Crate/Exercise Pen

Discussion in 'General Puppy Discussions' started by Sunny Tampa, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Sunny Tampa

    Sunny Tampa Senior Member

    Hello! New here! My puppy, Sundance, will be coming home in one month. She is our first puppy and I've been on this forum 24/7 trying to absorb as much info as possible! I started shopping, bought some bowls, toys, collar, etc. I'm about to order her crate and exercise-pen, but wanted to run it by here first to make sure I made good choices. Sunny will be 8 weeks when she gets home. The crate has a divider so she can use it right away and after she's fully grown. Do the sizes look okay? is 30" high enough for the pen? Also, will she be okay home alone in her pen? She will just be alone 6 hours a day for only 3 days a week. Is that bad? I'd feel safer leaving her alone in her crate, of course, but what if she has to got to the bathroom? I was going to connect the pen around the crate so she can go in and out of her crate and put pee pads/plastic down in her pen. I think I might start looking for a different part-time job though, at night, instead, so she won't be alone. We'll see. Thanks! :) :potty: Midwest Black E-Coat Exercise Pen, 24 Inches by 30 Inches: Pet Supplies
  2. cc11782n

    cc11782n Senior Member

    The crate you're getting is the exact same crate we have for Rufus and we got him at 8 weeks old also. We didn't bother with a divider, as we padded it with fleece liners and towels to make it "smaller", and now he's got a dog bed taking up the whole of the inside. We've only had one accident with him in the crate, but it was diarrhea, so poor guy probably couldn't hold it if his tummy was upset.

    At first, we tried to get to Rufus to take him out every 3 hours. I work 10 minutes from home and my boyfriend luckily has a flexible schedule/works from home some days, plus his sister came to take Rufus out in the afternoons for us. Now that hes 3 months old, we've stretched it to 4 hours, although if he is crated overnight he usually sleeps through the night from 11-6AM. :) If Sundance will be home alone for 6 hours straight at a time, then it probably is a good idea to invest in newspaper or the potty pads just like you're thinking so she doesn't have accidents in her crate.

    When you're home though, I would take them up and bring her out on a regular schedule (the same schedule all the time if possible), so she gets the idea that doing her business in the house is not okay. I've heard that the more you let them go inside the more they will go inside - although I know that for some people that's not the case and they have dogs that go inside when the weather is bad but know to go outside at all other times. Better to err on the side of caution though!! We had newspaper down for Rufus for the first week or so until we got his schedule down with our schedule (ie - he usually has to go potty an hour or so after eating and drinking, and then every 2/3 hours otherwise), but even with that, we were taking him outside through the same door every 3 hours, except after 11PM. He's only 13 weeks old now, and he knows (90% of the time) to go to that door if he needs to go. Other times we'll get the "Ive got to potty" whimper.

    We got Rufus the same exercise pen, same size, and it works for us with him for right now. We initially wanted it for outside, but I don't feel it's big enough when in the shape shown in the picture for him to run around freely in. Now, we use it as a gate between rooms of our house. In the summer we'll probably bring it outside for him if we don't end up fencing in the yard. We have deer that wander into our backyard so we can't let him wander, even on the leash, until we fence the yard in and clean it up.

    Can't wait to see pictures of Sundance! Let us know how it goes!
  3. Sunny Tampa

    Sunny Tampa Senior Member

    Thanks! That's exactly what I was thinking. I don't like the idea of puppy pads or newspaper, period, because it's kind of teaching her it's okay to go to the bathroom inside. But I can't expect her to hold it for 6 hours, even though I only work three days a week. So, like you suggested, I will definitely pick up and put away puppy pads when we're home. But you think the pen is tall enough that she can't jump out? I'm going to be so nervous leaving her alone! I don't go back to work until four days after we bring her home, but, I'm gonna be so sad to leave her! LOL

    You are great at giving advice, by the way. Your stories and writing are easy to follow and very informative. I'll probably be asking you a lot of questions, LOL, hope you don't mind!

  4. Spitfire IX

    Spitfire IX Senior Member

    Those look like Riley's crate And pen also. We never used the divider as Riley was 5 mos. old when we got him. The pen was left over from our previous corgi Molly. When she was a pup, we kept her crate (the plastic variety) in the oen as well.

  5. Ginny

    Ginny Junior Member

    The crate we got for Ginny was a little smaller: Midwest 1530 iCrate Single-Door Pet Crate 30-By-19-By-21-Inch: Pet Supplies

    and the exercise pen we got for her was a bit shorter: Midwest Black E-Coat Exercise Pen, 24 Inches by 24 Inches: Pet Supplies

    They were both absolutely fine.

    One really nice feature of the Midwest crate and exercise pens is that the pen can be attached to the front of the crate using the four plastic clips that come with the pen. In fact, when Ginny was a puppy we never locked her in the crate during the day when we were not at home - she was in the exercise pen and could go in and out of the crate as she pleased. I got an 8 x 10 piece of linoleum at Home Depot and put it underneath the exercise pen in case of any accidents while we were out. Night time was the only time when we actually confined Ginny to her crate, and she became house broken without any real difficulty.
  6. Sunny Tampa

    Sunny Tampa Senior Member

    That is a great idea, the piece of linoleum. I was going to get a plastic tarp or something, but I like your idea better. Thanks! And that is great that the pen can attach to the crate. Because that's exactly what I plan on doing, leaving her crate open for her to go in and out of. But I will still close it while she sleeps at night, because she will always sleep in there forever but I only plan on keeping the pen up while she's housetraining. Thanks! :stand:
  7. cc11782n

    cc11782n Senior Member

    Rufus has the same one, and he's 14 weeks old right now. If he's standing on his back legs, he can pop his head over but that's about it. There's no way he could jump out at this point. When he gets older, who knows?! I think I checked height and weight ranges for the pen I got though before I got it to make sure it would be suitable for him for when he got older :) Check out Midwest's website. According to the PWCCA's website, the breed standard for a pem is 10-12 inches maximum height and anywhere from 25-30lbs in weight depending on whether they're male or female and if they're show prospects or not.

