My dog is like my shadow!
(North Andover, Ma)
If i am on the Sofa... Leo has to be on the sofa. If I am in the kitchen so is Leo. If I am in bed Leo has to be there too. If i am in the shower so is Leo! When I leave him he scratches at the bathroom or bedroom door for me. He will eventually cling to his daddy but we need help.
He is only 4 months old and we just got him 2 weeks ago and am glad he knows who his mommy is, but the constant jumping and scratching at me drives me nuts! He is a pug and is too little to jump up on the sofa or the bed. When I ignore him he barks at me and when i continue to ignore him he will jump and scratch like crazy then run around the house and go under to sofa, which we don't want him to do!
HE knows how to sit and when he jumps and scratches at me I tell him to sit then try and pet him and tell him he is a good boy, but he will snip at me and start jumping and scratching again. I Know Leo has a lot of puppy energy but we play with him a lot, someone's always home with him, and we wrestle with him which he really loves!
But my legs hurt and am tired of all the scratches on them!
Your puppy is trying to adjust to his new home and family, and at 4 months old this is a bit more difficult for him than if he had been 8 weeks or so.
There is always an adjustment period, and it sounds as though your pup is going through this and is pretty anxious about it all.
Dogs are pack animals, and a puppys' strongest instinct is to stay with his pack, now YOU are your puppys' 'pack' and he's desperate to be right beside you. His world has changed suddenly and without warning, and he is quite naturally scared and anxious. This will settle down to some degree as he becomes more familiar with his new environment and finds that it stays constant.
However, although it's natural behavior, you do want to avoid what I call the 'velcro puppy' syndrome, as this can lead to separation anxiety later on.
It's important for him to learn that the world won't end if he is separated from you, or has to spend time alone, for short periods.
I would strongly suggest getting a crate and using it to contain him for short intervals during the day. An exercise pen also works if your pup is fairly reliable about his housebreaking, but if he's not well trained in that respect a crate is better. Find out about more about this on my Crate Training page.
For example, when you go to take a shower, or want to watch an hour of TV in peace, he can spend that time in his crate/pen with a couple of favorite toys. He will obviously complain bitterly about this to begin with, but you will need to harden your heart and ignore his crying, complaining, barking etc.
NEVER take him out of his crate while he's complaining, that will only reinforce the behavior. And don't feel guilty! You are actually 'being cruel to be kind', because if a pup never learns to be comfortable alone, or to tolerate separation from his family, he will find life very stressful indeed.
Lots of exercise helps to work off some of this excess energy and emotion, but I wouldn't recommend much wrestling. It tends to get them very emotionally 'charged', and increases the tendency to bite and nip. Playing fetch, frisbee etc. is better.
There are some natural products that you can use to help reduce excessive anxiety in dogs. A pheremone-based diffuser may be beneficial. Check out my Natural Health Products for Dogs and Dog Separation Anxiety Medication pages for more info on these.
You may also want to check out my Puppy Biting Puppy Biting page for tips on dealing with the nipping/biting.
Set the house rules that you feel are appropriate and make sure your pup follows them. It may be difficult now, but it will be well worth it in the long run.
Best of luck, hope things settle down soon.