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Discussion Starter #1
I could really uses some suggestions about the portable pen. I know I can't let puppy roam around the house unattended. Is it better to block off rooms or confine an acceptable area? What about outside? My chickens are free range and although I can pen them in their quite roomy enclosure I'm not sure how to get everyone safely introduced. Also, I have cats. They'll probable just ignore puppy but I'm sure she'll be curious. For give me I'm just starting out and some of these questions may seem like common sense to your more experienced handling. Thanks in advance for being kind. ❤
Best,
Cathie Sue
still 4 weeks away from acquiring puppy
 

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Regarding the cats and chickens, the puppy will want to play with them. Their reaction will probably be to run. Then the puppy will think "chase" is the way you play with cats and chickens. The cycle will reinforce itself with the puppy pushing harder to trigger the chase, perhaps barking, until even the bravest cat or chicken spooks and bolts.

Therefore, it's best to nip the game in the bud. Don't give him an opportunity to start chasing. Keep the puppy on leash or on the other side of a barrier until the other animals have had a chance to check him out and decide he's boring. Additionally, do your part to break his interest in other critters. When he is a baby, distract him with a toy or treat if he is looking too interested. As he gets older, you should be practicing separate exercises to focus his attention on you. Watch his body language. A casual glance at the chickens is fine. A steady look means trouble is brewing. This is when you need to redirect his attention back to you. When the ears are cocking forward, the head is raised, the body is stiff...then it's almost too late. A good well trained adult dog will probably shift his attention if you ask. An adolescent or undisciplined adult will just blow you off. Don't let it get to that stage.
 

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New puppy, so exciting! What size poodle are you getting? That can affect the age of maturity.

I’d keep a wire exercise (x) pen attached to puppy’s crate in one area, preferably one viewable from your most used room, inside your house. Your cat can get to meet the puppy that way during the younger days. As puppy gets older keep interactions with the cat short and puppy on leash so no chasing can ensue. As the puppy gets closer to adult age, they will be more likely to understand the social cues of “get away from me” from the cat. Watch out for those claws though— I’ve seen a puppy catch a cat claw to the eye because he wouldn’t stop bothering the cat and the owner had never done anything to separate them.

As for chickens, I’m not sure if that’s a possibility that it will ever be ok for them to coexist together unattended. Poodles tend to have a high prey drive so they will want to chase down the chickens, and chickens have no way to escape or defend themselves. It doesn’t necessarily mean your dog intends to harm the bird during the chase, but the birds will mentally suffer if always having to be on the lookout for the dog. I’d stick to keeping the dog on a leash if you’re not able to keep the chickens in a coop. But I can’t speak too much on that one since I grew up in the city and then suburbs.

It’s good for the puppy to spend lots of time in their exercise pen in between play sessions, even when you are home. It encourages them to get those 20 hours of sleep they truly need. They also need lots of breaks as they get overstimulated and overwhelmed easily. It’s also the best way to potty train and keep them from thinking your furniture is a chew toy! They cant sneak off and destroy with their chewing or make a habit of soiling in the house. Just make sure the x pen isn’t used only as a punishment place. It’s to be seen as a special chill out area that’s all its own. Just make sure he always has fresh water and a safe chew toy in there and ignore the inevitable whining that starts up each time he/she goes in. You’ll thank your sanity for having an x pen. I could never have a puppy without one, because who can truly keep an eye on their puppy 100% of the time? I still use mine with my nearly 9 month old, but once she was 5 months old and pretty reliably house broken I let her walk around with(edit: I meant without) me watching her 100% of the time. I still block her off to the main level/foyer and don’t let her explore the basement or top floor of the house. That level of trust won’t happen with my mini for awhile.
 

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I used x pen during the day whenever I couldn't directly watch the puppy. Crate was used for sleeping at night. I think for the cats, it depends whether they are used to dogs or not. If they are not fearful of dogs they will defend themselves and tell the puppy off which is a good lesson for the puppy to learn. I have a rabbit that was familiar with dogs before I got my puppy. I just let them meet face to face and restrained the puppy if he became too annoying. It helps to introduce when the pup is very tired so they are less inclined to play. Mine wanted to play very rough with our rabbit for months (mainly with his ears), which our rabbit was way too tolerant of. I would just end the game whenever the dog went for any rough play. He bothered the rabbit less and less as he grew up. He will still try to tease the rabbit some when he is bored, but they are pretty good together now that he is a year old. The rabbit has never shown any fear toward him, just is too tolerant of his antics. The dog has always tried to treat the rabbit like another dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
New puppy, so exciting! What size poodle are you getting? That can affect the age of maturity.

