new plan: ex-pen

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whiteboxerboy
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new plan: ex-pen

Postby whiteboxerboy » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:13 pm

ok, i have a new plan.

i now realize i want/need to have an ex-pen in the house. (thanks, Sabine et al) he'll also have at least one crate that will be in my bedroom. their crates will be facing each other, about 3' away from each other so they can see/watch each other but won't be able to touch each other thru their crates. i do have some bedroom crate issues to sort out but that's a different thread. (feeding in his crate = feeding in my bedroom = really gross, IMO.)

so, ex-pen in the house question. am i missing something or is Midwest the only crate that has a cover? i know that's not true but i spent a fair amount of time online today looking for an ex-pen with a cover and only found the Midwest ex pen cover. is there any reason not to buy the Midwest ex pen and cover? i know Sherri R has mentioned the very nice ex-pen covers she has. the thing is, i really don't want to invest a ton of $$ in an ex-pen cover for the limited use it will get. yes i'll use it a LOT for the first however long but once puppy doesn't need the ex-pen anymore i doubt i'll ever use it for anything else. i don't anticipate ANOTHER puppy for a very long time seeing as how Boy is going to be the first Boxer to live to be 50 years old. :lol: and seriously, a Boxer (MY Boxer) respecting an ex-pen in a public place when there are other people and dogs everywhere? really? :rofl: :lol: not any Boxer of mine, i'll promise you that right now.

are you guys really really sure that leaving a puppy in a covered ex-pen while i'm at work is ok? not sure why but it makes me nervous that he's going to somehow get hurt while i'm gone. there may be one day a week that i'll have to be at work for 5 hours straight. my schedule will probably change b/t now and the time puppy comes home but in case it doesn't i'm planning to leave puppy in the ex-pen with a pee pad that day instead of his crate.

and no, i wouldn't consider a dog walker or anyone coming to let them out while i'm gone. i can't do it, i have too little faith in the general public to let someone else care for my deaf dog and young puppy. no way. if E lived nearby absolutely but i can't think of anyone else i'd trust.

this leads to my next question: pee pad on hardwood floors? shower curtain on floor under ex-pen? that sounds dangerous to the neurotic jewish mother. maybe the pee pad is absorbent enough that it won't soak thru to the floor? that's assuming puppy actually uses the pee pads.... oy vey!

so, to review:

ex-pen cover/top?

puppy in covered ex-pen while i'm at work?

pee pads on hardwood floors while i'm at work?

thanks. information provided above subject to change at any time. :lol:

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Sweetgrass Farm » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:41 pm

Here is a link to the ex=pen covers that I purchased probably about 18 years ago and they're still like new. http://www.glenwoodpet.com/ The folks that own this company are Doc and Cheryl Costello and live in Oregon. Sometimes they have seconds, which might work into your budget, just tell them I sent you and maybe you'll get a good deal. As far as setting up the ex-pen in the house, this is what I do when I have puppies. I go to a flooring store, which has linoleum remnants and get a 6' x 6' piece of flooring, which goes under the expen. I'll put either newspapers, or puppy pads on top of the linoleum. Another item that you might consider with Glenwood is a cover for the bottom, which you can add cedar shavings inside the ex-pen and the bottom cover extends about 6" up the outside of the ex-pen soaking up poo and pee and keeping a fresh cedar smell, and it doesn't go on your floor (or very little does). Just a couple ideas of what's worked for me. Hope it helps!

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Sabine » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:06 pm

If you are ever planning on doing dog sports, you might use your x-pen more than you think right now - unless you want to use crates for that of course. You'll need a secure place for the dogs to stay while you check in, do a walk-through/briefing, have your turn in the ring, and so on. If you don't want to splurge on a high quality x-pen cover right now, there are cheapy ones available for around $30 - shop around online. Personally I find that usually I regret going with the "cheapy" option, so I often spend a lot of time agonizing and then buying the nice items anyway. You can always sell anything you don't need later.

If you have any doubts whatsoever about leaving the puppy in an x-pen while you are gone, consider your other options. Use the bathroom, kitchen, etc. if you think that's a more secure space.

I had an x-pen set up on a shower curtain for a while, and it worked out well. You'll definitely need something to protect your floor in case your puppy decides to play with the pee pads and tear them up instead of peeing on them while you're gone. :grin: Personally I don't like pee pads all that much and phased them out as quickly as I could, crating Dax when I had to leave for longer periods instead. He also caught on to the house training pretty quickly, so I transitioned to gating him in the kitchen (without pee pads).
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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Calypso » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:42 am

Have you read Dunbar's Before and After You Get Your Puppy? He talks a lot about ex-pens and long term confinement areas. Plus it's just a good book in general.

