View Full Version : Does anyone use a Pet Yard pen?

3rd October 2006, 03:57 AM
Hi all!

We're getting our new puppy this Saturday (yay!), and we've been out buying all the things she's going to need. She'll be crated at night in our bedroom, but I've been stressing out about what to do during the day while we're at work. I really, really don't want to keep her in the small crate all day long, even with having my mother come over mid-day and let her out for a run and pee.

Ideally, I would have liked to gate off the kitchen area and let her have her run of the kitchen, we have ceramic tile. But, we'd have the table/chair leg chewing factor.

We were at PetSmart tonight and I bought this Pet Yard thing http://www.northstatesind.com/petgates/pet_yard_xt_8665.htm, it seems like a good idea, I'll set it up in the livingroom with some kind of liner underneath and a bed and blankets.. and since she's 'paper trained' I thought I'd put a small litter pan with some newspapers in case she needs to piddle. At least she'll be able to jump around and play with her toys....

I know it's not an ideal situation, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who works, LOL. What do some of you folks do when you're out of the house during the day?

Thanks for any input! :flwr:

3rd October 2006, 04:36 AM
I couldn't get the link to work...but is this the pen you bought: http://www.northstatesind.com/petgates/pet_main_frame.htm

I think this is the one I have for my two cavs:

Anyway, I use my x-pen all the time.*Sometimes I straighten it out and use it to keep the dogs in the kitchen and out of the rest of the house...or on the porch but not in the yard.
*I use it on the front deck of our houseboat and dock so Abby and Cappy have some freedom, but are safe.
*I use it when we camp so they can enjoy being outside with out getting tangled in tie out and with out the fear of other dogs causing trouble.
*I put them in the pen when my little nieces and nephews visit so they can be part of the fun, with out jumping on toddlers or getting injured by over-zealous kiddos.
Since your kitchen is tiled, can you set the pen up there? What kind of flooring do you have in your living room? I'm sure you'll get plenty of use from the pen...and the peace of mind is well worth the cost, imo.

Good luck with your new pup!

3rd October 2006, 05:21 AM
I used an x pen. I got this one and kept it in the kitchen.

It has eight 24" panels and can be shaped in various ways, octagonal, square, rectangular, or something more irregular. it folds flat, it has a carrying handle, and it was large enough for me to put it around his crate and still with some room for him outside the crate. The crate was THIS one (http://www.petmate.com/Catalog.plx?ID=1546&SizeID=3[url), 33x22x23, quite roomy even for Zack now at a year old.

The X pen surrounded the crate and created a little "front yard" in front of the door to the crate (using the rectangular shape), and i had a water proof covered sponge pad on the floor and blankets and his toys and water. so he had the crate to lay down in, and could also walk around and play so it wasn't too claustrophobic. But after a while, he got so he could jump out so i just gated the kitchen doors with very high baby gates and he stayed in the kitchen, but for months now, he has the run of the downstairs part of the apartment while i'm at work and recently, at night as well. He's a year old now, but he never was much of a furniture chewer so that wasn't a problem.

I came home at lunch and played with him and let him out. I dont know how old your puppy is. Zack was about 3 1/2 months when i got him and he was able to wait 4 hours during the day, and throughout the night without peeing.

Generally, i would want to avoid encouraging a puppy to pee indoors if there's any other option, and it might turn out that your puppy can wait until your mom comes, or until you get home from work if it's 4 hours, it might be worth a try. If i was going to try for that, i think i would start with the puppy just in the crate for the first few days, as she would be more likely to resist eliminating and soiling a small space she is occupying. Then i would add the X pen and set it up so it still seems like a cozy space.

when i got Zack it was a rainy season and he was refusing to go out in the rain, and also, he had colitis and diarrhea, so i did use wee wee pads in the house, but not in the pen. I put the pads by the doors, and he used them, i guess they have a scent that attracts them, he just seemed to know to go on them.

how old is the litte blessed event?

3rd October 2006, 11:13 AM
I've never used a pen or a crate but I think that the pen is a nice one - it is so much kinder than keeping them in a cage all day (in my eyes this is cruelty).

I'm glad that someone is going to come in and let her out and be company for her in the daytime, I just don't like to see Cavaliers left on their own all day long. They are people dogs and need people around them.

Can you also leave a radio on to keep her company too? I've always done this for mine, it's a soothing background noise for them.

