We originally had a pen for our pup that had the crate in it as well. Ours took almost 9 months to potty train even though we are retired and took her out constantly. Eventually we got rid of the pen and put gates up. Ours is a year old and we allow her in the kitchen, laundry room and family room. The rest of the downstairs is gated off. She only goes upstairs to sleep as we have a crate in our bedroom.