The Role of a Playpen in Puppy Training

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A playpen isn’t just a place for your dog to stay in when you can’t give him 100 percent of your attention. When it comes to training, a playpen can have a major role in ensuring your puppy grows into a responsible adult dog. If your beloved pooch has high energy levels and is a troublemaker, you’ll find a pet playpen to be a great solution to this dilemma.

Starting out with playpen training as a puppy can make training an adult dog much easier. From day one, you should use rules and consistency to train your dog to listen to you. A playpen helps you achieve this by giving your pup a smaller, confined area in which he can feel safe—essentially, it’s a den of his own.


Instead of giving your pup complete freedom right away, confine and give him a safe place from the beginning. From there, you can make a slow transition by giving him more access to the home gradually and under supervision. You, as a pet owner, will be happier as your furniture remains intact and your puppy learns to enjoy the safety of his playpen.

Types of Playpens

Depending on your preference and needs, you can choose playpens made of plastic, wood, wire, or canvas. But when it comes to type, you have two options to choose from:

  • Indoor playpen: This is a good choice when you’re doing chores in the house and don’t want your pup walking around.
  • Outdoor playpen: When you’re outside working in the yard, an outdoor playpen eases your mind by making sure your pup isn’t digging up your garden, stomping on your blooms, or making some trouble.

Before you buy a playpen for your pup, consider the elements and weather conditions in your place.

Setting-up the Playpen

An ideal playpen area is one that is easy to clean and close with a door. It should be free of furniture and any items that aren’t dog-friendly. The best places to set up your dog’s playpen are in the laundry room, kitchen, or an empty room that’s not detached from the household.

To give your pup more comfort inside the playpen, you can furnish the area with a pet bed, several toys, food, and water. With your puppy’s favorite things around, you can help him get used to the playpen area in no time.

Steps to help your dog settle in his new playpen:

  1. Take your pup out for a bathroom break or for a short walk.
  2. Bring your pup back into the house. Give him some chew toys and place him inside the playpen while you go about your household chores.
  3. After 5 minutes, let your pup out but make sure you don’t make a big deal about it. Repeat the steps from one to three, gradually increasing the span of time you leave your pup inside his confinement area. Vary the length of your separation from the area from 30 seconds to 15 minutes and repeat it throughout the day.
  4. Within the first two days, start leaving your home for short intervals such as taking the trash out or going to the mailbox. Gradually work up your absence by running errands like going to the store. It’s normal for your pup to cry as he’ll use this as a strategy to get out—make sure to brace yourself for that.


If your pup begins to whine, howl, or bark when inside the playpen, wait until he becomes quiet for at least 10 seconds before you react. Otherwise, your pooch will think that barking or whining is the means to get him out of the confinement area. As tempting and pitiful as those puppy dog eyes may be, your dog needs to get used to “alone time” so that he’ll learn to adjust to his playpen.

A playpen allows your pup to feel part of your family while being protected from harm. Best of all, it teaches your pup good habits that are stepping stones toward him becoming a well-mannered dog in the future.

Andrew Kevan has been the Account Manager at Sandleford Holdings since 2016. He studied at Monash University and completed his Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Zoology. Andrew is the owner of a beautiful Rottweiler named Lady who is constantly spoiled and loves her Fido & Fletch Large Pet Home.

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