We are due to collect Bertie, our Labrador puppy, in a few weeks. We have decided to use a crate, which he is already used to, as the breeder uses one. Do you think we should get a puppy pen too?

Sue Williams advises…

You must be really excited at the prospect of Bertie coming. It is fantastic that you are doing your homework and getting prepared in advance. I would definitely recommend getting a crate and puppy pen.

Crates are a good option if used correctly and can certainly prevent destructive issues, as well as help with toilet training.

Personally, I use a crate as a puppy’s bed – mainly for overnight. I use a puppy pen for other times when I need to restrict a puppy. The reason I prefer a puppy pen is that it gives the puppy more freedom to move around and interact with toys, which means he is far less likely to feel frustrated and stressed from confinement.

It is vital that you get Bertie acclimatized to both the crate and puppy pen. It should be easier, as he already used a crate at the breeder’s house, but remember he will have also had his siblings for company.

I wrote a step-by-step article on crate training in the August 2018 issue. You can order from 01276 858880 or

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