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Haha! I wish I could say Misha was there. We still use it occasionally.
Dinner was certainly much less relaxing without it! We might put it up some days and just slowly phase it out. But ohhh how I love having the space back. Our main living area has been very Peggy-centric for the past year.
 

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Congratulations🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉!!!!! I love when they get to the freedom stage.
 

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Yay!!!!! Congratulations!!!! 😊 Our house is quite small so we were thrilled to put away the big crate that was part of our living room decor. We took it down about a month ago. My living room felt so much bigger!
 

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LOL yes it nice when you can do that. Our big crate is gone too for some time now. Our terrier however love her pen. I have a small crate in it, its one of those white plastic type, rectangular ones and sits under my kitchen counter. She insisted on always sleeping there at night and after her 1st potty in the morning. She has always been fed there and though she now sleeps in the bedroom with my daughter on a big pillow she still wants her breakfast in there. I was hopeful it would be gone but with the new pup, when she finishes breakfast he goes in during the day, so I guess it will be awhile.
 

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Oh that face! Poodles are a funny mix of desperately wanting fun adventures but also being adverse to change.

We have had a family health emergency this week and my husband has been gone for a few days taking care of a relative. He has never been gone from home before in her short life and she thinks bedtime is just WEIRD now. While I read in bed (before lights out and she's put in her crate) she keeps coming over and giving me this look: "Where did you put him? I don't like this. Well, I like having all this room on this side of the bed to stretch out like this- see? In fact, I think I should sleep right here so his spot is warm when he gets back. Say yes. Say yes. I said say yes. Mom? What doin', Mom? Let me sniff the page you are reading. Let me sniff inside your mouth. What? Why is that not okay?!"
 

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How do you know when your dog is safe to freely roam the house unsupervised..? I've been reading Ian Dunbar's puppy book, and I absolutely see how the playpen is a better choice than letting your puppy roam the house and teeth on all the furniture, but I'm wondering when you know that you don't need the pen anymore..?
 

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Oh that face! Poodles are a funny mix of desperately wanting fun adventures but also being adverse to change.

We have had a family health emergency this week and my husband has been gone for a few days taking care of a relative. He has never been gone from home before in her short life and she thinks bedtime is just WEIRD now. While I read in bed (before lights out and she's put in her crate) she keeps coming over and giving me this look: "Where did you put him? I don't like this. Well, I like having all this room on this side of the bed to stretch out like this- see? In fact, I think I should sleep right here so his spot is warm when he gets back. Say yes. Say yes. I said say yes. Mom? What doin', Mom? Let me sniff the page you are reading. Let me sniff inside your mouth. What? Why is that not okay?!"
This just made me lol, as I'm currently bedridden with an injury and Peggy has been very concerned and trying to get her nose in my mouth all morning. Whyyyyyy poodle, why??

Sending my best wishes for your family.
 

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How do you know when your dog is safe to freely roam the house unsupervised..? I've been reading Ian Dunbar's puppy book, and I absolutely see how the playpen is a better choice than letting your puppy roam the house and teeth on all the furniture, but I'm wondering when you know that you don't need the pen anymore..?
Here's my long, super vague answer to this important question: I approach it in a flexible way. First I used potty training as a guide. Once she'd gone a few weeks without an accident, I became more comfortable leaving her out of the pen and tethering her out of sight for a few minutes at a time, as I did laundry, etc. Eventually she graduated to just babygates. No problems for a few weeks? Then she got full access to all but the bedrooms. Then we started leaving the bedroom doors open.

We had no issue for a while, but she went through an intense chewing phase shortly before her first birthday. Doors were closed again. Babygate went back up. After a week of no chewing opportunities, we tentatively opened the house back up and she was fine. But we are still very mindful of puppy-proofing.

I regularly tell my husband (this is his first puppy): Peggy WILL get something of yours at some point. It's up to you what that is.

Through this whole process, we made slowly but progressively less frequent use of the x-pen, always treating it as a positive space (not for punishment) so we could rely on it for much-needed breaks from watching her. Most notably, it's how we taught her to settle independently. It's also where we gave her ample opportunities to chew and shred, so she was less inclined to seek them out elsewhere. And it provided routine: Regardless of how the rest of the day was structured, she went in every evening for her dinner, and was expected to stay in there quietly while we ate ours. Then outside playtime.

We took down the x-pen fully knowing that it might have to go back up. But rewarding Peggy with access is very motivating for her. (That's a technique I learned from Zak George.) So it's a bit of a dance—preventing mistakes/bad habits but also giving her a chance to show us she can be trusted.
 

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Aw, she's doing great:

469342


As I'd hoped, she's still treating the old x-pen location as hers. In fact, she's snoozing there even more frequently. She probably likes that there's no chance a gate will close behind her.
 

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Oh that face! Poodles are a funny mix of desperately wanting fun adventures but also being adverse to change.

We have had a family health emergency this week and my husband has been gone for a few days taking care of a relative. He has never been gone from home before in her short life and she thinks bedtime is just WEIRD now. While I read in bed (before lights out and she's put in her crate) she keeps coming over and giving me this look: "Where did you put him? I don't like this. Well, I like having all this room on this side of the bed to stretch out like this- see? In fact, I think I should sleep right here so his spot is warm when he gets back. Say yes. Say yes. I said say yes. Mom? What doin', Mom? Let me sniff the page you are reading. Let me sniff inside your mouth. What? Why is that not okay?!"
Thanks for the laugh. I can actually see my Piper doing this. Often. LOL
 
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