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Old 11-08-2006, 08:03 AM
mikestorm mikestorm is offline
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Default Advice on leaving new puppy alone

Hello everyone! I just got my new puppy over the weekend. He's a 7 1/2 week old Boston named Porter. He's such a great puppy! Although I grew up with dogs, this is the first dog I'm raising completely on my own.

Introducing him to his crate went very well, and we're already making headway with potty training.

I live alone but work out of the home 4-5 days a week. That said, I CAN be around him all day, but obviously I'm not getting much work done. It's day 4 since I got him, and today I sequesterd him in his room for the first time.

His crate is in a smallish room with hardwood floors and big french doors that open to the rest of the house. With one french door closed, I put the baby gate up about an hour ago. I was smart enough to tucker him out beforehand, and not surprisingly he cried for about 20 minutes then crawled into his crate and zonked out.

I plan on leaving him alone, (off and on) for four hours today (in one our sessions). I'm fortunate enough to work out of my home, but the flip side is I have to hear is little yelps and it's too much to bear!

Is this truly the way to do this? I hate tough love! I don't want to scar the little guy and end up causing what I'm trying to prevent. The family dog I grew up with (who's now 13) has had severe separation anxiety his entire life, most likely brought on by our caving in to him whenever he started to cry when he was a puppy. I don't want to make the same mistake with Porter! Any advice is appreciated, and thank in advance!
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:13 PM
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MomOf7 MomOf7 is offline
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Your pup sounds pretty well adjusted already. I would continue crate training.
I dont suggest free roaming while your gone. I would keep my pup in the crate. 4 hours is a long time but if you feed early, exercise and take out to potty he should be fine for 4 hours in the crate.
Many dogs like being in thier crates. Its like a comfort zone. From what you describe he already likes his crate he should adjust just fine.
Im going to beat Grammy to this. Get the book Raising a Puppy you can live with...
Good luck!
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:07 AM
mikestorm mikestorm is offline
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Thanks! Bear in mind while I left him in his room for four hours total, I did it in one hour increments, so we woke up at 6:30, and I left him in his room from 7-7:30am (while I showered), 9-10am, 2-3pm, 5-6pm, and 7-8pm, then bed at 9pm. Between sessions I played with him, brought him out to potty, and fed him.

He went a little nutzo for about 25 minutes each time I did it. I think keeping him in his crate instead of penning him in his room is the way to go as well, so that's what I'm going to try today. Right now he really likes his crate, so I didn't want to associate anything negative to it, but he REALLY goes crazy when he's shut in his room.
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:05 AM
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He's going to go crazy when shut away from you at this point. He WANTS to be with you - more than anything. Is your work at home "stationary" (ie. at a computer)? If so, you could put him on leash and hook him to your chair... but then, on the other hand, teaching a puppy to be alone is not a bad thing. He is crying because he wants to be with you. If your work does not allow him to be with you, then let him cry - it won't hurt him. And yes, he is going to go NUTZO when you come back, but that is because he is absolutely THRILLED to see you again...
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:22 AM
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Default Good luck!

I too would keep him crated--he doesn't need let out every single hour as perhaps that is just a bit much of out/in out/in I would try every 2 hours--which should be more than sufficient. Do not give in to his cries--he will get over it soon enough! Good luck! (do you have any pics he sounds like a cutie!)
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Old 11-09-2006, 11:06 AM
Goobiedogs Goobiedogs is offline
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I think youare doing great. I would do what you are doing, because you start forming habits now. I would not crate him for 4 hours straight right now if you can avoid it, but definitely keep him in one room. Maybe 2 hours in the crate right now, potty then some play, then some time in the room.

But right now, since you are home, I suggest keeping up with a good schedule. I know its sooo hard when you hear them cry for you, but tough love is the right way. As long as he isnt crated too long and I think 4 hours is too long. But thats just my opinion. Just make sure there is nothing he can destroy or get hurt with in the room (cords, etc). And check on him often since its new.

