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Old 05-30-2014, 09:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Kennel Set-Up

Hey guys! We are still in the preparation stage for our pup, whose mother is actually in labor right now

He will live mostly inside, but while training, our whole family has to leave for about 3-4 hours 1 day a week, so we are making an outdoor kennel for these occasions.

We have bought a 5x10 kennel and cover, and have a shady area in our yard set up for it. We are also making a 5x4 raised tile platform for one end, and buying a 5x6 piece of turf for the other end*.

So, my question is: in addition to the tile platform, artificial turf area, a Replendish waterer (one of those ones that refills from a container on top), and a couple of safe toys, what will the puppy need in there to be content for a max of 4 hours, once or twice a week? What are good outdoor beds, if needed*? Best way to introduce the puppy (will be 8 weeks) to the kennel in increments?

*We are in Texas, where everything is bigger, including the bugs, so that is why we are using turf and a raised platform to minimize bugs in the kennel. I think a raised bed (cot type) would be best because of this. Best brand of cot bed for GSDs?
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For cot type beds I love the Kurandas: Kuranda Dog Beds - Orthopedic and Chew Proof

I bought my first one back in 2001 for a determined chewer, and she was not able to destroy it! In fact, we still have it and use it today. We bought another one in 2005 when we got a second GSD, and still use that one too. They're pricey, but worth it, especially if you have a chewer. Ours are in the garage pen, but there are several different types of material available, some of which are appropriate for outdoor use.

For such a short amount of time and so infrequently, I'd be inclined to just crate the puppy in the house until he's a little older. I don't have anything against using an outdoor kennel for when you're gone, but I don't think I'd put an 8 week old puppy in one. The setup you describe sounds like a good one though.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds good ....... I agree with Debbie though. Pups are a target for thieves and that amount of time gone should be fine very shortly for crating.

The turf.....I don't know.......mine has ripped up and torn anything and everything (Except his aluminum Kurunda bed!)...though I did get the nylon (not the ballistic but the next closest) cover.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You might want to put something under the bottom of the kennel to prevent possible digging out. Our's was on the patio, but it have seen "dig bars" on k9 kennel store. Congrats on your puppy to come! Oh yes we didn't put our puppies out in kennel for short periods till they were older!
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You mentioned safe toys but please make sure to give him lots of good things to chew on. Antlers, cow ears, raw meaty bones, and kongs are what I am currently using with our 10 week old pup.

Admittedly, however, my pup really likes to chew on toes, shoes, dresser drawer knobs and just about anything else he can get his mouth on. He is making progress with "leave it" and "out", however.

Oh, one more thing. A huge dose of patience for you and your family and lots of extra sleep right before you get him. You are going to need both in spades.

Enjoy the pup when he arrives. It's a fun experience raising a GSD.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One thing I will mention. If you keep your AC on cool then put the pup outside in the heat, even in the shade, that could be problematic. Pups and old dogs have a harder time regulating body temperature than young and middle aged adult dogs. I know parts of Texas can get stifling hot. ...........

I am not sure there is any fomula for acclimitizing a dog to the heat but short bursts ( a few hours a couple of days a week) could be stressful. Another argument for using the crate inside.

My own dog is outside all day everyday (8am to about 7pm) and I go outside and do things with him during the day (I tellecommute). He comes in during the evening but I figure it is no warmer outside during a summer night than inside....that is because he is a working dog and needs to be acclimitized to outside temps...just saying, not that they are fragile things that can't handle the heat....just that switching between hot and cold can be stressful. Many folks who live in hot areas only exercise dogs outside morning and evening.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
For such a short amount of time and so infrequently, I'd be inclined to just crate the puppy in the house until he's a little older. I don't have anything against using an outdoor kennel for when you're gone, but I don't think I'd put an 8 week old puppy in one. The setup you describe sounds like a good one though.
We considered that, but we thought it might encourage accidents in the house. We also thought it would be nicer to have some room for him to stretch rather than being cooped up. Thoughts?
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
Pups are a target for thieves and that amount of time gone should be fine very shortly for crating.
Theives are not a problem at all as our backyard and house are in the middle of our 32 acre ranch. (he will have fun exploring with me )

We bought some turf today, we are just going to try that for now.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by readaboutdogs View Post
You might want to put something under the bottom of the kennel to prevent possible digging out. Our's was on the patio, but it have seen "dig bars" on k9 kennel store. Congrats on your puppy to come! Oh yes we didn't put our puppies out in kennel for short periods till they were older!
That's what we were hoping the turf would do. We plan to tack it down with landscaping spikes. Plus, the dirt under the kennel is really hard packed.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister C View Post
You mentioned safe toys but please make sure to give him lots of good things to chew on. Antlers, cow ears, raw meaty bones, and kongs are what I am currently using with our 10 week old pup.

Admittedly, however, my pup really likes to chew on toes, shoes, dresser drawer knobs and just about anything else he can get his mouth on. He is making progress with "leave it" and "out", however.

Oh, one more thing. A huge dose of patience for you and your family and lots of extra sleep right before you get him. You are going to need both in spades.

Enjoy the pup when he arrives. It's a fun experience raising a GSD.
Thanks for the wishes! And we know that GSDs are a lot of dog my dad has owned them in the past, so we aren't entirely new to the experience. And training will be wonderful. I train horses, so maybe some knowledge of that will transfer to the Shep
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