We got our Golden this past Saturday, and he's doing great! Learns quickly, only about 1 accident a day inside, never peed/pooped in his crate, etc. All of this in only 5 days!
However, I'm concerned we're leaving him in his crate too long and I don't want him to develop any emotional problems. I've been slowly trying to increase the time he spends in the crate. We always crate him at night, but his day schedule has been as follows: Sat and Sunday he was only crated at night, Monday he was crated from 7:30am-10:30am and then came to work with me, Tuesday crated from 7:30am-11:00am then again to work, Wed. from 7:30am- 11:00am then from 1:30-4:30, today 7:30am-11:00am then from 12:00-3:30. Starting next week his daily Mon-Fri schedule will be 1 and 1/2 hours out playing in the morning, 30 minutes out at lunch, and 5 hours out at night (7 hours out total/ 17 hours crated - including nighttime), Sat/Sunday he will be out all day and only crated at night.
He's pretty good about going in, we give him treats and toys and praise when he goes in and sit with him for about 5 minutes as long as he's calm. But he still cries a lot when he's in there during the day. We tried putting a blanket in there but he doesn't like soft surfaces. At night he's fine because we're in the room with him, he only cries at about 1:00am to go potty, and again at 5:00am, but that's it.
Is 17 hours/day for 5 days a week too much in the crate? And if so, what are some alternatives? I'm worried about leaving him unattended in the house, especially when he's not fully house trained.