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Hi all

I'm writing on behalf of my Mum. She has a 2.5 year old Golden who is perfect in all ways but one. My Mum would like to leave her with me occasionally, just for an hour or so, whilst she goes shopping - I have a 5 month old Golden puppy and they play together beautifully so it seems to make sense to put them together! However, when she drops Mia round, Mia just cries and cries until my Mum returns. My puppy can't entice her to play and we've tried telling her off, comforting her, ignoring her but am not sure which is the right way to deal with this. I suggested to my Mum that she should leave her with me for short periods quite often - is this right do you think?

Mum does leave Mia on her own at her own house and as far as we know this problem doesn't occur.

Any suggestions on how to make Mia happy would be gratefully received as my Mum can't go anywhere for long periods because of her dog. I am happy to have Mia anytime as she is lovely but I think her persistent crying is disconcerting to my pup.

Thanks in advance
 

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Chester & Murphy's Mom
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I would think shorter periods and more often might help her dog get used to being with you at your home. Have you tried taking your pup to her home to see if her dog acts the same way when your Mom leaves? So nice of you to doggy sit....
 

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What is your Mom's attitude/emotion when she drops her off? Does she "apologize" to her, for example, and pet her and coddle her - ie "I'm sorry, Mommy will be back", etc? And, do you try to soothe her, saying "It's okay, it's okay, good girl - she'll be back" ?

Because this is a very "human response" which actually encourages the behavior. She's not hearing that the situation is okay, she's hearing that her behavior/response is. = Positive reinforcement for negative behavior.

Try "jollying her up". When she's dropped off, be excited and positive - "MIA! YAY! We're here to play with the puppy! You're FINE! It's FUN!" etc, and not to foster the "Oh woe is me" that she's been doing.
If she does it after Mom leaves, say "Oh, Mia! Knock it off, you're FINE! Let's go play!" etc.
Also, shorter, more frequent visits and building up to longer periods can be helpful.
 

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You might also try having your mom over and have the dogs in another room - so she gets use to the idea of playing and moving around without your mom.

When your mom is away you need something to distract her, so you might start with treats and move to games.
 

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When we keep my mom's GSD when she goes out of town, we have found that if they drop him off at the house, he mopes and sits by the window. Some times for days! But if we go pick him up from my mom's house, he is a totally different dog. Something about seeing them leave our house stresses him out. Is that an option with your mom's dog? Bear in mind, he is the best if she isn't home when we pick him up.
 
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