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I'm unsure if this is a good idea. I'm going to have an 8 week old puppy. I want to crate train when I'm not home and for sleeping. I do not want to use pee pads. Is it a bad idea to put the crate inside an x-pen. When I am not home crate door will be closed. But when I am home I want to leave the crate door open to provide a safe place to play if I am not giving direct attention. There will also be a crate upstairs for nighttime sleeping. Bad idea? should I just use a crate. :ponder: Please advise
 

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There is nothing wrong with crating an 8 week old puppy, but you need to provide numerous potty breaks as well as breaks for feeding and water.

A puppy is quite fragile where dehydration and drops in glucose levels in the blood can cause an emergency situation.

For toilet training ideally you should be taking the pup outside every half hour, so if you are working and leaving the puppy for hours then that training will be very difficult since the puppy will learn to mess his bedding.

Nighttime crating is perfectly fine. It keeps the puppy safe and gives you peace of mind. Be prepared that the puppy will cry to be with you at first (I placed the crate on my nightstand beside my bed, where they feel like they are with me) and prepare having to get up 1-3 times during the night for potty breaks and opportunities to have a few sips of water.

If you feed a small portion of food before bed it will give you and your puppy a nice stretch of sleep before the first potty break.

The other issue I'd like to bring up is the importance of spending time with your puppy to provide mental stimulation, bonding and socialization. Providing opportunities for the pup to meet strangers of all ages, all colours, different accessories like hats, umbrellas, even walkers, canes, wheelchairs. Children running and screaming, skate boards, playing ball, bicycles, cars, trucks, noisy roadwork, big dogs, small dogs, other types of pets, anything the pup will encounter...being handled, ears, mouth and paws played with, being cleaned, nails clipped and such. All this is much more important than learning tricks, because the window for the pup to meet all this with less fear and to be more accepting is so short. By the age of 16 weeks the window closes and these introductions become more difficult. Be sure to get the puppy vaccinated to protect his health too!

So, in summary, the more time your pup spends in his/her crate the more opportunities are lost!
 
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