"The Puppy Pen"
There was no choice with my first winter pup. What a difference the “puppy pen” has made in comparison to beginning with crate training and airing in the fenced in area.
The first obvious point is "Gigi" and her litter mates were already in a “pen” and on bedding. The similarity renders the transition to an owner’s home more seamless.
A crate is not necessary....at first. It can be introduced more gradually and does not become the initial focal point……you do. During this phase, “engagement” is the focus. The process is simple and positive. It is best defined with one word…..”us”.
The puppy pen provides a more seamless method of moving on to the airing yard. In addition, food, water, medications and play are easier to integrate. Regular intervals of working together are simply more personal. There is no rush and it is fun. It is advantageous to be retired.
The most obvious value of this approach is the ease of dealing with severe weather (winter).
In conclusion, a puppy pen provides a smoother transition to the final crate and house broke agenda. Everyone wins.
Supporting Perspective - January 2019
This afternoon, the driveway needed snow removal.....7" with drifting and 14°F. The "persuaders" start tomorrow.......0°F & wind chill -25°F, Wednesday -11°F & wind chill -43°F. At 10 pm, Gigi had 30 minutes of "lap time".....while I watched the late news...then we went out to the pool deck and walked around it a dozen times. This was the first time she was wearing a short Hillmann lead (4 feet). My walking kept her focused on moving and the lead proved to be a "nothing burger" as she dragged it behind her......"what a cutie" and "spunky", too. This intro was almost too easy. She simply just walked with me....stopped when I did and was engaged.
Jan 29 11 am Gigi did what will become a regular activity...."The Deck Walk".......fun, exercise
developing "engagement" and wearing/dragging a "rope". She willingly dives into a dog hide (closed, dark on one end) and nothing seems to phase her. It is all fun. When finished, she sat like a little statue and allowed me stroke/pet her. By lifting the "rope collar", tiny Hillmann re-enforcing tugs with a quiet, soft, verbal "sit' command were introduced. This was not planned. It simply just happened. She was calm and engaged (with good eye contact) and I was totally impressed (more like amazed). We then walked off some and then paused to repeat. She liked it....she really liked it!! Me, too! ("easy peasy"). All that was followed by a good drink of cold water, a brief interlude of "snuggles" on my lap and then her 11 am puppy pen "nap time"........("Gigi" is eight weeks old)
note: The large, isolated puppy pen with cedar bedding and vinyl flooring is invaluable.
note: At 12 noon, it is 4°F with a wind chill of -25F° weather forecast - terrible
at 10 pm, it is -13°F wind chill -38°F
Jan 30 Wednesday.....8 am "temps" = -25°F wind chill -49°F & the high will be -11°F
Jan 31 Thursday.....forecast am lows -31°F wind chill -55°F.......pm high -4°F and snow
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