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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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A Question About Ex-Pens

Do you all play with your puppies inside of the ex-pen? I'm still considering my options after our interesting first day. Benjamin spends a lot of time sleeping in his crate, and seems perfectly happy there. When I let him out to play, I put a couple of pee pads down and we play on those, in case he has to go. I put him on one in the bathroom or one by the front door many times a day, but he doesn't seem to go very much. We were sitting out on my deck this morning -- the one place outside where he is allowed right now, and he happened to go on a pad I had sitting out there. I praised the daylights out of him. Of course we have a long way to go, but at least we've had a chance to do it right once so far.

I'm pondering if I need to take on the expense of getting 2 ex-pens, one for home and one for work. If I do get one for the house, and set it up on the carpeting in the bedroom with some vinyl flooring -- well I won't be able to get into the clothes closet for one, but I guess I could work around that. The main thing is, do I play with him inside of it? There wouldn't be much room.

Sorry for the dumb questions. I had read up all about this before I got the puppy, but doing in in real life is a lot harder. Ha ha, I know big surprise.

He's so sweet and lovable, though, so it's worth it.

-- Eileen
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 02:40 PM
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I have used expens-but only for the time I am not at home at all. My three are all older dogs and have free run of the house. I will say that when I get a foster dog I do sit inside the expen with them so they get used to me and their foster home-but then I do have them out with me when I am home.
You know what you might try is a long leash tied to you and let the little one have freedom while you are home. Take the baby outside to potty on the hr or at least ever 1 1/2 hrs-they have small bladders so need to be taken out more than an older dog who will be able to hold their potty longer-and Yes remember- praise-praise when Benjamin goes outside. Potty training is trying to say the least but it can be done.

Also you can go to Havanese Rescue and look at their links-might be something there that will help you with your darling. www.havaneserescue.com

I do use an expen when traveling-I have a sheet of vinyl flooring-get it cheap at a carpet tile store-I put that down-then a plastic shower curtain-and then a full or king sheet-get those at Goodwill or somewhere like that-I keep a supply of sheets on hand.

Pat-humom to
Miss Paige
Mr Roman
Ms Tula (for as long as she needs)

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 03:22 PM
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We take them out to play, but only right after they have gone potty. It's the best time to teach potty on command, since they learn quickly what it means when getting out to play is the reward.

Our system depends heavily on the expen.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 03:39 PM
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I will have to keep that in mind Tom-I have only had older dogs-Miss Paige was three and well train (unless it's raining-LOL). Rom was my foster that I adopted-two and trained-just had never been on grass-my foster now is going to be 15 and she is trained. So I have never really had a little one to train.

Hope to change that once I retire.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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OK, for those of you who have not been following my other threads...I am at a much more basic level than you guys! My new puppy is 9 weeks old. Going outside to play or potty is not an option, because he hasn't had his shots yet and I don't have a private yard, where I can guarantee there have been no other dogs. After our experience the first day, I don't want to let him play on the carpet, because it is really hard for me to tell when he is peeing. Others have suggested an ex-pen, but I have a rather small space, so I'm trying to figure out if I could set up a large enough ex-pen in the bedroom for us to play in. If I just had one big enough for him to eat, sleep, and eliminate in, where would we play? That's were I'm stuck for the moment. I'd really like to stick with the crate system, but I might have to go back to the drawing board on that one.

-- Eileen
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 04:53 PM
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As far as noticing if he's peeing, keep in mind that some boys squat. It looks like an sit, without the tush being all the way down on the floor.

Don't discredit your puppy's skills. Don't forget that we've all been there and know the "he's never gonna get it" feeling. Your pup is just as smart as all of our Havs are. It's just a matter of finding a system that works for you.

As far as not playing on carpet, and always putting pee pads down to play on, it might actually confuse him because first off, they will rarely pee in the middle of their play area (have you noticed that accidents tend to be around the edges of the floor space?) and second of all, if your pup is not used to pee pads and your introducing them as a play surface, he may not "get" that those are not "the pads I play on". Try confining until he pees, take him out and play on a surface other than pee pads, then take your puppy to the pee pad after 10 minutes of play. If he pees, more play, if he doesn't, either keep him there til he does or put him in whatever restricted space you're using for him.

