I am a new owner of a 10 week old GSD named Eira
I picked her up about 5 days ago and have been ecstatic to start training her and bonding with her! Side note, my girlfriend begged for a new puppy, but doesn't want to taker care of her LOL
Anyway, she comes from a father who is a mix between show-line and working breed. He was a champ show dog and schutzhund trained. The mother was primarily working line and was a retired K9 police dog.
In 5 days I have trained her to sit, lay down, go potty outside and come (in some instances). She just learned to go down the stairs as well haha! She is great on walks and stays right by my side with no issues and seems very intelligent. She is very much a puppy and I do not attempt to force her behavior nor do I physically punish her for anything.
I have an issue I need advice on...my girlfriend and I work on the same day for about 3 out of 5 working days. On these days, we kennel our older yorkie/Pomeranian and put our GSD, Eira, in a metal octagon shaped puppy pen with chew toys etc. She whines in the pen as soon as I leave and had moved it around and pulled up the puppy pads in only 3 hours. I do not want her to develop separation anxiety or possibly hurt herself in there. We have a crate for her, but I have slowly been adjusting her to it by feeding her in it and playing with her in it, but she howls when locked inside. I understand this is normal for a puppy, but how should I approach this?
Should she be locked in the puppy pen or the crate when we are gone? Should I just ignore the howling and she will get used to it? I read a lot of mixed responses and just want her to be comfortable and not develop anxiety like our other dog (whom I did not raise). Is there anything I can put in her puppy pen to keep her occupied besides chew bones and kongs?
Also, how slow should I take her training? Can anyone provide a more descriptive timeline of how and at what age I should start teaching her and what to teach? I was going to sign her up for a puppy class nearby my home starting at the end of this month.