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Playpens and Crates for First Puppy

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Hello!

We are so excited to be welcoming our first puppy into our family. She (Molly) will be 9 weeks old (Golden Retriever) when she arrives in 2 weeks.

 

Although there will be someone at home most of the time for the first few weeks (and thereafter), we will need to leave her at home for a couple of hours at a time a couple of times a week starting from 2 weeks after she arrives. In order to keep Molly safe when we are out we would like to have a crate and playpen for her to use. We're planning on crate training her and having her sleep in a crate.

 

Given that Molly will be a larger puppy, I'm not sure how a playpen will work - it will be on tiles and I'm worried she will simply push on the sides and move the playpen around the house when we are gone (my youngest son used this trick when he was old enough to stand up!).

 

Do puppies tend to do this?

 

I have been told to leave her in the crate when we go out but what if she needs to wee or poo while we're out? I hate the thought of her soiling her crate and then not being able to get away from it.

 

Advice on this, and recommendations for which crates and playpens you recommend will be gratefully received!

 

Thanks so much :-)

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RuralPug   

I would recommend you purchasing a crate that will big enough for her to fit comfortably in as a fully grown Golden. It can be her safe comfy place for life!  Choose a crate that has a divider (or make a divider yourself) so that the crate is not TOO big for a baby Golden to den in.
 

I would also recommend that you purchase the type of play pen that attaches to the crate when you want it too - both so that her den is accessible from the playpen when you want it to be and when you want her confined to her crate for toilet training reasons you can do that as well. The crate helps to anchor the pen (especially if the crate is fastened to a piece of heavy furniture LOL)
 

Get the best crate and pen that you can afford - the crate will last for your dog's lifetime and a good quality pen is very resalable once your puppy has grown out of it. Personally, I would recommend vebo pens and crates for large dogs as best value for money but you can shop around if you choose.

Crate training as a part of toilet training is explained very well in this step by step webpage - well worth a read. :)
 

Good luck with your new baby! You are off to a great start by asking these questions!

 

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There may be times throughout Molly’s life when it’s not safe for her to have free run of the house and yard - if tradesmen are working there, for example, so one option would be to invest in a large outdoor run and kennel, which would serve as a safe place for Molly in the future. Another option would be to buy a baby-gate, and use it to to shut off a safe room such as the bathroom or laundry. The latter is not my preferred option in terms of toilet/house training, but she may be okay for a couple of hours if she’s toiletted just before you leave her, and you’re prepared to clean up any accidents without recriminations. I’ve never used indoor toiletting products for my dogs, but that may be worth considering. Whatever safe place you select for Molly, make a big effort to ensure that she’s accustomed to relaxing in there, and select some toys and food dispensers to entertain her. 

 

Yes, puppies will push play-pens around, and I’ve also had one jump up and get a paw caught between the tops of two panels. Luckily, I was in the next room and extricated her before any harm was done.

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Rebanne   

I've never used a playpen for any of my pups - German Shepherds and Greyhounds. If I am going out I just toilet them before I go and pop them into the crate. If longer then a couple of hours they go out into the back yard. All my pups are introduced to the back yard asap. Even the ones born here are spending hours outside by 4 or 5 weeks old. The ones that came here at 8 weeks of age, or older, also were spending hours outside each day. Broken up with inside visits. All slept inside at night until older but then all learnt to sleep outside as well. I want my dogs to be able to sleep inside or out, in a crate or not, on their own or with another. I also use a full size crate and never used a divider. My inside crates are 48 inches, b ut you could use a 42 in for a Goldie.

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Tassie   

How exciting to be getting ready for a first puppy .. and a Golden at that.    Your puppy will be fine for a couple of hours or so in her crate inside .. and a playpen is useful for the first few weeks (and/or baby gates depending on your house design.    Just make sure she has had some playtime, training time with you, and then taken outside on a light leash to toilet (I like to do this so mine are comfortable toileting on leash when we're travelling, and also so that I can know what they achieved by way of toileting.)   Then into the crate with a biscuit maybe, and pup will almost certainly sleep.

If you can, check with your breeder if it is possible to have a bit of crate training, or at least exposure, done with the pup before pup leaves home.  You could give/send the breeder a light cot blanket or towel to have in with the litter, and then that can come home with puppy .. not essential, but can be good.)

 

And remember, photos are obligatory as soon as possible! :laugh:

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