How to Get a Puppy Used to Its Playpen?

For humans, a playpen is where the young toddler or infant is placed to prevent them from harming themselves when the parents or the guardian is away or occupied with something else. For dogs, it is the same thing, although it also comes with another reason – to prevent them from chewing like power cords and the like. You put something cozy for them to sleep on when needed, some chew toys or Kong when needed. But how do you train your puppy to get used to a playpen?

Unlike crates, a playpen can be any part of the house where you put some limits to how far your puppy can play. Some households turn one part of their house into a playpen by putting a gate in a certain area where it tells the puppy it is their limit. This can be the kitchen, the laundry room or any other empty area that is not detached from the house and where there are no non-dog related objects. In this place, it can hardly be called a playpen, but the least that is where you start training your puppy to get used to the ‘playpen.’ It doesn’t mean to say you can’t use the exercise playpen. It is up to you how you are going to innovate a part of your house, as long as you train your puppy the limits to where they can hang out, especially when you can’t be with them all the time. It’s also important to note that you get a heavy duty exercise play pen if you have a hyper puppy or own a strong dog breed. Check out for some heavy duty pet play pen suggestions.

Getting the puppy used to the playpen area

  • First is to take your puppy for a bathroom break or to his or her usual walk in the park
  • Give your puppy a stuffed Kong or chew bone. Leave the puppy alone there while you do what you need to do, such as doing chores in the house.
  • After five minutes or right before he finishes his chewing, let him out. Make sure you don’t make a big deal about whatever he was doing inside the pen or fuss over him.

Repeat these steps and increase the time you leave your puppy alone in the playpen from 5 to 6, 8 or so minutes without leaving the house. Make sure that you vary the length of time you leave your puppy in the playpen. It can be 30 seconds at one time, 10 minutes the second or 20 minutes. You have to repeat this process all throughout the day for the puppy to get used to it.

You should also leave your puppy or dog in the playpen at night. However, it is best to leave them in the crate as it is where they stay ‘relaxed’ and consider it as their ‘den.’ It is normal for your puppy to cry when they are inside the playpen or the crate as this is their strategy to get out of it. You can also train them to keep quiet by giving him a kibble of a treat when they stay quiet by themselves.