3rd October 2006, 11:25 AM
We use the xpen for our pup, it works great. He has a smaller cage inside of it to use as his den. We've also used it outside in the yard when he was younger. It's nice because you can make it into different shapes to fit where you need it to. As for price, check with babystores, too--Once Upon a Child or other 2nd hand baby stores will have a better price. If you use Craigslist it may be even cheaper--that's where we got ours.

Here's Gus in his pen a few months ago:


3rd October 2006, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the responses :)

Yes, the one Jen is using is exactly the one I bought (sorry, that link worked when I posted it but doesn't seem to now). The plastic, versatile one.

Judy, the puppy will be a little over 10 weeks when we bring her home on Saturday.

The flooring in the livingroom is hardwood. I was just thinking livingroom because it could become more of a permanent fixture. It would take a great deal of space in the kitchen, so would have to be moved in and out a lot. My husband suggested the kitchen too, though. I'm more concerned about her being alone than I am about my hardwood floor.

I only work 5 minutes from home, so I plan to make a few pit-stops back home during the day when I'm out on errands, plus my mother can come by mid-afternoon. I do plan to put a radio beside the pen and have it on all day, and we also have 2 (declawed) cats that should provide some form of entertainment for her, LOL. My parents have their 2 poodles here all the time, so the cats are used to having a dog around and they're very passive with them.

And I'll see how she does.. if I find she's not a wood-chewer, I still may just get gates and let her have the run of the kitchen.

I also had reservations about continuing paper-training, as I know it can make the housebreaking thing harder in the long-run. Maybe she'll surprise me!

Thanks again for the help!

molly+charlies mum
3rd October 2006, 12:18 PM
:( i have never used a pen or crate my dogs were never left on there own for longer than 1and half hours when they were puppys and now the longest i go out for is 2hours cavaliers love and need the company dureing the day i know my two have each other but they love there mum being there :luv:

3rd October 2006, 12:21 PM
Chelle, for a young puppy you simply cannot crate her all day anyway so you'd need to take either the room or the pen route so you have the right ideas. Someone should really come home at least midday and take her out, as you've arranged; the more frequent, the better -- an 8 hour day will be very long for a puppy. As she gets slightly older and can hold herself half a day she can go to a midday break alone. A lot of us also use 'doggy day care' services -- if my mom is out for more than a half day, she drops her 6 year old cavalier into a day care centre for example. For a puppy this is a lot more important or housetraining will be very difficult and for the puppy's own psychological well being, she shouldn't be left for 8 hours plus without any human contact until she is much older and housetrained. Even then, this is a very long time alone for a breed as dependent and as closely bonded as cavaliers are by their breeding. They really do require extra time and will expect more of you and want more of your time than many other breeds, perhaps most other breeds (see my Considering a Cavalier section for why:


I have all my prospective families who wish to adopt a rescue cavalier read this so that they know the nature of the breed and can see whether they think these are good traits for them. For most of us they are but they also require a special level of responsibility to keep this breed healthy and happy. :)

Housetraining will take a lot longer, but you'll get there. You can litter train a puppy but just be aware that it means you will have to housetrain twice -- as once she uses the litter box and gets old enough to hold herself she will be trained to expect a litter box to be there and will seek out a place to go even if the litter box isn't there -- just as puppies will often go on the floor if their papers aren't there. She won;t have any sense of needing to hold her functions until she can be brought outside. It's why it is generally recommended to get a young puppy at the time when if at all possible, people can take two weeks off to really work hard on housetraining and to settle the pup, but obviously this isn't always possible for people. It does mean you face a much steeper challenge than if you can give that initial time, but diligence will pay off over time. :)

I also highly recommend getting Shirlee Kalstone's guide to housetraining a dog in seven days (it won't be seven days but it's a great book). She does cover training around work schedules and litter box training, the pros and cons.

A lot of us work days and there are lots of ways to manage this (the best is getting two or more cavaliers of course!) :lol:.

Bruce H
3rd October 2006, 12:53 PM
Chelle, we have hardwood floors also. When we have puppies, we set up an x-pen (basically a wire version of what you have) and place it on a piece of sheet vinyl just laid loose on the floor. The sheet vinyl can be bought at most any home center and is relatively inexpensive. You can see pictures of it in my "5 months..." journal.

I'm with Karlin on trying not to let her be home alone all day. When Kris worked away from the home a few years back, we adjusted our hours so that I went to work very early and she went to work much later. That way our dogs were never alone for very many hours.

Good luck with your new puppy!

