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Exercise Pen Worries

June 1st, 2009, 12:58 PM
Hi Everyone,

I have a 11 week old Chorkie (Chihuahua X Yorkie) name Kobe, and when i'm at work i leave him inside the exercise pen with lots of toys and water. Usually I wake up and feed him, take him for a walk (sometimes he's good with doing business outside, other time not so much) and occasional petting before leaving.

The biggiest problem that my boyfriend (daddy) and I have is when we walk away Kobe he gets all upset and starts to cry and whine. I tried to teach him shhh or ignore him for a bit until he quiets down and then go and praise him. The first couple day it seem to work fine but then i realize that now he likes to bite on the exercise pen really hard. It worries me that he might break his tooth or hurt his mouth. The other big problem is that he climbs onto the pen. Mind you he is only 0.60KG (just over 1lb i belive) and when he jumps up he has his hind legs and his front legs holding onto the cage (looks kinda like a spiderman).
When he cant hold onto the pen any longer, he falls back and lands on his bed usually. I'm worried now that he'll start landing onto the hardwood floor and sooner or later will hurt himself. How can i calm him down or at least make him not climb the pen???

Please help me out. I'm really worried for him and do not wish for him to break anything especially when he's so young. :cry2:


June 1st, 2009, 01:10 PM
Does he have anything to occupy him while he's in the pen, like a good chew toy or treat-filled Kong? Instead of feeding him out of a bowl, you could hide his meals in various toys around the pen. It's important that he associate the pen with good things that he only gets while in the pen.

June 1st, 2009, 01:15 PM
Forgot to add a couple links for you to check out:

June 1st, 2009, 01:30 PM
Thanks for your help but unfortunately i bought him so many toys and he only plays with one of them. I brought him a Kong also and he just sniffed at it and show no interest at all. I dont know what to do anymore. The food he's eating now is half wet and half dry nibbles and i tried to smudge some of the wet food onto the Kong hopefully he'll play with it but he still just ignores it.

June 1st, 2009, 02:43 PM
Thanks for your help but unfortunately i bought him so many toys and he only plays with one of them. I brought him a Kong also and he just sniffed at it and show no interest at all.

Some dogs need to be "trained" to use chew toys. Read that first link I gave you for some tips on how to do it.

June 1st, 2009, 02:51 PM
Maybe he would feel more secure in a more den-like enclosure such as a crate. You wouldn't have to worry about him climbing or falling and hurting himself. It would be a much more helpful tool for potty training as well, since pups are not inclined to soil their sleeping areas/dens. At his age he will need lots of routine potty breaks; as soon as he wakes up, after every meal, nap and playtime, right before bed. If you can get him on a predictable schedule you'll have greater success with the housebreaking.

As for distractions/toys, you may consider something "special" for the kong. Try stuffing it with natural peanut butter (no salt/sugar added), then freezing it. Makes a very tasty treat! The Kong folks also make special treats designed to fit in the toys; we used these with our last pup. Flavoured nylon bones (nylabones) are good long-lasting chews too (make sure they're age/size-appropriate). Don't leave stuffed toys or ropes with him while he's unattended, as these can be choking hazards if he chews them up.

June 1st, 2009, 02:56 PM
if you have too many toys in there he will be overwhelmed and not really play with any

June 1st, 2009, 03:11 PM
Good point. It's better to have one or two toys at a time; ok to have lots on hand, but rotate every few days to keep things interesting.

June 1st, 2009, 05:35 PM
I appreicate everyone's great idea but my worry for putting Kobe into a crate is that i'm gone for 8 hours for work. There are people at home such as my sisters, boyfriend and my mom at home to watch him once in awhile but they do also have to work. Occasionally there could be an hour or so in between where there isnt anyone around so my question is wouldnt it be a little too confined if i leave him a crate for a long period of time and he cant roam around in more spacious area? Or am i thinking too much of a Kennel? Or is that the same thing??

June 1st, 2009, 06:42 PM
I personally like the concept of short-term and long-term confinement areas, as outlined by Dr. Dunbar in the second link I gave you above. For short periods of time, a crate can be extremely useful in helping toilet-train (and chew-toy train) a puppy. For longer periods of unsupervised time (more than an hour) the puppy-playpen is better.

June 1st, 2009, 06:48 PM
I agree with sugarcatmom. :thumbs up

I didn't do it with my first boy (sibe) but did with the second (yellow lab) and what a difference. I am so kicking myself in the butt now for not doing it with the husky.

June 1st, 2009, 06:54 PM
Sugarcatmom - from the second link, the first picture is exactly how my pen is set up. When i do leave for long hours that is when he starts jumping on the pen and pretending he's spiderman that cannot get hurt but then falls backward and lands on the bed. I cant gurantee that everytime he lands he will hit the bed for sure because i'm not there to watch it most of the time. I did a couple of "pretend to leave" and i can hear him almost trying to rip the x-pen apart. When it comes to going into his crate he's not that hard to train. He's really good with the crate although he gets the occasional whimpers and cries but then he just realize that its a safe place and play with his toy or sleep.
I dont want him to be in the crate for 8 hours but it seems like that is the only way that he wont get hurt when i'm not around. It just feels too cruel that he doesnt even get to run around. I'm already trying to count on my sisters to take him out during lunch time and do a walk with him but they also have to work. He's also too young to go to any classes right now cuz he hasnt got all his shots yet and i was told not to bring him close to any dogs incase he catches something...
sigh... I feel so hopeless because i cant seem to protect my lil puppy from hurting himself.=(