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Hi there, I have some questions regarding playpen and I am not sure if I’m doing it right.

I have a 9 weeks old golden retriever puppy who is really attached to me. If I’m not home, she is ok to stick with other family member. This coming week most of us are going back to school/ work but I am still working from home. My puppy sleeps in a crate in my room.

In these past few days I have tried to place her in the playpen as we used to let her roam around the house and I find it quite hard to watch her if I need to work. But once she is in the playpen she just keeps crying and will not settle down. She will jump up and down, pushing the playpen to wherever she wants. I can’t have her water bowl in the playpen as she tends to jump over it and spills the water. Sometimes she will also purposely push the playpen towards the water bowl so that it spills and expecting us to clean it = letting her out.

I try to stay in my room to work because if I’m working at where she can see me, she won’t stop crying and I can’t concentrate. I will bring her out of her pen every 2 hours (or after she wakes) for toilet break and water. She has her favourite toys and her bed in the playpen but once she is confined she completely lost interest in them. :(

I also tried staying in the living room so she can see me, and also going back into my bedroom so she cannot see me. The latter seems to work as she would calm down after 10 minutes. Once she calmed down, I went out and praised her, feeding her some treats. She would have her treats and be quiet for a while, then the crying starts again. Again after 5 minutes she relaxed but this only lasts a few minutes and she will start crying. If I stopped going to her eventually she stopped and fell asleep in her pen.

My questions are:

1. Am I doing it correctly? If she calms down do I let her out to praise her or do I feed her treat and keep her in the pen? The problem is she seems to not like the playpen and will not clam down and play in there with her toys. She will just fall asleep after tired out herself of crying for minutes. And it breaks my heart..

2. I’m also not sure if I should have her in the playpen as some of my friends who have dogs let their dogs roam around the house. But she is starting to bite and chew stuff now and I can’t watch her all the time while working. So I feel really bad to keep her in her playpen..

3. Is it normal that a puppy push its playpen? How do I stop her from doing that? I am also quite worried of her hurting herself from jumping up and down in the pen as she is still very young.

4. Her playpen is not that big but it can fit her bed, toys, water bowl and some rooms to lay around. I don’t intend to have a pee pad in there as she will also chew it up. Is the size of playpen too small and that’s why she is not comfortable staying in there? This is the first night she came home and she slept in there for hours without crying at all. After that she just couldn’t tolerate the playpen anymore..
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5. Should I crate her in my room instead when I work? But then would this cause separation anxiety in the future?

Thank you!
 

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I'm no expert on using a playpen or x pen as they are sometimes called, but IMHO there's nothing at all wrong with containing a puppy to keep them and your power cords and other stuff safe!

The only thing I might do differently would be I wouldn't return and treat her once she quiets down. If she can hold her potty for 2 hours and you're not having to clean up messes a lot, I would just let her whine and fuss and leave her be. You want her to learn that her whining doesn't work to get you to come back. It may seem harsh, but it's a lesson they need to learn!

You need to work! And it's probably better to stay out of sight while working. If she sees you but can't get to you she'll probably get more frustrated. Just put her in and leave, and when you come back don't make a large fuss. She'll learn the pattern/process.

On questions 3 and 4 your play pen is probably fine for now, but yes larger breed puppies likely will out grow them pretty quickly and start pushing them all over the place.

Probably should shift to baby gates to contain him once that starts happening, or keep him in his crate. Sounds like you're doing fine!
 

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Hi there, I have some questions regarding playpen and I am not sure if I’m doing it right.

I have a 9 weeks old golden retriever puppy who is really attached to me. If I’m not home, she is ok to stick with other family member. This coming week most of us are going back to school/ work but I am still working from home. My puppy sleeps in a crate in my room.

In these past few days I have tried to place her in the playpen as we used to let her roam around the house and I find it quite hard to watch her if I need to work. But once she is in the playpen she just keeps crying and will not settle down. She will jump up and down, pushing the playpen to wherever she wants. I can’t have her water bowl in the playpen as she tends to jump over it and spills the water. Sometimes she will also purposely push the playpen towards the water bowl so that it spills and expecting us to clean it = letting her out.

I try to stay in my room to work because if I’m working at where she can see me, she won’t stop crying and I can’t concentrate. I will bring her out of her pen every 2 hours (or after she wakes) for toilet break and water. She has her favourite toys and her bed in the playpen but once she is confined she completely lost interest in them. :(

I also tried staying in the living room so she can see me, and also going back into my bedroom so she cannot see me. The latter seems to work as she would calm down after 10 minutes. Once she calmed down, I went out and praised her, feeding her some treats. She would have her treats and be quiet for a while, then the crying starts again. Again after 5 minutes she relaxed but this only lasts a few minutes and she will start crying. If I stopped going to her eventually she stopped and fell asleep in her pen.

My questions are:

1. Am I doing it correctly? If she calms down do I let her out to praise her or do I feed her treat and keep her in the pen? The problem is she seems to not like the playpen and will not clam down and play in there with her toys. She will just fall asleep after tired out herself of crying for minutes. And it breaks my heart..

2. I’m also not sure if I should have her in the playpen as some of my friends who have dogs let their dogs roam around the house. But she is starting to bite and chew stuff now and I can’t watch her all the time while working. So I feel really bad to keep her in her playpen..

