Teacup Maltipoos are notorious lap dogs. They always want to be beside their owners every minute. So when it’s time for you to go to work or run some errands, these little pooches can get really depressed. Maltipoo separation anxiety isn’t a new problem. Owners like me would know that aside from the whining, their separation anxiety can stem to more problems.
If you’re also experiencing the same problem, I wrote here some practical tips and things you should watch out.
Why Maltipoos have separation anxiety
Almost all puppies will have issues about being alone, especially if you’d just brought one home. Their new environment will scare them and they always want to be with their human.
However, separation anxiety can linger up to adulthood in some breeds. A crossbreed between a Maltese and a Poodle, there’s no doubt that teacup Maltipoos will become Velcro dogs. Its parents both have a ‘sticky’ bond with its owners.
Maltese dogs are known lap dogs while Poodles are notorious for their separation anxiety. This makes Maltipoos a family companion. However, their strong bond with their owners can be the root of other problems.
Maltipoos are also balls of energy. They are always full of enthusiasm. So when left alone, they can get pretty lonely.
Here, a video from Bright Dog Academy Dog Training tells us why dogs experience separation anxiety:
Problems associated with separation anxiety
Separation anxiety among Maltipoos can actually lead to more behavioral problems. If your pooch keeps on having this issue each time you leave home, you’d likely face more problems in the future. Remember, separation anxiety among dogs is like an allergy. It will never go away on its own. You have to do something to fix it or avoid its triggers.
Here are some of the problems I faced when my Maltipoo started having bouts of separation anxiety.
-Accidents inside the house
Even if your pooch is completely housebroken, they will have accidents inside the house when separation anxiety sets in. The tension that your teacup Maltipoo feels will cause them to eliminate out of schedule. Some would really spread explosive bombs all over the floor and worse, the furniture.
Other pet owners also forget to take their dogs outside, leading to accidents inside. If accidents keep happening, it’s ideal to start crate training your doggo. Below, I discussed a brief guide on how you should crate train your pooch.
-Barking, whining, and howling
Teacup Maltipoos are small dogs but they can really give an annoying fit of whining and barking. If you’re living in an apartment building, this can stir problems with your neighbors.
Some Maltipoos will give you a barking concert in the middle of the night if you don’t let them sleep in your room. I had experienced this many, many times and it can be really annoying.
-Chewing and scratching
Even though they are small dogs, teacup Maltipoos can still cause serious damage to furniture when they decide to scratch and chew out of frustration. As you know, these dogs are energetic. If you don’t let them release this energy, they will vent it out somewhere else.
You’ll probably go home to a messy “paperwork” or a not-so-impressive art on your sofa. Aside from the damages in your possession, this habit will also injure your little dog. It can chip their teeth and hurt their paws.
-Pacing back and forth
Though not destructive, the pacing can cause your doggo to become more confused and depressed. Since your house is one empty place, they will feel vulnerable, something that traces back to dogs’ nature in the wild.
This is why crate training is imperative. Again, you can refer to my guide below.
How to deal with separation anxiety
The common mistake of pet owners is they punish their pooch for ‘acting up’ whenever they are leaving the house. Shouting or hurting your pooch will not help. It will actually do more harm and more behavioral problems.
Instead of letting your mood get in the way, I suggest that you do the following:
-Don’t make leaving a big deal
One thing that some Maltipoo owners don’t realize is that they triggered the separation anxiety in the first place. Fussing about leaving and giving your dogs a lot of kisses before exiting the door will make them more agitated once you’re out of sight.
Since you gave them so much attention before departing, they will feel distressed when you suddenly leave them behind. Also, this habit will make your dog associate affection with leaving.
It’s better to exit the door casually. Don’t call your dog and give those goodbye kisses. Again, crate training is the key here.
-Get the dog used to being alone
This might sound counterintuitive but giving your dog some minutes of ‘me-time’ will let them know that being alone isn’t really that bad.
Simply walk away and let them be on their own. If your doggo always follows you around, you can install a baby gate. Go to the kitchen and back to where your dog is. Don’t give much fuss about being gone. Soon, you can increase the time of being out of your dog’s sight.
-Don’t let your dog associate objects with you leaving
Dogs can pick up our daily habits. From the time we wake up in the morning, the smell of our coffee, and the moment that we pick up our keys. My Maltipoo knows that wearing shoes and the sound of jiggling keys are signs that I’ll be out for long hours.
This will definitely result in a fit of separation anxiety. I suggest that you mix up your daily habits. Get your keys early and secure it in your bag. Tie your laces where they can’t see it. These little details will break the predictability of your day.
Also, exit the door and go back. This will trick your dog to thinking that leaving the door is just a normal thing.
