For all new members, please check out the thread New to the Forum? What to do and forum guidelines.
Play Pen - alternative for crating.
  • RomiRomi
    Posts: 2722
    Well, I went ahead and copied Brad's idea on the Pen.  I thought it was a really great idea and even better, it is quite inexpensive and is very easy!  So I thought I would put together a little DIY so if any of you are interested in getting pens for your pups, you can see how easy it really is.

    THINGS YOU NEED:

    1. Pen
    2. At least 1/2" board/wood
    3. Vinyl Sticky Tile
    4. Screws or Nails (optional)
    5. Zip Ties
    6. 30 minutes time (if you have all the parts)

    Step 1: Measurements

    Set up the pen in whatever shape you like, measure the pen length x width and that will give you the dimensions you will need to get the correct amount of flooring. 

    (Romi's = 4 x 4 = 16 sq ft., I went ahead and went a little bigger just in case and went 5 x 5 = 25 sq ft.)

    Step 2: Making the flooring

    I used 1/2" Hardi Backer Board in 5 x 5 size.  And I got 25 pieces of Vinyl Sticky Tile (each 1 foot in size).  The tile is VERY sticky, so you won't need to use any additional glue or adhesive.  Just start sticking the tile down on the board any way you please. 

    Step 3:  Putting it all together

    Once you have the flooring done, place it in your home where you want to keep the dogs.  Put the Pen on top of the flooring and rearrange the design whichever way you please.  To keep the pen in place, you can either drill a hole through the board and put a zip tie through and tighten it to keep it in place.  Or you can use screws or nails and stick those in the board and zip tie the nail/screw to the pen.

    (this is how brad did it, using screws and zip ties)

    image

    Step 4: Add accessories

    Add a bed, blankets, toys, chews, whatever you want to dress it up and make it comfy for your pup.

    AND YOU'RE DONE!

    PROJECT COST:

    Gold Zinc Exersize Pen 24W x 42H 8 Panel - $85.99 (petsmart)

    Hardi Backer Board Flooring 5 x 5 - $20.00 (home depot)

    Vinyl Sticky Tile - $0.39/Each = $9.75 (home depot)

    White Zip Ties - $2.48/case (home depot

    Total project cost: $118.22 (no tax)

    the final result...

    PEN

    image

     Flooring

    image

    Ninja checking out the new pen

    image

    Portia checking out the new pen

    image
  • LeonbergerLeonberger
    Posts: 3580
    Very nice DYI!! I might actually copy the idea with the one I was supposed to have delivered today.
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2240


    That looks great Romi! Ninja's got a nice pad now, with a window and everything. Smile



    The only issue we have had with our pens (we have used them for 3 years or so), is that Ahi likes to pull the tile up. It takes her a lot of time to get it going but she can do it. She has only done this a few times tho, times when we had to leave her in there all day because we had an event to be at or something.



    They work really well tho, and are very mobile since it all folds up... and if they have an accident while they are in there it doesn't get all over your home.



    Hilo loves his pen, he will just go right in and sleep - doesn't bother him at all.

  • okironokiron
    Posts: 735


    Lol Ninja and Portia are in the same position when checking out the pen.



    You guys have a great idea. I'm gonna steal it when my shiba comes home. though it'll be another year

  • RomiRomi
    Posts: 2722


    Yeah, I tried to make it like a hotel suite, you know with a view and all...and so he can sunbathe if he wants lol.   I don't think he is tall enough to see the view though.  Portia seems to like it better than Ninja.  It might be because we're using her bed in there and she likes to sleep on it.  Wow, Ahi is a smarty pants!  I dont' think that Ninja or Portia would be smart enough to figure out that you would be able to pull the tiles off. 

  • Very nice Romi!!! I'm sure they are going to love it in there.
  • sujewelsujewel
    Posts: 2541
    Awesome job!!
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433
    That is really nice.  He gets to lay in the sunshine all day.  That is also a really good price for a pen that big and sturdy.
  • KitsuKitsu
    Posts: 765
    This is exactly what I was looking for, something for the floor! This + a cover would be excellent :D
  • euphaireeuphaire
    Posts: 347
    I'm just wondering...for those of you who use a pen, do you use a crate as well? Where does the shiba choose to sleep?
    My breeder tells me the best solution for leaving the shiba at home is a crate- even for prolonged period of time. However, is a pen slightly better because it's bigger? Or is it worse because it's not as cozy or "den-like" like a crate? Do you guys use one or the other, or both?



    Thank you
    Post edited by euphaire at 2014-03-13 01:00:10
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    @euphaire, we used both a pen and a crate for Kouda.

    When he was little and potty training, the crate was inside the pen, and the pen was his free space when we couldn't keep an eye on him constantly.

    Later we moved the crate out of the pen, and the crate was for sleeping only, and the pen was for play. When we went to work, we left him in the pen.

    For a time when he was wearing a cone, he didn't fit in his crate, so he slept in the pen instead.

    We've since retired the pen, and he has freedom in the house when we are home, and sleeps in the crate at night. We did end up getting a larger crate so he can stretch out inside.

