Normally a new mom will stay in the big whelping crate with her puppies for at least the first couple weeks. Once they move from crawling to toddling we move them to the small puppy pen.
Sage is an exception. With nine puppies the biggest crate was not big enough after just a week with her new brood. Luckily, it was about time to move Joy and her gang into the bigger puppy pen upstairs. So it all worked out.
Now usually when the pups move to the small puppy pen we put a big bed on half of the pen and the Ugodog litter box on the other half as they are starting to toddle off the bed to go potty.
But since Sage’s puppies aren’t at that stage, I have just lined the whole floor of the pen with potty pads and put a big bed in the other half. It works for now. Once the puppies’ eyes open and they are moving more purposefully, we’ll add the litter box. At this point their movements all involve finding mom and milk!
Lots of room now!
Moving this bunch of adorableness upstairs!
And now that they’re in the bigger playpen we have room to introduce a crate. When they first transition to the bigger pen we move the litter boxes right in front of the crate so it’s obvious to them where the “bathroom” is. (You can see they used it already). And the back right corner is partitioned off until they get the hang of the crate and litter boxes.
And few days later, the partition is removed and the litter boxes are in that back corner farther from the “bed”. It’s a step-by-step training process, but it works!