@yaleezaforeva said in More crate/separation anxiety issues. 12.5 week old puppy:
screaming in his crate any time we put him in there during the day, whether we are in the same room, a room nearby or outside
Just a thought... you want him to get used to being in the crate while you are at work (right?), but you are crating him and not leaving. Like, leaving leaving. If you are in another room, Benji can probably (both) hear and smell you. If you are just outside, Benji can smell the residual aroma (which will gradually fade depending on how long you are gone). But if you are nearby... like outside the door or on the sidewalk, he may still be able to hear you. If he can sense that you are nearby, then it's not unusual for him to cry out for you. Is it? Since you have a camera set up, why not go all the way out to your car (get in, start the car and drive to the corner), then come back again. One of you can watch him on the camera if need be. The point is: you will be teaching him that the sound of the car starting and driving off means you have left. It will become a signal for him to settle in and calm down. Likewise, when he hears your car return, he will learn that it means you have come home. (My dog uses the sound of my key sliding into the door lock for a similar signal to when I'm leaving and returning.)
Here's the other thing. I don't see any mention about you giving your dog a walk before he is put into the crate. Make a morning walk part of the routine. You get up, make your coffee (etc), then take your pup for a walk. When you get back, you tend to all of Benji's needs. Set up fresh water and a snack in the crate, maybe a special treat. Let him know what a good boy he is and then head out. For right now, just drive around the block and come home. When you get back home, open his crate and play with him a bit. Let him roam around for an hour or so, then begin giving him clues that you are preparing to leave (again). Tell him you will be right back as you put him in his crate, and leave the condo. Go around the block a couple times and return home. Greet him, let him out of the crate, pick up his leash, take him for another (short) walk, back home.... shortly after, prepare to leave. Repeat the routine.
Your pup needs the repetition to learn what to expect, and when to expect it. Things like, going into the crate means you are leaving (the condo), and picking up his leash means you are taking him for a walk. Go over the routine again and again before your vacation runs out. Some short trips in and out to check the mail should be mixed with longer trips to the grocer. The inconsistancies will prevent Benji from assuming that your departure will always be "all day". Benji will learn what your routine is and begin taking his cues from you. He'll be fine.
Avoid a walk every single time you get home, else Benji will expect a walk every time you get home. But, give him some respect. If you have been gone (for hours) Benji may "need" to go out.