By far the most important early training for any puppy is socialization to other puppies and dogs, to people and to everything else they will ever encounter in their lives. This is also the ideal period for a puppy to “learn to learn” and that command compliance might earn a reward.
Indoor puppy socials are a crucial component of a well thought out socialization plan, forming the cornerstone of all future social abilities. They also have the advantage of being available before all vaccinations are complete, as early as nine weeks of age. I recommend at least ten socials by 18 weeks of age.
With a targeted, science-based plan, canine behavior issues can be addressed, managed or mitigated and, frequently, entirely solved. The not-so-good news about dog behavior modification is that there are no guarantees, just as there are none for human behavior problems.
Addressing separation issues requires desensitization exercises, such as breaking your departure routine into tiny pieces and getting your dog comfortable with each; incrementally increasing the amount of time you’re gone; and management to ensure your dog is not alone and over threshold as you work on desensitization.