Archived Message


by Cindy

I'm sure you are all aware by now that I have a new baby. She's been great, but.....I have a real problem with her crying during the day. She is now 8 wks. I bought her at 6. Last week she seemed to do O.K., but I work full time and she has to be alone all day. I read somewhere that puppies usually settle down after you are gone for the first hour. I know, in my case at least, this is not true. I bought a monitor that I can access from the telephone, and when I checked on my baby just now (I'm at work) she was SCREAMING. Why is she doing this? I want you all to know, I have a loud ticking clock with her, as well as an old shirt, all of her chew toys, an old shoe, and a warm water bottle. Oh, and the radio is turned to a talk show. Someone, anyone, please help me! I feel bad enough that she is alone all day. I play with her endlessly when I am home, and I hardly leave her, aside from work. I live in a condo, so this is promising to be a serious problem if she doesn't adjust. What else can I do? p.s. I just called my mother to go check on her.


Boy do I remember those days!! I know exactly what you're going through! I use to have my father(God rest his soul) go to my house everyday, while I was at work, to check on my babies. And of course they were crying when he got there. They soon stopped crying, I guess as soon as they were assured that mommy WAS coming home eventually, they calmed down.
-Karen Kalamaras

This is how it all started. Prissy was lonely and cried. I bought Bubba to keep her company....I now have 6 and no one is ever lonely. My friend got hers a kitten. They are best friends. Good luck it is heartbreaking.
-Marsha A.

Cindy, It sounds as though you are getting off to a bad start with your baby. Even though you are trying to do the right things....you bought your baby too young! I am angry! Not with you, with a breeder that sold you this 6 wk old pup. (I believe this was the same breeder that promised the AKC papers...what was that result?) If you are interested, read...."The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog" by Ann Seranne (a Yorkshire Terrior breeder) I have used this book as my BIBLE as I bred my two Maltese litters. She writes about critical periods in the pups life. They begin at birth and extend to the 16th week. Most critical are weeks 6-8 . Weeks 8-10 are the flight or fear imprinting period. She states that great care be taken to avoid anything traumatic. (no shots, no punishment, etc.) This should be a happy time when they learn to trust humans while still having their Mother and siblings. At 9-10 weeks they immitate the Mother and she teaches them all the things they need to know. People that have problems housebreaking should know that my last pup crawled from the box to use the paper at two weeks of age and has been using the paper since....THE MOTHER TAUGHT HER!!! My pups were still nursing from the mother at 7 weeks and still chasing her a few weeks after that. As best I could figure...most of the "tummy problems" have been with pups that are less than 3 months of age. I do not know what to advise you. Maybe drop baby off at Moms while at work. I hope someone has an answer for you...and get a name for that sweetie! PLEASE PEOPLE.....DO NOT BUY A MALTESE UNLESS IT IS 12 WEEKS OLD

My puppy also crys and howls when I leave. He is 18 months now and crys less. You are right to continue on to work each day - don't respond to the cries by returning to your condo. If the howls begin while you are in earshot issue a firm "Quiet!" through the closed door. This calms my dog - I hope it works for you as well.

Doreen, thank you for your advice and information. I researched this breed before I bought her, and knew in my heart that she was too young, but mistakenly took the advice of a woman claiming to be a quality breeder. Take my word for it, it will never happen again. Although I couldn't love her any more than I do, I will be more cautious and responsible next time...instead of following my heart. I haven't heard anything on the AKC papers. She has yet to return my calls. Thanks again for your response, I have been very impressed with the wisdom of so many on this site; wisdom that can only come from experience and I truly appreciate those who share it. Thanks again!

At the risk of making ANYONE angry, I beg to differ with the opinion that a pup should not be sold before at least 10 wks of age. I truely believe it all depends on the pups themselves. NO, I AM NOT a breeder, but the 2 litters we've had were all independent by the age of 5 1/2 wks. They ate their own food, they ran around like wildfire and alll are happy, HEALTHY, well adjusted pups to this day. They never had stomach problems,etc. I read a lot about pregnancy and puppies before Harlee had them and the Vet agreed that at 6 wks of age they were all extremely independent, gaining weight, and healthy; I was worried about letting them go SO young but he said it was fine, and I RESPECT his intelligence! So, I believe it's a matter of the health & independence of the litter. Just MY opinion.
-Karen Kalamaras

Some problems do not show up with puppies until they are a little older. I found this out when the baby I was going to buy became ill at 8 weeks of age. He was fine until then, and then with a week, he was gone due to liver failure. His two sisters followed him shortly thereafter. I was very fortunate that the breeder did not belive in letting them go until they were 12 to 15 weeks old. He has since had the female tested, and she was spayed.
-Marsha A.