3. Is it normal that a puppy push its playpen? How do I stop her from doing that? I am also quite worried of her hurting herself from jumping up and down in the pen as she is still very young.

4. Her playpen is not that big but it can fit her bed, toys, water bowl and some rooms to lay around. I don’t intend to have a pee pad in there as she will also chew it up. Is the size of playpen too small and that’s why she is not comfortable staying in there? This is the first night she came home and she slept in there for hours without crying at all. After that she just couldn’t tolerate the playpen anymore..
View attachment 250923

5. Should I crate her in my room instead when I work? But then would this cause separation anxiety in the future?

Thank you!
Sorry that I have nothing to add..Except, your puppy looks adorable!
When you get some time, I would love to see more pictures of her.:love:

From her age, I assume that she has only been with you for a week or so?
@CachetheBC has a link to a wonderful article on how a puppy feels when taken from its mother and siblings.
 

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This article is a good read!
Kidnapped From Planet Dog - Whole Dog Journal (whole-dog-journal.com)

May I suggest, what worked well when I had my pup in an x-pen, was getting a piece of rubber backed carpet (carpet runner has no 'nap/fibers' to pull out) that is about 6 inches to a foot bigger than the pen, and place the pen on top of it, it helps to prevent slipping around when the pup jumps up on the sides of the pen. With my pup I spent some time inside the pen with him, just playing with him (it was cramped) but it help him to form a positive association with it. I gave him all his meals inside the x-pen.
I also gave him stuffed Kongs to work on, I started with lightly stuffed, and gradually worked towards fully frozen Kongs. I soaked his food (part of his meal) until mushy and then stuffed it in the Kong.

When she is quiet, consider giving some gentle praise, (so she knows she got it right) doesn't hurt to toss in a treat or two as well.
 
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I don't like leaving puppies to cry. Even for a few minutes. It's quite old advice to let them ”cry it out” and research has shown this can be harmful. This article explains more.


I think you may be going too fast. You need to build up to leaving him alone, in baby steps.

About ⅔ of the way down this page, there is a game called the flitting game, start with that. Once he is happy to stop following, you can move on to leaving him in the pen for a few moments. But the key to avoiding separation anxiety is to returning to your dog before he gets anxious.


And, please never leave your puppy with no water. You can get tip-proof bowls, or bowls that clip on to the side of the pen so they can't be spilled.
 

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I agree with Joanne that it is not right, or good for your relationship, nor is it good for the dog to leave a puppy so young to cry. To let her alone to cry is never a good way to treat a little puppy. This pup is still very much a baby. One thing I would do is take her outside more often. Every half hour to 45 minutes instead of every 2 hours. I know that's a lot of interruption to your work, but this is a baby, and it won't be like this forever.

When you take her out (I suggest every half hour), don't just make it a pee break, but also play a little with her. If you can play with her vigorously for even 5 minutes, it may wear her out enough tht she won't be so upset to go into the pen.

Get a bowl that clips onto the side of the pen and she can't tip it over.

If she continues to cry while you are working even while you are doing all these things, then I would suggest very carefully and fully puppy-proofing the smallest room you have and working in there, with the puppy loose. If she is not so upset at being unable to get to you she will probably just play with her toys and nap a lot of the time.

Also, if she is 9 weeks you cannot have had her for very long. A week or two? She will settle down once she learns how to be away from her mama, and that this is her home and you are there for her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for your reply and suggestion.

I have tried for the last few days and she just can’t seem to settle down when I’m out of her sight. So she ended up sleeping in her crate next to where I work during the day.

I still take her out for toilet every 2 hours because she just doesn’t want to pee/poo if it’s less than that :confused:

Just another question from a new puppy owner.. I feel so bad because she still whine a bit (less than 5 mins) when I leave her in her crate after toilet/meal/short play.. She doesn’t play in her crate at all. I tried leaving a peanut butter kong in there, she was interested for 10 minutes and then she got bored and wanted to come out. Most of the time she just falls asleep and occasionally wakes up to check if I’m still in the room. Or when I am on a conference call she got woken up by my voice too. So her nap is quite interrupted.. if she woken up from her nap and I’m still busy, she will whine for a second and then go back to sleep herself. I don’t know if this is healthy for a puppy? I have been told that I am not doing the right thing to crate her :( and I should have just let her roam around the house and let her be.. but I really can’t focus if that’s the case as I’m constantly worried about her. Yesterday I let her out and play around me while I work. 5 minutes later I realised she was chewing on my charger that I left on the table! She ended up going back to her crate again :(

please let me know if what I’m doing is ok?

thanks!
 

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I would think you are doing just fine. Puppies tend to sleep a lot anyway, with short bursts of activity and as long as she is getting some attention/exercise when she is awake, there is no harm in keeping her in a crate while you are working, if she is content
I don't think letting her roam around unsupervised is a good idea at all, you wouldn't leave a toddler out of your sight, to do as they wish, a puppy is not much different - keeping her safe is a top priority.
 

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You are doing fine.
It is not safe to let a puppy wander around a house....there are a hundred or more things she can get into and harm, or hurt herself.

Using the pen and crate while you are nearby is not a bad thing at all. People who are opposed to crates do not understand the correct ways to use a crate, or have seen them used incorrectly. That is not how you are using it, so don't worry what people say. Everyone has an opinion, but not everyone is right.
 
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