Puppy Training – The Puppy Play Den!

Hey there, today we’ll be expanding an idea
we’ve mentioned several times, the Puppy Play Den. We’ll show you how to build it, why we do
it, and how to put it to good use. Coming up. Ian here with Simpawtico Dog training and
before we get into the puppy Play Den please make sure you’re subscribed so you never miss
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and don’t forget to check that YouTube description for notes, links, and resources for the stuff
we talked about. Now a puppy Play Den solves a big conundrum
when raising a puppy. For starters we know that puppies should not
have free-range of the house, especially while you’re gone. We need to prevent potty and chewing mistakes. Many puppy experts recommend toy-feeding your
puppy in their confinement space to habituate them to it, to teach them to enjoy being alone,
and to help them become chew toy trained. This greatly reduces the likelihood that a
dog will chew on inappropriate items or develop distress or anxiety later on. But: we also know that a puppy usually needs
to go potty soon after they eat. Plus, most of us working stiffs will have
to leave the puppy for a few hours at some point. So how do we reconcile long-term confinement,
toy-feeding, AND potty training? All of these loose ends are resolved with
a Puppy Play Den. The puppy Play Den was first suggested by
world famous trainer, behaviorist, and vet, Dr. Ian Dunbar in his landmark book, “Before
and After You Get Your Puppy.” The plan was later picked up by Open Paw,
which created the textbook for planning and care of shelter animals. The Purpose of a Long-term Confinement area
as far as puppies are concerned is two-fold: One, is prevention. Errors increase the likelihood of more errors,
so we confine the puppy to an area that precludes chewing and potty mistakes around the house
when we cannot superivse them. Two, is proaction. We want to maximize the likelihood that the
puppy will learn to use the provided toilet, to chew only chewtoys, and to settle down
calmly without barking. Prevention and proaction are your best friends. Most behavior problems are predictable and
therefore preventable. Don’t wait for your puppy to make mistakes. You’ll just be running after the puppy doing
damage control and you’ll always be playing catch-up. It’s much better to preemptively set the stage
and short circuit problems before they appear. The basic components of the Play Den are:
A Waterproof floor. A crate or comfortable bed
Hollow, stuffed chew toys water
And a doggy Toilet, not pads, in the farthest corner from the bed (we’ll go into detail
with the toilet in a second) An Optional add-on is an X-Pen that you can
use to surround the individual pieces if the room is too large, or cannot be safely puppy-proofed. Let’s drill down on the individual components. STEP ONE: LOCATION Figure out where you’re going to set up your
puppy’s Play Den. Ideally this could ba a kitchen, bathroom,
utility room, or section of a room sectioned off by an exercise pen. Ideally you want this close to the outside
door so you can get them outside quickly when it’s time to take them out of their Play Den. It’s good to establish going outside to potty
as part of the routine any time the puppy is going to spend time with you. TWO: BEDDING
Give your puppy a crate or a bed. Plastic Crates are the preferred tool here. You can take the door off. You can even take the top off for an easy
to clean bed with high sides. A typical dog bed may encourage chewing on
the wrong thing. In a pinch, a towel can take the place of
more easily chewable bedding. THREE: STUFFED CHEW TOYS:
We’ve recommended before, as do many puppy experts out there, that toy-feeding your puppy
in their confinement space is hugely beneficial for teaching them to enjoy being alone, and
to help them become chew toy trained. This greatly reduces the likelihood that a
dog will chew on inappropriate items or develop distress or anxiety about being alone later
on. Toy-feeding and work-to-eat toys are the fastest
and best methods. These include Kongs, Buster Cubes, Squirrel
Dudes, Barnacles, or Atomic Balls. Confinement prompts your puppy to focus on
their stuffed chewtoys, leaving little time to worry, or bark. We’ve talked about how to deploy these toys
before in our Kong video, but remember any brand or configuration will work mostly the
same. No matter what, though, it’s important that
these are the only sources of food or chewables available. Do not use a food bowl. FOUR: a bowl of fresh water. Pretty self-explanatory. FIVE: YOUR DOGGY TOILET
Listen: ditch the puppy pads. Puppy pads do very little to help potty train
your puppy. They just prolong the process and potentially
create bad habits. Instead we recommend a home-made toilet. Understand that puppies form three soiling
preferences: Olfactory, Substrate and Spatial. If they smell poop or pee, even someone else’s,
it’s a toilet to them. Smell triggers potty behavior. Dogs form a preference for the surface they
like to go on. For a puppy, this is your opportunity to teach
them what you want them to go on. If you don’t pay attention to this, they’ll
form a preference that may not be what you wanted, such as your hard wood floors or your
area rugs. They also will also come to prefer going in
certain places according to landmarks. This component won’t be in place until you
take them outside, but getting the Olfactory and Substrate dialed in will absolutely streamline
the outdoor process. This is why I hate puppy pads. Based on these three preferences pads just
teach your puppy to prefer pads which will hinder your work later on. And if you remove the pads, they’ll find something
else in the house to go on that feels similar to them like bathmats, rugs, or even in the
spot where the pads used to be according to a spatial preference they formed if the pads
were used too long. On a side note, though, pads might be a good
solution for people that cannot or do not want to outdoor train their dogs. Disabled dog owners, or people that live in
high-rise apartments might actually want to pad train their dog. Just be aware of the ramifications and go
into it intelligently. Otherwise, making the toilet is a snap. You can just get a cat litter pan, baking
pan, or plastic gardening tray, and line it with whatever substrate you intend to have
your dog go on. If you have grass outside, use sod; if you
have gravel outside, use some of that in the toilet; and if you have only pavement outside,
use some concrete pavers in the toilet. This type of toilet works super. Whenever your puppy is with you, you’ll be
taking the puppy outside. But on those occassions when they need to
spend time in confinement the toilet will keep the potty training on track and aligned
with your household needs. Try to have short play and training sessions hourly. If and when you cannot pay full attention
to your puppy, this is the time to put your puppy in their Play Den with proper chew toys
and their self-training toilet. This is just like putting a baby in a playpen
or crib when you can’t supervise them! Keep in mind that any potty or chewing mistakes
your puppy makes are potential setbacks that anticipate more to come. If an inexperienced puppy is allowed unsupervised
free run of your home, potty and chewing mistakes are guaranteed. And your puppy could become hyperactive and
anxious. As we said, problems are predictable and preventable,
so steer that ship where you want it now, instead of just being at the whim of fate. Of course, once your puppy has mastered their
household manners and enjoys time spent by themselves, they can potentially enjoy full
run of your house and yard any time you want. All right puppy owners, good luck constructing
and using your puppy Play Den. If you have some creative builds or alternate
solutions, we’d love to hear about them in those YouTube comments. Don’t forget to thumbs up this video if you
found it helpful and as always, keep learning, keep practicing, and we’ll see you next time. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Puppy Training – The Puppy Play Den!

