Hi everyone!

Oskar is 8 years old & has an extreme case of separation anxiety.   He follows me everywhere, keeps an eye on me at all times & is attached to my husband to a lesser degree.

He loves other people & attention, has no real bad habits, is curious about & likes other dogs but doesn’t really play.  He lays around & sleeps a lot when I’m not doing anything, but he’s raring to go if people or his dog walker shows up.  

We lost our older dog, Baker, a year ago & I have been thinking about getting a puppy. 

How do you think he would do with a puppy considering the separation anxiety & jealousy?  He is never mean about it, but will muscle in front of other dogs if I'm petting them.

Do you think a puppy would give him more to think about & stimulate him, or increase his jealousy & make him miserable?

Thoughts, please...thank you !

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  • Are you thinking of getting a puppy for Oskar, or for yourself? If the latter, you should do what would make you happy. 
    However, IMO, it would not make Oskar happy.
    He's not interested in playing with other dogs, and a puppy can be a lot for an 8 year old to tolerate. 
    What you are describing as separation anxiety and jealousy is actually resource guarding, and you are the resource. Bringing a puppy in may give him something to think about and stimulate him, but not in a good way, lol. It's going to sharpen his resource guarding instincts and you are going to have a lot on your hands just trying to provide enough attention for both of them while also training and preventing any harm to the puppy, either physical or psychological. 
    Just my thoughts, for what it's worth. 

  • I'd be curious to know a couple things:  1)  Are you calling separation anxiety that he just doesn't want to be alone.  Always needs to be near you?  Or is he destructive when left alone?  I find they all want to always be near you, where ever you are  2)  Is this and the attachment new since you lost Baker?  If this is all new since you lost Baker, then Maybe a puppy would help (Karen?)  However, the puppy is going to pick up on this.  We had that with AnnaBelle.  Before we lost Sophie, Lucy was very shy around others.  Sophie was the outgoing one and Lucy just sort of stepped back from people.  Then when AnnaBelle came along (who Lucy hated BTW ... that was a tough couple months) Lucy just sort of came out of her shell and now will go up to anyone for attention.  However, AnnaBelle picked up on that initial caution and she is now a big fradie cat.  She is also very jealous.  She will come between either of us if we are petting Lucy or God forbid I sit down on the Loveseat with Mike.  She will be in our laps. Additionally, having 2 does not equal exercise and play in every case.  My 2 are the laziest dogs I've ever seen.  All they do is sleep ... unless you say "You wanna Go" and then they are up and ready.  But to just go out in the yard and play, very rare.  They go out and lay down and watch the world go by.  

    • Great questions, Sheri, especially #2.
      And I agree, separation anxiety is way more than wanting to be near you all the time. Dogs with separation anxiety cannot be left alone, period. They will destroy a crate, a house, break through windows, do anything to "escape". 

  • My Springer Spaniel had separation anxiety.  He NEEDED his people.  Our other dogs were a comfort to him but people were a necessity.  As a puppy he was very destructive when left alone. He outgrew it but he was so sad he would howl umtil his whole body was soaked and he tried to escape to find us.  One of my doodles - the hugely independent one has recently become my shadow followine me wherever I go. He doesn't wamt to be in my lap, but he wants to be in  my company.  All three of my doodles will vie for attention, however  it doesn't come to growls - but I think that is because we wouldn't allow it from the get-go. It's training most of the time.  Sometimes dogs fit together from the beginning but many, many times there is a settling in period where you wondered what you got yourself into.  I would only get a puppy if YOU want one; if you wamt to housebreak, if you want to train. If you do, you will simply need to be in charge of the settling in period; never leaving the two alone together, giving both lots of attention, curbing the demands that Oskar be the only one to get attention and be with you. "They" (whoever they are)  suggest that pairing a female with a male is more easily successful.

  • Thank you all for your insight...you've given me some things to reflect on.

    Yes, I think his attachment to me has been more pronounced since Baker's passing...before, Oskar would follow Baker around, bark with him 😜, lay on him in the car.

    Oscar isn't destructive, he wants to be with me & know where I am, although now he wants to be on my lap.  I'm trying to discourage that so his clinginess doesn't get worse.

    I'm still on the fence about the puppy & can't seem to let the idea go...guess I'll keep thinking 😊


    • Keep thinking.  You will know when it seems the right time and the right dog. It will happen.

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