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Hi! I'm new to this forum, and in general new to the canine community itself. Just two days ago I brought home a precious little 8 week old Black tri Aussie puppy, and aside from crate training and the sleepless nights, she's adjusting so well and doing so good in her new environment.

The only problem is, I don't know just exactly how to balance both play and sleep. I know puppies her age and in general need lots of sleep and naps, and she's getting that for sure! But some times after potty and play (especially at dinner or when the family needs a break) we like to leave her in her ex-pen in the kitchen (with crate, toys, water, and blanket) and just let her relax. She'll whine and bark for a while, even if we are in the room, but usually just plop down for a nap later.

We're getting her used to new people, she's already learned sit, fetch, come (working on down and stay), and we play with her quite a bit (it's summer and both my parents work from home) but I just don't know if it's good that at least 4 or 5 times a day we leave her alone in her ex-pen (either with someone in the room or not) to sleep or just relax. I love having free time during these naps, but I feel bad when I hear her whining when she's first put in, and although I ignore her, it goes against instinct, yknow?

TL;DR: How much play time and how much alone-time in her exercise pen (with sleep) should my Australian Shepherd puppy get each day?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I'm a first time puppy owner and I just wanna make everything good for her! Thanks for reading :)
 

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sorry, I don't mean to criticize, just curious - why do crate her at all and not let her be with you/your parents during the day? She will fall asleep anywhere when she is tired. My husband works from home and I never crated any of my dogs. They all learned to cope with being left alone when necessary and to entertain themselves because we didn't have time continuously. But we were accessible.
 
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