Being alone (short periods)
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Thread: Being alone (short periods)

  1. #1
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    DefaultBeing alone (short periods)

    Moka is 8 1/2 weeks old. He has been doing very well with being alone for short periods of time, most of the while. He sleeps mostly through the night with very minimal whines and whimpers. But when it comes to the mornings he seems to be in a different state. My wife usually leaves for work around 6am. She plays with him for a short bit, lets him do his business and feeds him. Then he usually cries for a half hour or so after she leaves before napping on his own. He gets back up around 7:30-8:00 and at this point cries and whimpers uncontrollably. I try not to let him go on for too long however no matter what the time frame he is usually exhausted and painting when I come to see him. As soon as he hears me he will sit queitly, he seems to have already learnt that we will not give affection or attention when he is crying (unless its something serious!).

    It's ok while I'm working evenings as I can be with him most of the day, but when I switch back over to days he will have to be alone for the better part of 6-7 hours. I am worried that he will cry and over exhert himself the entire time. Is this normal? I feel he may have some seperation anxiety but how can I help more with that? He has a big play pen with his crate and a place for potty, plus plenty of toys and a kong just for when we are gone. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Edit: I also wanted to mention that with my work schedule he is usually going to only be alone for 2-3 days per week for those hours during the day. Also, we have gone out for a few hours, nothing longer than 2.5 so far and usually when we come home he is quietly sitting there or laying in his crate. It seems only in the mornings/day he will cry to the point of exhaustion.
    Last edited by SmokeyMokaMountain; 12-22-2009 at 11:57 AM. Reason: addition

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  3. #2
    Milesmom's Avatar
    Milesmom is offline Senior Member
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    Hi there! Moka is a very young puppy. You still have routine to work out.

    When your wife gets up in the morning, you say she plays with him "a bit". How long? Moka is only 8 weeks old, so if you wife plays with him for a good 10 minutes in addition to going outside to take care of business and feeding him, he should be ready for a nap after that. Keep in mind, Moka has been resting all night, then "mom" gets up, and he's ready to play! He's not ready to go back to sleep just because she has to go to work. She may have to start getting up earlier to build in time for Moka before she leaves. I did that with Miles and still do. He's 4 so 10 minutes of puppy play no longer does the trick. I get up an extra 60-90 minutes early so I can get him out to a park before work every morning. It isn't reasonable to expect him to sleep all night, then roll back over and go back to sleep while we are at work all day.
    It isn't just the exercise, it is the interaction with us they want and need as well. That's the reason we get dogs, right?

    I also want to mention that a puppy so young really can't go 6-8 hours without a potty break. You should try to find someone who can take Moka out to potty in the middle of your work day. We are gone 10 hours each day and had a dog walker come 2X a day for a few months, then dropped her visits to 1X a day until he was about a year old.

    Good luck with Moka. He sounds like a little sweetie!

    Ann & Miles
    MACH ARCHEX "Miles" (DOB 3/10/2006) UD RAE MXS MJS OF CW-OB3 CW-ARF CW-AR CW-ZR2 CL-1 (DOB 3/10/2006)
    "Hartley" (DOB 7/21/2012) RN CGC CW-OB1

  4. #3
    myFirstlab is offline Member
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    yea, I dont think he'll be able to hold it for that long as well. From what i've been reading, at this age they can hold it for 2-3 hours between potty breaks?

    One time we fell asleep and our puppy ended up peeing in her crate =( (last potty was 4 hours ago)... So i think 2-3 hours is a good estimate.

    At nights we do a rotation on who takes her out, we don't usually wait for her cries because we might not be able to hear it.

    During the day, there's always someone in the house, but 3 days out of the week, we are gone for atleast 3-5 hours at a time, so we set up a pen for her, connected to her crate, and one of those fake grass thingis where she could poop... I'm thinking of putting a couple of kong toys in the morning and at lunch time when i visit to keep her mind busy, but definitely i wouldn't put her in the crate for that long until she gets older.

    good luck with moka =)

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  6. #4
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    Sorry maybe my first post wasn't that clear. He does not have to hold it for 6-7 hours. He has a large play pen, we have gated off the den (10x10 room). Right beside the patio doors are his puppy pads, which he has already learnt to use and has been using them perfectly for the past two weeks.

    What I am worried about is how exhausted he is after leaving him alone for short periods when he is crying/whining. However in the last week he has been alone for periods of 1-2 hours and when we come back he is usually sleeping or sitting quietly waiting. I think he has gotten better with being alone.

    We have a kong a few other toys that we use for just when he is alone. He seems to play with them just fine, although sometimes he gets the treats out of the kong but does not eat them until someone is around.

    Anyways thanks for the input(s).

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    myFirstlab is offline Member
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    oic, sorry for the misunderstanding, sounds like a nice setup you have there =). In regards to the endless crying, our puppy seemed to cry alot more when in her pen and not her crate. It was really bad at first but it has gotten way better (both the pen and crate)!.. Now she only cries for 1 minute or so in hte pen,.....then gets quiet after that or chews on her toys. When placing her in her crate, no crying at all...

  8. #6
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    If I were you, I would cut out the use of the puppy pads as soon as possible. Using them makes house training much more challenging. Once a puppy thinks it is OK to pee/poop indoors you have to then unteach that behavior.

    I think they are OK when people with Toy dogs use them as Toys are notoriously hard to house train - but a Lab should not be all that difficult.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  9. #7
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    Today was a great relief day for myself. I was off but needed to get some work done in the garage so it was a good test of Moka being alone for most the day, however not really alone!

    After his regular morning meal, bathroom break and some play time, I decided to head into the garage before he was ready to lie down for a nap. I had to smirk as he let out a small whimper with a cocked head while I put the play pen gate up. I figured as soon as he seen me out the door he would be crying. Nope.....I stood outside the door and listened, a few whimpers and then I heard him lay down. A few hours later I came in and he was lying there just looking at the door. No sounds and got up excited and sat patient until I came to see him. Took him out for a quick pee and run in the driveway. Back in the pen...again I stood outside the door, this time I heard him playing with one of his toys. I did hear him cry for a few mins after about 20 mins. He must have got bored with the toy! lol. But it didn't last longer than 3 mins or so. Again I heard him cry about 3 1/2 hrs later but by the time I even got to the door he had stopped and was just sitting there patiently.

    I think he is doing much better with this and I am very relieved. Hopefully he will just get better with time.

    As for the pads, he is pretty much only using them when we aren't home now. We have gotten good at spotting his signs and getting him out when needed. I currently have a pad on the inside of the patio door and one on the outside. I if I spot him near the pad sniffing around I quickly open the door and he smells the other one jumping out and onto that.

    He is 9 1/2 weeks old, if I remove the pad now how long do you think he will be able to hold it? Again there are usually at least 2 days during the week when he is alone for 6 hours or so. Someone to stop by is not really an option as we are quite distance from town.

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