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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!

Does your puppy's play in their crate or exercise pen with toys?

I got Sonny an exercise pen a few weeks ago, which is up in the back room off the kitchen but with the door open you can still see into the kitchen.. and I've only really used it for him to play with plastic bottles / milk cartons while I supervise and also his food puzzle toys. If I leave the door open he'll jump in and out it no bother but If I was to put him in it with his chews and favourite soft toys.. he'll pretty much just sit there looking at me and If I walk away he'll pretty much just whine and bark to get out or for me to come back.

So.. Really how do I get him to chill or play in the pen ? - At 14weeks is he still too young to be in there himself or what? -
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I do play with him a lot, the pen idea was just something I could put him in for a couple of minutes while I do something, instead of putting him back in to the crate, as he won't really look at his chews or toys in there either and just sleep.

The pen was just to let him roam and play and also when he's older, I could put him in to contain him if I was to pop upstairs or outside for a minute instead of confined to the crate.
 

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I didn't have a play plen, just a crate which was for sleeping and napping. Our living area and kitchen are all open plan, but we have a door leading upstairs so we would just close that if we needed to pop upstairs (once he could be trusted for 2 min and then longer!). Otherwise, we just popped him in his crate.

If he can see you from the play pen he would probably prefer playing with you than on his own, so you can give him a stuffed kong to distract him and just ignore his cries - no eye contact or anything (which is HARD) - so he learns to settle on his own.
 

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Personally, when so young, I think the crate is the best place for pups to be all alone. They feel safe there.

When Tatze was little and I didn't trust her not to chew furniture, I popped her in the crate if I needed to go to the loo, have a bath etc. ie - even for short 15-20 minutes.

Now she can be trusted for half an hour at a time, but still goes in the crate when I go out and at night.

Other times she's in the room I'm in.

:)
 

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Alfie sleeps in his crate at night and sometimes in the day. But if I leave him in there whilst doing things around the house etc, he will never play with any toys I put in.

He will only sleep or nap in it, no matter how tasty/exciting the toys are and he's been like it since he was 3 months old.

But because of that if he doesn't want a nap/sleep or is full of energy he will bark and want to come out.

I just try to adapt around it, like only go out when he's tired so he'll sleep, it's just one of them things.
 

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See now, confinement is confinment to a puppy.... and so, whilst we lovingly call them 'PLAY pens', and maybe HUMAN children think because their best toys are in there they are great.... dogs are made differently. there is no fun in being seperated from your human. So don't assume because you feel you are giving a treat in putting them in something called a 'play pen' its any different to a DOG, to being put in a crate :) Rightly so dogs cannot be with us all the time and SHOULD learn to settle away from us even when we are around, thats not what i'm disputing here however :)

I would ditch the 'play pen' and just settle the puppy in its crate for these short periods. It will be hard for you to seperate the fact it should LIKE being in there..... when it won't ;-) Its nothing to do with the play pen, it just will want to be with you. So it might as WELL, 'want to be with you' in its crate and save yourself the bother of trying to acclimatise it to two things that take up space :) To the dog they are JUST the same.

Di
 
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I would ditch the 'play pen' and just settle the puppy in its crate for these short periods.
I was about to say the same. The pup won't like being separated from you wherever you put it, because they are hardwired to be WITH their person all the time. They do learn to accept this situation though. It's unlikely he'll learn to play in his play pen, anymore than he'll play in his crate, so you might as well dispense with it and just use the crate.
 

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Pepper had a play pen and even though we tried feeding her in it and putting toys in it, she hated it! We had it in the back garden where the BBQ is. My Dad tossed a throw away comment about the pen being more useful as a BBQ guard - and he is right! ha ha! We made the entire back garden Puppy friendly and sectioned off the BBQ using the puppy pen! Now she has a dog house, her toys and a water bowl out there and knows that if she's given a Kong, chicken wing, frozen apple etc that it is to be devoured out there! It's quite cute to see her trot out there with the treat!

Hannah & Pepper xx
 

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