    My puppies soil preference is wood shavings and gravel.
    What makes me worry about leaving them in a play den, is they'll probably eat their feces while I'm not around ?

  2. We just got a puppy and have been watching and implementing your strategies! Our puppy is already learning! thank you!

  3. Do you recommend always taking them outside to toilet, or should you occasionally take them to the indoor toilet area so they learn that it is the correct indoor toilet location for when you are outside the home?

  4. I'm trying to figure out the best thing to do for my pup that I'll be getting soon. While I would want to take her outside, I live in an apartment building in a major city with no backyard or patio area. I would be possibly exposing her to diseases if I took her to go toilet on the sidewalk where lots and lots of dogs have been before she has all her vaccinations. So could I train her first inside on some concrete pavers and then move her to toileting outside when she's old enough and vaccinated?

  5. I’m confused. When do I use the play den and when do I use the crate? I’m reading Dr Dunbar’s book and it seems like at first you keep the puppy in the crate all the time except when you take them outside to potty. Is that right? It seems cruel to keep a puppy continually in a crate. When do you play?

  6. We live in indoor apartments and outside compound of apartment is filled with stray dogs . Can u elaborate on indoor potty training? And videos on creative indoor games to play with our pups

  7. My pup is fully trained..potty and is able to do tricks but when I bath him and groom him he Bites me what can I do

  8. When you say to line the tray with “grass” is the fake grass okay (the plastic stuff) or is that too different from real grass?
    Love your videos

  9. I am so grateful this video crossed my path before we brought our Olde English Bulldog puppy. Of all your videos this is the one that has served me the most so far. Our girl had an unfortunate bought of diarrhea/stomach bug for over a week and if we did not have this set up I would have lost my mind since she was pooping in her crate because she was going so often and could not hold it.

