Part of socialization for puppies includes exposure to the world (not just people or dogs.) They have to hear things like loud trucks, sirens and the dishwasher so they learn that the world is not a scary place. Having the crate in the kitchen has been good because they can run to it when they're afraid of something. Within a week it had become a safe place (in this case, safe from the vacuum cleaner.)
It's also a place for treats. Getting puppies used to the idea of a crate being a good thing can be done through their tummies. They get a treat and are told they're good puppies each time they go in so they learn that it's not a punishment. Boy will do anything for a treat. He will take a treat out of Girl's mouth if he can. At nine weeks, Boy began to run into the crate just to see if we'd give him something.
They were visibly bigger inside the crate, and I had to remove the pad in the bottom because they chewed one corner and the stuffing is coming out.
Now, at ten weeks, they are doing a lot of mirror sleeping and it's really cute. The crate has worked out pretty well.
Until today. See, there's a weak spot on the front zipper where someone chewed last week and it doesn't close properly. So we just plop them in through the top hole and keep the front zipped (this is becoming a problem because Boy is so damn heavy.) That's worked for about a week now. Based on the title, you can see where this is headed, right?
I came home from my bloodletting and probing to find pee all over the floor and two puppies happily sleeping on the tile. They broke through the weak spot on the zipper. I don't know if it's fixable yet. I've been busy cleaning up urine and walking two puppies in the rain. I forgot a bag and had to dig through a neighbor's recycling bin to get a newspaper to pick up some poop and walk with it until I found a trashcan. Good thing it's trash day.