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Crate v.Playpen?

(11 Posts)
MilkTrayLimeBarrel Sun 11-Feb-18 13:04:03

We are expecting to take delivery of our new puppy in April - very excited and in the process of thinking about buying everything she will need. We are debating the crate v. playpen issue at the moment. Would really appreciate your advice about the practicalities of each. I am thinking a playpen would be better as I don't like the 'cage' idea of the crate, but if a puppy is usually better in a crate, then that's what we will do. Also, advice on the best way to bring puppy home (about 100 miles) would also be appreciated. What did you put your puppy in when travelling for the first time in a car? Thanks!

missbattenburg Sun 11-Feb-18 13:39:22

I found both useful for different things. The play pen was a nice, safe place for him to hang out while I was doing other things. The crate was a secure, safe place to sleep.

The pen would not have contained him if I wasn't in the room and he was really trying to get out. I would have worried he would have hurt himself trying. The pen was too small for him to play and I wanted to keep it as a calm place.

Buying it all can be expensive so worth asking around in case anyone has spares - I no longer use the smaller crate or pen and so would happily give them to someone who could use them.

I drove a similar distance with mine and had him in the front passenger seat with my mum as both Pippa Mattinson (The Happy Puppy Handbook - worth a read) and the breeder recommended it for the first journey. She cuddled him for about 10mins as he cried and when he fell asleep she slipped him into the footwell with an old towel. He slept pretty much the entire way home. We had a travel crate with us, just in case he didn't settle but he was fine. He has always been brilliant in the car so either I got lucky or that first trip gave him a good experience that meant he never worried about travelling.

BiteyShark Sun 11-Feb-18 14:12:42

Playpen won't contain a puppy for long. Crates are useful for making a secure safe space. I had both as they are useful for different things.

I no longer use a crate but I am so glad I did because if we ever need to use one in the future I know he won't freak out in one. Some post ops require crate rest and my dog needed hospitalisation at the vets last year which meant spending several days in a crate.

For the first journey home I had a soft crate type bag (netting sides) which was secured to the cars head rest so he traveled in that with me sat beside him. I also used it to transport him into vets etc pre vaccinations. If he had been ill (he wasn't) coming home it would have been easy to clean it rather than trying to contain any mess in the car.

Elphame Sun 11-Feb-18 15:25:33

I used both for different things. The crate was a safe cosy sleeping area. The pen stopped him poisoning himself in the garden.

It's now used to keep things safe from him! My Xmas tree was set up inside it and it makes a great emergency stair gate if you are visiting. I've used it to section off areas of the sitting room when I'm working on the floor and don't want any puppy "help".

Stopmakingsense Sun 11-Feb-18 18:25:40

Timely thread! We are getting a puppy this week. We have an older dog, so I have got a pen for the puppy to give the older dog some peace and quiet, and also for when I can't directly supervise. I work from home but am on the phone a lot! I am going to use a crate at night to help with housetraining and also so that she is used to that for travel etc. I am also going to put the pen outside on good weather days. I got a pen that is made of 8 panels, all linked easily so you can use them together or separately in various ways. And I have got some pond liner to put underneath.

Hjb2410 Sun 11-Feb-18 21:02:15

Me and my husband are getting our puppy early March and we have just been having this same debate.

We have decided to use a combination of both a play pen and a crate. Hoping to use the crate more for nighttime xxx

Farfel Sun 11-Feb-18 21:44:29

I've never used either.

Cath2907 Mon 12-Feb-18 09:54:22

We got our puppy this week. We went with crate. We bought one big enough for a grown Bichon and the puppy didn't want anything to do with it. We also bought a small travel crate which I climbed into on his own. The vet said it is a fine size - he can stretch out, stand up and turn round but has no more room than that. It is available to him all day with the door open and at night he goes in (very willingly) and I close the door. He sleeps in it next to my bed and I get up if he whimpers and take him outside to toilet before he willingly climbs back in his cozy box (it has a soft pad in the bottom). He also travels happily in the car in it. I put in a few treats and a chew and he will go in and I shut the door and put it in the car footwell in the back. He whimpered a bit on his first couple of journeys (he travelled home initially on my knee - these are journeys since coming to live here) but now just sleeps happily.

So the big crate is in the spare room and the puppy has free run of the conservatory and kitchen all day. Iv'e set my home office in the conservatory and I take him out roughly hourly to toilet. In the evening we go into the lounge and I watch a bit more carefully as I have carpet in there!

Day#1 - he pee'd and poo'd bloody everywhere (except in his crate) despite all this and me watching him like a hawk.
Day#2 - he pee'd and poo'd about half outside and half seemingly randomly inside (not in his crate)
Day#3 - he poo'd outside and had a few accidents inside but all on carpet.
Day#4 - today. All poos outside and 1 or 2 accidents in the day caused by my inattention.

At night he goes in his crate 10pm and is now asking to go out at 4am and then goes back in until I get up at 7am. He is still only allowed in carpeted rooms with supervision but is fine on the laminate floor.

I work from home so this morning he settled for a nap when I started at 9 (having been on the go with me and the family since 7). I just got him up for a wee as I have a t-con at 10 and can't take him out until 11am. He is not pottering about with his toys and exploring. He and I will do something together at 11 as my husband and DD are out today.

Cath2907 Mon 12-Feb-18 09:55:53

now pottering about not not pottering. He is a proper potterer when I am working!

FairfaxAikman Mon 12-Feb-18 10:02:04

Crate over pen for a number of reasons.
It's about security as much as containment. They feel secure in a "den" environment.

Also if they are used to a crate vets visits are less stressful.

They are also better for car travel (and your dog must legally be restrained.

MilkTrayLimeBarrel Mon 12-Feb-18 10:24:11

Thanks all for your valuable advice and Cath2907 for the detail on what we might expect! I think we will go for the crate and maybe get a pen a bit later if we think it's needed.

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