It’s time to train your new puppy. As you scan the points in your handy-dandy new puppy checklist, you notice that many dog trainers are recommending the use of a puppy playpen. More like a puppy prison, you mutter to yourself, then quickly look around to see if anyone witnessed your one-sided conversation.
Is it cruel to use a puppy playpen for training your pup?
The answer is no — and I’ll tell you why not.
For one thing, if your life is as busy as mine, you will find a pet pen of some sort an essential piece of equipment for helping your young pupgrow up to be a well-behaved dog.
Well, first: A puppy playpen will allow you time for yourself, away from your pet. A young pup is the epitome of kinetic energy — squared! It’s like living with a two-year-old! And, as with a two-year-old, Mom and Dad need a break occasionally — to catch their breath and relax!
Being relaxed is essential when training a puppy because he will sense any frustration — and if you are agitated, he will be agitated.
Secondly: A puppy playpen can help you teach your pet self control. He needs to understand that there is a time to play, and a time to lie down and relax … that life with a human is NOT just a 24-hour a day game of “Fetch”!
Unlike him, his human needs quiet time. The puppy playpen can help you establish the parameters of your relationship and limit his options when necessary. He will quickly learn that the playpen represents quiet time.
If Junior is introduced to his playpen at an early age, he will come to accept it — and even welcome it — as a part of his life. It becomes his domain and he’ll actually come to enjoy his time there. It represents security to him. It’s home.
You can introduce your pet to his playpen by first leaving the door open with his bed inside. Let him sniff around and explore it. You can even toss some treats inside to draw him further in. Then, when he enters the pen to retrieve his treats, slowly and calmly close the door behind him.
Talk frequently to your puppy while he is inside the playpen and he will come to feel safe, secure and contented in there.
Allowing the pup to just wander about the house freely and unsupervised when you are away from home is a recipe for disaster! If his bad habits and behavior go uncorrected, how will he ever learn good habits? A puppy playpen keeps your pup from wandering and prevents him from getting into the kind of mischief common to all puppies — mischief such as chewing on electrical wires, or devouring every shoe in your closet.
And that reminds me — be sure and have plenty of chew toys available for your new puppy. It will spare you the grief of watching your shoe wardrobe diminish due to his footwear fetish!
Fact of life: Puppies chew.
A parent of a baby knows to provide their infant with a teething ring to help it when its teeth are coming in. Well, puppies teeth too. And when their gums are sore from new teeth coming in, they desperately need to chew. So be sure to provide your pup with a sufficient amount of chew toys to keep him from destroying your house and possessions!
Remember also: A puppy playpen is NOT a jail. Use your puppy playpen for training purposes. NEVER use it as a punishment. If your pup does something wrong, correct him and show him what you want of him. Then — most importantly — praise him when he gets it right. You never want the pup to associate his puppy playpen with unpleasant memories.
Another “Don’t”" Do not keep your puppy in the playpen for long periods of time – never more than two hours. He should be given as much time and attention outside the pen as possible. The playpen is part of a routine for your pup. But so is playtime … and grooming time … and mealtime. All of this goes to teaching your dog balance.
So, to reiterate: Is a puppy playpen cruel? Answer: Not if it is used correctly. It can not only give you a much needed break from your pet, but it’s a great tool to help you teach your puppy proper behavior.
If, after reading this, you feel a puppy playpen is right for you, follow this link to view one: puppy playpen. No pressure intended here. There’s a model to fit any circumstance. For instance, if you like to travel with your dog, maybe go to dog shows or agility competitions, this one seems like a great choice: [insert]
I’m Murron Campbell. Welcome to my blog.