Betty's website and blog

Puppy pen ideas

December 18, 2019

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From the advice I’d read, I decided to create a small pen area in the kitchen so she couldn’t get up to mischief while we were not around. We did a similar thing outside as well to limit her in the garden. This is especially useful for those night time wee sessions! You want it to be as simple as go outside, wee, back in and back to bed! You don’t want to be chasing her around the garden!

So, on this subject, my note said:

Confinement area should contain her food bowl, water and crate or sleeping area. All of the floor space should be covered with puppy pads. It should be small to start. She will start using the puppy pads (hopefully). Then she’ll pick a favourite spot. We can then start removing some of the puppy pads - especially the ones near to the crate. Leave them near her favourite spot. Eventually there will be just one puppy pad that she will use. Later you can use that pad to help her move to going outside.

The pen

Yes, that is a camera! I went to the extent of setting up a Nest camera so we could spy on her. That has been the most reassuring thing to have when we’re out, though. Being able to quickly see how she is doing was well worth the money! Also, as the Nest camera stores 30 days of footage, we caught and saved some funny moments we would have otherwise missed.

Anyway, the plan and reality diverged massively here. I remember the advice was to set up a confined area that she could call home, so we bought fences and gates to create a pen area at the back of the kitchen. I lovingly constructed everything just as the books said it should be. I built it and she came sniffed and didn’t like it, ate and ripped up the puppy pads and wanted out. After a good while of trying to get her used to the pen we gave up and looked for a plan B. We knew puppies chew, and we had a lot of wooden furniture that the pen was supposed to protect when we were not around… So plan B was to take my beautifully constructed pen and repurpose it as a divider across the kitchen. The desperation for a solution meant I was willing to drill into walls, floors all to make her happy! She’s worth it, though.

Kitchen divided

That’s the way the kitchen stayed up until a few weeks ago, actually. If you were cooking on one side of the kitchen and needed access to the fridge or bin on the other you had to navigate “the fence”. It is strange not having it up these days. I still go to walk towards a gate that isn’t there.

Anyway, that worked except Betty soon knew which side the fridge was on and how she could make her stupid humans open the fridge and take out food just to get her on the other puppy-proof side of the kitchen.

Puppy 1, humans nill.

Betty with ball in her mouth