Mini Poodle Separation Anxiety

We have been fostering an 8 month old mini poodle for about two weeks now. He is super sweet, smart and agile. He is not turning out to be a very good family dog. He only wants me (female head of house) will begrudgingly tolerate my husband, hardly tolerates my two teenage sons. He came from the home of an elderly woman who had three other dogs, as well. He was at the shelter for about a week before I brought him home, so he has been enduring lots of change recently.

When I leave the house, he is inconsolable, and when we’re all out and he’s alone, he completely freaks. In the crate. or free in our room with a window to look out are both inadequate to keep him calm, even with toys and bones to play with.

We want to return him to the shelter, but worry about him bonding with someone new…again. He’s really a sweetie, just not a “family dog”.

Please help! Thanks so much, and Happy New Year!


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1 Comment on "Mini Poodle Separation Anxiety"

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Poodles are very people-oriented dogs, and very sensitive. In my experience, a male poodle will bond to a female human, and a female dog to a male human, so his attachment to you, rather than to your husbands and sons, seems normal to me, especially since his prior owner was a woman. We had a similar experience with a male poodle who, in time, bonded with the men in the family.

It is not that he is not a “family dog,” it’s just that he’s gone from one kind of family, with other dogs, to another where he is the only dog, and with new people. He must feel very disoriented, plus, as you say, he has only been with you for two weeks, and he is still very young.

It would be very hard for your poodle to return to the shelter, and the experience won’t make him any more adoptable. At eight months, he is still very young. He seems to be very stressed, understandably; he’s lost one family and now is adjusting to another. So please be patient with him. If you do believe he’s the wrong fit for your family, please contact a poodle rescue group and see if there’s someone with that group who could foster or adopt him. If there is no poodle rescue group in your area, see if you can find a poodle breeder. Often a breeder will know people who have adopted their dogs and who might be interested in another poodle.