    We used an exercise pen and a 36” wire crate with divider and a cover on it and put it in the living room where she can still feel she’s hanging out with us while in there. She really enjoys spending time in there with her Kong so it’s a great place to get her to settle down when she gets too bite driven and excited. For a waterproof floor I used a large plastic sheet that was designed to put under rolling office chair and that works perfectly for the space and messes clean up easily. Thanks again for all the advice your channel offers especially the puppy videos

  10. Ian your videos are the best but I feel so inadequate right now my new fur baby is 9 weeks old and a Pom. I live in Florida my grass freshly cut is deeper than she is tall I have gravel in the back but I ‘m afraid it might be to hot, full sun all day . I I do have an indoor atrium. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  11. I love the idea of putting sod in a litter box! I do have a question though… how often would I need to change out the sod?

  12. I love the idea of putting sod in a litter box! I do have a question though… how often would I need to change out the sod?

  13. Thank you very much for your valuable explanations.
    May I ask you a question?
    We have an almost 5 months old Basset Hound. He is with us since he was 2 and a half months old.
    We brought him to an artificial grass potty box in our backyard every 2 hours until 3 and a half months old. And he always did his business, when we asked him for it, perfect!
    Now, we have installed a doggy door, and since he is 3 and a half months, we bring him outside after sleep, night and naps, after eat, and we say “pee” and perfect, in the box, we praised him with food and cuddles. But when he does his business alone in the backyard, he doesn’t use the pee box… never… we have an 100m2 backyard.
    What can we do to teach him to do his business always in the pee box?
    Thank you very much! Best regards!

  14. Quick question. I thought your video about crates/kennels that you said dogs should not be in exercise pens without supervision. Is there a special kind that is safe to use for the puppy play den? Thank you so much for these great videos! They are really helping me prepare to my new puppy coming in August!

  15. My puppy goes straight to the toilet to curl up and sleep. Cant keep her out of there. How to I deal with this?

  16. Is this an alternative to crate training or should it be used together?
    Personally this may suit me better as there are some days during the week that I will not be home for about 8 hours as I work. Is a play den better than a crate for the first few nights or should a dog be crated?

  17. I love you videos! So much great information. Question: When choosing a location in the house for a puppy play den do you think its good to have it in a room where you spend a lot of time, like the living room? Or better to put it away from you like in the laundry room? I need to make 2 because I will be brining my puppy to work, so the one at work will be next to me in my office.

  18. In a few weeks we are getting our frenchie (she will be 12weeks by then) and we are looking for a play den for her for the time we will be at work.
    Your video on this topic is great but one info i can't find anywhere is how big it should be.
    Some say it should be quite small and some say pretty big.
    Is there a size you could recommend?
    Our current options are 120x80cm, 160x80cm or 125cm in diameter

  19. new to your channel. I adore it! very informative, helpful, and full of new concepts for me. you are training me well.

  20. As a new puppy owner, I want to praise Sympawtico’s advice. I had difficulty crate training my pup as she whined for a long time on the first night. It was also difficult to leave her alone the following day as the crate made her antsy. I didn’t want to make the crate a negative experience so I invested in an exercise pen and a bunch of Kong toys. I work from home but cannot supervise my puppy all the time. The play den really does create an environment where my puppy learns to be alone in confidence. I left my puppy this evening to go to dinner, came home and she was just hanging out.
    No whining, nothing destroyed. If you’re a new puppy owner I cannot extol the virtues of a puppy play pen. Spend the extra cash and get an exercise pen, it’ll do you good.

  21. I so wish that I had found this channel 8 months ago when we got our labradoodle puppy. We leave him outside and he has chewed holes in $2,000 outdoor furniture and barks all day until we come home. We are starting to chew toy train him and hopefully these work. Any tips on trying to get these things to work later on?

  22. I almost feel like crying cuz this video is so good!!! Good stuff man you are extremely enthusiatic love the vids man!

  23. Help pretty please. My pup loves his crate but when I put him in the kitchen with his crate toys loo etc he goes nuts. Should I build his confidence using the crate first then give him more room? I don't really want to keep him in his crate for more than 2 hours but he'll happily sleep in there all day if I let him. Thank you! I've been recommending your videos to everyone I speak to!