I’d keep a wire exercise (x) pen attached to puppy’s crate in one area, preferably one viewable from your most used room, inside your house. Your cat can get to meet the puppy that way during the younger days. As puppy gets older keep interactions with the cat short and puppy on leash so no chasing can ensue. As the puppy gets closer to adult age, they will be more likely to understand the social cues of “get away from me” from the cat. Watch out for those claws though— I’ve seen a puppy catch a cat claw to the eye because he wouldn’t stop bothering the cat and the owner had never done anything to separate them.

As for chickens, I’m not sure if that’s a possibility that it will ever be ok for them to coexist together unattended. Poodles tend to have a high prey drive so they will want to chase down the chickens, and chickens have no way to escape or defend themselves. It doesn’t necessarily mean your dog intends to harm the bird during the chase, but the birds will mentally suffer if always having to be on the lookout for the dog. I’d stick to keeping the dog on a leash if you’re not able to keep the chickens in a coop. But I can’t speak too much on that one since I grew up in the city and then suburbs.

It’s good for the puppy to spend lots of time in their exercise pen in between play sessions, even when you are home. It encourages them to get those 20 hours of sleep they truly need. They also need lots of breaks as they get overstimulated and overwhelmed easily. It’s also the best way to potty train and keep them from thinking your furniture is a chew toy! They cant sneak off and destroy with their chewing or make a habit of soiling in the house. Just make sure the x pen isn’t used only as a punishment place. It’s to be seen as a special chill out area that’s all its own. Just make sure he always has fresh water and a safe chew toy in there and ignore the inevitable whining that starts up each time he/she goes in. You’ll thank your sanity for having an x pen. I could never have a puppy without one, because who can truly keep an eye on their puppy 100% of the time? I still use mine with my nearly 9 month old, but once she was 5 months old and pretty reliably house broken I let her walk around with me watching her 100% of the time. I still block her off to the main level/foyer and don’t let her explore the basement or top floor of the house. That level of trust won’t happen with my mini for awhile.
She is a standard. Our goal is that she will be trained to be my PSD. Focus on me is the highest priority so that training I think will help. She'll be leashed for potty time in the yard and I'm sure there will be some focus training opportunities there. I plan to crate in my bedroom. I hope that's not a bad idea. I know we'll be making nighttime visits yard for a while. I spend most of my time in the living room so I'm thinking that's the best place for the pen. It's so portable I fell like it can be easily moved into the dining area if I'm there of the office if I'm still working at home. Does it disrupt if the pen is moved from place to place?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I used x pen during the day whenever I couldn't directly watch the puppy. Crate was used for sleeping at night. I think for the cats, it depends whether they are used to dogs or not. If they are not fearful of dogs they will defend themselves and tell the puppy off which is a good lesson for the puppy to learn. I have a rabbit that was familiar with dogs before I got my puppy. I just let them meet face to face and restrained the puppy if he became too annoying. It helps to introduce when the pup is very tired so they are less inclined to play. Mine wanted to play very rough with our rabbit for months (mainly with his ears), which our rabbit was way too tolerant of. I would just end the game whenever the dog went for any rough play. He bothered the rabbit less and less as he grew up. He will still try to tease the rabbit some when he is bored, but they are pretty good together now that he is a year old. The rabbit has never shown any fear toward him, just is too tolerant of his antics. The dog has always tried to treat the rabbit like another dog.
One each on cats I think, when they are sun lounging on the screened in back porch my neighbor's dog barks like stink. One runs the other just glares and ignores.
 

