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    Best Dog Playpen: Review and Training Tips

    The best dog playpen, is a safe, and confined area for your dog. Providing them with an area to play without risk of damaging themselves or anything else. Our review features five of the very best dog playpens.

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    What is a Dog Playpen?

    A dog playpen is a fenced-in enclosure designed to accommodate your dog. Providing him with more room to move than is available in a crate or dog den.

    For owners of particularly energetic dogs; this may be a better solution. It gives the dog room to move around, and play.

    Here's a great video of a puppy playpen set-up:

    Why get a Dog Playpen?

    There are many benefits of having a safe and secure place for your dog to hang out. Personally, we have a fenced-in back yard so we only use our playpen indoors.

    A dog playpen can be ideal for dog owners who don't have a fenced in back yard. It's a great way to include your pooch in all your outdoor family activities.

    A playpen can be great for nursing mothers with pups. It will keep Mom and the pups safe in their own private area.

     dog playpen

    Dogs seem to enjoy having their own personal space. We have our own rooms and your dog will enjoy having his own "little apartment" to hang out in.

    It's tempting to put your dog in his playpen for a "time out" if he's misbehaved. This might have the effect of his linking the playpen to your disapproval or possible anger. It's best for him to think of his playpen as an area of fun and play. 

    How to Introduce your Dog to the Playpen

    When introducing your dog to their playpen, whether you’re working with a puppy or a mature dog - it’s important to take your time.

    You should place the pen in an area that your dog is comfortable. In the case of a new dog - choose an area that you can hang out, and keep them company in the beginning.

    Playpen training is similar to crate training. Your dog should associate his playpen with happy experiences. You can achieve this by giving him his treats inside the pen, spending time inside the pen with your dog, or giving him his favorite toy inside the playpen.

    Doggie Tip

    Never try to correct bad behavior by sending your dog to his playpen with a scolding. He will come to associate his playpen as a "jailhouse" causing him to view the pen in a negative way.

    Patience is key to success in having a smooth introduction. Your dog should be closely supervised during this very important initial training.

    The initial goal is to get your dog to go in and out of the playpen on his own. You can feed him in there or even go inside and let him follow you in. Spend some time inside the pen with your dog.

    Once the dog goes in and out with no fear, you can start leaving him inside for a short period of time. Throw a treat inside the pen and close the door. Go about your business while staying in sight of your dog. After a few minutes, you can open the door and let the dog out. 

    Once you've successfully done the above step, it's just a matter of leaving the pup in for longer periods of time. Just repeat the step several times during the day until you've left the dog in for a half hour.

    Doggie Tip

    VERY IMPORTANT: don't give in to whining or crying. Make sure the dog has calmed down before letting them out of the pen.

    The final step in this training is for you to be able to leave the house while the pup is in the pen. Start by leaving for just a few moments. A trip to the mailbox, or perhaps putting the garbage out.

    Finally, you'll be able to leave the dog in the pen while running errands such as a trip to the bank or to the corner store.

    Doggie Tip

    Be Patient! This training could take days or even weeks to complete. The time you put in now will be well worth it in the long run.

    Setting up Your Dog Playpen

    Items inside the pen should be a bed or blanket to lie on, a water bowl, and some toys. Including a dog KONG stuffed with his favorite treats to keep him occupied, is a great idea.

    Try to set up your dog's playpen in an area where the family can interact with him. They are, after all, a part of the family.

    Here's Our Top 5 Best Dog Playpens

    This enclosed playpen provides you with a safe and secure enclosure for your pup to play. While the mesh panels make it easy for you to keep an eye on him.

    Only suitable for puppies, or small breeds due to the height of the roof. Having said that, the roof is removable.

    The playpen is waterproof, and made from 600 denier Oxford cloth. Easy to clean, with a removable floor that you can throw straight in the wash

    Material

    Cloth

    Size

    48 Wide x 24 High

    Roof

    Yes

    Floor

    Yes

    Waterproof

    Yes

    Weight

    6.4 lbs.

