This is not a Doodle specific question but know it's friendly bunch on here so thought of no better place to call for help. I have a 9 week double doodle puppy. He's wonderful in everyway. He's been home with us for around 10 days now.
I am struggling because of two problems which are clearly related. I think the main one is separation anxiety. Luckily I work from home so we are together a lot but i do have to pop out to walk the kids to school, pick up groceries etc and in the future when hes more settled Id like to get back to the gym, have a night out etc.
He cries and cries everytime I leave him and if I shut him in his crate he will typically poop. At night he hates the crate and again cry and cry and usually poop. So only 10 days in I've broken all the rules and he's sleeping on my bed where of course he is a little gentleman and we have no problems.
I know many people are happy for their dog to sleep on the bed. I never thought Id be one of these people but just to get some sleep, in 10 days
I've become one. However I realise that whilst hes quite small now, I think he's going to be a really big boy so I don't feel this can be a long term solution and I fear I'm making him even more clingy by letting him be close to be all of the time.
I have now pretty much given up on the crate, collapsed it and put it outside, at least until I can clean it properly. So I have been thinking should I get a puppy pen so he can play safely whilst I make a meal etc. I can then leave him in the puppy pen when I take the kids to school. I doubt the mess would be as much to clean up as it would be in our stone floored dining room/kitchen area which would be easier to clean.
When he poops in the crate, because it's so confined he is messed up with it all over him, the bed and the bars of the crate when I come home. He doesn't seem like the type of dog that is interested in his own poop so my thinking is if he fouls the pen, he'll leave it be until I come home to him.
Also, the pen feels more open in comparison to the crate and I can put him in to play whilst I potter in the kitchen to get him used to it.
I know it's early days but I really need some expert dog owners' advice on 1) the play pen, 2) the sleeping 3) the anxiety when left alone.
Thanks for reading this far :)