Originally Posted by hollywed
We brought home a new puppy 2 weeks ago. We have a cockapoo, who is now 10 weeks old.
I am struggling on what is the best way to leave our little one alone without her crying. As soon as I walk out the room she follows me, or she cries if I shut the baby gate and attempt to leave her almost immediately.
I have been told by dog trainers to walk in and out and get back to her before she cries, however, the vets told me to leave her and let her cry it out for 5 minutes and then go back to her, make a fuss of her and then do this again gradually increasing the time. But what is the best way to do this?
Whenever I leave, she has a nervous wee or poo and I cannot even pop to the shops at the moment. I would really like to be able to leave her and know she is okay.
Firstly, congratulations on your new puppy
I personally don't think it's a good idea to 'let them cry it out for 5minutes'. That winds up your poor pup and potentially just makes things worse. We got Nova when she was about 10.5 weeks and crate trained her. We did try the kitchen with a babygate, but I think the space was too big for her and she didn't feel 'safe' there. But every dog is different. Crate training helped with her toilet training too whereas when we left her in the kitchen she would not hold her wees and just go on the floor.
With leaving your puppy alone you need a lot of patience and do it gradually. We started with leaving her in a room with the door open for a few seconds (in her crate) and then coming back to get her and increased the time frame and eventually shut the door. When she started crying, we spoke to her reassuringly from the other room and let her out once she was quiet (so she learned crying or a bark doesn't mean we will come and let her out). Now she is almost 6 months and doesn't mind being left as far as I'm concerned. When we leave we don't make a fuss - she always gets something to chew on/a safe toy or a frozen kong to grab her attention, so she doesn't even notice when we leave the house. Also we leave an iPad playing with some music or a movie, so it's not dead quiet in the house. We video taped her a few times with our iPad as well to see how she copes when we leave. In the beginning she would cry maybe for a minute when she realized that we had gone and then just get on with her toys and often fall asleep. I wanted to be comfortable knowing she wasn't crying or barking for a long time or the whole time we were gone.
I totally feel you - it's just about popping to the shops or whatever we usually do with no worries, but having a little puppy at home for the first few weeks and months can be quite hard. Have to plan your day around it so they're not alone too long. But if you do it with patience and love from the start, your pup will get used to being left alone for short time periods and when she is older for longer periods of time.
The key is to make them feel comfortable and keep them busy with something while you're gone. With time they also know you come back home.
Keep us updated and hope it improves
it's just another thing a young pup has to learn and they need time to settle into their new home, two weeks isn't very long at all.