So me and my partner are first time dog owners and picked up our perfect little Shih Poo (Shitzu X Poodle) puppy Mila 2 weeks ago. We picked her up at 9 weeks and she is now 11 weeks. In the 2 weeks we've had her she has been an absolute angel and she's coming into her little personality a lot more now. She has never ever been an anxious pup, she loves people (everyone!), she is great with dogs (been introduced to my aunties vaccinated dog only), she is very obedient, she loves playing and cuddles and she has made our first time experience so pleasant - despite the breed apparently being known as stubborn. I really need some advice on leaving Mila alone while we're in work in the day. I decided to have a puppy during lock down as I am currently working from home and shielding, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to settle her in and potty train her ready for when I go back to work (partner also works full time and is still working normal hours). I don't have a date yet but I feel like I will be going back to work around September time when Mila will be at least 4 months old. I know its only been 2 weeks but I really want to do my best to make sure she's ready or put whatever provisions that are needed in place. The past 2 weeks Mila has been with me every single day, she sort of has her own routine but it's changing as she's getting a bit older e.g. she tends to need less naps now! Potty training - Because I’ve had the luxury of being with Mila all day everyday we’ve been able to make a great start on potty training. I would take her out every hour and after eating/napping/playing and would reward her with a tiny treat and lots of praise every time she would go outside. By week 2 Mila is taking herself outside to wee and poop when the patio door is open or running towards and standing in front of the door if its closed. I know we have a long way to go yet but I am so happy she’s picked this up so quickly. She will also wee and poo outside when at my relative’s houses and not inside which is also amazing. And I am so lucky that she has NEVER weed or pood in her crate. Only issue we have with toileting is her eating her poop! Every time! I always go with her when she goes outside anyway but you have to grab/call her as soon as it comes out or she’ll eat it straight away! I’m hoping she will eventually grow out of this. Sleep & crate training - So she slept in her crate for the very first time on her 4 hour journey home (I left the crate door open and sat next to her and she slept the whole time. So after researching for months the advice I received was to let her cry at night which was very hard but I was under the impression this was the least confusing way of doing it. So she would usually fall asleep in the evening on our laps (doesn't do this too often anymore) after a good play, we would let her sleep there then when we were ready for bed around 10/11 we would take her out for her last wee/poop and then let her settle down on our laps for a few minutes more before placing her in her crate sleeping. As soon as we would lock the door she would cry, we would try to calm her but she just wanted to get out, she'd been fed, watered, played with, gone to toilet and cuddled so we felt that she was fine to be left. She didn't cry for long, I'd say the first 2 nights she cried for about 10 minutes each time. Also for the first few nights we were waking her up at 3am to take her outside to toilet, it felt cruel doing this as she would take ages to squeeze out a wee and she wanted to play. So putting her straight back in her crate again was like we were teasing her. We trialled a night to see if she woke to go to the toilet and she didn't and she has quite a strong bladder for her age to be honest. So from probably day 4 we stopped taking her for a potty break in the middle of the night and she slept so much better without us disturbing her. She goes from about 11pm to 6am, has never soiled her crate and is happy to wake us up for her morning wee and poop. So although she was sleeping through the night quite quickly getting her in her crate at bedtime was a challenge. I started crate training her in the day and within a couple of days she was going to her crate on command and staying in there (door open) for short naps. She will also sit and lie down on command (which took her like 10 minutes to learn and she continues to sit and lie down when being asked without a treat present). So by week 2 she no longer cried when putting her to bed. Although she very rarely takes herself into her crate even though her toys and blankets are in there she'll go in and take her toys out to play with. If I take her in the car in the crate sometimes she'll cry sometimes she'll be fine, so we're not quite there with the crate yet but at least she sleeps all night in it and doesn't seem distressed at bed time anymore. She much prefers to either sleep on a slipper, on the hard living room floor, on the sofa with us or on her blanket which we sometimes put on the floor for her - anywhere but her crate basically! Being left alone - I've practised leaving her alone for short periods, first it was going into another room for 20 seconds and I slowly built it up. So now she's at a stage where she will quite happily sleep in another room while I leave and go about my day, every now and then she may come and check to see what I'm doing but she never cries when I leave the room. She will also sleep outside on her own too - although I usually make her come back in as I don't like her being out there when I'm not watching her - especially incase she poops and eats it. I've left her with my nan for a couple of hours when I had a hospital appointment and basically you can leave her with anyone and she's happy. Although when I return she always greets me with excitement and kisses - she does this to everyone though! I'm so sorry for the long post I just wanted to give some very detailed background. So how do I go about training her to be okay to be left alone? Should I carry on with the crate training? I don’t really like the idea of her being in the crate for long and I only got one to make potty training easier but she seems to be doing well with that. Would I be okay to leave her in my living room (where her crate is, where we spend most of our time as a family, where she sleeps in the day and night) when we both go back to work. I will be leaving for work at 7.30am and getting home around 6pm and my partner leaves at 7am sometimes 8am and gets home between 3pm and 4pm. I can’t come home to see to her in the day because I work an hours drive away. I have family members who can come and feed her (at 12pm), let her out to toilet and play with her to wear her out. If we did this she’d probably be on her own for a maximum of 4 and a half hours at a time (7.30am - 12pm). Should I arrange to drop Mila at my relative’s for the day once or twice a week too? At the moment she usually sleeps 2-3 hours between 9am and 12pm. Do you think she is likely to wait to be let out or have an accident in the house? As she has not had any vaccinations at the moment (couldn’t get her booked in due to lockdown) we haven’t taken her on any walks, but by the time I go back to work she will be fully vaccinated. Would you suggest walking her before work, my relative walking mid day or her looking forward to an evening walk with us after work? So any general advice on training her to be okay with being left alone and what kind of routine we could put in place while at work would be great. Thank you!