    I had the hardest time leaving Rufus also! I especially had a hard time when I got home from work learning what good puppy/life balance was. For awhile, I would come home, let him out and play with him from 5:30-9, without even eating dinner or getting any chores done - that got frustrating really fast! Now, we play from 5:30-7 and then 9-11. Usually around 7, after Rufus runs himself tired, he gets snappy and cranky so he goes into his crate for a nap/time out. So, if I could give you any advice it would to be sure that you maintain a good balance of spending as much time as possible with Sundance without letting it infringe on the things you have to do. :) It can be hard when they're whining in their crates (if she does) but Peggy gave me great advice in another thread and said that rule of thumb is that if you can't keep your eyes closely on her, she should be in the crate/pen.

    I dont mind all the questions - I definitely asked a ton when I found this site. I felt like I was making a new thread every day! And as for giving great advice, I have to credit everyone on here as well - they've been so helpful with their experiences, plus if you go back through the forums there are a lot of great threads with amazing advice that just got buried pages back.
  8. Peggy

    Peggy Senior Member

    I think most of my exercise pens are 30". I use them for my adult corgis. I have one that's 24" but I only use that for puppies.

    10-12" when standing on all four feet. When they're in an exercise pen and want to get out they stand on their back feet. And some will jump up and down on their back feet and sometimes surprise themselves and bounce over. Once they do that they know they can get out.

    So it's going to depend on the dog and IF they try to get out or figure out they can get out.

    Of course you can always get a top for the pen and that way they can't get out. I'm not sure if all sites/catalogs sell the tops though. It needs to be wire like the pen so they can't grab it with their teeth and tear it.

  9. cc11782n

    cc11782n Senior Member

    Ohh! Thanks for the clarification Peggy! I guess we'll definitely have to look into getting Rufus a bigger exercise pen then, and soon! Little guy has already tried to figure out how to get over the baby gate that blocks off the door to his room. I came down the hallway the other week to him standing on a shoebox, with his paws on top of the gate, like "Oh, hey Mom!"
  10. Sunny Tampa

    Sunny Tampa Senior Member

    Thanks for all the info, guys! I will be ordering this gate and pen from amazon tomorrow. (Along with like a million toys, LOL)
  11. TheChubbyOne

    TheChubbyOne Senior Member

    Do puppies prefer crates with a covered top (gives the sense of a cave/den) or open (grills at the top that allows light to pass)?
  12. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    Chubby - good question. I would not revert back to closed in crates. They are not puppy/dog friendly at all. Dogs usually like to be able to see as much as they can but if there needs to be a cover for warmth, or when a Corgi is terrified from a noise such as thunder or fireworks then a loose cover might help calm a dog . Otherwise an airy, see-through crate is best.
  13. TheChubbyOne

    TheChubbyOne Senior Member

    I have a misconception, then. I was thinking of getting a covered one... What material for the crate would be best? Metal grills, plastic, etc? I shall endeavour to know more about crates. New research topic!
  14. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    Metal is best. larger than need be is best (eg for a medium size dog). Plastic tray. Comfortable and quality floor covering/s. Fold away crate of course. I have never had to crate any of my own Corgis at home - only when at an event such as conformation showing and agility.
  15. TheChubbyOne

    TheChubbyOne Senior Member

    I wouldn't have to use the crate often except sleeping time. Our kitchen's pretty safe to be in. I shall do more research soon. Oh, and Chubby's dog tag arrived, hurray~
  16. Westwood

    Westwood Senior Member

    My dogs both prefer the plastic airline type crates. Henry loathed his metal crate, even with a blanket over it. I think it's more den-like for them to have the solid sides which gives them a nice quiet place to go.
  17. LaRogue

    LaRogue Senior Member

    Pip has had plastic and metal crates. The metal one is covered on 2 sides and the top to make it more den like, while still allowing him to see out. I haven't noticed a preference.
  18. Dillydoodle

    Dillydoodle Senior Member

    I have to give an opposing view point here. Dillon loves his crate. We started him out with the airline variety plastic crate (actually was one of my cat's crates) when he was small and not housebroken. He was happy.

    We then upgraded him to a bigger plastic variety crate. Later , when we knew he was 1) crate trained and did not have accidents in his crate AND 2) knew that he was not a chewer or digger, we went out and got him a soft crate. He LOVES it. BUT when we first got it , he was having trouble getting to bed. we covered it with a dark colored blanket on three sides( leaving only the front open for him and he found the darker crate to be cozier and more protective feeling. He sleeps much better in it when it is covered. We uses a wire crate for a very short time and he hated it. It was loud and made rattling noises when he would move around in it, without a blanket covering the outside , it was drafty and open and he never settled down .. and the first time you would get up to do something , he was up and watching.. he never relaxed in that thing. It didnt stay long and we switched him to the plastic crate.

    Every dog is different, so maybe your dog likes it bright and open but mine certainly did not!

  19. TheChubbyOne

    TheChubbyOne Senior Member

    I shall try covered first. If Chubby doesn't like it I'll switch :)
  20. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    Chubby - You may never know.

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