How do I get my rescue dog to be less clingy?

I adopted a rescue dog, Carmen, 6 weeks ago. She had been a stray and had puppies back in November before I adopted her. She is VERY clingy and cannot stand to be away from me. She cries if she cannot be in the same room as me. I crate her while I'm away and she howls and cries in her crate. I have a 10 month old daughter and Carmen appears to be very jealous of her. When I am playing on the floor with my daughter, Carmen will force herself between me and my daughter. If I push her away, she pushes back harder. What's weird is she's perfectly happy to be just near me and not on top of me when my daughter's not around. I am going to be taking her to obedience training, which I know will be good for her, but I'm just looking for tips on how to get her to become more independent and confident in herself. I just can't have her clinging to me all day. She is very submissive. Any advice?

Asked by Member 612546 on Mar 26th 2008 in Other Behavior & Training
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6 weeks isn't long. It will take Carmen time to learn to trust you. You have already chosen the best thing you can do. An obedience class will do wonders for her confidence. You didn't mention her age. Sasha was just 2 when I got under similar circumstances. She was not clingy, but had other issues. Kylee was 3, was clingy, but she had another dog here to help her get over it and a family member who lived nearly who enjoyed that behavior. Lily (no pups)was 2 1/2 & not clingy, but submissive & timid. It took at least 5 months for her to relax. She was a star at her class because she was so focused on me. Are you able to take her on walks? That would help. Do not let her push you around, even if you have to pick up the baby & turn your back on the dog. She will be more comfortable when she knows her place in the family. As for the crate, put her in with a Kong with some peanut butter in it, knowing that it is the best place for her & walk away. Make her work for food, etc.(sit or down)

Lily answered on 3/26/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I cannot say it enough: Obedience, obedience, obedience. She sounds part herding dog. Put her in a down stay, reward her for small separations. Make the separations longer. when she crowds say something like, "enough" or "Phooey" that means not right now. Save "No" for biting the kids, grabbing from the table, ... in other words, behaviors that you never want her to do. Keep a leash on her, attach it to a large stationary object (door knob, or heavy couch), sit in front of her with daughter and play... not too far away. When she is quiet, reward her and say "good [whatever command you gave her - sit, stay, down]" In this way you are near, she learns separation without anxiety and she learns that separation can be a good thing. Make her wait for rewards... there is more, you can IM me through this and I can give you some more training ideas.

Luka answered on 3/31/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer