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Right now my 9 week old (I’ve had her for a week now) puppy is staying mainly in the living room, with gates blocking off the dining room and kitchen. Her crate is also in the living room. I don’t use puppy pads, I just take her out after every nap, and before every nap.
My office allows dogs so once the quarantine is over she’ll be coming with me to work. But I won’t always be with her, so how do I teach her alone time? Btw, I’ve only been trying to train her to sleep in her crate overnight with the door closed, and to sleep for her naps in the crate, door open.
I think I fucked up the first week with her because I’ve been spending nearly the entire day with her in the living room for playtime, feeding, training, and even when she naps and sleeps at night (I sleep on the couch). I do occasionally leave her alone when I have to go do other stuff like shower, cook, eat etc. But it’s usually less than an hour, and she’s always awake when I come back. She whines a bit. I don’t come back until she’s quiet and when I enter the area, I don’t make a big deal and just walk over to the couch so I don’t get her worked up about my return.
The first couple of days I had her, I would sit on the couch after play time and go on my phone, and she would gladly go into her crate with the door left open to nap. But now she’s taking her naps in a random place in the living room and waking up constantly to come to me. I ignore her when she does this, but she does it multiple times. And once she realizes I won’t give her attention for whining, she’ll run back to her spot to continue her nap. I think she hates her crate now after having to be locked up in it at night. She won’t nap unless I’m in the living room. And like most puppy’s, she gets really cranky if she doesn’t have naps. I’ve been doing 1 hour play/train/feed time, and 2 hour naps.
So basically my questions are: 1. Should I stay in the living room for her to take naps? If not, how can I get her to sleep with me gone? Will she just eventually learn? It feels like there would be no structured routine with her? 2. Should I be teaching her to take naps in the crate with the door closed since she won’t go in anymore on her own with the door open? Or is it ok if she’s napping outside the crate? Should I even just let her sleep on the couch next to me, that’s a sure way to get her to sleep, but I feel like that’ll add to her having to sleep and be with me all the time? 3. How do I transition from sleeping in the living room to leaving her alone in the crate over night? 4. How much alone time should I be giving my puppy in the living room? 5. What’s a good way to get my puppy to nap??? 6. Am I giving her too much freedom by having the whole living room? Should I get an x-pen to put in the living room instead with her crate attached?
I’ve been struggling with puppy blues and I’m just so anxious that I’m going to end up giving this dog separation anxiety 🙁
Edit: also, I’ve been giving her puzzle toys while I’m in and out of the room, but when she gets bored of it after about 10 minutes, she doesn’t go to sleep or anything. She’ll just whine that I’m not there in the living room, or that I’m not giving her attention while I’m in the living room trying to get her to fall asleep on her own.
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