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Fizz’s New Puppy Pen – Karen Phillips

Having an eight week old puppy in the house has taken me back to all the good and not so good times of first bringing home a new puppy.  Puppies are quite an adventure but there are things that can be done that will certainly make things much easier and help to create a well-adjusted young dog.

One of the best investments I’ve ever made was to purchase a puppy pen.  These come in a variety of configurations, are easily portable and can be set up in any part of the house.  Once it has been erected in a suitable position, it just needs some comfortable bedding for the pup to sleep on, a variety of sturdy chew toys and a bowl of water.  My puppy pen is set up in our main living area tucked into a corner where puppy feels secure enough to have a nap but can still watch what is going on while in there playing.

A puppy pen allowed me to control what my puppy did when she first came home and until she learns the “rules”.  Puppies don’t arrive knowing how to behave, they have to be taught what is and what isn’t acceptable.  Allowing a puppy too much freedom before she is ready and when she isn’t supervised can result in house soiling and inappropriate chewing.  The first thing my new puppy did was latch onto everything with her teeth irrespective of it being a body part, clothing or furniture.  If bad habits like these as well as toileting in the house are allowed to develop during puppyhood they will become extremely hard to eliminate as she gets older.

A standard day for my puppy Fizz is as follows; I get up for work at 5am so Fizz stays in her bed time crate in our bedroom until it’s time for morning toilet at 5.30am.  Once she’s been out for the toilet she goes back in her bed time crate until breakfast/morning training session at 6am.  After her five minute training session and breakfast she goes outside for the toilet before coming back inside where she’s allowed to tear around the house while I finish getting ready for work.  This play time is supervised to make sure she doesn’t get up to any mischief.

Fizz spends her day outside in our backyard while I’m at work with my older dog Sonic.  When I get home she gets to play with the other dogs and tear around the house again until I’m ready to do her evening five minute training session.  Then we take all of the dogs for a run.  Dinner is eaten in her puppy pen and then, after going outside to the toilet, she goes back into her puppy pen for a nap or to chew on her chew toys while we get our own dinner ready.  She generally wakes up again about 7.30 or 8pm and is ready for a good supervised play session before bedtime at about 10pm.  If I want to sleep in on the weekends I simply put her back in the bed time crate once she’s been out for her morning toilet and we all go back to bed for an extra couple of hours.

As you can see, both Fizz’s bedtime crate and puppy pen are integral parts of her day.  As much as I would love to spend 24/7 giving her all of my attention, it’s just not possible so the pen and crate provides her with boundaries to prevent inappropriate behaviours.  They also assist with toilet training as dogs generally don’t want to soil where they sleep.  Fizz will always let me know by whining when she needs to go to the toilet while she’s in her pen.  This means I take her outside immediately and then reward her for the correct behaviour.  Puppies who are left free to access all areas of the house will often find a quiet place when no one is looking and this will set up bad habits for the future.

 

 

Karen Phillips is the owner and trainer of Riot, the beautiful border collie that is the Better Pets and Gardens mascot.  Karen has had immense experience and success with her border collies as well as little Cassie, the very fast papillon, and is currently involved as a trainer with the Agility Club of WA.  Karen is also a regular expert on our Facebook page every Monday night.

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