    He doesn't "choose" to sleep in the crate, but he knows the command and goes in willingly. If given the choice, he will sleep on a bed in the living room.
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    We use both. Crate for any time we leave the house and pen if we need to make sure he's secure while we do something like a chore. He gets left in his pen for a short time after his morning walk while we shower / get ready for work. Thinking about it, he doesn't really need the pen any more as that's the only time we use it now and he voluntarily goes in it to his bed after his walk anyway. We just leave him unsupervised in the lounge if it's only a few minutes, or garden if a more. He rarely chooses the crate bed, but when it's time for bed at the end of the day I put a chew toy with a bit of peanut butter smeared on and he settles down in there by himself quite happily and makes no attempted to grab the treat and run!
  • ddavidddavid
    Posts: 94
    Nice pen and good looking. I love DIY projects. I'm on my second bathroom right now.
    Although I never have used a pen nor crate for all my dogs, I'll keep it in mind.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3460
    @euphaire if possible use both!

    My shiba likes to shift around, one minute she'll she'll stretch her legs out (play dead look) and sleep that way, another minute she wants to curl up into a ball. Having a crate connected to your expen gives them more freedom :)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8362
    @euphaire - Since you are getting an older pup, you might want to start with what he is used to. If the breeder crates him, you might want to stick with that until he gets comfortable with his new home. Then, you might hook an ex-pen to his crate like @Bootz mentioned so that he can have the smaller space if he wants and stretch out in the bigger space, too.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • euphaireeuphaire
    Posts: 347
    @sunyata yes, i am planning to do that! the connected pen + crate setup looks really nice and cozy.
    So this might be a stupid question...i know this DIY project calls for the midwest gold zinc pen:
    http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Gold-Zinc-Indoor-Outdoor-Exercise/dp/B0002AT2IE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394744335&sr=8-1&keywords=gold+zinc+exercise+pen

    But I haven't found a crate with the description that explicitly says it can be connected to a pen....I was thinking the midwest (same brand as the pen) crate would work...but I'm not sure:
    http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Stages-Double-Door-Folding-Inches/dp/B0002AT3M4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394744753&sr=8-1&keywords=crate+dog

    Since i'll be ordering them online, I just want to know if anyone has experience with this setup and could direct me on what to buy so it's guaranteed to work. I don't want to order something online and then have to ship them back ^^

    Thanks ~
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8362
    As far as I know, the ex-pen will connect to the crate using four connectors that it comes with. So, you can use any wire crate/ex-pen (Midwest) combo.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • ExplorerExplorer
    Posts: 9
    Thanks for sharing ! I was looking for some good advice for the flooring of Jacob's ex-pen as he had almost chewed up the carpet underlie.
  • TrishTrish
    Posts: 271
    We use both crate and playpen as well and his crate is attached to his playpen.

    When Oliver was a pup we would crate him inside the pen when we were not home. He would sleep inside his playpen at night and still does.

    Now, we just leave Oliver in his playpen when I'm at work and it works perfectly for him. Here is a picture of his playpen (sorry for the mess).

    image
    edit: funny story: the playpen is actually open... He's just sitting in there to let me know he's out of water haha
    Post edited by Trish at 2014-03-15 14:20:53
  • euphaireeuphaire
    Posts: 347
    Actually i just realized...if I get a tall pen which is necessary for preventing escapes, then wont it look like this when i attach the not-so-tall crate to it? Wont the shiba just jump onto the crate and escape? How do u guys do the crate and pen setup?
    image
    Post edited by euphaire at 2014-03-15 15:31:58
  • TrishTrish
    Posts: 271
    @euphaire First of all: GREAT DRAWING!

    You can't really tell in the picture I posed above but we resolved that same issue/concern by boarding up the gap with some PVC board. Also, some shiba's are able to escape high pens (I personally never had this problem but I've heard MANY horror stories) and that can be resolved by adding a wire roof.
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    We use a pen as a time out place for Yuki (much more expensive than your awesome DIY!). He sleeps in his crate at night in our room, and has a kennel/crate in both mine and my husband's cars. I would be open to using it as a play place instead of the crate (for brief activities like laundry), but am concerned it would create confusion between time out and fun space.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    @devonmlewis, timeouts shouldn't actually be negative experiences, so it is good to make the pen a fun space. Since timeouts are really for when a pup needs to calm down, its perfectly fine if he self-entertains with any toys in the pen. You don't want him associating a pen or confinement in general with punishment, or this can lead to anxiety or destructive behaviors in the future.
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    @zandrame I've been told that for some cases (an example would be him chewing on the furniture and I catch him in the act or if he is throwing a tantrum), the best thing to do is to put him in a very short (60 second) time out. I'm clear that he's getting a time out (saying "NO!" firmly without yelling and then "time out") and to give him no attention during that time. I've read about it being appropriate on blogs and this forum. Lots of people have used their bathroom, but Yuki rubs his paws/claws against the bathroom door, and I don't want it to get ruined, or bathroom items to get chewed on.

