Crate training is highly effective. You will hear it recommended on many websites and even in your own personal circles. It sounds so cold, though. Crate training doesn’t have to be. In this article we’re going to talk about creating a Puppy Den so that you can help to potty train your puppy while giving it a great place to play. Let’s talk about ‘The Puppy Den’ and what it can do for you and your fuzzy friend!
The perks of having a Puppy Den
There are a lot of good things about having a designated doggy-space. For one, until your pup is potty trained you certainly don’t want them wandering the house. Also there are simply times when you have your hands full. What about when there are guests that the puppy hasn’t met yet ? You need to place you can put your doggy to keep them from getting underfoot.
Making a Puppy Den
So what do we need? First you will want to obtain your puppy’s space. You can repurpose a wooden crate, lining it with blankets, puppy toys, and a small food and water bowl. Alternately, an old baby’s playpen will work, as well. We can achieve a ‘den effect’ by placing a blanket partially over the top. This cave-effect makes the puppy den more cozy for your fuzzy friend.
Will my puppy be happy with me leaving them in the playpen?
The Puppy Den is going to take some getting used to. Your dog might cry or whine at first. Try playing with them a little in the pen and showing them some of their new toys. A frozen kong treat is a good idea too. It takes a little while to work through it and your puppy will find themselves relaxing in their play space in no time at all.
What if my puppy jumps out of the playpen?
You will want to make sure that that the playpen walls are high enough to avoid this and that there are no objects nearby that your puppy can move and use to get out. Some puppies are very clever so you want to make sure that you don’t give them any options to ‘Houdini’ out of the playpen.
What do I do if my puppy is peeing in the playpen?
Your puppy is generally not going to pee in a place where they hang out or sleep. If your puppy is then it could be a matter of too many treats or snacks in the playpen (puppy has a small bladder right now) or it might simply mean that a walk is a good idea before putting them in the Puppy Den. Speaking of potty training, with the Puppy Den you’ll be putting your pup in the den overnight and taking them for a walk as soon as you get up! Follow this up with regular walks throughout the day (if you can come home on your lunch break, that’s great! If not you may want to see if a friend can help). Don’t forget during these walks to give your doggy a treat as soon as they squat down or lift up a leg for a tree. After awhile your puppy will learn the schedule and you can stop using the Den for overnights. It just takes a little patience.
Longer stay Puppy Dens
If you are unable to get someone to walk your pup during lunch time you can design your den to accommodate this. Some good things to have in your Puppy Den are as follows:
- Waterproof floor for easy clean-up
- A fake grass ‘puppy toilet; (some that you can buy actually have real grass, what you use is going to be up to you!)
- Long-lasting chew toys are a good idea
Apartment training for puppy : video
You can find a number of videos on YouTube that will help you with some tips and decorating ideas for your own puppy den as well. Once you have gotten the little one past potty training and becoming more used to people then you can start weaning them away from the Puppy Den. Before you know it they’ll be able to spend the night outside of it all by themselves (and with no surprises waiting for you in the morning!).
Using the Puppy Den as punishment
You will want to resist the idea of using the Puppy Den as punishment. If you are wanting to utilize the ‘crate method’ as a means of isolating the dog for 3-5 minute
” No surprises waiting for you in the morning!”
periods for discouraging bad behavior then we highly recommend making a separate space for this or even better, waiting until you’ve at least gotten them potty trained. This will help to ensure that your dog doesn’t start disliking the Puppy Den and can avoid confusion. At a later time when you are no longer reliant on the Puppy Den and your little one has free reign of the house then you can certainly repurpose it. This basically involves moving it to a somewhat ‘boring’ location inside of the house and when using a crate for punishment you should remove all toys and keep your puppy in there for no longer then 3-5 minutes at a time. This is an excellent way of gently disciplining your dog but please, please, please save it for a later stage. We don’t want mixed-messages to be sent about your doggy’s Puppy Den!
In this article we have discussed the merits of making a Puppy Den for your little one. A Puppy Den gives your puppy a safe place to play when they are not yet ready to have full reign of the house. Later, it provides you with a humane means of punishment to help in training your dog in the rules of the house. What’s not to like? With that said, we wish you and your puppy good times with their new Puppy Den!