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Play Pen - alternative for crating.
  • RomiRomi
    Posts: 2722
  • LeonbergerLeonberger
    Posts: 3580
    Very nice DYI!! I might actually copy the idea with the one I was supposed to have delivered today.
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242
  • okironokiron
    Posts: 735
  • RomiRomi
    Posts: 2722
  • 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: 1106
    @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: 3495
    @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: 8589
  • 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: 8589
  • 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
    Post edited by Trish at 2014-03-15 14:20:53
  • euphaireeuphaire
    Posts: 347
    Post edited by euphaire at 2014-03-15 15:31:58
  • TrishTrish
    Posts: 271
  • 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: 1106
    @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: 1106
    @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: 1106
    @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 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

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