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Old 08-28-2006, 03:59 PM
JuBee_&_BoBa JuBee_&_BoBa is offline
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Default Crate VS PlayPen

I have set off a 4 day weekend to welcome my 3 1/2 month old shih tzu puppy this coming Labor Day Holiday. Now I have read numerous articles and posts about the best way to housebreak and train a puppy is through crate training but I have also heard severall people talk about having a playpen set up with potty pads. I have read that it is possible to potty pad train and also do outdoor training at the same time - though it takes a lot of patience, both can be accomplished.

Here is my situation:

After my mini-vacation, I will have to return to my full-time career and will only be able to go home during lunch time to take the puppy out, and of course early mornings before work and when I get home in the evenings. BUT, I will have roommates at home that will be able to take him out also but will probably not be able to play with him. They will be able to let him outside, as well as feed him.

What I want to know is this: I just don't want the puppy to be in a crate all the time, so was wondering if I should just set up a play pen - one side with his food and water, and the other side with potty pads. And when I am home, I would take him outside to potty when needed. Is indoor/outdoor training possible?

Now before you answer: keep in mind that my original question is, should I still do crate? or should I do a playpen? I am involved in another dog forum asking for the same advice and got ridiculed by some pet owners telling me that I should not get a puppy if I have a full time job. BUT I have read experiences from people and also have had a lot of friends in the same situation as I, and have managed to raise a healthy and happy dog while maintaining a full time job as well.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:23 PM
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girlbuffalo1 girlbuffalo1 is offline
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Default crate

I say crate! Especially if you have someone who can let him out potty a couple times. Can you come home at lunch for some play time and lunch together? He is 15 weeks? Wrigley only needed to be out once turning a normal workday (8hrs) at that age--so I think he should be fine being let out a couple of times. Luckily my husband would get home for play time in the afternoon before I would get home for work--but I think as long as you spend plenty of time in the evenings and in the morning with play and walks it should be fine.

I wouldn't bother with puppy pads--why confuse the fellow--I always just seem to see stories of accidents and trying to get them to go outside ect. The only reason I could see you needing to do that if you were going to be gone for 8 hours with no one to let him out at least once.
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:37 PM
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sourjayne sourjayne is offline
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Having just gotten through the first couple months of my first puppy, I can say it does get much easier once they're about 3.5 - 4 months old.

I've been lucky enough to be able to take the puppy to work with me. I think my calm, constant presence has helped him to develop into a calm, balanced puppy. So I'd definitely recommend that as the best option.

Obviously not everyone can do that. LOTS of people get puppies, then leave them when they go to work. So I won't ridicule you

Now that the pup is old enough to hold it for 4 hours, it shouldn't be necessary to pad train him. I do like the playpen for letting the puppy run around and play and have access to water without having to puppy-proof a room or keep a constant eye on him, but a puppy-proofed room would do just as well if you had one.

What the crate does is teach the puppy to hold it and gives him no opportunity to do the toilet thing anywhere but in the toilet place. Any time the puppy goes potty anywhere but the toilet place is a setback in the puppy learning that the toilet place is the only place.

The crating may only be necessary for a week or two, if you're really consistent, then you could start letting the puppy have a little more freedom and see if he's housetrained. You may get him housetrained and then be able to let him run around in a puppy-proofed area and he will hold it until you come home to let him out. But if he's having accidents, it's probably best to stick to the crate.

I think if you do both, you'll have a puppy who's unreliable for a longer period of time and you'll have to watch him close if you don't want accidents in the house. Like I said, if he has no opportunity to go to the bathroom anywhere but the bathroom, he'll quickly learn the bathroom is the only place to go
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:55 PM
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OutlineACDs OutlineACDs is offline
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You should crate. Having a small dog makes it harder to housetrain in general, and allowing him to potty in a play-pen won't further the process. Make sure he gets let out every 4 hours or so. Most puppies do fine for longer, but just to be safe. Don't just let him out to potty either.. play with him for a good 15 minutes to allow him to stretch his legs. I think he will do fine in a crate. Since he is small you can buy a hamster/guinea pig water bottle to hang on the door of the crate so he has access to water all day without being able to tip it over. I have never had a dog who hasn't been able to figure it out either. They make a water bottle like this specifically for dogs, but if you can't find one a guinea pig bottle should be fine. Good luck!

~Erin
and the cattle dogs
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:48 AM
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girlbuffalo1 girlbuffalo1 is offline
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Default water

I wouldnt' worry about the water thing--as long as he has access to it in the morning and after coming inside from potty and in the evening that is pleanty..Wrigley probably drinks water at most twice daily and not much at either of those times..and that's the way he has always been (unless it is really hot and unairconditioned in your house). Make sure you do not play with puppy until the business is finished outside--otherwise he will want to go out and play not potty.
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