  24. We have a Boston, 14 weeks who wants to be with us when we put him in the playpen ane we are home he barks constantly, my daughter gets stressed, we cant get ANYTHING DONE!!! We need some serious help, any suggestion might save a marriage, thanks Thank you

  25. I have been using a crate with an crate fence outside and separated her bed and a puppy pad inside the crate, but now I will have a box with outside gravel for my boxer to go to the bathroom. You are so helpful!

  26. Hi there Simpawtico Dog Training,
    We are getting our first puppy in about a month and I was just wondering if the puppy play den is open during the night time (or should you crate them and then let them out a few times though the night)?
    Also, We have our own business so we can luckily bring our puppy to work with us 😀 . Should I include the toilet in the play pen during the work day? I will be able to take her out every hour or so (but still need to be focused on my work in the mean time). I just want to prevent any accidents before they happen to make this as easy for our pup as possible (and we have carpet in the office lol).
    Thanks for your awesome videos!! I have been binge watching all of them 😛

  27. My yorkie will be 1yr old this month. I am trying to have him do his business in a litter box. But he keeps going all over except the box. Is there a certain litter that I should put in the box so he would be attracted to some Type of oder. Please help. He does very well running around the house without any accidents. But during the night it seems like he can't wait and he wakes me Up at 4 am. Some nights he has already Gong potty when I wake up.

  28. We don't have a lot of space, so we have a sort of "ex-pen" in my room. I work mostly from home, as do my parents. The problem is, whenever I leave the room, no matter what she is doing, my puppy will cry and whine non-stop. So she doesn't really like her play pen and will only go in willingly if I am there. I'm in and out of the room a lot, so how do I make her feel more calm and able to settle herself without me being kicked out of my room?

  29. Puppy play pens typically range around $50 or more, but if your dog is small enough… You can also use those modular wire grid storage shelves! They cost about $20 and you can create any shape to fit your space. But make sure to secure them with wire ties instead of the small plastic connectors they come with because of chewing/choking hazards!

  30. Thank you so much for making this video. It is nice to finally find advice that makes sense to me.
    QQ: How would you adjust this for 2 dogs?

  31. Thanks for posting these great videos! My husband and I have learned so much from you! Question about the play den – what can you do if your puppy learns to escape?

  32. Question – the DIY litter box – it's easy to make, but it doesn't look easy to clean… the puppy will pee and poop in it so I have to throw the whole thing away and make a new one again because I don't want a smelly apartment. I would have to do this several times a day. For us people living in apartments, I don't think that this is the best option, especially if the puppy decides it's fun to dig in there lol So, that leaves us with the pee pee pads. How would you suggest we use the pee pee pads correctly? I know you said they were not the best option, but they are the only option for some of us, so all we can do is use them smartly as you put it. Can you elaborate on the "smartly" bit please? 🙂

  33. Thanks Ian for your great work training us to be good canine guardians. I was reluctant to share what I do with family and friends because I thought it would raise a lot of criticism. I live on the 3rd floor and there is no elevator. I am almost 60 years old and I work. I built a puppy play den using a portable dog pen, which I already had (but may need to get the 48 inch high version as he grows). I have a crate on one end, a 'run' with chew toys and at the other end I use my shower as his toilet. I put newspaper on the floor over the drain in my shower and it is easy to keep clean, this works for me now and I hope in the future as well. I have no idea how this will affect him as an older dog but he seems to understand the game plan already now. My puppy is 9 weeks old and today we celebrated our one week anniversary, he seems to be completely toilet trained to either use his toilet or the outdoors, ~toileting has been a breeze! I do spend quality time with him in his den ~playing ball… with him, like I do outside in the small kennel that we 'built' together ('we' added a crate, toys, toilet area, chair for me…), he loves going there first thing in the morning before we go on a walk, this is where he tends to poo, ~I like avoiding having him do it in neighbors yards, even though I will always clean it up. When we return from our walk he loves taking his morning nap there. I have had the week off of work to establish routines and feel confident he will be ok when I am at work. I am fortunate to work mostly just 6 hour days and be able to come home midday to interact. In addition to a morning walk he will get another good walk after work and then one before his bedtime. His socialization is met because he probably gets to meet about two dogs a day, sometimes playing off leash with them, and he also meets and interacts with about 4 people a day. We signed up for puppy kindergarten once a week and it was interesting to see him with 5 other dogs, he was the youngest and was mostly appropriate, except when he wasn't, and then another puppy would let him know ;>) I am trying to find a place he can spend time with a few other dogs for 1/2 the day when I am gone but there are a lot of reasons this is not easy (puppies take a lot of time and mindfulness, their vaccines are limited putting them at risk…) in the mean time I really like his den because he seems very content there. This puppy life reminds me of when I used to train for a triathlon except now with this 'sport' I have a built in companion! I believe one day it will be easier and I will look back on these puppy days with great fondness.

