There are many different ideas on what to use as a whelping box. We have found that we like a plastic kiddie pool. Some of our friends also use this for breeding their large breed dogs.
It is very easy to keep clean.
The puppies can't climb over the sides for quite a few weeks.
It is inexpensive (I got ours for $16.00)
It is light weight and will be easy to store in our barn.
We had Jinx sleeping in the pool for about 2 weeks before the puppies came. We wanted her to be comfortable in there and for it to feel familiar.
The day after the puppies were born, Jinx was acting stressed out.
This was stressing me out.
She would go downstairs and whine at the puppies but she did not want to get inside the pool with them.
She also tried to squeeze into small spaces like under the table and under the bed. I was afraid she would try and move the puppies.
I did some internet research and I paid attention to some of her behaviors and suddenly the light came on!
Her pool was too exposed.
Even though we had the pool in a separate room, that was secluded, it wasn't enclosed enough for her. We had been leaving the light on but she wanted it dark. Typically Jinx is crated at night. That is her safe place. So the pool felt too big and exposed to her.
We also realized that her nesting behavior took fashion in the form of digging out in the back yard. I looked at the place she had been digging and she had basically carved a den out of the hillside.
So I fashioned a sheet over top of the pool to make it feel like a cave.
Jinx immediately went in to lay with her pups and care for them. Since then she has settled down into a very good momma. She is attentive and calm. She still likes to come visit us upstairs when they are asleep sometimes. She also enjoys it when we keep her company downstairs by the 'cave'.
I was really happy to find such a simple solution.
Happy Momma Dog.