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She is a standard. Our goal is that she will be trained to be my PSD. Focus on me is the highest priority so that training I think will help. She'll be leashed for potty time in the yard and I'm sure there will be some focus training opportunities there. I plan to crate in my bedroom. I hope that's not a bad idea. I know we'll be making nighttime visits yard for a while. I spend most of my time in the living room so I'm thinking that's the best place for the pen. It's so portable I fell like it can be easily moved into the dining area if I'm there of the office if I'm still working at home. Does it disrupt if the pen is moved from place to place?
As far as the crate being kept in your room, I don’t think there’s any issues with that. I’ve seen a lot of others here suggest doing that and thought it was helpful to their dog.
I personally kept the crate downstairs in the dining room for her to sleep in at night. But I slept on the couch for the first few days after she came home so I wasn’t far away while she was settling in. After that she was just fine and quiet the full 8 hours.
As far as moving the x pen around to different locations, you certainly could and that wouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure your puppy has periods of time being alone to entertain itself with a stuffed kong/fun toys so there isn’t a sudden shell shock once you have to leave the house to work again.
 

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She is a standard. Our goal is that she will be trained to be my PSD. Focus on me is the highest priority so that training I think will help. She'll be leashed for potty time in the yard and I'm sure there will be some focus training opportunities there. I plan to crate in my bedroom. I hope that's not a bad idea. I know we'll be making nighttime visits yard for a while. I spend most of my time in the living room so I'm thinking that's the best place for the pen. It's so portable I fell like it can be easily moved into the dining area if I'm there of the office if I'm still working at home. Does it disrupt if the pen is moved from place to place?
My dogs have always slept in the bedroom. With Pogo I had the crate right next to the bed, so I could poke my fingers in when he got whiny. We can't do that this time with Galen, so instead my spouse reads out loud until he goes to sleep. 😍

As well as the x-pen I use baby gates with cat doors. Over the years I've moved them around. Originally I had them blocking the stairs. Partly that was to prevent puppy Pogo and Snarky from attempting to climb the stairs. Partly it was to keep Pogo and Snarky away from the cat litter boxes. Partly it was to give my cat a peaceful, dog free place to eat and sleep. Once Pogo and Snarky got old enough that cat poop was no longer a tasty treat to them, I reconfigured the gates simply to keep dogs out of the guest bedroom/study.
 

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I like to gate off the kitchen. This way there is more room than a crate, and I can leave water. For a puppy, I would also put his pillow or blanket in the kitchen, then when he is loose, put the pillow where I want him to lie down. I would use a crate in the bedroom when I go to bed.

Teach him "leave it" and use it when you introduce him to the chickens.
 

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By starting puppy in a smaller space, you don't give her the chance to make (m)any mistakes, which makes it much easier for her to learn. This applies to potty training, learning what's appropriate to shred and chew, and also how to settle. At 10 months, Peggy still goes in her pen, which we keep attached to her crate, where fresh water is accessible at all times.

Here she is today, snoozing in her pen with the pen door open:

465893


She's got a very busy brain, and having a clearly designated spot for settling down has been invaluable. We still will close her in there sometimes if we're watching TV and she's clearly exhausted but can't stop cycling through her toys. Like a toddler, she doesn't always know when she's tired. So in she goes and she's out like a light.

We also spent a long of time in there with her when she was a puppy. We did a lot of hand feeding of kibble, but it was also a great place for playtime, as we could easily walk out if she got too bitey. We'd count to 30 or so before going back in and resuming play.

Ideally you'll put the x-pen in a place you'd like puppy to hang out even when it's gone. We originally had Peggy's pen behind the couch, and she'll still go lay in that spot.

I didn't use an x-pen with past dogs and it's been a real breakthrough. It made almost every aspect of those early months easier and continues to pay off.

Here's the one we got:

 

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Discussion Starter #11
My dogs have always slept in the bedroom. With Pogo I had the crate right next to the bed, so I could poke my fingers in when he got whiny. We can't do that this time with Galen, so instead my spouse reads out loud until he goes to sleep. 😍

As well as the x-pen I use baby gates with cat doors. Over the years I've moved them around. Originally I had them blocking the stairs. Partly that was to prevent puppy Pogo and Snarky from attempting to climb the stairs. Partly it was to keep Pogo and Snarky away from the cat litter boxes. Partly it was to give my cat a peaceful, dog free place to eat and sleep. Once Pogo and Snarky got old enough that cat poop was no longer a tasty treat to them, I reconfigured the gates simply to keep dogs out of the guest bedroom/study.
Oh gosh I forgot all about cat poop treats. Blech!
 

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By starting puppy in a smaller space, you don't give her the chance to make (m)any mistakes, which makes it much easier for her to learn. This applies to potty training, learning what's appropriate to shred and chew, and also how to settle. At 10 months, Peggy still goes in her pen, which we keep attached to her crate, where fresh water is accessible at all times.