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Carson_Crazies » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:18 am

yes i'll use it a LOT for the first however long but once puppy doesn't need the ex-pen anymore i doubt i'll ever use it for anything else.
Yeah, girl, you keep on thinking that if it makes you feel better. My expens spend more time keeping dogs OUT of things than they do IN. I have one around my shed (it doesn't have doors yet... long story). I use expens to surround my container gardens to keep the tomato stealer out. I use them to block off the kitchen (which is a giant archway that a baby-gate is too small for). I use them for all kinds of things. Once you have one you'll find all KINDS of interesting uses. Or maybe not.

I've had more issue with puppies PLAYING with pee pads as opposed to USING them. Pia decided early on that she had no interest in using them. Sigh. She got to have pee pads for exactly three days. Thus the driving 20 mins home and 20 mins back every day at lunch forEVER. Sigh. Bad puppy.

At any rate, my puppies usually do the expen thing while I'm at work until they're about 4-5 months old. I thought Linc was holding it the whole time I was at work (nothing on the pee pad) until I finally noticed something (including him) reeked of urine. He was apparently peeing on his stuffy... and laying on it. rofl
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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Sabine » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:58 am


Yeah, girl, you keep on thinking that if it makes you feel better. My expens spend more time keeping dogs OUT of things than they do IN. I have one around my shed (it doesn't have doors yet... long story). I use expens to surround my container gardens to keep the tomato stealer out. I use them to block off the kitchen (which is a giant archway that a baby-gate is too small for). I use them for all kinds of things. Once you have one you'll find all KINDS of interesting uses. Or maybe not.
Haha, that's me too! lol I bought one x-pen, and then I bought another one, and then I found a really good deal and bought three more ($2 shipping for the lot of them). rofl
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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Carson_Crazies » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:12 pm

Haha, that's me too! lol I bought one x-pen, and then I bought another one, and then I found a really good deal and bought three more ($2 shipping for the lot of them). rofl
SCORE!!!! Oh yeah, 2.00 shipping would have been my downfall.

Somewhere, Lynn, you asked about sizes. My two biggest ones are the 48"ers. I got them from JB Wholesale (RIP JBW). They are the black finish, and have been inside, outside, and around the country over the course of the last 6.5 years I guess, and are still in great shape. They've served me well. I also have a smaller 24 or 30"er, but my dogs all look at that as merely a suggestion. lol
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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Bettyna » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:31 pm

Don't forget if you ever have to put up a Christmas tree, the naughty tree definitely needs to be in an x-pen. :P

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby QBert » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:08 pm

the midwest cover will fit any pen set up in a 4' square, too.

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby QBert » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:09 pm

Don't forget if you ever have to put up a Christmas tree, the naughty tree definitely needs to be in an x-pen. :P
*ahem*
...the neurotic jewish mother. ...

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Bettyna » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:35 pm

Don't forget if you ever have to put up a Christmas tree, the naughty tree definitely needs to be in an x-pen. :P
*ahem*
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oops... :blush:

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby QBert » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:41 pm

LOL! I actually know several Jewish households that do decorate trees over the winter holidays, so it's still a valid reminder.

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby whiteboxerboy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:08 pm

:lol:

i'm finding out more & more of my tribe have a Christmas tree.

apparently 8 nights is not enough. :rofl: :lol:

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Bettyna » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:44 pm

I googled it... chanukkah?

and apparently some people put up a hannukah bush?????? :confused:
:lol:

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby whiteboxerboy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:32 pm

I googled it... chanukkah?

and apparently some people put up a hannukah bush?????? :confused: :lol:
:rofl: :lol: :rofl: :lol:

possibly one of the funniest things i've ever read/heard. ahh, this is greatness.

and growing up we joked around about the hannukah bush all the time. did you learn about Harry Hannukah, too?

and btw, Chanukkah & Hannukah & Hannuka are just different spellings of the same word.

and now, back to the ex-pen & the ex-pen cover.

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby SherriA » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:03 am

My friend with the big black dog got a new black lab puppy a couple of weeks ago. Before they got puppy she was concerned about how to separate them when she was at work and her daughter was at school. I suggested an ex-pen. Parker (the puppy) has his crate and food dishes in the older daughter's bedroom because she's gone off to college. In the room there's an area gated off with the ex-pen. So, they have the option to close the door completely if necessary but also to just put Parker behind the ex-pen and leave the door open.

