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Spending time with and without your puppy while home


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If you are home / work from home, for how long would you play / interact with you pup before you leave them alone to play on their own or sleep?
Do they generally cope ok being alone without seeing you?
I’ll take my 11 year old cavoodle to the toilet, train him, play, breakfasts etc , but then he’ll still whimper when I place him back in his playpen. 
I hate hearing him cry but I really need to get my chores / work done. 

Is a 30-40min play & attention session enough for an 11 week old puppy?

Then I can try to encourage him to play with his toys by himself or sleep? 



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Puppies need to be set up for there new life & what that means BUT people need to als factor if using a pen then your also teaching them to be reliant on humans to let them out etc etc .
Sitting in a pen for hrs is boring .

I work from home & the dogs cope easily as they have the backyard to enjoy & then all the other things schedules just like a non working from home life 

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then he’ll still whimper when I place him back in his playpen. 

Well, yes - as he has had you with him, and now he doesn't .Puppies like company , and most do not have the resources to entertain themselves .
For how long is he in his pen then, and what does he have in there to amuse him ? 

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I have a litter of rescue pups here that I have been crate training one by one so that I know they should settle for their new owners once they leave me. They are also contained in a playpen either in the house (at night), or in my yard (during the day) when I can't supervise play/exploring. Each evening, I will take one pup from the playpen, and put them in a cage crate set up in the same room for a while - extending the time each session up to overnight by themselves. They can see me and the other pups, but essentially are on their own with a beddie and a couple of toys. Generally they have played with the toys for a short while, checked out the dimensions of their crate, had a little whinge/whimper, then settled down and just gone to sleep. I let them sleep for a little while, then go and open the crate... they will then either just stay there and sleep more, or slowly decide to come out, and then I'll pop them back in the playpen with their siblings, where they settle down and sleep again.


During the day, I will have a couple of supervised free running sessions in the yard to let them really run about and stretch their legs, explore the yard and have individual cuddle sessions with me if they came asking. The free running sessions last from 15-45 mins depending on my time constraints.


In the evening when we are all inside, each pup gets a good 30-45 mins of couch cuddles, where they get to settle on the couch with me watching TV, and just have them being nice and quiet on my lap or beside me. This trains them for quiet time before bed time, so they aren't hyped up and cause issues when it's time to sleep.


The first pup has gone to his new home now, and reports are that he easily settled into his night crate in their bedroom and slept quietly all night... no whinging or getting upset at all. They also have a couple of playpens set up for when he's not supervised, one inside, and one in the yard, and he has settled straight into the daily routine beautifully. He is 10 weeks old.



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Have you enrolled in puppy preschool - I’m assuming the one reference to an 11 year old dog rather 11 week old pup was a typo? A quality, force free puppy preschool will include instruction on home alone training as well as other important things like how to properly socialise to the world around them. You should start now - from 8 weeks actually, rather than waiting until vaccines have finished.



A heads up that this particular breed mix can be prone to separation anxiety, so if you/they think you’re seeing signs that it’s beyond what is developmentally normal for a puppy, getting on top of it with one-on-one training +/- early referral to a behaviour vet is wise. I had my parents do the former with their toy poodle as he had a high level of distress when away from my mum’s sight for even a second and was escaping from the house when alone. No problems with separation now as an adult. :) 

Good places to look for dog trainers:



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  • 2 weeks later...

There are so many things you can (and should do) to make any puppy comfortable when you're not home, but it definitely takes time. I had neighbours complain to the RSPCA about my puppy barking too much, and I barely left her alone for more than an hour or two. My neighhbours didn't tell me directly, so I didn't even know, and before they told the RSPCA they through a carton of rat poison into my garden :/


Training your dog will go a long way. Cesar Millan is brilliant, and his tv shows are worth watching. Here's a video on separation anxiety in puppies:



There are also many things you can do at home to make your dog feel safe and comfortable.


Making a "nest" for your dog or giving them a window view can work really well. We have a small table by the lounge window covered in a blanket - underneath is our dog's den, and in the day she'll sit on top and look out the window and things going on.


There's loads of good ideas here - https://www.dogzone.com.au/boredom-busters-for-dogs/


Read the bit about snuffle mats and scattering dog food around the house and garden before you go out - keeps your puppy occupied and also distracted when you leave home.


Probably lots of other things you can do too, and get a wifi security cam which you can talk to your dog through!

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Dogs and puppies need to be taught that it's okay to be alone and this takes time and training.


All my pups are let outside to play, roam the backyard, explore etc as soon as they come home and whilst I supervise them, I don't hover.  Far too many pet owners are mollycoddling their puppies, which in turn encourages separation anxiety as they're set up to rely far too heavily on human companionship.


By all means do the training, playing, toileting etc as you have been, but also try encouraging quiet time by feeding bones, frozen kongs and another great one for the hot days is to freeze a water and treat mix (can be bits of diced prime 100, meatballs etc) in an ice-cream container (or other appropriate sized container) and allow the pup to chew, lick, play with it.


When I'm working at home, my dogs are in the yard being dogs and then they come inside to spend the evening and night with me.  We also do a lot of sports so we're at training classes a few times a week too.

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