Good luck, pup sounds like he is doing great!
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Old 11-09-2006, 04:34 PM
mikestorm mikestorm is offline
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My work at home is stationary, however I really don't want him with me 24/7, since I want to teach him how to deal with being alone. If he gets used to me being around him all the time, I'm pretty sure I'll foster separation anxiety on the off times I am away for sustained periods. I live alone, so from his point of view it's all about me.

I did a search and discovered a good rule of thumb is dog's age in months + 1 = hours he can spend comfortably in a crate. For porter, that's 3 hours right now (he's two month's old), so I'm going to 2.5 hours in with 1 hour food/potty/play breaks in between. Does that sound reasonable?

This is more an exercise in overcoming separation anxiety than potty training. Obviously, I want him potty trained but am confident that it will come in time. I'm less confident he'll be able to overcome separation anxiety given the amount of time I am home. Better to get him used to me not being around so much as a puppy and be pleasantly surprised as a dog than the other way around.

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Last edited by mikestorm; 11-09-2006 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 11-13-2006, 12:29 AM
Goobiedogs Goobiedogs is offline
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Mike, that is the cutest puppy!!!

I have to say, I agree with you about learning to be alone a bit. My male 1.8 yrs is very attached to me. I too have been home and he was with me almost all the time. I did what the books said about tethering, etc, and to this day, he cant seem to relax unless I relax and he follows me everywhere. Some days, its not good. He is an overly energetic dog, to give you an idea, we bike ride with him running next to us. One day we rode 4 miles, he ran 4 miles and still proceeded to come in the house and grab toys to continue to play. He just has a high high level of energy which is also why he cant seem to relax and therefore hates to be alone.

My younger pup is somehow different, but she too was used to me being home as I am still out of work. She is a relaxed dog, will just lie down and chill out when I am busy. So I do think it has more to do with the dogs temperment than the training and habits, but its worth a shot giving the pup time without you.

My male will not even lay in the bed with my hubby, only will go to bed when I go to bed. As I go on the computer everynight, he sleeps in the recliner next to me. If I go even downstairs for water or a snack, he is right there with me. It makes me sad that he is like this, thats why we got our female so that when we do leave he has a friend.

And that has worked out better. When we go out, we still keep them in crates, and dont ever leave them in more than 5 hours and always with water. But we just started gating them together out of the crates when we go out, in just two rooms of the house. Sad thing is, again, he seems to stand by the back door looking out since he knows we go out that way and come back that way. We truly think he stands there waiting the whole time and never lies down. Whereas my girl will lay down and relax two mins after we leave. It is heartbreaking, but we tell ourselves it is his personality and high level of energy becuase we did the same with both of them and they turned out entirely different personality wise.

So I say give it a try, its totally worth it and I think you are smart to realize all this. But anything can happen based on the dogs personality in the end.

CUTEST DOGGIE YOU HAVE!
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Old 11-13-2006, 12:50 AM
Dulce Pit Bull Dulce Pit Bull is offline
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First, you have the cutest dog ever!

Second, I think you are doing a FANTASTIC job!
1. You got a puppy at a great time in your life, when you can work from home
2. You left him out LOTS, and that's just great

Is there a TV in the room he is in? If there is, you could leave the TV on for him, at a low volume, but enough so that he feels comforted. There is also something called a "heart beat" pillow for puppies. It provides a comforting sound of a heart beat, and is very calming/soothing to a puppy.

That could help calm him when you leave him for the hour.

Does he have lots of toys in there?

Is his crate open when he's in the room, or does he have free roam of the room when he's in there?
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:51 PM
mikestorm mikestorm is offline
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I've opted to putting him in his crate and shutting the french doors completely. If he sees me walk by and he's awake it occurrs to him he wants to be with me. I keep classical/smooth jazz playing very softly in the background.

Yesterday we went one full day without much of a wimper. Today was a different story, but I don't think I tired him out as much today during each session while he was out.

Either way, it's only been 8 days since I brought him home, and in that time I can safely say progress was made.

Thanks for the advice! Here are two more pictures of Porter



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