A Room of Puppy’s Own?

Consistency is key when raising a puppy; so determining where your puppy will spend his time is crucial for behavior management, establishment of a routine and most importantly, your puppy’s well-being. Just like human babies, puppies must have dedicated spaces for their daily routines.

Dogs are social animals. Having left her litter-mates, your puppy sees your family as her new “pack” and wants to be near you all the time. Choose eating, sleeping and play spaces where your family spends a lot of time, like the kitchen or family room so she feels included.

Puppies spend many of their waking hours causing mischief of some sort, so they require close supervision. Managing his location and accessibility of space in the home is essential, so many new puppy parents choose to have a crate and a playpen for their dog. These tools are both useful from a functionality standpoint and helpful from a behavioral standpoint.

  • The Crate: A crate appeals to a dog’s desire for a safe and secure space; there when she needs a nap, some down time, or to go to sleep for the night. Crates are not only useful for the owner, they are pleasant and fair for the dog as well. Crates can greatly assist in, and cut down the time required for, the housebreaking process. In a household with young children, a crate provides your tired puppy with a space of his own to retire to when the activity level becomes too overwhelming for him. Finally, the use of a crate can lay the foundation for your puppy’s eventual education about boundaries and self-control.

  • The Playpen: Sometimes used in addition to the crate, a playpen is a small enclosure where your puppy can safely play and explore without the temptation to chew shoes, chair legs or wall molding. Playpens should be used during times that your puppy is awake and the family is near but not available to play. You can feed your puppy in the playpen and provide a few toys or chews, as long as you are supervising.

Crate and playpen training is not difficult and can be done in just a few days. Too much freedom in the home can be dangerous to an unsupervised puppy, as it can lead to housebreaking issues and setbacks, destruction of furniture and household items by chewing, and more work for your family overall. Giving your puppy a space of his own will provide the safety and security that he needs.