Pen problems! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Pen problems!

I've done quite a bit of reading on this subject, so I know I'm not alone in this problem...Fitz hates his pen. I know Havs are social and playful, so I spend a ton of time with him. I often will sit in his pen with him and play, as I'm trying to make it a fun place. Since we've been home together (I got him 10 days ago), I've often let him out of his pen in the general living room area. However, it's exhausting to watch him with an eagle eye, and he has had more accidents than I care to admit!

He's a curious little dog, and the only place he is really safe is his pen. He loves his crate, so I've put it in the pen. Fitz will often go into it to nap, which I take as a good sign. I am currently in law school, so my schedule is pretty open except for 2 hours or so a day when I am in class. Whenever I'm not in class I'm home with Fitz. Generally I time his naps so that he is very sleepy when I leave, and then I put him in his crate and he's fine. There have been a few times, however, when I've had to leave while he's awake. He screams like a banshee and I'm worried the neighbors will start to think he's not so cute anymore.

I understand that the best way to get him used to being home alone is to start in short increments and then work up. I've been doing that- leaving him in his pen or crate while I get the mail, take out the trash, etc. He cries the whole time. I know not to reward him by coming in to his pen while he cries, but he stops crying as soon as I come near him. What's the best way to deal with this? Am I doing the right thing? How long do you think it will take until he's okay with being alone for short periods of time?

He has all his toys, his water bowl, and a Kong in his pen. He's going to be 10 weeks old on Wednesday. I know he is still a baby, but it hurts my heart so much to hear him cry.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 05:54 PM
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Steel your heart and he will grow to accept his expen and the fact that sometimes he has to hang out there because you are busy and can't watch him closely enough. It is hard to hear them cry but if you can avoid reacting to their cries for attention then you'll get where you want to be sooner than layer. Our, Porter, not a Havanese, screamed bloody murder as a puppy when crated but now as an adult often seeks refuge in his crate. They do get use to it but only if you determine the rules and then stick with it. ANY sign of waivering on your part will be milked for all it's worth! Do continue to provide special treats for expen time.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 05:57 PM
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I think it sounds like pretty normal "baby stuff". It sounds like you are doing the right thing… It just takes time. He still IS a little baby, learning the ropes in his new home!

And it's MUCH better to confine him (even if he cries!) than to let him have accidents. The sooner you get him reliably potty trained, the sooner he can have more freedom!


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 01:35 AM
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Here's a video that helped me greatly with the same issue

Emily Larlham is a canine behaviorist and trainer (also lecturer and author) and has over 65,000 subscribers to her YouTube Channel called Kikopup. She has 300 videos on virtually every training scenario.

Here is a video she did on the subject of getting a dog to like it's ex-pen:

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Deacon Blues thanks for the link! I've never heard of Emily; this looks like a great resource!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:26 PM
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Ignore ignore ignore! He will eventually realise that its not so bad and that you are comming back. When you do come back into the room (when hes not crying) dont make a fuss of him or run to let him out, take a minute. Hes still so young so this is normal, he should grow out of it soon and you will be surprised!

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone's great advice, Fitz has made a MAJOR improvement in his pen behavior over the last week. In fact, right now he's playing happily in his pen while the humans are doing our own thing in an adjacent room. Sometimes he'll cry a bit in the very beginning, but he settles down very quickly. I'm so happy he's more comfortable now-- I can make dinner or take a shower without a screaming puppy!
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