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Ex-Pens Revisited
Old 12-07-2012, 06:07 PM   #1
emichel
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Ex-Pens Revisited

I have been very lax about posting. Benjamin is now almost 8 months old, and so much happens all the time that it is hard to know where to start! For this post I will mostly focus on the topic of ex-pens. I've been takiing my dog to work with me every day, starting from when he was 10 weeks old. At first I bought 2 24" high ex-pens, one for home and one for work. Before he was potty trained, he would sleep inside of his ex-pen that I had set up in my bedroom, with various configurations of crates and beds and the potty pad at one end. He was perfectly content with this arrangement while I was in the room. I was lucky in that he not only slept through the night from day 1, but would not even wake me up in the morning! It was such a joy for me to wake up every morning and look over into his pen, where I would see him wide awake just watching me, waiting for me to wake up. Then the best part of course, opening up the gate and having him jump up and excitedly lick my face and wag his whole body. What a great feeling! There were may ups and downs with potty training, but that's another topic. The point is, he was doing great sleeping in the ex-pen.

It soon became apparent, however, both at home and at work, that the 24" ex-pen barely slowed him down. It seemed like the boundary of it was only a suggestion, and if he didn't feel like being in there, he could jump over it effortlessly. I then bought a 36" high one, and that slowed him down for a while. By then he was sleeping on my bed, because he was potty trained well enough that he would not pee on the bed any more, but I still needed an ex-pen because he was not trained well enough to be able to run around the house without observation. Then one day I was on the phone in the living room, and had him in the pen in the bedroom so I could concentrate on my conversation. I was very surprised when all of a sudden I realized he was sitting at my feet, looking up at me smiling with his tongue sticking out like they do, as if to say "look mom, I got out". I couldn't believe he could jump over the 3' high pen, and thought maybe he'd somehow got his nose under it and crawled under. I put him back there and went back to the living room -- it was kind of an important conversation -- and in a flash he was back at my side. I put him back a 3rd time, but this time spied on him without him knowing it. I saw him literally running up the side like Spiderman --Spiderpuppy LOL. So now I have it in the bedroom, only 2' by 2', open and with the potty pad in it, to reinforce the idea of pottying there. It is completely useless for containing him, though, and there is no baby fence in existence high enough to contain him, either. I don't like to put him in the bathroom because it is small and he goes ballistic when I lock him in there. FORTUNATELY -- he is now trained enough that I can leave him in the bedroom with the door closed when I need to leave him alone for a few hours. (The bedroom is puppy proofed, but the rest of the house isn't). He does bark, though, according to my neighbor, but at least he doesn't destroy anything, and seems calm and happy enough when I return. Oh, I should say, he is crate trained as well, but I should have bought bigger ones and he's a lot happier in the bedroom.

Well, that is my experience with ex-pens. I would still like to have one that would contain him, if needed. Have considered getting a cover, or else go to 4', but I think maybe we will just have to skip it. I worry that he would still try to get out, and hurt himself. The funny thing is, he doesn't even seem to mind being in there, but I think he just likes the challenge of proving he can get out. Little stinker. I think he will be a natural for agility training when he is a little older!

Is my boy as special as I think, being able to run up a fence like that, or is this common? Well, even if it is, I still think my boy is VERY SPECIAL. ;-)
-- Eileen
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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lol, sounds just like Tillie. She was able to escape the 3' high one at 4 MONTHS old... and she is a tiny hav. VERY athletic and super high jumper. She actually JUMPED over it! Anywho, we were basically "forced" to use a wire crate only. She goes in it when I am gone from the house and sleeps in it at night (with the gate open). She was potty trained very early (4 1/2 months) so the x-pen rarely gets used these days... ocasionally if I have friends who have SMALL babies come to visit I will put Tillie in the x-pen so she isn't all over the baby. She won't jump out of it if she can SEE me.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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LOL, these little things are just too smart! Isabella has the four foot type, so never made it over . . .but did manage to nose open the latch occasionally.