  34. Your videos are very helpful, I’m a first time puppy owner and I’m picking her up in just under three weeks. You’re advise is great so thank you!

  35. Thanks a lot for the great videos you make ! I still have a question because we have a puppy for a week now (she is 11 weeks old) and we can't take her outside since she is not fully vaccinated (we live in an apartment). We try to make her pee and poo in her playpen toilet (we use gravel) when we can supervise her and we praise her and give her treats when she does it in the toilet. However she still pees and poos a lot in other spots in her playpen (not her bed thankfully, only on the floor). Is patience the only solution ? Are there any other tips to make her go in her toilet ? (We leave her pee and some of her poo to attract her there). Would putting her blankets everywhere in the pen except the toilet make her go there ? But if she pees/poos on the blankets then it's a setback and she may continue on cushions and carpets…I would be very grateful if you had any other advice to share. Thank you !

  36. How do you get the puppy to use the indoor toilet? So far my puppy just plays in it then pees on the floor. Also, isn't this sending conflicting messages to the puppy?

  37. Can you still do traditional crate training along with this? You wouldn’t leave the house with them in the play den right? Just while your home but preoccupied? Thanks!!!

  38. How long do you feed through chew toys before graduating to a food bowl? I'm getting a puppy that is currently on kibble, but would like to transition him to raw+ dehydrated. Not sure how to do raw in a chew toy. Would it be ok to freeze that in a toy? What about cooked chicken + Honest Kitchen frozen in the toy for a while?

  39. How do you stop your puppy crying, whining, and barking in the playpen at night and in the daytime?? And also my puppy like to chew on the edges of her crate.. How do I fix this?

  40. I’m bringing home a new puppy in a week and a half, and will have to leave for work during the day. Currently she is trained to go on wood shavings, so that was my plan for a puppy toilet. I could do grass, but living in Maine we are currently covered in snow and there’s no grass to be seen. Will this cause trouble for potty training? What should I use for the indoor toilet?

  41. My girlfriend and I just adopted a 10 week old blue heeler mix and have been repeatedly binge watching all of your videos. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. We live in a 3rd floor apartment with a roof deck where we have a grass pad. Our pup is great with letting us know he has to go out to potty but only pees on the grass pad. When he has to poo, he'll go sniff the grass pad but refuses to poo on it. He has no problem going on our outdoor rug and wooden deck. I cannot figure out why he won't drop two's on the grass pad.

  42. My only worry is when I work for long hours. I'd take them out before and after I come home from work but I dont want to spend so much money to have someone come over every day to check on them?

    I live alone. Havent gotten the puppers yet but thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

  43. Great information! We picked up our pup from the breeder and her practice was to line the puppy pen/den with their water/ food bowls and potty pads. We would like to crate train but want to ensure we are not providing confusing signals to the pup. We set a bed in the puppy den in our condo and potty pads. We let her out and she uses the potty pads or we walk her outside to our back deck where there are potty pads and grass sod. Unfortunately, all she does is eat the grass so we cannot use it in the puppy den. Is there a better method when we are at work? We want to start her off right. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

  44. We got an 8 week old puppy five days ago, and she is doing fairly well thanks to your online training class. We made a part of our living room her pen using a baby gate attached to the walls. We homeschool and have six kids so someone is home almost all the time. She isn't really ever "alone". She spends time in her pen by herself but it's four feet from where the people are generally. Do I need to make a spot in another part of the house for her to spend some time in so she gets used to some actual alone time? I don't want to set us up for trouble later when everyone does go out.

  45. If you’ve been training your puppy to go outside & then leave it with a homemade toilet, like you suggested, with the same material as what’s in the garden, will they just know to use that or will you have to teach them to use that alongside outside potty training?

