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New Golden Pup: pen or crate?

(24 Posts)
NicInBetween Mon 13-Jun-16 13:17:50

Dead excited and nervous in equal measure! I collect our golden retriever girl up a week today. I'm look at a crate but my DH reckons a pen would be better and less 'cruel'. I disagree. What do the experts say (not owned my own before)?

Also, what about a car harness? I've seen recommended the Sleepybod Utility Sport harness but only available in the US?

If relevant, I work from home so at home most of the day; have four children (youngest is 5). All tips on settling in a pup gratefully received!

Floralnomad Mon 13-Jun-16 13:24:10

Well fwiw I'm no expert but we used a pen until house trained and dog was free range after that but I'm not a fan of keeping dogs in cages , I think most dog owners prefer to call them crates because it sounds better than cage .

Notthecarwashagain Mon 13-Jun-16 13:34:30

Mine has this one. Travel crate
He loves it, it seems cosier than a metal one.
He isn't crated at night any more, just has the dining room, but he still goes in and sleeps in there, day and night, when he fancies it.
My other dog who has never been crated (we tried, but it really was a no from her!) now even goes in there.

I'm just using his harness (Halti) with a seatbelt adaptor for the car.
There's probably better solutions though.

All the best with your puppy! Hope you'll share a pic!

Notthecarwashagain Mon 13-Jun-16 13:36:18

I've just realised it says not suitable for puppies blush

FATEdestiny Mon 13-Jun-16 13:39:09

I'm not sure there is much difference between a pen and a cage? What difference are you expecting a roof to make?

We have a crate but don't close the door (pup is 5 months and not toilet trained at night yet). I have made a cover for the crate and have bought a think mattress for it (not just the thin mats that you can get). So it is something of a comfy "cave" for the pup.

I also have 4 children (my youngest just a toddler) and so wanted to make a safe space where the dog could retreat away from everything if needed. I have taught the children they are now allowed into the crate and cannot disturb the dog when she is in there.

I closed the door on the crate for the first few days of puppy being home, to stop her scratching the door and teach her were bedtime happened. Since then, because pup still doesn't strike me as ready to be toilet trained at night yet, I leave the door open. When I feel pup could be dry all night then I will go through a phase of closing the door to teach the dog to hold her wee until morning.

All that said, not sure in what way a pen is different to a crate really. The serve the same purpose.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 13-Jun-16 13:43:55

I used a crate, I'm a great fan. My pup would go in overnight, and if we went out during the day. Stopped using a crate at about one year old. Did this x2. Both loved it.

It becomes their safe place, and fun with toys in it, but with a cosy bed to snooze.

It's also useful for you to reach your children - with 4 dc the puppy will be so stimulated - when she goes into her bed in her crate she needs to rest and they should respect that and leave her to have a break from a busy household.

If not left for hours on end shut in a crate, I think they are an excellent tool for a puppy.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 13-Jun-16 13:51:12

Our dog had a crate as a puppy - he loved it. It had a cosy bed and a couple of toys inside and we covered it with a blanket to make it cosier. It was his den and was somewhere he could crash when things were all getting a bit too much for him. We stopped shutting the door at night when he was 8 months old or so but even when he had the choice he still preferred to sleep in there as he felt safe. We put it away when he was 1 and got him a snuggly new bed

Floralnomad Mon 13-Jun-16 13:54:36

fate, the difference between a crate and pen in our case was that the pen was 6'x 4' and we had a small terrier pup , I doubt I'd have bought a crate that size for him .

TrionicLettuce Mon 13-Jun-16 13:56:00

If you've got room in your for a proper crate (I've got one of these, had it for years and it's brilliant) in the boot then I'd definitely go for that over any harness. If a harness is the only option then the the Sleepypod Clickit or the Purina Roadie are the only two I'd consider using. There haven't been a great deal of independent tests done but the two I do know of (Centre for Pet Safety and NRMA Insurance) both rated the Sleepypod very highly and the latter also found the Purina passed all their tests.

Most car harnesses are actually only intended to stop the dog moving about during travel, they're not going to keep either the dog or the other occupants of the car safe in the event of a crash.

BusyNothings Mon 13-Jun-16 13:56:26

I hated crates until we got a beagle. Now I'm still not a huge fan but my boys love them. We now have two beagles so different personalities etc. They have big squishy mattresses and blankets in there along with toys that are safe to be left with and they love them. They have one each and it's their own little safe space or den. In fact in the evening when all home they often take themselves in their to snooze. But I think you have to use them in a way that works with your dog and if your dog doesn't like them don't force it.

