This set up is really a necessity for any new puppy parent. You won’t have it forever, just until your puppy gets
through the containment and training stages of puppyhood. This set up will help you tremendously.
This set up consists of:
1. A Piece of Linoleum from home depot or Lowes – you can find this on end caps in the store and the rolls are
usually sale items, dimensions would be something like 6x8 foot or 8x12 foot in the entire roll. This roll could be
around $22-$26 for the roll. You would cut this piece into the shape that best fits underneath and past the Ex-pen
perimeters as you see in the photo above. You could also use a piece of vinyl plastic and you can get that from a
fabric store, it comes on a roll so you would ask them for about a 6 foot long piece of it. This would be $8-$13 for this
piece. If you use the vinyl you would need the blue painters tape to use with it in the lightest adhesive.
2. A 24-26 inch long crate with a divider panel. The height of it should be around 21 inches. You will not need
anything longer than 26 inches, it would be too big for your dog as an adult if you get one bigger than what is
3. A 30 inch tall Ex-Pen (as seen in the photo above – you can place in rectangle shape or a perfect square
depending on your space in your house that you are working with.) Use of an ex pen shorter that what is
recommended might make it easier to climb out of.
4. A water bowl that screws onto the inside of the Ex-Pen. These come in stainless or a thick grey plastic type. The
stainless ones are best if they are in 2 parts, first part being the ring that holds the bowl, this ring is the part that
screws onto the ex-pen. The bowl is the 2nd part to this – if you can find one of these they are much more
convenient if you are having to change out water bowl daily.
5. Potty Pads – see potty pad document for best brand and price.
6. Crate Bed – These are 2 sizes, one size for training stage and one for once you do not need the divider panel
anymore. The small ones as you see in the photo are 17.75 X 11.75 inches. You would need to get two of these
beds so you always have a clean spare one. As puppies they will be making messes quite often so prepare ahead
and buy 2 of these small beds. Once they are through the training stage and no longer need the divider panel in the
crate, then the size you would get is 23.75 X 16.75 inches. These ones fit perfectly into the 24 inch long crate.
7. Spray bottle with bleach/water solution for clean up and paper towels and baby wipes.
WHY IS THIS SET UP SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE?
There are quite a few reasons why this set up is important. When you bring home a new puppy there is a
containment period you will go through. Actually there are two basic containment periods. In addition to containment
periods there are training reasons why you should not give your puppy the “run of the house”.
The first containment period is due to the worming process for puppies. (Please refer back to the worming
information page). For a two week period beginning with the day of your vet check, you would be keeping all potty
business in the ex-pen on potty pads. You will not be taking your puppy out into your backyard yet for backyard potty
training. For this two weeks you are basically getting your puppy used to its new home and pen, getting used to a
new routine, and getting accustomed to a whole new world inside your home. At your first vet check you will bring in
the fecal sample for a test at your vet and will have them test for everything listed on the worming information
document. Your result will be called into you the following day. If it is “all clear” then you get one final test two weeks
from the first test to be sure nothing came up in the meantime, and you continue all potty in the pen for these two
weeks. This is very important that you do not have your puppy start potty training in your yard. This is because if
you had your puppy potty in the backyard, then with the poop any germ/worms/parasites would have just been
deposited in your backyard. If you are not certain there is nothing in the poop it will make it difficult to eliminate this
problem from reinfecting your dog, if there happens to be a positive result that comes back from your vet check. Any
of the worms on the worming information document people can get, and children, so to keep it on the safe side you
will not let your puppy poop in the backyard, and you will avoid all poop accidents in the house until you get those 2
clear fecal results 2 weeks apart.
The second containment period is to be sure you get all vaccinations before you take your puppy out in public.
Puppies need 3 sets of vaccinations. They are usually given around the 8 week mark, 12 weeks, and then 16 weeks
would be your final set including the rabies vaccine. Basically if you have to take your puppy with you anywhere
before it has received all 3 sets of shots, you must carry it and not put it down on the ground. Any cement area,
sidewalk, pet store floor, grassy area could have all kinds of diseases on it including Parvo. So it is very important
that you do not take your dog for walks until they have received the complete series of vaccinations.
An additional reason to use the Ex-Pen set up rather than a kitchen or bathroom area for your puppy’s containment
area would be this: You would be needing to bleach your entire floor in these areas if your puppy had pooped when
you weren’t in the room and ran through it tracking it all over your kitchen or bathroom. Imagine if you find out a few
days later, or 2 weeks later that your puppy has worms or any type of parasite, then you have a very contaminated
room. You would not want contaminated kitchens or bathrooms since these are normally places you will be walking in
barefoot and you don’t want to be tracking these types of germs that are carried through the feces throughout your
house. I’m sure you can understand the use of the Ex-Pen set up.
For training purposes, most puppy books recommend not giving your puppy run of the house. It’s best to have
sectioned off areas for your puppy. Another good reason for the Ex-Pen set up. It makes life easier for you – when
you cannot watch that puppy every second it is out running about the house, then you can put it away in the pen, for
times when you have to cook your dinners and take your showers, or do anything where you cannot be watching the
puppy. It’s best not to just “crate” your dog for if it had to relieve itself, it would be forced to go in the crate if that is
all you had for containment when it was a puppy. The ex-pen will give it an “out” for if it has to go, it will be able to
step out of its crate and go on potty pads provided in the ex-pen area. Then your puppy will not have to get used to
having accidents in their crate, since you are trying to teach it not to potty in the crate. At young ages, when a puppy
has to go, it will go. There is a basic understanding that puppies wouldn’t normally want to soil where they sleep but if
they have no other choice, then they will..