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Introducing a puppy play pen : tips ?

7059 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Wicket

Gosh I've been on here a lot recently! But you're all so helpful :)

I'm going to introduce a puppy play pen for Percy, (9 week lab x collie) because he's getting into some naughty habits and although I work from home and we're in the same room together all day, I can't correct his behaviour constantly, so as another member suggested in a previous post I aim to keep him away from the things that he can cause havoc with e.g. skirting boards, my feet, cushions etc. with the play pen.

It's quite big 196 x 96 cm and 96cm tall (it's going to take over my kitchen!!) and was pretty expensive, however I feel that it'll be worth it to get him out of the habit of these little naughty behaviours. Then when he is out if the play pen, I can give him my undivided attention and avoid any 'upsets'.

So here's the question ... I don't want him to associate this with any negative things, how can I introduce it to a very energetic puppy who belts around the kitchen like a whippet? I've thought to feed him in it, give him a Kong in it, put him in it when he's asleep so he wakes up there. Any thoughts?

What should I do if he howls and whines? I won't keep him in there for long, just short stints.


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Your ideas are all very good! One word of additional advice: Make sure the pup never, ever jumps the pen! Once they get out the first time, they will likely always fight the pen. Supervise closely until your pup accepts it!

I never remove a pup from a pen, kennel, or crate unless they are quiet and peaceful. Once they are very calm, take them out.

I love my x-pens! I actually have a whippet pup, so I "get" it!!!
Those are very good ideas, feeding him in it, kongs, and naps. You can also play training games with him and practice having him go in and out himself. Have the pen open and throw a treat in so he goes in. When he goes in, give him another treat, then ask him to come out. Throw a treat, and treat in, ask for him to come out, lol. When he's comfortable going in and out himself, you can try to get him to stay a little longer each time. Get him to sit in the pen, treat, ask for him to come out. Next get him to sit for 2 more seconds, treat, ask for him to come out. Repeat and build up the time. All good things happen in the pen, all good things happen when he is calm in the pen. He might even start going in there and waiting for treats because of that. Labs and collies are really smart dogs, so yours should be just as smart :D What I would do too is to just chill in the play pen with him. Show him you like being in the pen too, it makes it less isolate. Have him nap and read a book in the play pen. Occasionally step in and out of the play pen when he is not in it and when he is. Dogs want to be where you are, especially puppies, so if you want to be in the pen he will want to be in the pen too. I did this with my puppy and it helped a lot. Make sure you have nice toys, chew toys, and a cuddly blanket in there too; or if you are crate training, you can attach his crate to the pen or put it in the pen. If you make the pen such a positive experience, he wouldn't howl or whine. But for when he does cries or howls, you have to ignore it no matter what. You cannot give in, you have to let him know making a big stink will not get him out of the pen, only being calm and quiet does. Also that brings me to my last note, when you do release him, make sure he's calm and quiet, lol. Catch him by surprise and take him out randomly when he's doing nothing. Take him out and put him back in, change it up so he never knows when he'll be let out, so he has to remain calm and quiet when it does happen.
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Some great ideas thank you - I'll def spend some time in the pen with him and I'll keep a close eye to prevent jumping. I want it to be a safe and happy environment for him to use throughout puppy-hood.

He's about to fall asleep - bliss
You're welcome :D Even though puppyhood can be a nightmare, I miss it so much. I want another puppy so badly, lol.
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