-Consider using CBD oil
Some pet owners use CBD oil to calm their pet down before leaving home. I haven’t tried this personally but if you’re planning to do so, always consult a veterinarian first. Also, check the legality of such a product in your state.
CBD oil can relax dogs to prevent destructive chewing and scratching. Still, it’s not for everyone that’s why the opinion of a professional is important here.
-Tire the dog out before leaving
If your teacup Maltipoo’s separation anxiety is a pain, I suggest giving it a short playtime session before heading to work. This would drain the excess energy. Your pooch will be in a deep slumber by the time you go to work.
Just make sure that someone will feed the dog in the middle of the day. As a teacup dog, teacup Maltipoos are prone to hypoglycemia. They need to be fed in small portions throughout the day to prevent the over-draining of energy.
-Don’t let the dog have a free reign
Maltipoos can inherit the angst of their Maltese parents. They will tend to overpower you and take charge of the house. As they discover the massiveness of your place, being alone makes them feel more isolated than ever.
For teacup Maltipoos, even a small room feel so large. If possible, don’t let them roam the house freely. Just assign a place where they can stay for the most part of the day.
Here, Zak George teaches us how to deal with our dog’s separation anxiety:
How to crate train a teacup Maltipoo
Crate training is a win-win situation for you and your teacup Maltipoo. The dog finds peace and you get to work without thinking about the mess you’ll arrive at the end of the day.
Just remember that crate training will require a lot of patience. Never use violence and raise your voice as your dog will associate such negative reaction to using the crate. That’s something we don’t want to happen.
Before we start, I just want you to know that crate training can solve a series of problems with your pooch. Aside from separation anxiety, it could be used for housebreaking, traveling, protection against dangerous objects at home, and more.
Step 1: Choose the right crate
Your teacup Maltipoo won’t need a very large crate. The goal of staying in this small space is to remove the sense of isolation the dog usually feels inside your home.
Generally, the crate should be large enough for your pooch to lie down, stretch, sit, and stand up comfortably. A larger crate will give your pooch excess space to eliminate which is another thing you don’t want to happen.
Step 2: Introduce the crate
The number one rule when crate training is to never trap or corner your dog just to get it inside. This will scare them and cause them to keep a distance from the crate.
Just treat the crate as another typical item. Keep it open and let your dog lick and sniff it. This familiarity will break the barrier of fear.
Step 3. Make your pooch love the crate
Now that your Maltipoo is familiar with the crate, it’s now time to make them love it. From a bare crate, make it a place where good things happen.
Stuff it with cozy bedding and your dog’s favorite toys. Anything that will encourage the pooch to go inside is ideal. During the first days, you can feed your dog inside so the pooch will associate all the good things with the crate.
IMPORTANT TIP: Don’t close the door yet! You don’t want your dog feeling betrayed or trap by locking them in when they don’t like.
Step 4. Use foraging toys
Foraging toys are those that you can use to stuff treats inside. This will keep your dog occupied while staying inside the crate.
I personally use the smallest KONG toy available to stuff tiny treats inside. I will then put it inside the crate where my dog will willingly stay.
In my experience, it will help to have two KONG toys so you can give each one at a time. Aside from your dog liking the crate, the pooch will also love you more for showering him or her with treats.
Step 5. Start closing the door
Once your Maltipoo is comfortable entering and exiting the crate, you can now start closing the door when you feed it inside. Stand by and make sure to open the door right after the dog finish eating. This will let the pooch know that the crate isn’t a trap but a safe place for him or her.
Repeat the same process with a treat-stuffed KONG toy. Always stay within your dog’s sight.
Step 6. Get out of sight for a few minutes
Once it’s okay for your Maltipoo to eat or take snacks with the door closed, try leaving for a few minutes while s/he chomps the food. Start getting out of your dog’s sight for a minute. If the pooch starts whimpering, go back again. Increase the time that you’re away little by little.
This way, your pooch will get used to being in the crate without seeing you. With enough practice, you can leave the house without your dog knowing it.
Not sure if you want crate training? Here, Ian Stone helps us weigh the pros and cons:
A few reminders
Never crate your pooch for too long. Adult Maltipoos can only hold their poo and pee for around 4-8 hours. If you don’t get them out in time, they will have accidents in the crate. Soon enough, the dog will start hating the crate, putting all your efforts to waste.
Use a verbal cue. Whenever I say “go to bed” to my Maltipoo, it automatically means he has to go to his crate. Develop this verbal cue for your dog so you can get him or her to enter the crate before you leave the house.
Keep it comfy. When leaving the house, make sure that you keep the crate as comfy as possible. You’d want it to become the safe haven of your dog.
Maltipoo separation anxiety can be fixed with the right technique. Just be patient and take it one step at a time. What do you think of my tips here? Let me know below!