puppy will not leave my side
I just got a 4 month old cockapoo. it's only been a few days. she is sweet as can be, but she will not leave my side.
if she's sound asleep at my feet (as she is now) and i move anywhere she wakes and follows me immediately. if i leave her to go upstairs(which is gated off) she whimpers, cries and tries to break down or jump over the barricade!
she doesn't want to be alone for one second. AND she only wants me... she won't stay with my husband or son. she whimpers and whines for me. is this just a phase?
This is perfectly normal behavior for a pup who has only just gone through the stress of coming into a totally new environment. If you try to see it from her point of view it's got to be a very scary experience and so she's clinging to the person she's become most familiar with - you.
Dogs are pack animals and puppies have a VERY strong natural desire to stay with the pack. In the wild this would protect them from pretty certain death if they were to wander off on their own. It's instinctive behavior and so your pup really has no control over it, nor does she understand it, she just knows it's important to stay with you!
She's also a little older than most pups are when they leave their momma and siblings (at around 8 - 10 weeks) and if it's her first move, that means it's more traumatic for her because she's left the only home/family she ever knew. Rescued dogs who have been abandoned, or moved from one foster home to another, can also feel this stress more acutely as they haven't ever had a chance to really feel 'at home' and are always afraid of the next change.
She will gradually become more independent and brave as she starts to feel secure and comfortable with you, and in her new home, it just takes time.... perhaps a week or two, maybe longer. Do make sure she has lots of love and attention, and set up a daily routine if at all possible as that dogs are creatures of habit and a recognizable structure to her day will help her feel more relaxed.
Don't 'baby' her too much though, or allow her to follow you everywhere if it's truly somewhere she can't go. For example, if you have to go upstairs and she's not going to be allowed upstairs, then just tell her "I'll be back soon" in a friendly, upbeat voice and go. Ignore her crying and don't make a big fuss of her when you come back down, a pat on the head and a cheery "Hello, I'm back" is enough.
Some dogs do suffer from separation anxiety, but at this stage I really don't think this is the problem. It's not a bad idea to learn a bit about this though, so that if in the future you feel she may be overly anxious, you can use some of the tips and advice. Check out my Separation Anxiety In Your Dog page to learn more.
Overall, what you're seeing now is just a 'stage' and if you're loving and patient with her she will soon start to feel less scared and homesick and her true personality will shine through.
One other point - try to involve your husband in your puppys' care (eg. feeding, potty breaks, walks, training etc.) as much as possible so that she sees him as part of her family too. She may still prefer you, most dogs bond more closely with just one person, but she will learn to love and respect him too.
Hope this helps, best of luck with your pup.