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Ok so I don't believe in using crates, and all the dogs I have had in the past turned out fine. However I now have an 8 week old puppy at home, and despite working from home I still can't keep an eye on him all of the time and there are some rooms that aren't super puppy proofed just yet (will be better this weekend), does anybody recommend puppy playpens? I like them better than crates because they have more room.

Also if the puppy whines in there do I let him whine it out? (he wont be alone too long, just so i can get household chores and such done) I have trouble letting him whine because I feel bad, I don't want him to get too stressed.
 

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I'm also potty training a 10 week old pup. I am crate training, but only at night. During the day though I'm using the tether method, where she just stays on her leash attached to my chair or a table leg where ever I am. I was considering baby gates and gating her into the bathroom (we have 2 so she'd be in the least used one) but I personally like her being with me so I skipped on the baby gate idea. As for whining, my pup only whines when she sees me pass in front of her crate, so I can't help you there.
 

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The problem with play pens vs. crates is that puppies will likely try to jump out of playpens and they can get hurt doing so. Also, playpens are flimsy and pups learn to shift them around. If your puppy succeeds in jumping the play pen, he will learn that he can escape things. If he gets out of a playpen once, he will likely do it again and again. This will make him more willing to try a fence too. I use both crates and playpens, but I never leave a young or untrustworthy dog in a playpen if I am not closely watching. I trained my dogs to chill in playpens, but it was quite a process. I think crates are safer.

In my house, crying and whining dogs remain in playpens or crates until they are quiet. Quiet dogs come out. I usually give young dogs butcher bones or kongs or chews when I put them up. Mine eagerly enter and exit crates, kennels, X-pens, and rooms. Tonight, I had a bone in my hand when I opened a crate door and I accidently ended up with 3 dogs in a large crate. They all charged in thinking that the dog inside would get the bone. It took a minute to sort all of that out...

Crates, pens, and kennels can all be very humane and safe tools as long as they are used fairly. Because I travel and compete with my dogs, I need all of them to be comfortable in crates. We stay in hotels or with relatives frequently. Crate skills make this much easier. Play pens are great too, but be careful not to let a pup get injured while trying to get out.
 
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