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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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ex pens

I notice that most people have an ex pen - (1) what size do you have, (2) do you have any trouble with them climbing out and (3)someone (I think it was Shama) mentioned it's easy to travel with them - how well do they fold up?

I'm really bad with looking at something on amazon and deciding if the dimensions would work - that's why Perry's bed is too small, and I have a play pen for him that might have worked for a really young puppy but is much much too small to be practical for him (which is a shame because I love how much it folds up). So, advice on size from people who actually have a Hav-size dog would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 08:47 AM
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The sort of "standard" for ex-pens is 8 24" sections (the height varies from 24" up). These are the typical wire ex-pens like Midwest. These are perfectly adequate for Havanese. Most of mine are 24", though I have one 30" one also. I prefer the 24" ones because they are easy to step over, to get in and out to tidy up. In my experience, and talking to many Havanese owners, very few Havanese actually JUMP out... If they are intent on escape, they climb. And if they can climb 24", they can climb 36 or 48". The problem being, that the taller the ex-pen, the greater the fall on the other side and the more danger of injury. So as far as I'm concerned, if a 24" pen doesn't keep your dog confined, you really need to consider crating rather than an ex-pen. All of mine respect the ex-pen, and although Kodi can easily stand with his front feet on the top of the 24" pen, and his head and shoulders much higher, even he wouldn't dream of challenging the space. It's a comfortable "den" area, and they all stay put. These wire pens can be either expanded indefinitely by adding on more ex-pens (we use three for a "dog yard" against our travel trailer when we are away from home) or can be folded smaller during potty training... down to a 24" square. When Kodi was young, we attached a large crate to the end of a Midwest pen for his "apartment". He was in this pen arrangement when we were away from home and at night. We put it away when we remodeled our house, and he started sleeping in the bed room (in a crate) and when I went out during the day, he was gated in my office. That's what we do with all of them now that they are all reliably potty trained. The Midwest pens fold up easily, are not very heavy, and are easy to throw in the back of a car. They are NOT airplane-friendly, but I don't think any useful ex-pens are. One other good thing about this type of pen (Iris pens too) is that you can ALSO use them as gates to keep dogs out of things on a temporary basis. I've set them up around areas I am painting to keep the dogs from touching wet paint, have used them as an extra "safety" barrier around back yard gates when we have guest dogs, put them around our blueberry bushes to prevent unauthorized pilfering etc.

We also have a metal tubular frame ex-pen from Best Pet. This is a MUCH heavier pen, and each section is 31" long, so the smallest area is larger, and it's quite a bit bigger when all sections are used. We have this set up in the corner of our dining room in a 1x2 configuration, which is plenty big for a UgoDog in one end, a bed in the other end and some place space between. This has been our "puppy storage spot" for both of the girls while they were growing up. We still have it up so that we can separate everyone at meal time. Kodi gets gated in the kitchen, Pixel eats loose in the dining room and panda eats in the pen. These pens are VERY heavy, and are best left in one place. At least _I_ wouldn't want to move it around with any regularity!!!

Iris (plastic) pens are also 24" sections, and I believe you can add as many sections as you want. They are bulkier than Midwest wire pens, though they are no heavier. (maybe a bit lighter) It depends on the dog whether these are a good choice or not... If you have a chewer, probably not. A lot of breeders use Iris pens for litters because the plastic surface makes them easy to keep clean.

Richell and another brand that someone here uses and likes, (can't remember who!) makes prettier "furniture" style pens. Those are a lot more expensive, and although I believe you can make them longer or shorter, the width measurement cannot be changed. Even those are adequate, space wise, for small-medium sized Havs... and even for bigger ones, these pens definitely are roomier than the average crate. Only you can decide whether the decor aspect is worth the tradeoff in terms of price and space for the dog. Not sure of the portability of these since I've never worked with one.

I would NOT recommend the cloth pop-up style "play pens" for dogs older than small puppies, nor would I ever leave even a puppy in one unsupervised. These are fine for short-term confinement if you are sitting right there with the pup, but are too easy for a pup to destroy, roll or climb out of. Plus they are really not much bigger than a crate. The plus side of these is that they ARE very light and portable.

Below are photo of:

1. Kodi's Midwest pen/crate "bed room" when he was a puppy
2. The BestPet tubular steel pen that Pixel and Panda have both used
3. Our "dog yard" against our travel trailer. This is 3 pens attached together. It is easy to set up and take down, and light weight enough not to be burdensome. We set it up if we are going do more than just stop over night on the road.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0639 xs.jpg (78.3 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg 2015 09 04 Pixel's Pen (3 of 3).jpg (80.9 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 2016 05 19 16 Canada Trip (1 of 100).jpg (100.3 KB, 12 views)
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 09:49 AM
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Chi Chi has a setup similar to Kodi's puppy apartment with the Midwest ex-pen. A few days ago I came home to this. I left her up there to see if she would jump over and she did not (I think the lip deterred her) and eventually she did jump down. I was thinking time to get the taller ex-pen but now Karen has me thinking it may be futile? I do believe she jumped up (I have never seen her climb).

