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18 TIPS and Tricks to using a Dog Playpen Correctly!

This is a companion article written to help you understand why your dog should use a playpen in order to restrict them at an early age. Puppies should not be allowed to do what they want to do. They must learn from you the pack leader. So here are 18 tips and tricks to using a dog playpen.

1 - A playpen should be the place your new puppy goes straight into when they first come home.

2 - Don’t be excited when you get them out.

3 - Don’t engage the puppy every time you walk past them.

4 - Do make ‘their SAFE place’, their Safe Place, and not allow other pets or family members into their space.

5 - Don’t go to them when the puppy is whining for your attention. Be aware though that a puppy may whine when they are trying to tell you they need to go to the toilet. Read their body language.

6 - Only go to them when they are quiet.

7 - A crate can be in the playpen and open throughout the day. (This can be very beneficial when getting the puppy used to a crate too.)

8 - A non-spill water bowl is of real value.

9 - If you’re going out put down a pee pad. When you get home take the pee pad out.

10 - When you want them to come out – Tell them to sit, put them on lead straight away, open the door/gate slowly and don’t let the puppy come out in an excited state. Give them a treat and be very positive with them but do it CALMLY.

11 - Use a lead as often as you can with young puppies, so they get very used to it and are never afraid of it.

12 - Use a house lead for them to use outside of the playpen. A lead should NOT be left on a puppy inside the Playpen. Their collar should be left on to get the puppy used to it. Make sure it is NOT too loose – we don’t want the collar to get hooked onto something.

13 - Puppies grow and learn quickly. A playpen is great until they are around 6 months of age but can be used for a longer period if the playpen is a suitable size. Val Bonney “Life member of the Australian German Shepherd Association’ uses a playpen till her dogs are around 7 – 8 months of age.

14 - You can use a playpen or confined space outdoors too. They will dominate the backyard unless they learn how to be there and relaxed. A real should/must do if you have other animals and kids using this space too.

15 - If you are leaving your dog outside when you go out for a few hours the use of an outdoor playpen is very valuable. If not, they will start bad habits – pulling up plants, chewing on furniture, digging holes and barking.

16 - If used outside make sure you have a water bowl, some toys for mental stimulation and fun and lots of shade.

17 - Be CALM and relaxed yourself. Your dog will feel when you are anxious and upset and you may find it hard to settle them.

18 - Watch the puppies body language. It will tell you when to take them out to the toilet or give them some free time on lead outside the playpen.

We hope you enjoyed this brief overview of 18 TIPS and Tricks to using a Dog Playpen Correctly! It is very important to read the other articles on Playpens in our website.

Playpens and restricting a puppy when you first get it will be very helpful. Don't let your HUMAN love spoil the dog forever. Its funny when they are young but impossible as the habit becomes embedded in the psychology of the dog.
When your dog has NO Boundaries - this may be YOU!

Written by Peter Bonney Director Bonnies Dog Obedience and Puppy School Brisbane Australia. We are very proud of our 50 year history of training dogs all over the world. Val Bonney has trained in Japan - China - USA - UK - New Zealand and Australia. Bonnies has been recognised by winning 7 national and international awards for training excellence, Including Australia's Number 1 Dog Training and Puppy School.

1 Comment

Jun 28, 2023

This was a great help. I read the other article on playpens. Excellent thank you.

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