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Hello. I did some searching on the forums and saw a lot of different opinions on training a new puppy and best practices. I was hoping I could run a couple of questions by the community to solicit opinions. I just picked up our 7 week old lab Friday night. We setup the crate (it is a big crate but has a center divider that is in place) in our bedroom and put toys and a bed in there. She immediately went into the crate as she was kept in a kennel by the breeder. She was good most of the night. The next day (Sat) we had her out in the kitchen/living room free but watched her. I think this was a mistake as Saturday night (last night) she was crying a lot and for long periods of time. I think we let her walk around without being contained and that may have spoiled her a little so she wanted to be out an about last night instead of going to bed. I ended up buying a 10ft octagon playpen (kid/animal steel) today and set it up in the kitchen. I put her dog bed and toys in the pen and she went right in. I praised her and gave her treates. We closed the gate and walked away. She cried and howled for 10 minutes but then she was fine and took a nap. I especially want her used to this area because we both work so she will be alone during the day. The good thinfg is my wife comes home for lunch so she will take her out during lunch time to eliminate. My questions are after this long setup is:

1. Is the crate by our bed ok? Some people have told me it is fine some have said they leave the dog in the kitchen crated at night, the same place where they have the dog in their pen during the day.

2. Is it ok to put a second crate in the playpen with the door open during the day when we are not home. I don't think it is good to keep her crated most of the day while we work then at night for bed but is it ok to keep her in this playpen with the crate inside and open?

3. Final question, during the day today we have kept her in the play pen while in the house but about every 1 to 1.5 hours we take her outside to eliminate and play a little. My thought is that while we are housetraining her, it is best that she be confined to the playpen during the day and crate during the night until she is able to roam the house freely. She does sleep a lot in the pay pen which I am assuming is normal for a puppy.

Are we taking the right approach here? We just want to make sure we are doing the right thing for her short term and long term.

Sorry for the long message. Thank you for any opinions you can provide.
 

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1. Is the crate by our bed ok?
No problem. You can phase it out later if you want. A large dog like a lab is eventually going to claim pretty much the whole house as a den area anyway as she gets older - or as much of the house as she is allowed to be in.


2. Is it ok to put a second crate in the playpen with the door open during the day when we are not home. I don't think it is good to keep her crated most of the day while we work then at night for bed but is it ok to keep her in this playpen with the crate inside and open?.
Again, this is no problem. Many people routinely have multiple crates or a crate in one part of the house and a 'puppy den' in another part of the house.

3. Final question, during the day today we have kept her in the play pen while in the house but about every 1 to 1.5 hours we take her outside to eliminate and play a little. My thought is that while we are housetraining her, it is best that she be confined to the playpen during the day and crate during the night until she is able to roam the house freely. She does sleep a lot in the pay pen which I am assuming is normal for a puppy.
Yes you do want to stick to a schedule during housetraining. and also keep her confined during that time as well. As she begins to understand the routine, you can gradually increase the area of the house she has freedom in. Don't rush things - pups don't really develop complete bladder control until about four months old.

Are we taking the right approach here? We just want to make sure we are doing the right thing for her short term and long term.
Your basic approach is OK. Just keep in mind that even with the schedule and the 'puppy den' and all, accidents will still happen. Stock up on an enzyme cleaner so you can clean up those accidents.
 
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