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Hello,

My partner and I have recently brought home our male Vizsla puppy Kobe, who is 11 weeks old. We've had him since 8 weeks and all things considered we're really pleased with his behaviour and he seems to be responding really well to some initial training.

After a difficult first week of nigh-times, he's sleeping really well through the night now and only really crying to be let out for the toilet. We started with him in his crate in our room, moved to having him crated downstairs with me sleeping close-by and now he's sleeping alone in the kitchen while we sleep upstairs. We monitored the times he seemed to be waking the first week or so and now we set alarms for just before so we're waking him up to go to the toilet instead of him waking us up crying. The plan is to gradually increase the time so that he's eventually sleeping right through as he's able to hold his bladder.

Where we're struggling for the right approach is leaving him alone in his crate during the day. He cries and/or barks whenever he is left alone in the kitchen for more than a minute. I work from home and currently sit next to his crate during the day at a table in the kitchen, but ideally I'd like to be sat upstairs in our makeshift office for at least 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon, while he's alone (and quiet) in his crate. Despite 5-10 minutes of vocal opposition at the beginning, he manages the 2x2 hours in his crate with me alongside him no problem and is usually asleep for the most part. I've just not properly tested leaving him being alone for these periods, but I imagine he'll be very noisy which will make working difficult for me when I have calls etc.

We've started leaving him alone with a stuffed Kong toy, and although it does distract him to me not being with him, he's only quiet for the duration that the Kong lasts, which is about 5 minutes at the moment (but I'm going to try refrigerating and then freezing it in future so that it lasts longer).

I've seen a lot of different advice, some recommending building up the time he is quiet and alone very gradually while others recommend just crating him for the 2 hours with a Kong toy and allowing him to adjust over time. Just wondering if anybody has any experience with or advice for/against either of those two approaches?

We've found this forum a real help and there's clearly a lot of great owners and advice already on the forum, we're just looking for some specific advice for our situation. At the moment I feel very 'housebound' as I'm reluctant to just let him cry/bark based on what I've read, but perhaps that is the best approach?

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Chris
 

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When it came to certain times. Mine just had to deal with it, and they quickly learned to settle.
Things like
I needed to take a shower.
I needed to run a errand, go buy groceries.
Or my husband, and I had dinner out.
None of the first trips out were over a couple of hours long, as you don't want your puppy to have pottt accidents in the crate.
But they are all apart of a pup learning to settle without you. I made sure they had exercise, and had pottied before I left. At sweet as these dogs are, we cannot be expected to spend 24/7 with them. Doing that with them, when they're very young, sets them up to fail. Set your puppy up for success. Do not set its expectations to always be where it can see you during the day. Unless you plan a life on living the next 12-16 years that way.
 
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Thanks for the reply @texasred, that's really good advice.

Yeah I think we're just going to slowly transition between how things are now and how we want them to be (e.g a couple of 2hr stints alone). We'll try and entertain him with a Kong toy or bone while we're gone but if he whimpers then we'll just let him adjust and only return when there's a break in the crying. We're definitely best starting off now while he's young and he's already responded a little better today than he has during the week, so positive signs already. Thanks again.
 
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