  46. Can I use a fake grass potty for when I first get my puppy and cannot be with her at night and during the day one everyone goes back to work and school

  47. I'm moving into my first home soon and I am considering getting a Boston Terrier. The problem is that I work full time and I'm single. I will be living outside of the city and won't have anyone to check in on my dog while I am gone. I typically work 4x10hr shifts a week with occasional overtime and I am off sat-mon. So I'm basically home half the week and the other half I leave at 4am and get home around 5pm. I don't think I'll have the option to board or have someone check in on him while I'm at work. I also won't be able to stop in on my lunch. My concern is that my desire to have a dog doesn't outweigh the dog's needs. I'm worried that being gone so much for will cause issues for the dog and I don't want to abuse him by being selfish about wanting a dog. Do you think the puppy play pen is an option in my situation; or will I be creating problems with training and more importantly the well being of the dog down the road? It's been a long time since I've owned a dog and I won't get one if my current living situation is unhealthy for him. Would two puppies help the situation as far as loneliness is concerned?

  48. Great info as always but… This video did not address two important questions. How often to replace the sod? And is fake sod ok or do you want real sod? How can you get real sod in the winter? Any alternative suggestions?

  49. i have an exercise pen for my puppy chihuahua who is 2 months old. im using potty pads for him in his pen because we have a major flea problem at our complex ive also put his food dish in there with his water bowl. bed and blanks/ toys all opposite corners. Are the potty pads a problem for eventually getting him to go potty outdoors? I will remove the food dish from his puppy palace/apartment thanks for that info.

  50. If you have a puppy play pen with a litter box, do you still need to take your puppy outside? If so, how often? I wouldn't want to confuse her that's all.

  51. I am adopting a new puppy this month. I have been watching your videos and I admire you, so much! I have to work, unfortunately, and am interested in building or buying a puppy play den. May I ask your opinion on the puppy apartment? Also, do you have specific videos or books you recommend for new puppies? I appreciate any feedback.

  52. Getting a mini golden doodle in a month. Is a 28w 42l 30h big enough for a play den? Do you have any experience with the blyss pets kleen indoor potty? I appreciate your advise and find your videos extremely helpful thank you!

  53. Do you have any suggestions in transitioning from pee pads to grass pad? We have bot hand he has gone on the grass pad once. He does however sometimes play in it and will want to eat the grass or bite the box even when supervised so I can't leave that in his play pen.

  54. Can you do a video that transitions the puppy out of their puppy apartment? How to tell if they are ready? And when to remove the indoor bathroom? Also how to keep up with outdoor potty training with heavy snow fall! (I live in Canada and we have snow up to our knees right now!) I was thinking if literally digging out a potty spot, but what if they refuse to go because it so cold?

  55. Your videos are amazing! I’m going to be a newly puppy owner of a golden retriever soon. However, I like in a high rise with a balcony area. Two questions, 1. Should I use the balcony area as a relax plus bathroom area once the puppy gets older, if so what age? 2. The puppy den is awesome, but how about at night? Do I keep the puppy in the crate or live her in the den. Sorry one more question, should I have the crate in my bedroom also to help relieve the puppy’s stress being alone or away from me? Thank you hope you gets these questions!

  56. Hello,
    I have a question about using sod in the DIY doggy potty. How do you clean up after the puppy urinates? Does the sod need to be replaced daily?

  57. For the indoor potty can I use artificial grass? I live in a high rise apartment and I’m thinking About buying artificial grass for the patio outside for the main toilet and using another artificial grass for the puppy play pen. Is this a bad idea?

  58. Great video!! does this mean if you've got this set up that you don't have to crate your puppy when going to work?? (2-3 hours at a time for me)

  59. Aye bro love the work that you didn’t and appreciate the video! Definitely had to get you a shoutout and subscribe!

  60. I am getting a new puppy…this puppy will come from the breeder already trained to a doggy door. Is it ok to set the play den up encompassing the doggy door in lieu of the D.I.Y toilet?

  61. So after setting up my 10 week old puppy's crate and play yard, it took him exactly two hours to figure out how to climb over it.

  62. At how many weeks old can a puppy start understanding potty training? My puppy is 8 weeks old, and she's somewhat getting it. I'm going to start ditching the potty training pads and use something else. I live in an apartment with no backyard, so I have to make a confinement area in the kitchen. The play pens are too big for my kitchen, I ordered free standing wooden gates to build a confinement area. Does anybody have any suggestions on a brand or size for play pen confinement areas for small apartment homes.? I have an 8 week old miniature schnauzer. Thank you!

