12hazel, those are excellent points. A few other things you can try are to use a hot water bottle wrapped in some flannel (puppies love soft, warm objects) or even a ticking alarm clock in a sock. (The noise supposedly simulates Mom’s heartbeat, but whatever it actually does, I’ve seen it calm down a lot of puppies.)
Try crating her for short time periods while you’re home. Never use the crate as a punishment- this is just going to teach her the exact opposite of what you want: the crate is her ‘room’, where she can get away from all the hustle and bustle of humans, relax, and nap. Try a big sterilized bone stuffed with cheese or peanut butter- this is an excellent distraction. A good rule of thumb is that the puppy should never be left in the crate for more than four hours at a time- she can’t control her bladder that long yet. If you can, bring the crate into your bedroom at night- she may be crying because she feels isolated from her ‘pack’. This is totally normal, and besides, if she’s in your room, you can hear the puppy stirring when she needs to go out, so you aren’t left with a mess to clean up.
As for eating, you can try warming up the food in microwave so it’s room temperature or a little warmer, or if she’s young enough, you can mix it with a little cottage cheese. CAUTION: do not do this every time you feed her, or you will create a very picky eater. Just surprise her with a treat every now and again. Don’t worry- dogs will not starve themselves to death unless they are seriously ill. Talk to your vet, get her checked out, and if she’s okay, she will start eating. It may take a day or so, but hunger will eventually win out.
If you ignore her crying in the crate for as long as you can, and then you can’t take it anymore and yell at her or worse, let her out, you’re teaching her to be persistent with her crying- the longer she keeps it up, the easier it is to get what she wants. You must ignore her, and if you just can’t, try a shake can- take an empty soda can, put three or four pennies inside, and tape it shut. When she starts crying, shake this. Not at her, it’s best if she can’t even see you, so she associates the noise with her crying, and not with you. That way loud scary noises seem like a result of her crying, not a punishment, more an ‘act of god’. Always reward her for being quiet. Put her in the crate. Demand at least 30 seconds of quiet to begin with. After she manages this, take her right out, pet her, praise her, give her a treat. Now go slowly, working your way up to longer periods of silence. Demand compliance by not praising when she’s crying. You can throw a “Quiet!” command in here as well, so she learns the word with the behavior. Everytime she does something right, act like she has done the greatest thing any puppy ever has. When she doesn’t get it right, ignore her and try again- you may have to go back a step or two, but always end on a positive note, praising her for something she’s already mastered.
Be patient, be consistent, be upbeat- puppies are a huge workload, but they’re worth it. You can also pick up a few puppy-training books. Here are some good ones:
Puppy Pre-School by John Ross
Good Owners, Great Dogs by Brain Kilcommons
and of course, The Idiot’s Guide to Training Your Puppy. All these books have great info.
Best of luck to you and your puppy. Give her a big smooch from me! And keep us posted.