I have it back out again for Raider . . .and have caught Isabella a couple of times, trying to open the latch from the outside in an effort to spring her little buddy. Oh the antics . . .


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Old 12-07-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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Claire, I think Isabella is employing the principle of "work smarter, not harder". Ha ha, can't say as I blame her. I love that imagery of Isabella trying to spring her buddy, kind of like Bonnie and Clyde without the violence. LOL.

Tammy, that is amazing about Tillie's jumping. I think Benjamin is a pretty good jumper, too, and I might put him up against Tillie in a jumping competition, but she would definitely win the potty training competition. Benamin was kind of a slow learner in that regard, and he is still not at 100%, due to some of my early mistakes, I'm sure, but that's OK. He has come so far! At 3 or 4 months (can't remember for sure) I was beginning to despair that he would never be potty trained, or maybe after 2 or 3 years, then all of a sudden he got it!

I think I might buy him a bigger crate, I haven't decided yet. The 2 that I bought at first are only 13" wide by I think 21" (maybe 23). He was so tiny, and I couldn't imagine him being as big as he is already! I've spent so much freakin' money on him this year, though, and he seems to be doing OK being contained in the bedroom, though, so I'm holding off. I'm keeping the ex-pen around, because I can see using it in a situation like with Tillie, if there is a tiny puppy visiting. He is actually very good with little puppies, as he is exposed to them at puppy playtime, but I can forsee a time when I might want to have him at least slowed down and a little contained. Like Tillie, he is fine with being in the ex-pen when I am in the room, otherwise he will escape to find me. These guys are so endlessly entertaining it's not even funny. Well, actually, it is very funny sometimes.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:58 PM   #5
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lol, jumping contest? BRING.IT. lol no seriously, I don't encourage her to jump, she just does it naturally. I even got stairs for her for our bed (once my husband allowed her up there at over a yr old) and she NEVER used them ... I returned them! I constantly worry about her hurting herself esp. during RLH... she just flies! She is so little and light and an incredible athlete. I wish I was strong and healthy enough and that we had the facilities for agility around here. I know she would be fantastic!!
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:38 AM   #6
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They make tops for them to contain climbers.

Do a Google search for "exercise pen top", and you will find all sorts like:
http://www.bargainbuypetsupply.com/S...FSpnOgodYTYAwA
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:51 AM   #7
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Quincy started jumping out a couple of months ago, so down came the expen. I trust him enough to let him have somewhat free reign in the house (with a few doors closed). He has not had a potty accident in many months and trained really easily (a huge thank you to my breeder for starting him out right). He is only trained for outside and no matter how much I want him to use the pee pad sometimes, he just won't. I imagine if he really had to go badly enough, he would, but he prefers outside.
I was so worried that he would hurt himself that I said no more pen. He actually prefers to sleep on top of his crate rather than inside LOL. He is a jumper, that's for sure! His most favorite place to lay during the day is on top of my loveseat that looks out the front of the house. I noticed that as soon as Quincy was able to jump onto our bed that he was jumping/climbing out of the pen. Rather than try the top (because our boy is so stubborn that I don't think that would stop him), we just took it down.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:51 AM   #8
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That's the trouble with ex-pens for some puppies. It's not so much JUMPING out... it's CLIMBING out. And that means it doesn't matter HOW high it is... you can't keep them in. Worse, when people get taller and taller ex-pens, it just increases the likelihood that the pup will get hurt jumping down on the far side.

For the climbers, really the ONLY safe options are a closed door or a crate.

Kodi is a good jumper, but he never figured out the climbing trick. Now, he knows that the ex-pen is to be respected, and doesn't challenge it. Even in an ex-pen that he could clearly jump over, he won't.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:42 AM   #9
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I shipped a mesh expen to my daughter's house because we travel there so frequently. Without something to stand on, I wonder if a jumper could get over one of those?


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Old 12-08-2012, 06:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaireVoyant View Post
I shipped a mesh expen to my daughter's house because we travel there so frequently. Without something to stand on, I wonder if a jumper could get over one of those?


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If the dogs a jumper, I would assume they would 'alley-oop' right over it...
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