The two toy/mini Aussie puppies that are growing at my house are doing really well in the pen set up that I have for them. I’ve taken hints from other breeders and put them together into what has worked for me.
Since I don’t have a “kennel” and my dogs are home raised, once the puppies were moving around, I set up the play yard in some extra space at the side of my dining room. I have hardwood floors, so the first thing I did was go to Lowes and buy an inexpensive pre-cut roll of vinyl flooring that looks like wood and unrolled it over my hardwood. To the casual observer coming into my home, you don’t really notice that I have laid down vinyl and it is easily mopped without doing damage to my wood.
I divided the play area loosely into 3 areas. In one corner, I have an appropriately sized crate with the door open and sherpa fabric inside that is easy to change out and wash. The puppies like to “den” in their crate. Originally, when they were smaller I used the Perla bed, but found they would hunker behind it to sleep so the crate works better at this stage.
In the opposite corner, I use an Out plastic holder for their peepee pads. I really like that product and the puppies caught on almost immediately and transitioned form the peepee pad on the floor to the holder. I’m trying to do the math, but when I can put people bed pads on sale and cut them in half, I think it is more cost effective than the puppy pads at the pet store. It will take a little more computation to figure out if that is actually true. On the up side, the bed pads are thicker and more absorbant which I do like and a large one cut in half will make 2 perfect size ones for the holder. I’m finding that about 80% of the time, the puppies are going to the holder which is a terrific percentage for their 6 1/2 weeks old. Very surprising.
In the other corner, I have their water and puppy food dish which leaves all the middle for their toys and play time. This set up is very practical, easy to clean and keeping the puppies exercised and happy.
The picture shows the pen in it’s original octagon shape when the puppies were younger and as they have gotten more active, I added 2 additional sections to the pen and made it a large square with more play room.