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Hi. We don't have a puppy yet but am in the research process.

Need some advice from house training experts as I am confused about the pros and cons to crates vs. play pens for house breaking puppies. I always just assumed when we get a puppy we would do the traditional crate training to teach puppy to "hold it" and use a play pen as a safe place for puppy to play inside the house to not get into any trouble, but NOT as a place with a potty area. But then people are advising me to use a play pen with a crate inside it for during the day when puppy is alone for 3-4 hours so puppy can pee/poop on pads. But then how is the puppy learning not to pee/poop inside and how are they learning to associate the outside/walks with doing their business?
 

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I used both playpen and crate. I did most of the house-training in the crate- it was a small enough den-like space that she didn't want to go to the bathroom in there. Each time she was let out of the crate, she was taken straight outside (carried at first) to potty and praised heavily.

I didn't use puppy pads, so I'm not sure on the benefits with crate + pen. I feel like a crate in an ex-pen/play pen would be counter intuitive, but I don't know much about potty training with pee pads. My puppy didn't translate so well between crate=den to playpen=den. We had many pee accidents in the x-pen (probably because we put a mat in there).

However, I highly recommend both crate and expen for training. We used the ex-pen for time outs when puppy was too bitey because we didn't want the crate to be a place of punishment. The ex-pen was used for time outs and for fun, so puppy never saw it just as punishment. We spent lots of time conditioning both spaces to be happy spaces. Now, we alternate between leaving her in the crate and the x-pen at 6 months old because she still doesn't love going in the crate each time we leave.
 

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Lots of puppies can hold it 3-4 hours but that's the limit. If you're gone for over four hours you should have a designated place where they can go the bathroom if for no reason other than ease of clean up. Beyond ease of clean up consider the idea behind crate training. With crate training we're harnessing dogs' natural instinct not to soil their 'den', the problem is when they're puppies the idea what is their den is usually a pretty small space, if they're going to have an accident its better to give them an appropriate space to do so rather than showing them that soiling their den does not infact bring predators or other bad situations .

I transitioned both my dogs from newspapers to going to the bathroom on walks just fine. If they make the association with the newspaper=place to pee (and most dogs do) then when they can hold it longer and you take away the newspaper they'll hold it a bit longer. Then if you need to (I needed to with one of the dogs but not with the other) when transitioning to the poop on the walk, you can just drop some newspaper on the ground.


Bottom line, if you can take them out regularly enough that they're not forced to have an accident, that is obviously the ideal, but if you can't then you should give them a space where going to the bathroom is appropriate.
 

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I used both a playpen and a crate. Crate for sleeping and playpen with pee pad for time when we were gone.

At 8 weeks you con only reasonably expect a puppy to hold its bladder for 2 hours at the max, some puppies less than that.

Aayla never used her pee pad. She had two accidents on her bed instead of the pee pad (which is why a crate in the playpen is a great idea, less likely to do that). But otherwise always held it and waited to go outside, we were lucky and I didn't expect that from her. She always pushed the pee pad aside when she laid down anyways so I took it out. Now she is fine for up to 5 hours alone in her playpen as long as she gets a few potty breaks before being put in the pen as well and limited water access (Her water bowl only has a little bit in it). From what I hear it isn't very common though for a puppy her age to hold it for that long.
 

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Hey I found this old post, I didn't want to post a new one I just got a new playpen as a nice duy suggest here and installed the crate in it but the dog just does his business in the playpen he was potty trained nothing has changed and since i've used it he does it everywhere except where he is supposed to. any thoughts
 

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Sorry, I'm not following - your dog was housetrained but now toilets everywhere - or just in the pen? Which dog is this, the older one or the pup?
 

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Sorry, I'm not following - your dog was housetrained but now toilets everywhere - or just in the pen? Which dog is this, the older one or the pup?
he was fine crate trained but when I started using the pen he does his business in the pen but when I used to leave him in the crate holds it I have to stay out longer and I did not want him in a crate. I got a new dog and trying to crate train the new one someone suggested a playpen for the old guy and now this new problem.
 

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The thing about crates, pens, or any similar things is that although they can help with toilet training in as much as the dog prefers not to soil there, if your dog needs to toilet, he needs to toilet. If you are leaving him longer, it may be that it is just too long for him.

How long is he left for?
 

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Hey I found this old post, I didn't want to post a new one I just got a new playpen as a nice duy suggest here and installed the crate in it but the dog just does his business in the playpen he was potty trained nothing has changed and since i've used it he does it everywhere except where he is supposed to. any thoughts
Hey there, I use the crate and pen and it's working fine I work fulltime so it's better for my dog, maybe your dog is not potty trained properly, or perhapse he's not used to the pen try this post about playpens and crates see if you find it useful, good luck.
 

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Hey there, I use the crate and pen and it's working fine I work fulltime so it's better for my dog, maybe your dog is not potty trained properly, or perhapse he's not used to the pen try this post about playpens and crates see if you find it useful, good luck.
The dog was potty trained properly and we never had an issue before it's when we used the pen that he started doing it in it.
 
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