Should I get a puppy playpen?
A puppy playpen is a great resource for raising a well-behaved puppy, and becomes an essential piece of equipment if you live a particularly busy lifestyle. While used primarily as a place where your new puppy can play in relative safety and learn some self control, it also provides you with a much needed break, as caring for a new puppy can render you both physically and mentally exhausted.
Puppies have to learn to relax when people are too busy to play with or give attention to, and with the limited activities within a playpen, a puppy will quickly learn to settle down. Additionally, the playpen performs another important role, one that keeps your pup from doing things it shouldn’t be doing! Puppies explore the world using their teeth, which often results in some undesirable habits, such as biting wires, chewing on shoes and making holes in your socks. A playpen will allow you to perform tasks without worrying about your dog being destructive.
If creating your own playpen, there are a few things you must keep in mind.
- The area must be big enough for your puppy to roam around.
- There must be an area for the puppy to go to the toilet.
- There must be a place for the puppy to sleep.
- The borders must be securely constructed, as to not fall and hurt/trap the puppy
Alternatively, If you are going to buy a puppy playpen, there are many to choose from. For large breed dogs, you will want to buy a playpen that will be big enough for your puppy as he grows bigger. For small breed dogs, I recommend the Easipet Fabric Pet Play pen, and for large breed dogs I recommend the HQ Pet Metal Dog Playpen.
Best place to put the playpen
Placement of the playpen is important. Keeping the puppy isolated from the family is never a good idea, especially in the first few weeks of entering a new home. The kitchen is generally the best place to set-up the playpen. This allows the puppy to take in and become accustomed to all the smells, sights and sounds from the safety and comfort of his playpen.
How long can a puppy stay in a playpen
A puppy should not be left in his playpen for long periods of time (no longer than 2 hours) as he will get bored and start whining, or, possibly pick up some unwanted habits, such as chasing his own tail. It is best to limit the isolation. While you are unable to concentrate on your puppy, leave some toys or chews in with him so he has something to keep him occupied. When you are able to supervise your puppy, let him out of the playpen and reward any good behavior, while not rewarding any of the bad.
Introducing the puppy to the pen
Puppies who are introduced to a playpen at an early age will see it as a part of life. Older dogs, however, will take some encouragement. Use treats and toys to lure the puppy into the pen. you should never force the dog into the playpen, instead, he must enter on his own accord.
The playpen is not a prison
A common mistake new dog trainers make is using the puppy’s playpen as a punishment. If your puppy does something bad, simply correct him and praise him for doing good. The puppy must see the playpen as a good place to be, where he get treats, toys and love.
Don’t give into crying
Listening to your puppy cry when hes separated from you can be hard. But, barking and whining are common when puppies are first left alone in his new playpen. When your puppy does this, it is important that you do not give him any attention. Do not speak to him, do no look at him, and most importantly, do not take him out, doing so will only reinforce this behavior.