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13wks and dislikes being left alone

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Hello All,

I'm new to the forum with a new pup.  I've searched for more on this topic but found only a few items.  Maybe I searched incorrectly?  Sorry if there is more out there I may have missed.

At any rate, I have a 13wk old pup.  Have had him 1.5 wks.  He's an amazing boy and learns more and more each day.  It's been over a decade since I've had a pup and wondering if being left in the crate (while we go out short periods) gets better?  I've read many articles, watched many videos regarding training him to like his crate and get used to being alone.  He currently cries and barks when we're gone for 30min-1.5 hrs.  I work from home and have him take his puppy naps in the crate and also crate him for various lengths of time (10min, 20 min, 10 min, 30 min) while I work in the other room.  He does okay then but I do tell him to "settle" when he starts to whine.  Obviously I cannot do that when I go out.  I feel like there are small successes and he will learn over time that it's okay. 

He sleeps all night in the crate (in my room) and will go in when I tell him.  He is rewarded for it.  We don't make a fuss about leaving or coming back and I try to vary our leaving routine to take the anxiety away.  Example, opening and closing doors while he's in the crate.  Moving my keys around throughout the day, etc.  He gets a walk, training and playtime throughout the day and at least an hour before we leave.  Of the 7 times he's been left alone, he's not cried once.   We have his first training coming up and that first class is owners only, no dogs.  2hrs.  So I'm a bit worried he is going to cry/bark the entire time.

Any advice and/or reassurance that this gets better and I'm doing this correctly?  Thank you in advance.


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It seems like you are doing everything right. I did pretty much the same thing with Zola from 9 weeks, she is now 18 weeks and does well in the crate. I'm in the same situation as you (working from home) so I was lucky to be able to not rush it! She is 100% fine in the crate when I'm home, and does occasionally cry when I leave but settles after 2-3 minutes (I have subtly waited outside of the window closest to her crate a few times) 

I'm not sure I understand the problem you have / if you made a mistake while writing

1 hour ago, JavaDog said:

He currently cries and barks when we're gone for 30min-1.5 hrs. 


 Of the 7 times he's been left alone, he's not cried once.   


Does he cry, or has he not cried once? 

If he does cry, are you sure of it or does he whine when you leave and whine when you get back? It's possible that he cries the whole time, but also maybe he gets anxious when you first leave, and again when he hears you come back, which would make you think he has been crying and barking the entire time you were away. I had a foster dog for a few months last year, that would recognize the sound of my car from 5 floors up, and start barking/crying when I'd be parking. At first I was convinced he was going crazy the whole time I was gone, until I knocked on the neighbours doors to apologize.. who told me they'd hear him whine/bark just for a few minutes before they'd hear my key in the door. (I was so impressed; the elevator in that building was right in front of my unit's door so somehow he KNEW my car, my walking, my smell or something).

Anyway. If he's played, had attention, walked, ate, drank, peed, you can totally leave him in there for 2h. He will get more and more used to the crate, and the fact that you come back when you leave. 

Good luck!


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 Sorry for any confusion in my writing.  He rarely notices we leave since I give him his Kong.  However, when I check in on him (house cam) he is barking...A LOT.  Today, he seemed to have more breaks in between the barking fits.  Thanks for your response.  Sometimes just being reminded that you're not the only that is going through this helps. :)

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It might get better as he is still adapting to his life with you, it’s only been a week and a half! If it doesn’t, you could always try to damage proof an area of your house you can safely leave him in? Preferably close to the front door of your house.. Some dogs just don’t like feeling “stuck” / not seeing what’s going on. My very first puppy was like that - she never got used to being locked in a crate despite my best efforts (but she was the easiest mountain dog and I could leave her out of it without her damaging anything, from very early on). 

I made sure my current dog was close to exhausted, the first few times I left her alone in her crate. I timed our plays/outings/meal times so that she’d be falling asleep in the house before I’d transfer her to her crate to leave. That way she’d already be in sleep mode, and even though that moment of “oh no my human is leaving without me” freakout would happen inevitably, she’d quickly get back to her sleepy state of mind. 

In any case, you’re not the only one. Every day holds a challenge, but with patience and consistency it can only get better. (I strongly hope so ;) ) 

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I also recorded my puppy when I first left him. I walked him first, put him in crate, covered with blanket and put classical music on the radio. He would cry and bark at first, then would settle down and sleep, but occasionally he barked virtually the whole time. I was gone at most an hour. I did this most days and he soon got used to it, going in happily with a couple of biscuits. I then increased the time he was left. He now he goes into the crate just to sleep in the day. He is 11 months old now.

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