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How To Keep Your Puppies Out Of Trouble With The Carlson Portable Pet Pen

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Puppy peering out of the Carlson Portable Pet Pen door.
How to keep your puppies out of trouble with the Carlson Portable Pet Pen

This post is sponsored by Carlson™ Pet Products. I am being compensated to help share the Carlson Portable Pet Pen, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.  Carlson™ Pet Products is not responsible for the content of this article.

Can you believe our litter of Golden Retriever puppies are already 5 months old!?  I still remember six little puppies running around the house, gnawing on the walls like termites, chewing on my slippers, and finding the perfect spot on the floor to pee or poop.  So, the question of the day?  How to keep your puppies out of trouble?  During those early days we had three ways to keep our pups out of trouble:

  1. A Homemade Whelping Box
  2. A Laundry Basket
  3. The Carlson™ Portable Pet Pen

Without the whelping box and the Carlson Portable Pet Pen (oh…and our trusty laundry basket) it would have been mayhem in the house!  We did a first look review of the Carlson Portable Pet Pen back in December when the puppies were a mere 4 weeks old (actually I think they might have been a wee bit younger than that).

Today, we take another look at our puppy playpen to see how it held up to the puppies as they got older.

How Do You Keep Puppies Out Of Trouble

I know some of you hate the idea of containment especially when it comes to crate training, but containment is a great way to keep your puppy from getting into trouble.  It’s especially important if you have a litter of puppies because quite frankly it’s impossible to keep a constant eye on six curious pups.

We needed an alternative to the whelping box and when puppies are just little guys, containment was as simple as a laundry basket:

Litter of puppies sitting in a laundry basket.
Doing laundry with the puppies!

Awww…the laundry basket days.  Whenever I needed to clean the whelping box everyone just plopped into the laundry basket.  Unfortunately, puppies grow and eventually they were crawling out of the basket. 🙁

At around 6 weeks of age the laundry basket was no longer an option so we turned to the Carlson Portable Pet Pen:

Two puppies jump up on the Carlson Portable Pet Pen.
Our Carlson Portable Pet Pen worked great with our litter of pups.

We setup the Carlson Portable Pet Pen in our atrium which was great anytime we needed to cleanup the whelping box or give the pups some fresh air.  It was a perfect play area for our litter of pups.

…and guess what?  It even works for our 5 month old puppy…kind of…

Golden Retriever sticks his head out the Carlson Portable Pet Pen door.
Our Golden Bear trying to escape the Carlson Pet Pen.

At 5 months old Bear could still fit through the little pet door, but it’s a tight squeeze.  A few more weeks and he’ll probably get stuck in that little opening.

Finally our 70 pound mama Raven wanted to give our Carlson Pet Pen a try…

English Cream Golden Retriever looking through the door of pet pen.
Our Golden Mama wanted to give the Carlson Pen a try.

It was back breaking to get Raven over the side walls.  Still on my wish list would be some sort of opening for larger dogs to get in and out of the Carlson Pet Pen.

Bonus points if you know where this movie quote comes from: “You’re not squeezing me through that tiny door.”  Think German accent…Answers accepted in the comment section below.

Carlson Portable Pet Pen Video Review

We even had the chance to capture some live action of the puppies in our Carlson Portable Pet Pen.  Check out our video review:

And It’s Portable (oh yeah, that’s part of the name)

Yep, the Carlson Portable Pet Pen is not just for home use to keep your litter of puppies out of trouble.  If you have a small or medium sized dog you could use it on any outing where you might need to keep your dog safe:

  1. In the backyard
  2. At the park
  3. On the beach
  4. While you’re camping

By the way, you’ll notice I mentioned small or medium sized dog.  We have one thing on our wish list for the Carlson Portable Pet Pen…a door or gate to allow us to get our bigger dogs in and out.  It’s a little a lot difficult to get a 70 lb dog over the 26″ side walls.

So, for now we’ll use our Carlson Portable Pet Pen for the puppies which is okay because as service dog puppy raisers we have a new puppy at least once a year.

After all this rambling the question remains: how do we keep our puppies out of trouble?  CONTAINMENT!  The Carlson Portable Pet Pen is great for keeping puppies, small, and medium sized dogs out of trouble.

What about you guys?  What do you use to keep your puppies out of trouble?  Do you have a portable pet pen?  Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

Puppy peeking out the door of his Carlson Portable Pet Pen.
How to keep your puppies out of trouble with the Carlson Portable Pet Pen.

