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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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