Tbh as much as I don't like them I often wish I had one like theirs to escape the dh! wink

BusyNothings Mon 13-Jun-16 13:58:11

Here's my boys asleep in theirs =]

Hoppinggreen Mon 13-Jun-16 14:46:27

We crated our Goldie, the breeder said he as used to it but we did have about a week of sleepless nights with me napping in the chair next to him.
After that he went in happily and we only shut the door at night and if we went out. Think of it as his bedroom rather than a cage
We have just stopped using it at 7 months, mainly because he outgrew it so get a VERY big one because I've had Goldies before and I thought the crate was going to last much longer!!!
Enjoy, Goldies are the best

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Mon 13-Jun-16 14:54:27

Monty loves his crate, so much so that when he gets tired in the evening he takes himself off to his crate in the kitchen. We actually had to buy a new one, a ginormous one that we could leave him in for a few hours if we had to because he's a chewer and he can reach the back of my kitchen worktops.

tabulahrasa Mon 13-Jun-16 16:38:45

The right crate size is only cruel if you're leaving them too long in's a bed, they need to be able to sleep comfortably, stretch out a bit and stand up and change positions.

If you think they need to do more than that - then in all honesty it's not the space that's the issue, it's why and for how long they're in there that's the problem.

NicInBetween Mon 13-Jun-16 19:31:57

thanks all. It's a tricky one! I was concerned that a pen wouldn't be sufficient to keep a golden puppy in if out for a bit.

Re harnesses: the Sleepypod aren't available in the UK sad

TrionicLettuce Mon 13-Jun-16 20:25:18

You can get the Sleepypod harnesses on both the French and German Amazon sites (who will ship to the UK) and there are German sellers with them listen on eBay as well.

It's worth looking around as most supposed car harnesses are worse than useless, at least as far as keeping the dog (and everyone else in the car) safe.

1frenchfoodie Mon 13-Jun-16 21:41:06

We use a crate for our pup, as we did gir our older dog though he has now claimed under the dining table. He sees the crate as his safe place and likes to crash out there for daytime naps and puts himself to bed about 9.30.

brassywind Mon 13-Jun-16 23:48:08

We have a crate for our 12 month old Labrador cross. It's his bed and quite place. He's also been trained to get in his crate while we eat dinner as he was a complete table scrounger when he was little. We rarely lock him him the crate now but he takes himself off and can be found snoring happily in it.

insan1tyscartching Wed 15-Jun-16 00:50:20

We didn't have a crate he had a basket he slept in and still does,we had gates on the kitchen so that I could cook without him under my feet and a gate to stop him going upstairs and we borrowed a playpen forthe two weeks it took to house train him so that I could nip to the loo,put the washing out or do anything without him attached to my trousers or whilst I wasn't paying full attention to his toilet signals.He had free reign of the downstairs other than that. He's a pretty good dog hasn't messed in the house or destroyed anything from being tiny even if he has always had therun of the downstairs.

NicInBetween Wed 15-Jun-16 12:34:22

Thanks all, that's very helpful. I think we've decided on a pen - and also a travel crate for her to sleep in and for crate training. I'm thinking this one -
But i know she will outgrow it (it's 30"). Do you - the experts - think that this is ok? My plan/hope is that when she's outgrown the travel crate she wont need a crate and i'll have a harness for travel. Am i barking, ahem, up the wrong tree here....?

Naicecuppatea Wed 15-Jun-16 12:50:09

Nic, we got this one for our golden pup with a divider, it;s the same one you linked to but is 36 inches

I 100% love it as does she. We keep her in it at night as we have a big kitchen with lots of chewable furniture. She often goes in during the day for a sleep when the door is open. We also use the crate when visiting friends or for car travel. She is very happy with it and doesn't go wee/poo in it either as she uses it for sleeping. When we first got her at 9 weeks I would let her out once during the night for a wee. Now at 20 weeks she is able to go the whole night through.

Good luck, they are lovely dogs, so friendly and affectionate.

Naicecuppatea Wed 15-Jun-16 12:54:10

PS. She didn't cry at all on her first night with us away from her family. Warn your children that your pup will be very nippy at first. Tell them not to run away from her as that will make it worse (experience here). We give our girl a short time out for nipping but it is so much better already now she is 20 weeks.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 15-Jun-16 14:08:20

Yes they nip with razor sharp teeth thinking "what a great game"! Especially when children flap they're arms and legs about and shriek! I taught my dc to grab one of the dog toys and put that in pups mouth and play with it.

Panicmode1 Fri 17-Jun-16 14:07:07

We had a crate for the first few months with our golden puppy. I also have four children, the youngest of whom was 4 when we got her, and it meant that the puppy had a safe space to retreat to, and when I needed to pop out for school runs etc, she could be crated with toys etc whilst I was out. Also the nipping/playbiting stage was difficult - the children would shriek, she would think it was a game and it was hard to train both canine and humans at the same time wink. My tip would be to start collecting lots of cardboard rolls - loo roll inserts, foil and cling film rolls, cardboard boxes - she had lots of fun chewing those, rather than fingers and toes of the children. I also got lots of rope chew toys - it seems as though the phase goes on and on, but with hindsight it wasn't so long!

We got rid of the crate once she'd stopped biting/chewing everything. I still sometimes wish we had one at meal times because she sits under the table with her mouth open looking hopeful at every meal and it can be a pain, but she's too big and would just bark so we no longer have it, although I have a crate in the car for journeys and she always happily flops down in it for long or short duration trips.

Good luck, and have fun!

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