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. I’m here to read your article but the photos keeps telling me ” Hey watch us, stop reading” lol.

  2. Picking up my 10th foster puppy for Lions Foundation Dog Guides, Canada.
    Thanks for all the information to jog my memory of getting a new pup.
    All your information is very useful and makes good common sense. It also
    is what we learn at Dog Guides for training our puppies.
    Getting excited, can’t wait to pick her up, and THANKS for reminding me
    of the sleepless nights !

  3. I have been using playpens for my dogs for many years but I have not tried Carlson Portable Pet Pen. I will give a try next time.

    Thanks for this article Colby.

  4. The laundry basket worked great when the puppies were little guys, but as soon as they were able to crawl out of the basket the Carlson Portable Pet Pen came in very handy.

  5. This reminds me of the time when I haven’t found out yet about playpens. You would actually take out large laundry baskets to temporarily home your dog’s. Thanks to the innovations, I can now actually use the baskets to do my laundry 🙂 I have a playpen now that works both indoors and outdoors. It houses my dogs safely and securely as well as allowing me to control the space and area where they could roam around the house.

  6. I would like to order this pen.The Carlson™ Portable Pet Pen really is a great thing to maintain a lot of puppies at a time.

  7. I believe that using this Pen will be helpful for many families whose dogs live in door. My dog is a Dachshund and it’s hard to train him. May be I will try to use this Pen. Thanks for sharing with us!

  8. We love using the laundry basket! The first few weeks the puppies don’t move around too much and also they stay close together in the laundry basket keeping each other warm. The problem is they eventually out grow the laundry basket and like I said in the video…Enter the Carlson Portable Pet Pen!

  9. Our Carlson Pet Pen definitely came in very handy when we had our litter of puppies. It kept the pups out of trouble and gave me a chance to clean their whelping box.

  10. The Carlson™ Portable Pet Pen really is a great thing to have when you have a lot of puppies in your home. Safety first! 🙂

  11. The guide dog school has us crate train all of our puppies and even before we were puppy raisers we crate trained our first puppy, Linus and the foster puppies we brought into our home. It’s a great way to keep your puppies from getting into trouble.

  12. Whichever pet pen you prefer to purchase, know that this is a wise decision in making your pet and your own life much easier knowing how safe and secured your pet will be giving you and your family much peace of mind.

  13. I totally agree that crates need to be used properly. I hear from too many people who overuse their crates and that’s when it becomes a problem. Gotta start early with the people training. My daughter is 1 month old. I’ll tell you how it goes 🙂

  14. We crate train all of our puppies as well and it’s a great way to keep your puppy out of trouble. Over 25 years ago when I was in college we had never heard of crate training and my roommate’s puppy chewed everything from hats to shoes to the legs on tables and chairs. He also never figured out house training. Needless to stay my old room mates puppy ended up an outdoor dog 🙁

  15. I wish I’d had one of those for Sampson. 🙂

    I was not a fan of crate training, until I got Sampson. I think if used properly, they are a great tool. I just wish there was a way to train people. Do you think crate training might work? 😉

  16. Hi Colby, thank you for your post. Since you brought it up, I believe crate training is not inhumane, contrary to what many believe. There are so many benefits of crate training, one is to keep puppies out of trouble. Another, which I believe is very important, is to keep them safe from lurking reptiles, and dangerous insects around the areas of your home.

    What I believe is as long as you provide them enough entertainment such as toys inside the crate, there shouldn’t be a problem. I crate trained by dog for 4 months, from the first month til the 4th, towards the 5th. Without crate training, potty training would be very difficult, keeping your dog in sight would also be very difficult.

  17. YES! It’s always nice to see our readers go through the entire article and have a similar love for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! The shipping weight is 19.2 lbs and it’s not too bad carrying over the shoulder or under your arm for short distances.

  18. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory!!

    The pen looks great!! How heavy is it? I like that it seems easy to set up and take down…that’s really important to me. This looks like it would be a good gift to give!

  19. I like how truly portable the Carlson portable pet pen is. It looks like it opens and folds up very easily which is very important to me. My dog is little, so the small opening would not be a problem. The pet pen would be great to have at a picnic to keep our dog from wandering and will keep other pets or critters away from our dog. I will seriously consider getting a Carlson portable pet pen.

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