Screaming Puppy

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I need help/advice

I have a 9 1/2 week old cocker spaniel that I’ve had for almost 2 weeks. I am worried about his possible separation anxiety. Due to COVID, I have been able to be home with him almost all day everyday. He seems to do okay when I leave the room for a few minutes. I can have him in the living room or the kitchen and go upstairs for a few minutes and he is fine. A few times I have had to leave him for about 45 minutes and I have come back to him screaming horribly. I feel terrible because he is distressed, but unfortunately I cannot spend every second with him (as much as I want to). I know it’s somewhat normal for him to be anxious when left because he is so little. I just want to help him while he is young in hopes of having a relaxed older dog.

He is crate trained at night and does wonderfully. He slept from 12 AM to just before 8 AM. Sometimes he takes naps in the crate during the day, but sometimes I let him sleep with my husband and I on the big bed if we are going to take a nap. He doesn’t have a problem with going in the crate at night or if I am in the room with him.

I have a playpen downstairs that he absolutely hates. I cannot leave him in it for 5 minutes without him screaming bloody murder. Instead of putting him in there, I have tried baby-gating the kitchen and leaving him in there when I go. He eats all his meals in the kitchen, I am in there with him at times cooking or playing with him so he’s not only in the kitchen when he will be alone.

Last night I had to leave the house for about 45 minutes. In the hour leading up to leaving, We played, went outside, played some more, and I gave him a kong with some food in it. I left the tv on so it wasn’t quiet.

I won’t have to go back to work until sometime in the end of August when he is close to 20 weeks old. Even then, most days I will only be gone 3-4 hours. For days where i will have to travel or be gone 8-12 hours, i have a friend who will watch him. I am worried about moving his crate downstairs and leaving him in there because I am afraid of ruining a good thing. He sleeps so well in there at night I am worried he will associate the crate with being alone and not sleep anymore. How can I help him?

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