A bench is a good aid to housebreak the puppy, and give it a place for him/her self, where it is safe and cannot be disturbed. A bench also comes in handy when you have a puppy that has a bad case of separation anxiety.
The size of a bench
Benches come in different sizes. Choose a bigger size, even though the dog is still small. It still has to fit when the dog is more than 6 months old! You may find that the bench is too large for the young puppy, and they still have some spare room to “do their needs” in the bench. You can easily solve this problem by creating a temorary wall in the bench (for instance : strong ivy mesh).
The use of pillows
It seems to be a nice thing to give the puppy a pillow or blanket to ly on. It´s oh so soft!
But in the first few months we strongly reccomend not to do this! Puppies will start to chew and bite on it and try to pull and drag it. Not only will it cost you a pillow, but think of the veterinarian cost when your puppy has eaten it…
Only start using pillows or blankets when the puppy is about 5 months old.
Getting used to the bench
Explore the bench together with the puppy. If the puppy does not enter the bench on it´s own, try putting a treat inside, that the puppy can reach without fully entering the bench. The next treat goes in a little bit further, and so on…
When the puppy is tired, and wants to sleep, put him in the bench, and do not disturb it while sleeping. The nech will become a safe place for the puppy, where it can rest and be left alone.
Closing the door
When the puppy enters the bench by itself, try to keep it there for a little while with the help of some small treats, and block the entrance with your hand. Repeat this a couple of times, and when the puppy does not want to push your hand away ( to get out ) anymore, you can close the door. When the puppy starts to protest loudly, go back to “getting used to the bench” and try again later.
The bench as a magic box
Let´s say you get 200 dollars every time you go to the barn outside. You will probabely like to do that even when it is cold and raining.
The same applies to your puppy, but with food or toys. Give him his favourite treats and toys when he is in the bench. For at least a month, also give the meals inside the bench. This way, the bench can become a favourite place for the puppy.