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My Favorite Things

I put this pretty, removable fence from Lowe's up in an hour. 

This "puppy apartment" uses a wire crate attached to an x-pen, with rubber garage flooring. 

Contain

That Pup

 

Making the pup's world smaller and safer is your key to sanity. Be ready with fencing, crates, pens and gates. (Click on anything underlined for a link.)

Fence

A good old fashioned fence is a godsend for puppyhood. Don't put it off! (Read this for inspiration.) You will be taking a new puppy out every half hour at first, and I cannot overstate how much easier that is with a fence instead of a leash. If a permanent fence is not in the cards, do yourself a giant favor and put up a temporary fence to get you through puppyhood. Lowe's has plenty of options — from pretty ones to plastic roll-out fencing that does the trick. 

Crate

My favorite crate is the easy-to-collapse-and-store wire version. I choose the one with doors on two sides, which dramatically increases flexibility in placement as your needs change over time. I toss a covering over it for pups who like a more den-like feel. I'm a big fan of slow acclimation rather than shut-them-in-and-let-them-cry, because I want this to be their comfy safe space. Keep in mind that you can often borrow these from neighbors! Get a second so you can have one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom!

X-Pens

You need to create a "puppy apartment" within your home for the first weeks. My first choice is to gate off a room like the kitchen, and hang out in there a lot. But if that doesn't work for you, use an x-pen attached to a crate somewhere in the main part of the house. That way pup has a little home base that's safe for when nobody can actively supervise -- but there's no need to close that crate door when pup isn't ready for it. The endlessly versatile x-pen can also be used to block rooms, steps, bookcases, or anything else pup shouldn't have access to. Easy to move around as needs change.

Gates

Setting pups up for success means limiting their access. I have pressure-mounted gates for our kitchen which often has puppies, and I have quick accordion fold gates for when we decide to bring pups in the TV room but don't want them in the dining room. I highly recommend you invest in or borrow a bunch of these. I find them at Home Goods, I order them from Orvis, I grab them at Petco. 

Classic pressure-mounted gates are the best! Nobody's knocking this one over, as you can see. 

These heavy, stand-alone gates are life-savers! Use them to keep pup wherever works for that moment. 

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