    What We like

    • Waterproof
    • Mesh Panels
    • Removable Floor

    What We Don't Like

    • Delicate Zips
    • Not suitable for large breeds

    This colorful playpen is suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Made from heavy duty plastic, this may be a good choice for those living in rainy areas that may cause the metal to rust.

    For multi-dog households, there is the option to buy add-on panels to increase the size of the pen. The connecting rods also make it possible to change the shape to fit the space that you have available.

    It’s worth noting that the distance between each bar is 1.5 inches. So if you have a small breed, you should be cautious of the potential to get their head stuck.

    Material

    Plastic

    Size

    63"L x 63"W x 34"H

    21 Square Feet

    Roof

    No

    Floor

    No

    Waterproof

    Yes

    Weight

    26.2 lbs.

    What We Like

    • Made in America
    • Heavy duty plastic
    • Use indoors or outdoors
    • Option to buy add-ons to extend

    What We Don't Like

    • Doesn’t stake into the ground
    • No floor
    • minus-circle
      No roof
    • minus-circle
      Not suitable for escape artists

    This pretty pet gazebo comes in three different sizes, small for dogs up to 50 pounds. - Medium for dogs up to 100 pounds. - And large for dogs up to 180 pounds.

    This makes this one of the biggest options for owners of larger dogs.

    With this gazebo you can add many pens together to create larger runs. With a weather resistant polyurethane detachable roof and optional add-ons, including sun shades! This is a good multi-weather product.

    Assembly takes around ten minutes and requires no tools. The panels are dual coated metal to protect from the elements.

    Material

    Metal and cloth

    Size

    60" x 60" x 60"

    Medium size

    Roof

    Yes

    Floor

    No

    Waterproof

    Yes

    Weight

    55.5 lbs

    What We like

    • Detachable weather resistant roof
    • Optional add-ons
    • Connect many gazebos together
    • plus-circle
      Double latch access gate

    What We Don't Like

    • No floor
    • Heavy at over 50 pounds
    • minus-circle
      Roof can be flimsy

    Available in five different heights, ranging from 24 to 48 inches. The Midwest Exercise Pen is an ideal option for owners of dogs that like to jump out of their runs.

    This pen works indoors or outdoors, with corner stabilizers for indoor use. Ground stakes for outdoor use. And designed to be gentle on hardwood floors.

    Material

    Coated metal

    Size

    24" x 24" per panel

    Eight panels

    Roof

    No

    Floor

    No

    Waterproof

    Yes

    Weight

    20 lbs

    What We Like

    • Quick assembly
    • Thumb snap stabilizers
    • Provides 16 square feet of enclosed space

    What We Don't Like

    • No roof
    • No floor

    The lightest playpen on our list, this pen pops up and fold down in seconds for easy travel, and storage.

    Made from nylon for durability, with mesh panels, and removable roof for ventilation.

    With a semi-shaded roof to keep your dogs cool in the summer heat.

    Material

    Cloth and mesh

    Size

    24” x 48” x 48” 

    Roof

    Yes

    Floor

    Yes

    Waterproof

    Yes

    Weight

    4 lbs

    What We like

    • Robust and durable material
    • Lightweight
    • Immediate assembly

    What We Don't Like

    • Can close on its own

    Conclusion:

    Our personal choice is the Midwest Exercise Pen.

    This sturdy enclosure seems to be especially well suited to the more boisterous dogs. Those that like to jump up against the sides of their playpen.

    Easy fold flat storage and weather protection, this pen looks as though it will last for years.

    Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether to choose an indoor or outdoor playpen. But, this takes away the guesswork by giving you both options in one.

    All the playpens that we looked at were great in their way. The decision does come down to the size of your dog, and your personal preference.

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    About the AuthorAngela Miller

    Hello, my name is Angela Miller. Several years ago, I rescued a little seven-year-old Bichon Frise. I started looking into dog nutrition so I could keep my little love bug for as long as I possibly could. I love my dog too much to feed him unhealthy food. I hope some of the things I've learned along the way will help you and your dog.

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