I was told to take my puppy out on a leash to let her potty (we have a fenced yard) and once she is done to come back in. Is it okay to let her play or will that give her mixed messages?

I also have puppy pads inside her x pen (just in case) but she will not use them.

Does anyone have any suggestions for seperation anxiety? I'm trying to leave her alone a little longer each day. I have to go back to work next week. I will come home at my lunch and I am arranging for a sitter to come over mid-afternoon.

Sorry for the long post.