Here she is today, snoozing in her pen with the pen door open:

View attachment 465893

She's got a very busy brain, and having a clearly designated spot for settling down has been invaluable. We still will close her in there sometimes if we're watching TV and she's clearly exhausted but can't stop cycling through her toys. Like a toddler, she doesn't always know when she's tired. So in she goes and she's out like a light.

We also spent a long of time in there with her when she was a puppy. We did a lot of hand feeding of kibble, but it was also a great place for playtime, as we could easily walk out if she got too bitey. We'd count to 30 or so before going back in and resuming play.

Ideally you'll put the x-pen in a place you'd like puppy to hang out even when it's gone. We originally had Peggy's pen behind the couch, and she'll still go lay in that spot.

I didn't use an x-pen with past dogs and it's been a real breakthrough. It made almost every aspect of those early months easier and continues to pay off.

Here's the one we got:

What a pretty parti!
 

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Do plan some escape routes for the cats in case they want to get away. Mine hid in the lower level of the house for about a month or two before they decided it was safe to come upstairs and check out my poodle (she was almost a year old when I got her). I used a gate at the stairs that allowed the cats to squeeze through but kept the poodle out. The cats also had some high spots in the room to jump up and away. My dog was raised with cats, and she gets along with them, but I can see if a cat runs, it will set off that prey drive.

When outside it helps to keep your dog leashed at all times in the beginning until you have developed a good recall. For potty a short leash works, but a long line may be helpful to let the puppy explore away from you.

If your cats are not too large, I found the best litter box. Not only will it be impossible for your dog when it's a few months old to fit inside. but all the litter gets knocked off inside the litter box leaving a neat and tidy area. It's expensive, but I couldn't find any other litter box which was as effective. With this litter box, you're dog will never have the opportunity to eat poop.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Do plan some escape routes for the cats in case they want to get away. Mine hid in the lower level of the house for about a month or two before they decided it was safe to come upstairs and check out my poodle (she was almost a year old when I got her). I used a gate at the stairs that allowed the cats to squeeze through but kept the poodle out. The cats also had some high spots in the room to jump up and away. My dog was raised with cats, and she gets along with them, but I can see if a cat runs, it will set off that prey drive.

When outside it helps to keep your dog leashed at all times in the beginning until you have developed a good recall. For potty a short leash works, but a long line may be helpful to let the puppy explore away from you.

If your cats are not too large, I found the best litter box. Not only will it be impossible for your dog when it's a few months old to fit inside. but all the litter gets knocked off inside the litter box leaving a neat and tidy area. It's expensive, but I couldn't find any other litter box which was as effective. With this litter box, you're dog will never have the opportunity to eat poop.

That is quite the fashionable litter box! I suppose It could fall in the expense category of puppy supplies ;)
 

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If you want your puppy to become your SD I would use tethering ( tying her to your waist with a leash or cord ). That way she will be used to staying by you, and you can keep track of everything she does, plus be able to reward her immediately for doing things you want, whether it is laying calmly, or watching you, or sitting, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This is brilliant! I never would have though of that. thank you so much for the idea.
Cathie Sue
 

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If you want your puppy to become your SD I would use tethering ( tying her to your waist with a leash or cord ). That way she will be used to staying by you, and you can keep track of everything she does, plus be able to reward her immediately for doing things you want, whether it is laying calmly, or watching you, or sitting, etc.
I use a combo of this and x-pen. While tethering I tell my boy what room I am entering as I enter, did this with my last pup and I could tell him bathroom, office, kitchen and he would sprint to that room and wait for me. Why bathroom? First he can’t tear stuff up while I’m getting ready if he’s next to me and second it’s a whole lot easier to get a dog in the tub if he’s already in the bathroom waiting on you.
 

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I use a combo of this and x-pen. While tethering I tell my boy what room I am entering as I enter, did this with my last pup and I could tell him bathroom, office, kitchen and he would sprint to that room and wait for me. Why bathroom? First he can’t tear stuff up while I’m getting ready if he’s next to me and second it’s a whole lot easier to get a dog in the tub if he’s already in the bathroom waiting on you.
Oh dear, me and (an eventual standard) poodle in my postage stamp sized bathroom. giggle snort Great idea though!
 
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