It's worked out great so far. When Parker starts to get too rambunctious and is driving Kobi crazy, they can put him in his pen. When he needs to settle and he can't because she's right there and he wants to play, they can put him in the pen and close the door. Usually Kobi will get up on the bed and watch over him while he's in there, which is adorable. It gives them each separate space without completely separating them when they don't need to be.
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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Kathleen » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:48 am

An X pen is the best investment you will ever make. I wish you lived closer, I have an abundance now that the fence is finished. :/
I have the same cover Sweetgrass farm posted about and have had it for close to 8 years. I just love it. Since I normally travel with more then one dog, they all get stuffed in an X Pen with the cover I can then put one of those shade thingies over it and sometimes don't need an EZ up at all. Way easier for me then hauling so many crates. I have a dog door with a secure outside so as soon as the pups figure out the dog door they get more freedom, before that they are X penned with pee pads. I have found spraying them with bitter apple helps with the chewing up factor. (sometimes)

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Kathleen » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:50 am

Spraying the pads with bitter apple not the puppy. :crazy:

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby RobinS » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:55 am

You won't her me suggesting an expen for short term confinement when you are not home to supervise. At our rescue, we had two puppies climb to the top of a 48 incher, only to fall and suffer head trauma.

I suggest my clients build a short term confinement area that the puppy cannot climb out of and injure itself. I would rather you have a larger crate for when you are leaving him unattended, they aren't tall and already have lids!

You can download Dr. Dunbar's two books for free on my website. He has a picture of suggested short term confinement area.

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Bettyna » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:03 pm

sorry last :sign_hijack:
Chanukkah & Hannukah & Hannuka are just different spellings of the same word.
forgive my ignorance...
I thought Chanukkah was Christmas and Hannukah combined


Anyway, on more useful x-pen stuff

For longer confinement, we have a big (german shepherd sized) crate for Kobe. The x-pen I have can move around cos the corners are not fixed... He would stand up against the sides and push them. He would start out having a square and end up with a small diamond.

For puppy pads... my experience is that if you don't train them specifically to pee on the puppy pads, puppies are more likely to tear them up, eat them, and/or use them as beds. My friend's dog is potty trained on puppy pads, and she is really good. But Natsu is more likely to lie down on the puppy pad and pee on the floor beside the puppy pad.

And also, before we got Kobe, we would gate Natsu in a room with just one side of an x-pen "fence". She hated the sound of the x-pen falling down, so she would not push it over.

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby whiteboxerboy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:05 pm

You won't her me suggesting an expen for short term confinement when you are not home to supervise. At our rescue, we had two puppies climb to the top of a 48 incher, only to fall and suffer head trauma.

I suggest my clients build a short term confinement area that the puppy cannot climb out of and injure itself. I would rather you have a larger crate for when you are leaving him unattended, they aren't tall and already have lids!

You can download Dr. Dunbar's two books for free on my website. He has a picture of suggested short term confinement area.
see???

i know you probably don't believe me given all of my stupid questions but i really do have Dunbar's before & after books downloaded. i already read thru 'before' but still need to read 'after'. i've seen his suggested long term confinement area but i'm not 100% comfortable with that, either. i fear the chewed up baseboards.

Robin, did this ex-pen have a cover on it? this is me rationalizing that a cover will keep puppy from climbing up the sides...

i'm not feeling good about the 48 inchers anyway b/c i'm afraid it'll topple over if puppy or Gringo hit it just right, say for example playing with a ball against the pen or something like that.

ok, i'm just going to have to stay home with the puppy 24/7 for the first 6 months. i'm telling my job tomorrow i need a leave of absence. :lol:

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby whiteboxerboy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:06 pm

tee hee, Betty don't be silly! how many Jewish people live in Singapore, anyway? :lol:

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby RobinS » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:14 pm

The expens did not have tops on them and I don't see how a top would stop them from climbing it. What height do you want to get?

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby whiteboxerboy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:35 pm

i don't know what size.

i just think the 48" is going to be too top heavy & topple over too easily with a young Boxer. i was hoping the cover would make it more sturdy at least and somehow make climbing to the top less likely since that's not an escape route, it's closed.

i. don't. know.

