs, feel confident and secure
    • Promotes emotional, physical and social development
    • Types of attachment
      • Secure
      • Insecure avoidant
      • Insecure resistant
      • Ambivalent
      • Disorganised
  • Caregiver always available
  • Respond to pup’s needs, whatever they are
  • No punishment
  • Available if puppy is scared

Night time separation

  • Before pup
    • Set up area – play pen/crate
    • Where will pup sleep
    • Bring something from breeder smelling of litter
    • Warm, comfortable bed
  • Sleep with puppy, gradually increasing distance etc day
  • No crying it out – become sensitised to being left alone
  •  Routine
    • Feed in sleeping area
    • Wait til tired before putting to bed

Confinement training

  • Crate
  • Playpen
  • Baby gates

Separation training

  • Don’t leave the ouse until pup can spend 30 mins away from you whilst you’re in the ouse

Building a bond

  • Activities
  • Trick training
  • No aversives
  • No frustration
  • Exploring with the pup
  • Hollow chew toy
  • Scent work

Trouble shooting

  • Too attached to one owner – share the nurturing between puppy – is owner encouraging independence
  • Waking at night  – what’s waking the pup – same time every night look at routine feeding toileting etc – different times something specific is waking, film the pup
  • Frustration barking – work on wait/leave/ frustration tolerance
  • Not wanting to go in confinement area – has it been poisoned, something frightening happened, left for too long – reset confinement training, change location
  • Toileting -is it biological – if SA there will be other signs ; crying , drooling, panting, frantic on return