The key is restricting the space to a small area until he is getting it, then increase the space SLOWLY. The key is also to take him to the pad every 10-15 minutes of activity. Sounds like that's all it seems like you do for the first while...to constantly take him potty...but that's a puppy for you.

Angie and Trooper

Trooper is a Moptop boy! If only I could think up a registered name...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Angie. Obviously I am going to have to work a lot harder at this. He sleeps a lot, sometimes for hours at a time. Should I be waking him up during his naps, too?

-- Eileen
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 05:12 PM
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No no no. I'm a nurse, and we have 2 motto's..."never wake a sleeping baby" and "you wake, you take". Pretty sure that applies to puppies too.

If your puppy has to pee he should wake up, and the pee pad is your first stop every time. Trooper is almost 6 months old and our morning routine involves me opening his crate, then he follows me down the stairs, across the great room, making a beeline for the backdoor. He knows this and will sometimes run out in front of me and beat me to the backdoor (those are the days he REALLY has to go), but he knows the routine.

They love routine, so find something that works for you, like wake up, pee, play, eat, pee, play, pee, nap, or something similar, and you might find it a bit easier to get this going. . Just don't forget the naps, lots of naps.

Angie and Trooper

Trooper is a Moptop boy! If only I could think up a registered name...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 05:24 PM
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Oh, I forgot to add, invest in NAture's Miracle and soak the pee spots (an area BIGGER than the actual pee spots because it soreads out as it goes down in the carpet) after you blot the extra pee with a paper towel, then let it sit for the amount of time it says for stubborn stains/odors. The trouble you might have with an apartment is not knowing if a dog before yours peed everywhere.

Trust me, I used to have the accident-nervousness too, because we live in a brand new house with brand new carpet. I thought we were going to have to buy stock in Natures Miracle, especially with the two set backs we had, but we haven't even finished up the second bottle and he's almost 6 months old. Now that he's trained, I mostly use it to get the smell out of the carpet from his dumb stinky chew stick treats. :P

Angie and Trooper

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 05:33 PM
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Brody was a sneaky pee-er too. He would literally just stand there and let fly. I could never tell when he was going to go...plus he was always sniffing so I was forever paranoid he was sniffing for a spot to go (he's just big on sniffing everything and anything). If he squatted, it was really slight and I couldn't notice it and he used to get lots on his leg when he went. He's still a squatter, but it's a more pronounced squat now and he has better aim now too!

There are lots of challenges when you live in a small apartment that you might not think of when you are doing your pre-puppy planning. I was really thankful for the Ugodog. My initial plan had been to take him outside. But then you realize that until he's fully vaccinated it's risky to do that with so many other dogs around (and many who don't pick up after them and this town has many unvaccinated pets). Plus it's not so easy as just letting them out a door...you have to harness them, put on leash, get your shoes on, make sure you have your keys so you don't lock yourself out of the building (plus put on jacket, etc. depending on time of year), then navigate hallways just to get outside. I'm not sure how people make that work with a small puppy who needs to go NOW! Plus doing that late at night too.

Then you have space limitations where what others use may not work well for you. A good example is the X-Pen. I'd have loved to use this and I do have a very small X-pen set up for him at work, but at home I have no place I could set one up without making it so I couldn't get in or out of a room.


Eventually you find something that works for you. It might involve a bit of experimentation. I probably gave Brody more freedom than I should have because it was just nice to have a puppy sleeping on my feet. I also found that blocking off areas that he would gravitate to helped. For example he really liked to zoom under my china cabinet to go poop, so I put some plastic boxes in that space so he couldn't get there anymore.

I swear the first few months I had plastic lids and containers all over my apartment blocking off things like computer wires, spots behind chairs or under things/furniture where he liked to go and leave little presents. They make puppies cute for a reason! I thought I had puppy-proofed before I got him, but I was wrong!

It does get better and it doesn't really last as long as it seems at the time. Brody is 16 months now and I have to really sit down and think hard about what it was like when he was a little puppy and what techniques I used. It seems so long ago. I do remember being really frustrated - I think I lost around 10 pounds the first little while he was home and at times wondering what on earth I had taken on. What can I say, I don't handle sleep deprivation very well and he got up ridiculously early when he was a pup - and I was lucky because he slept through the night always, so it could have been worse!

But, as I said in another post, once we got the treat system working, toilet training for him took off like crazy.

Tracy and Brody


A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.
- Josh Billings
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