All of the stories I am hearing about health problems with young puppies are really scaring me! At what age can I consider her "out of the woods", so to speak. I take her to the vet, on schedule, every two weeks. If I'm not mistaken she will get her last series of shots at 16 wks. Would most problems (if any) be detected by then? I am so worried that something will go wrong....when can I stop worrying? I don't want to think that I jeopardized my puppy's health by buying her too soon, or that there will likely be problems in the near future.

Cindy, I have recommended this to others on her, as well--if you can have another animal in your home, get a kitten. We have now had our cat for 9 years, and she was the angel that kept our former dog from chewing everything in the house--for this I will be eternally grateful to her! They kept each other wonderful company, yet she was not nearly as much work as the dog, much more independent. I am lucky enough to work out of the house, except when she wants to play 24 hours a day, so when I leave, I think she actually likes being alone with our other dog. She really took to him, and mimicks everything he does. I just think if you can, a kitten would help tremendously. Good luck!

I used to be a breeder of silver persians. One thing I learned is how important it is to know the lines of the animals one is working with. I never let a kitten go that was under 12 weeks. I believe however that there are some exceptions. Some lines mature faster than others. Six weeks is probably too young in most cases. I got my Maltese puppy at 9 weeks. He was ready. He had all of his puppy teeth, was eating dry Eukanuba, and was paper trained. The mother was getting tired of nursing the puppies. He is happy, healthy and very well-adjusted. He may just be one that was more mature for his age.
-April Blackmon

I agree with the kitten being good company.

Cindy, Out of my 6 only one had problems and it was asthma that was easily treated. The other 5 have been very healthy, only going to the vet for check-ups and shots.
-Marsha A.

Hi, Cindy I just thought I'd let you know that I had the same problem with Touquet (whom I adopted at the age of 13 weeks). I had no idea that he would scream literally all day long until the police started showing up on my doorstep (I live in a condo too)! Touquet has separation anxiety, meaning that he has a terrible fear of being left alone. Through a lot a patience and careful training, you can help to build your puppy's confidence. You can find information on separation anxiety in the archives on this site, but I also strongly recommend that you go to your library or bookstore and get Dr. Nicholas Dodman's book -- "The Dog Who Loved Too Much". This has been my Bible in helping Touquet. Touquet is 2 years old now, and has never completely gotten over this anxiety, but it is much more manageable now. It is awful to see the little ones suffer so much trauma!!!

In the meantime, try to help your little pup become as independent as possible e.g. don't keep her in your lap all the time -- instead let her sleep in her own bed on the other side of the room. Don't give her your undivided attention 24 hours/day when you are home, play with her for about 10 minutes/hour and encourage her to play on her own the rest of the time. As she begins to gain confidence, you may notice an improvement in the separation anxiety.

Best of luck with your new baby -- just send me an e-mail if you would like to talk more about techniques to alleviate the situation (believe me -- I have tried EVERYTHING!!!)

Cindy, I agree with Doreen. A responsible breeder will not let the puppy go until 12 weeks. I'm sure there are exceptions to this....but most are too young then..... When I bought my puppies over the years, I never was allowed to even see the puppies until the puppies were a certain age. And then I was told to be careful taking them anywhere until all shots are given. As we all know, they can pick up all kinds of things when they are young. I just wish Your little puppy could go back with her Maltese Mommy until she is a little older. And I wish she had a playmate. And my last wish.... :O) ... I wish I could help you somehow. In the book "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats" by the editors of Prevention Magazine Health Books...they list 12 things to ease this:

Separate slowly (Short absences at first.) Step out for a moment (Even to different rooms) Don't Coddle her. (Don't make a fuss when you leave.) But leave her a special treat. Work out her worries. (Play/walk, & she'll be tired.) Practice her lessons. (Training will help her confidence.) Find her a friend. UH OH I already said that!! (Dogs are pack animals.) Make suitcases fun places. (Not applicable here.) Light up her life. (Leave some lights on.) Tune in to tune out. (Radio, but you are doing this.) Beware of Blue Mondays. (Try harder as she was used to you all weekend.) Comfort her with a crate. (Talk to your vet as how to get her used to this. Some dogs tho don't do well in crates.)

The above is from a panel of 8 advisers in this book. (Animal behaviorists, vets, professor of psychology, & animal trainers.)

And I guess patience, endurance and persistance will help. I had to work out getting my older Maltese used to the new puppy, and then the puppy had to get used to a new puppy. ( I have 3 now.) It may help a bit to know that others will learn from this.

......We are all learning from Jay's site......
-Bel and m & m girls

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