The Puppy Playpen Set-Up is really very uncomplicated and easy and provides for all needs of the pup, and allows you to leave the pup if needed, with piece of mind.
Mentally divide the playpen into halves – the potty area that initially will take up about half of the space on one side, and the puppy bed or bedding on the other half with a food bowl with high quality dry food available 24/7, and the water bowl [tip proof] next to the bed.
To round out this set-up, offer one or two size appropriate toys – not more. Make one a largerstuffed toy to cuddle and sleep with and the other one something small enough to carry around and play with [rotate toys if needed, but don’t litter the playpen with them].
Having the litter box – either filled with cat or dog litter, newspaper or a peepad, right in front of your pup all the time when she is in ”her” room, will basically potty train the puppy all by itself.
Even when you use paper or peepads, use a litterbox or a cardboard box cut down in size, so the pup learns to recognize the boundary between living and potty area.
House breaking in a puppy playpen is a given – you simply need to step up to the plate and observe your baby closely when it is not in the playpen. Frequent trips back to the playpen to the litter box throughout the time while the pup is out with you, are required as well as giving the verbal commands to “go potty”.
We’ll cover potty training in more detail and discuss the alternative methods of filling that litter box
Use an Ex Pen or PlaYard for larger puppies…
Overall speaking – after 14 years of raising teacup and tiny puppies – there is nothing better than the puppy playpen to bring up your ittybitty baby. I love the easy access, the mobility, the flexibility that can adapt to a number of scenarios, situations and even room décor, LOL.
I even recommend and often use them for average sized toy breed puppies – there is simply nothing easier and less complicated to start them out in. For larger toy breed puppies, you might need to swap over to crate training by the time they are in the 4-7 month range [depending on size, rambunctiousness and personality] or give them an indestructible exercise pen or sturdy play yard instead, such as shown on the right, as they get older.
For our wee tiny ones – puppy play pens are generally safe and sturdy enough to even continue to use for adult teacup and tinies of any ages, although most will have no need for them once they are reliably potty trained and past 6-7 months of age.