Thursday, September 30, 2010

Using Ex-Pens for Puppies

Although ex-pens are not commonly used for raising puppies, I think they are are more effective in raising happy, healthy, content puppies than crates.

If I were to have a puppy (BIG "IF"), I would choose to raise my puppy in an ex-pen rather than a crate. Ex-pens allow for more room to move around in, and contrary to popular belief of keeping your pups in a small area for successful potty training, I think Ex-pens are more effective for potty training alone.

Every puppy needs an adequate place to eliminate. Most puppy parents are not home enough to let their puppies out to use the bathroom. Thus, making it hard for the pet parents to effectively potty train their pups.

Puppies can be completely potty trained by 8 weeks of age. Granted, they can not hold it in for our 8-10 hour working days, they are very capable of know where to eliminate if given the opportunity to do so when they need to go, and this is very simple to teach when raising a puppy using an ex-pen.

Here is how you would do it:

1. Put up your ex-pen in an area of high traffic in your home. Of course, not on a carpet type flooring.
2. Before putting your puppy in the ex-pen, place at least 8 different kinds of toys, including a plastic bottle, stuffed kong, deer antler, squeaky toy, rope toy, tennis ball and tug toy.
3. Make a place that is soft, comfortable and off the floor for your do to lay on.
4. Depending on whether you are home to supervise your puppy or not, you may want to put down pee pee pads or newspaper, in case your puppy needs to go while you are away.
5. If you are home with the puppy, I would use Poochie Bells (available at Groom Grub and Belly Rub, and Doglando) and attach them to the inside of the ex-pen.
6. Spread a little peanut butter on the outside of the bell hanging lowest to the ground, and leave it on the inside of the door of the ex-pen.
7. Always provide fresh water for your puppy. This bowl can be placed inside the ex-pen as well.

Rule of thumb:

If you are using newspaper or pee pee pads, try and arrange it so that the elimination area is away from the door. That way your puppy does not coming running through the mess, while trying to get to the door.

Moving forward:

Ideally, you are able to introduce bell training as a means of communication when your pup needs to go potty. If not, no big deal, this can be taught once your dog is able to hold it in for the duration of your absence while at work.

Benefits of using an ex-pen:

1. Easier to potty train. As a rule of thumb, an 8 week old puppy can hold it in for about 3 maybe 4 hours at a time.... although 4 hours would be pushing it. I always use the old rule of thumb.... the age of the puppy in months, plus one. Of course this does not count for adult dogs:)
2. Great way to teach a dog to keep busy on his/her own.
3. Gives the dog more space to stretch and in turn feel more comfortable and relaxed.
4. Is not associated with owners leaving, as you would use it to keep the puppy in while you are doing laundry, cleaning, eating, cooking or any other activity whereby the dog is not supervised, but yet is fun.
5. One of the greatest benefits is using it to teach the puppy to be calm and independent. An ex-pen is highly effective in teaching a dog not to jump, scratch, whine or any other inappropriate behaviors. You would do this by moving away/back from the ex-pen each time the dog is acting inappropriately, and once he/she is calm, whether it be sitting on his/her own or lying down, you would proceed to let it out.

A puppy successfully raised in an ex-pen would be one that exhibits calmness and relaxation while in their, even with activity going on all around it, and one that never learned to jump.

Dog Responsibly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where did you find this info, thinking of pen training a lab/husky. THANKS