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby UpwardDog » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:50 pm

confession: I re-read Dunbar's books before getting Tricky and found a lot of it woefully out of date, not a fit for me and contains things that just aren't backed by science or that science has shown not to be useful but he presents as if it does. I also hate hate hate the condescending alarmist tone.

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Sabine » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:26 pm

The expens did not have tops on them and I don't see how a top would stop them from climbing it. What height do you want to get?
It doesn't stop them from climbing it, but they can't get out and the tops tend to deter a relatively docile dog from trying.
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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Sabine » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:27 pm

i was hoping the cover would make it more sturdy at least and somehow make climbing to the top less likely since that's not an escape route, it's closed.
It does. The top also prevents the x-pen from losing its shape, since it keeps it square.

Edited to add, there is basically not much difference between a large wire crate and an x-pen with a top on it, except that later on the x-pen will be far more versatile to use.
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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby whiteboxerboy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:55 pm

Edited to add, there is basically not much difference between a large wire crate and an x-pen with a top on it, except that later on the x-pen will be far more versatile to use.
that's what i've been thinking. but my thinking has also been that it's 'ok' to pee/poo in the ex-pen if he 'has' to and that's still better than 'going' in the crate. now i've heard from several people (non-ODO but dog savvy folks) that they just left their puppy in a large crate for long term unsupervised times and if they had to 'go' they had to 'go' but it didn't mess up potty/crate training.

is this true? i'm feeling much more comfortable leaving him in a large crate without a divider when i'm gone than an ex-pen. i'm still going to get an ex-pen but he'll only go in it when i'm home. and just to clarify, there's not room in my house for more than one ex-pen, i promise you. i will probably still get the cover and everything but i think i'm only getting one. for now.

and to clarify further, i'm not anticipating the word 'docile' to be an accurate description of the shark toothed monster. if it is, i'm taking him back and getting the other one. just kidding. :rofl: i'm sure he'll have his 'docile' moments but i doubt they'll be the moments when he's put in his pen. :lol: and then there's Boy who i'm just not sure is going to 'appreciate' or respect the ex-pen, but he might. don't forget, this *is* the dog who woke up at 4:30 AM to bark at Levi in his crate so they could play. :lol:

and thank you.

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Re: new plan: ex-pen

Postby Sabine » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:29 pm

Personally I'm not a fan of encouraging eliminating in a crate, ever - but that's just me. I also count myself immensely lucky that I have a trusted friend I can call on any time to stop by for a potty break, which allowed me to be super picky about how I want to confine my puppy when I'm not around. Plus I work from home, which makes two luxuries the average person doesn't have.
and just to clarify, there's not room in my house for more than one ex-pen, i promise you. i will probably still get the cover and everything but i think i'm only getting one. for now.
You may still want at least two - one for indoors and one for outdoors. After the initial few months I didn't use any of my x-pens for actually making "pens", but rather to 1. block off areas I didn't want Dax to access for some reason (e.g. going under the deck and not wanting to come out again, unsupervised excursions from the back yard to the front yard and so on) and 2. to create a work area in my front yard (concrete flooring) for training that allows me to do the CU Puppy exercises, since real ring gates are crazy expensive. To make a reasonable space, I need 2 pens.

You may have also seen the photo of me fenced into my desk area to allow Dax a bit more freedom than the crate while still keeping him in a puppy proofed area within sight so we could avoid accidents. If you want to fence off doorways etc., x-pens work great. :grin:

As for "docile", I mean a baby puppy that's still relatively small and spends a lot of time sleeping, vs. ones that are a bit older and have more interest in exploring and might get inventive about getting out of an x-pen, jumping up, and so on. This is the time when you mainly want the x-pen for management.

And to add something else here, from personal experience, the Titan 36" pen holds up really well when Dax jumps on it with some force (cats running by lol ), and even when it is opened up and folded back into itself several times, to make a section just wide enough to efficiently block a typical house doorway with an L shape, one end of it tucked behind the open door to keep it stable.

Granted, I have to do a lot more management than the average person (since I can't allow Dax to wander around the house unsupervised and chase the cats, although he's really building a lot of self control and getting better about it every day), but IMO it's all about setting the puppy up for success in everything you do, and as a result of my planning we haven't had a single incident in the last ~10 months where Dax has destroyed anything valuable. The only victims so far are a cheap network cable connector, one single sock, and a little plastic zipper pull tab - each of which was clearly my fault for momentarily not paying attention. IMO that's a pretty good track record for a breed that is always painted as so "difficult".
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