Karen: I know you still crate at night as do I. But I'm wondering if there is any value to crating inside the expen as opposed to letting her sleep in her bed inside the pen.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 12:49 PM
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I have the plastic IRIS ex-pen, but often think I should have gotten the metal Midwest kind. They seem more versatile and can have the attached crate, which you can't do with an IRIS ex-pen. The IRIS is easy to open and step inside for cleaning, however. Both of mine have chewed on the bottom of the door frame some, but not enough for it to harm the pen or themselves. I chose the IRIS over the other in the beginning because in my mind, the metal type of ex-pen seemed like a cage and that bothered me. If I were to travel/camp, I'd go with the Midwest metal type of ex-pen for sure. I never considered any of the pop-up cloth types because that just seemed like an invitation for a puppy to chew up and destroy.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 01:47 PM
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I also have the midwest metal expen. Olive learned that she can push it around and get to things she shouldnt. She once pushed the edge of the expen over to the carpet area ripped out the carpet. I've been using the 3M command clips to hold the sides of the expen in place and she hasnt been able to move it since.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi-Chi's Mom View Post
Attachment 134698

Chi Chi has a setup similar to Kodi's puppy apartment with the Midwest ex-pen. A few days ago I came home to this. I left her up there to see if she would jump over and she did not (I think the lip deterred her) and eventually she did jump down. I was thinking time to get the taller ex-pen but now Karen has me thinking it may be futile? I do believe she jumped up (I have never seen her climb).

Karen: I know you still crate at night as do I. But I'm wondering if there is any value to crating inside the expen as opposed to letting her sleep in her bed inside the pen.
I think the difference is that Kodi's crate was actually TALLER than the ex-pen, where yours is shorter. It's easier to jump up onto a solid surface than it is to jump OVER an ex-pen gate.

I don't see any particular value to crating (as in closing the crate) inside an ex-pen. We attached Kodi's crate to the OUTSIDE of the ex-pen to give him more room to move around. We never shut the door of the crate in that situation. Kodi has always preferred a crate to an open bed for sleeping... I think it makes him feel cozier. The girls have both been fine with just a donut style bed inside the pen.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Olliepup View Post
I also have the midwest metal expen. Olive learned that she can push it around and get to things she shouldnt. She once pushed the edge of the expen over to the carpet area ripped out the carpet. I've been using the 3M command clips to hold the sides of the expen in place and she hasnt been able to move it since.
Yes I had that problem ONCE with Kodi in the Midwest pen before we attached the crate. Once it was attached to that big, solid crate, that seemed to anchor it enough that he couldn't move it. The BestPet tubular steel one is much too heavy for them to push around, which was why I got that when Pixel was coming along. (plus, by then I knew how useful ex-pens were, and was happy to have LOTS of them for various uses! )

Great idea with the 3M clips!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 05:38 PM
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I used the Northstates Super Yard for Molly's expen. It is a baby play yard made of plastic. You can also buy an additional two panel section to make it even bigger. I also liked the fact that I could stretch it out and use it as an extra wide gate if needed. Molly never climbed up the sides or pushed it around so it worked well for us.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 09:04 PM
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(Funny story about Chi Chi - loved the photo!)

(Diane, is that a photo of you with Molly?)

I'm copying and pasting from my 8/23/16 post . . .

I can't believe how fast they grow up. Shama is more than 14 months old now! Congratulations to those of you getting rid of your ex pens. Due to our work schedule, we wanted Shama to have a very comfortable "apartment" while we're gone. We invested in a Pupperton pen (2x6 feet) because we knew we would be looking at it for many, many years. We really do love it. It tucks right under our kitchen island so is right by our dining room table. It is easy to take down and set up, so we are able to take it with us when we go places overnight and when Shama goes to Grandma and Grandpa's house to be babysat. What makes me happy is that we've been able to remove her training tray as she no longer needs to potty overnight or during the day when we are gone (her dog walker takes her out at noon every day). What I really like about this forum is learning how other people do things. There are so many ways to care for our sweet Havanese babies. Most of them seem to work as long they're done with LOVE.

The Best Wooden Dog Crates | Pupperton - Home

And I will also add that we got the cover for the pen because we were afraid she might jump out, but she's never tried to jump out of her ex pen as far as we know. We use the cover as a barrier. It prevented Shama from getting at our Christmas tree, for example.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShamaMama View Post
(Funny story about Chi Chi - loved the photo!)

(Diane, is that a photo of you with Molly?)

I'm copying and pasting from my 8/23/16 post . . .

I can't believe how fast they grow up. Shama is more than 14 months old now! Congratulations to those of you getting rid of your ex pens. Due to our work schedule, we wanted Shama to have a very comfortable "apartment" while we're gone. We invested in a Pupperton pen (2x6 feet) because we knew we would be looking at it for many, many years. We really do love it. It tucks right under our kitchen island so is right by our dining room table. It is easy to take down and set up, so we are able to take it with us when we go places overnight and when Shama goes to Grandma and Grandpa's house to be babysat. What makes me happy is that we've been able to remove her training tray as she no longer needs to potty overnight or during the day when we are gone (her dog walker takes her out at noon every day). What I really like about this forum is learning how other people do things. There are so many ways to care for our sweet Havanese babies. Most of them seem to work as long they're done with LOVE.

The Best Wooden Dog Crates | Pupperton - Home

And I will also add that we got the cover for the pen because we were afraid she might jump out, but she's never tried to jump out of her ex pen as far as we know. We use the cover as a barrier. It prevented Shama from getting at our Christmas tree, for example.
Yes, this is the other brand besides the Richell that is Much nicer to look at, but also a lot more expensive than the Midwest, BestPet and Iris pens.
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