3rd October 2006, 02:40 PM
:( i have never used a pen or crate my dogs were never left on there own for longer than 1and half hours when they were puppys and now the longest i go out for is 2hours cavaliers love and need the company dureing the day i know my two have each other but they love there mum being there :luv:
That's great! And, in a perfect world everyone could quit their jobs and stay home with their dogs all day cl*p

Karlin, I'll check into doggy daycares in our area, thanks for that suggestion. I've also seen some ads from retired folks who offer walking/companion services, I'll look more into that, too. Heck, I may even end up bringing her to the office with me a couple days a week :D

Bruce, sheet vinyl - perfect!! I've been trying to think what I could use as a liner.. that will work dandy!

I've actually researched quite a bit on the breed, and I realize they need more attention than the average dog. We're going to do everything we can to make sure she has a very fulfilled life. I'm aways very committed to my pets. I also have an 8yr old daughter who will be lavishing her with affection every moment she's home.

My sister-in-law and her husband had a gorgeous Cavalier that lived to 15. They are both doctors so you can imagine their work schedules. But, the kids were always around, and they took him everywhere on family outings.. and Chancey lived a very happy and full life. He was such a happy-go-lucky guy. He passed just after last Christmas.

I'm just so excited to get my puppy, this week is going tooooo slow! :roll:

3rd October 2006, 05:59 PM
I, also work outside my home. I keep my three cavs in a spare bathroom that can be gated off. I do use an x-pen when we travel with them, I have a collapsible one. It works well. When I got my first cav, I was only working six hours a day, she did fine with a radio, puppy pad,her crate and her toys. No trouble housebreaking her. I got the other two to keep her comapny when I started working full time. The funny thing is, if I get a day off all they do is sleep.... :roll:

Have fun with your puppy, she's a sweetie and your websites are awesome.

3rd October 2006, 06:21 PM
We used something very similar except my hubby built it, it was much less expensive to build than buy pre-made.

We also placed lineleum down with some paper, here are a few shots of it, it has gone through 2 puppies and is now stored away in our garage for the next puppy.



3rd October 2006, 06:40 PM
chelle, if you can come home a couple of times in the morning and at lunch and your mom comes in the mid-afternoon, and the crate/pen area is small enough in the beginning, housetraining may go smooth and fast. (if her little space is too roomy in the beginning, she may feel more free to eliminate in it). i took karlin's advice and got the book she recommended. i didnt' end up needed to use it (yet anyway) because zack's post-housetraining peeing was isolated, but i passed the book on to my daughter lisa who has 15 month old cavalier who pees (my opinion is this peeing is related to them not coming home during the day). Anyway, i looked the book over. It's clear and right to the point.

I love bella's webpage! she's adorable. and you home is awesome, she's going to have a great time there.

3rd October 2006, 06:59 PM
Thank you Judy! :)

Linda, your pen is awesome! Your hubby is a handy guy. And you just gave me a great idea.. I have a couple rolls of leftover linoleum kicking around. I bet I can rig up a floor for my setup 8)

As an aside, I just spoke to our breeder. The pups were at the vet's yesterday, and Bella is 4.2lbs, and healthy as can be. The vet saw no sign of heart or knee trouble either. Of course, I already have an appt booked with our own vet for next week, but it's good to know she's got a clean bill of health 8)

3rd October 2006, 07:14 PM
I too work all day and so does my husband. When Duncan was a puppy I worked very close to home and went home at least twice daily to let him out. We have a small kitchen and used a gate with his kennel in it. It worked like a charm and, for the record, when I cam home, he was usually in his kennel and we still find him in it when we get home 80% of the time. It is truly his den and a comfort to him.

We just got Arthur last week and while I am now working 30 miles away my husband is working nearby and has commited to going home at lunch.

I wish I could work from home or take my dogs with me everywhere I go, but that is not my reality. We work very hard to give our puppies love and attention all night and when we can get home during the day. I hope it is some comfort to you that the what seems to make our pups the happiest is consistency and a schedule. I have said before, usually on Saturday morning after hours of us at home Duncan is in his grate with a big hmmph! as if to say please let me get my morning nap.

3rd October 2006, 08:54 PM
I have 3 petyard plastic pens. We use them for pups between 7-12 weeks. I kept loaning them out and then I'd need it-- so we went to Farm and Fleet ($50.00) and bought another - we did that twice. The same silly pen can be purchased for toddlers at Babys r Us for about $80.00 (same thing - different box). I also have a precision pen for outdoors-- It would mar the floor and walls here- and I've seen grown dogs jump them. It is fun designing "playrooms" in the petpens.