(Pembroke Pines, FL)
I just read the question about the puppy with separation anxiety and it made me think for a minute. My babies are with my husband and I all of the time, we have only left the once since I have had them and it was upsetting for them (I can see the chewing evidence) am I getting into a bad habit?
Against everything that I was trying to do I did get them a crate and they are together in it at night mostly. After reading the answer to that it dawned on me that I may be doing the wrong thing. I want to go to the beach this weekend just for a few hours but have I made it that my puppies will stress to much if I go?
How do I break the cycle? I have to submit new pictures it is amazing how good they look now..
Your puppies are still very young and impressionable, so you have plenty of time to adjust any 'clinginess' they may be starting to develop, but you're absolutely right to be thinking about this now!
Many people are surprised when they're puppies or dogs start to show signs of anxiety when they're left alone. But it's quite natural for this to happen if your pup spends 99.9% of his time with one person for weeks (or months, even years) and then suddenly that person is gone for hours at a time. Dogs are pack animals, and puppies learn through repetition and habit, they can become very stressed and anxious when separated from their 'pack', and if they've never learned how to be alone, they panic. If you haven't already read it, take a look at my Separation Anxiety page.
I would suggest that you start by getting your pups' used to being left for short periods. If they're always right where you are, you can start by just leaving them in their crate in another room. Begin with 10 minutes, if they do fine with it, work up. The aim is to have them be comfortable for hours at a time, but as your pups are young, they can't be left for more than a couple of hours without a potty break etc., except at night.
If they're fine in another room, start leaving the house for 30 mins, maybe run to the store or visit a neighbor. Then as before, extend the time frame.
There are lots of things you can do to help them feel better about being alone, but don't begin by giving them 'props' - eg. the TV/radio, pheremone diffusers etc. - if you don't have to. If they can learn to handle it by themselves it's better.
One thing I would also recommend, which may be difficult for you and your pups, but could really help avoid problems later on, is to try to get them used to being separated from each other for short periods.
They will have a very strong bond between them, which is natural and good, but if they become totally dependent on each other it could lead to severe anxiety problems if they have to be separated at any point. Imagine if one of them gets sick or hurt and has to spend time at the veterinarians, or worse. If the other one has never got used to them being apart it could be devastating.
Even in terms of your relationship with them, as they grow you will maybe want to spend time with each one separately, going to the park/beach or whatever. It will be easier to build a stronger bond with them if you get to be with each one on an individual basis, it really is just like raising kids!
I'm looking forward to seeing the new photos, I bet they've grown a lot! You're being a great 'mom' so don't worry.