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Hi everyone

I'm looking for help with separation training as I'm a bit confused about best approach!

Mabel is 11 weeks and I've had her 3 weeks. She happily goes in her crate all night, and at regular intervals throughout the day when tired she chooses to go in there, I close the door and she's fine with me coming and going from the room. She's pretty confident and happy to go into garden on her own and doesn't follow me around everywhere either.

The issue is that if I try to just leave her in the kitchen and go upstairs she whines and whines. I have baby gates and even if I step out of sight for a second she whines. I have tried treat training I.e. taking a couple of steps then rewarding silence but it doesn't really seem to be helping.

(This is also sometimes true of the crate - I.e. just sometimes doesn't want to be in there. And I don't really want to crate her every single time I leave the room anyway.)

My puppy class trainer says I shouldn't leave her to whine but I obviously have to go upstairs sometimes 🤣 When she hears me at the top of the stairs she goes quiet until I get back to her so I'm not returning when she whines, but if she can't hear me coming she goes on and on.

I've not tried leaving her in the house alone yet as the puppy trainer said about not leaving her to whine. But I feel like she is training me and this is more 'fear of missing out' rather than distress as sometimes she is OK with being left.

I just wondered what other people thought? Shall I try tough love and keep well out of sight until she is quiet? How long should she be quiet for before I return to her?


Should I also just leave the house even if she whines? Obviously she is whining before I can even get out the front door as it means leaving the kitchen 🙄

My main worry is that I mess up and she ends up with actual separation anxiety as an adult, but maybe I'm overthinking it and actually making the issue worse!

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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Your puppy trainer is exactly right, she is only a baby and needs to learn to cope on her own, just give her time and work within her comfort level
 
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