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Pets

Pet-sitting

Question:
I am looking after my parents' Maltese terrier for the next three months. Last night was the first night I had him and when it was time to put him into his basket he cried continuously. What can I do so this does not occur and my neighbours don't complain? I know it will take time and this is a new surrounding for him but I need some immediate advice.
Angela Pinirou
Answer:
This is very normal behaviour for any pet put in new surroundings. It's just like when you bring them home for the first time! The crying is for attention because he is worried and wants you to be there to reassure him. And you cannot do this all night, obviously. What you don't want to do is to make the mistake of rewarding this behaviour by going back and cuddling him (as tempting as it is) or by giving him food because that is saying to him, "you are doing the right thing and I will reward you for crying"; only further encouraging it. Make sure the pup is warm, comfortable, has access to food and water and has been to the toilet, and then it's time to be tough! Ignore the crying and warn the neighbours — it'll only be one or two nights if you do this, longer if you confuse him by going in to him all the time. And if you have to go in, wait for a moment when he is quiet — that way you reward him for quiet, calm behaviour, not for crying.

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