    I think my biggest concern is the possibility of confusing him by making it a play pen (putting lots of toys and a chewy in there) for ashort periods of time, like the laundry and dinner times. Kind of like how people don't want to put their dog in a kennel as punishment, because it should be viewed as a sanctuary.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    @devonmlewis, I think you are referring to a conversation with @sunyata, so I'll tag her in case she wants to jump in. :)

    I personally don't differentiate between timeout space and fun space. I foresee a lot of unnecessary frustration if a dog is confined in a space with nothing to vent his trouble-causing energy on.

    The point of a timeout is to remove the dog from an environment that is over-exciting the dog. But the goal is not to deprive the dog, it is not a punishment, the place should be a sanctuary, like you said about a crate/kennel. A place to calm down. So there's nothing wrong with having toys and chews present.

    When you catch Yuki in the act of chewing on something he shouldn't, you should redirect him to something more appropriate. In this case, a timeout is not necessarily the answer. If he was just bored, yelling at him and picking him up give him attention.

    In the case of a tantrum, like if the dog is terrorizing other pets or biting you, a timeout is good. Also, tantrums usually occur when a puppy is overtired and needs a nap. So a quiet space where he can't get into further trouble is perfect. Even if he happens to have fun while calming down, I consider that a success.
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    @zandrame this is really good feedback! For now we'll probably stick with time outs (not being a sanctuary, but a legit time out for about 60 seconds), but if they aren't working I'd be open to doing things differently.

    Most people I've heard from have shared that it's important to differentiate betweeen time out and fun space (don't put a dog in a kennel when they're bad, use the time out space as boring and void of toys, etc). I do redirect him, but if he does not respond to my redirection of "leave it", "no", putting chewies in front of him or food to lure him, then I will go to pick him up, and he will get mouthy with me (start throwing a tantrum) and flinging his fat puppy body everywhere. This is where he would receive a time out. They do NOT happen very often, as he accepts redirection, and has quickly caught on to the time outs.

    I have read the opposite, if he's biting me (tugging on my clothes, or accidently bites down too hard) then ignore him. It's soooooooo hard, but it's working quite well! That is when he's wanting my actual attention, and not giving it to him is a much worse punishment then putting him in time out.

    I agree that it can be used as a place to calm down (although when we see that Yuki is on his way there, we put him in his crate for about 30 minutes to play with his toys, and then it's more like what you're talking about-- a fun place where he can recalibrate). Although we rarely do this now that we're well acquainted with his puppy energy! I agree, he gets a big snippy/mouthy when he's very tired, but we've got on a great schedule to work our way into the end of the night (he starts getting tired around 8 PM, we have play time in the room around 8:30-9 where he has my undivided attention, then a walk, and time for sleep).
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1095
    @devonmlewis, I didn't word it this way, but I view a timeout as the means to properly "ignore" the naughty pup. Logistically, I couldn't turn my back on my puppy unless he was safely in his pen, where he can't follow me or get into further trouble.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I agree with putting the puppy in the crate (she still gets all her crate items like bed and toys) as a way to ignore and calm her when she exhibited bad behavior. We ignored her for a short time and then it was business as usual. This has luckily only happened one time and she has not repeated the bad behavior since.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    imageimage
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • I thought I'd bump this thread.

    So I've been placing Hammi in his ex pen when I go to work nearly every day. He's always been fine and settles down relatively quickly; however, today when I came home, he was sitting on my bed waiting for me, and not in his pen waiting for me.

    He was mostly well behaved, I left the rest of his daily kibble on my bookshelf (because that's where I always leave it) and he climbed the bookshelf and ate it. But everything else in my room was perfectly fine (aside from a hat of mine that got knocked over when he climbed the bookshelf). And even though he really had to go potty when I got home, he held it and didn't go in my room.

    All the rest of his food is securely out of reach inside my trunk or my closet.

    My room is pretty puppy proof and Hammi knows what he is and is not allowed to chew. He just really wanted those extra kibbles. But now, I'm not sure whether I should let him have free roam of my room while I'm at work, buy a top for the playpen, or go back to just crating him while I'm at work.

    I wanted to know if anyone had any experience with their little fuzzy escape artists in this way and what they did at this point? At least for this afternoon, until I decide what to do, he will relax in his crate for the afternoon.

    Post edited by Justifiedgaines at 2015-03-11 13:06:55
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    @Justifiedgaines - Hammi is still relatively young and just because he was good this one time, he could possibly get more restless and get into something the next time. I wouldn't risk trusting him yet if I were you. Going back to crating might be best for now.

    I would do "dry runs" and test his trustworthiness here and there - leave him unsecured in the house if you're going, say, out for dinner or to the grocery store. I've started doing that with Kira, but still feel comfortable knowing that she is in her crate while I'm at work.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    imageimage
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • This is what we've setup.. kinda. We have a medium sized crate for her to grow into, then an exercise pen that connects to each side of the crate giving her free run in the bedroom without being able to grab our stuff to chomp on. It's a great idea and she seems to be happy in it!
    image

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Who's Online (0)