  63. Ian! Love your videos. I've created a puppy play den for night time, puppy alone time, and when we have to leave the house. Our puppy is 10 weeks old and he always goes in his puppy toilet, but won't go outside on our porch (since we can't walk him outside yet). Instead, he'll eliminate as soon as we come back inside on our rug. How can we teach him how to go outside when we take him? Should we go outside or take him to his puppy toilet instead until we're able to walk him outside?

  64. I have a question. We will have 2 puppies same age, 16 weeks. One English Bulldog and one Black Lab. Can we have them both in the den together or do they need there own dens? Great videos, keep them coming. Thankz.

  65. My puppy den isn't working for me and I'd like to fix that. He's just 7 weeks old. He won't use the "toilet" in the den. I took him outside and he peed and pooped. Yay! Then I brought him inside and put him in his den. Within 3 minutes he peed right next to his toys. I was thinking he wouldn't pee in the exact spot where he plays, particularly when he had just finished going less than 5 minutes earlier. I love the videos here. They're in the training style I aspire to with my puppy. They're engaging and easy to follow. It's just not always as easy as it looks and I suppose there are necessary tweaks.

  66. thank you SO MUCH!!! best dog training videos ive found. youre straight to the point with great info. Love it.

  67. We just got our first puppy about three weeks ago, and we've had his potty area be a pen floored completely with pads. He's about thirteen weeks old now. He's pretty well potty trained so far–at least in regards to going in his area–but this seems like a great option. Do you think we could safely switch to this method, and are there any setbacks we'd maybe need to expect? Thanks so much! Your videos have been super helpful!

  68. I've been binging your videos this past week and I've gotta say, I've learned more about babies and children on your channel than years of watching mommy videos ?? well of course about dogs too, which I'm grateful for because we're planning to get a dog this summer ?

  69. Have you ever heard of a puppy that won’t pee and poop in the same place? I live in a high rise apt. so I set up a fake grass pad on the balcony where my 8 week old puppy pees pretty much on cue. But he won’t poo there. He’s done it on my hardwood floor, living room carpet, and outdoors on pretty much any surface, but he will not poop on his grass pad on the balcony. Stumped and can’t find any explanation online.

  70. Hi!
    I am bringing home an 8 week old puppy and I have two cats. I my husband and I both work, and we cannot come home during the day to let out the pup. The doggy den will be our best option!
    We have a spare bedroom to create a den. How big is too big of a room?

  71. I.. a grown man.. was giggling when you were listing off the toys and said, "Squirrel Dudes" and "Atomic Balls"… great video as always. Looking at getting a puppy soon and I appreciate your logical approach to each of the topics!

  72. This video is great, found it just in time. We got a 3-month-old Labrador who is not a fan of her kennel. We are attempting to train her to use it but she just is not a fan. She eventually tires of her kennel and whines/barks continuously. Which we are training her out of but it has been a challenge since we both work. We currently do our best to come home throughout the work day to ensure she has the right amount of potty breaks and some company. But we were hoping for a longer term solution, at least till she realizes her kennel is a safe and comfortable place. I am hoping this puppy play den will be exactly what we need till that happens. Thank you again for this video, recommendations are always welcome.

  73. What are the thoughts on settling a puppy at night and do you recommend a certain night routine for a new puppy?

  74. Any recommendations on what to put underneath the grass to clean up/absorb pee? Also, if using a playpen on a hardwood floor, any ideas on what to use to keep it from sliding and scratching floors? Thank you!

  75. You mentioned to only feed with chew toys and not use bowls. Is that only meant for the playing den or is it generally better to feed with chew toys only in the first few months?

  76. Love these videos. I’m getting a rescue puppy this weekend! You really give good realistic advice. I’ll be referencing these videos for many months to come as I’m training Rocco. Thank you!

  77. What do you do when the puppy just wants out and won't eat her kong, and just keeps barking and barking and chewing on the puppy den's gate? Do you leave her, or does that contribute to barking and fear of isolation when she's older? What do you do if the puppy won't pee on the tray, but keeps going on the floor instead?

  78. We made a DIY toilet for our puppy with grass but he's decided he'd rather lie in it and eat the grass than use it as a potty (because he also likes to do this outside in our yard). Any tips for correcting this behaviour?

  79. If you always take your dog out when you are with them, how are they supposed to know that they have to use the toilet when they are alone?

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