Our furry toddlers really can love their puppy playpen or crate. Playpens and crates are excellent for creating a safe confinement area for your puppy to hang out in, and are also useful for toilet and alone time training. Using a crate or play pen for your puppy is a personal choice, but they make training your puppy and setting them up to succeed a lot easier.

In this article, we’ll get into what is playpen puppy training and how you might choose the right playpen for your puppy. We’ll also explain the difference between crate training vs puppy playpen training, and go through a whole list of benefits to puppy playpen training. 

If you’re looking for help with puppy playpen training, download the Zigzag app and get started with your puppy’s training today. You can get in touch with our team of professional dog trainers 24/7 via our in-app chat. They’ll help you figure out whether to use a crate or a playpen for your puppy, or both, so reach out for help with puppy play pen training today.

What is playpen puppy training

Puppy playpen training is a great way of providing an area that’s safe for your puppy to hang out, and be left alone in. You can use a puppy playpen for lots of reasons, such as 

  • Keeping your puppy separated from other dogs or cats in your house
  • Giving your puppy a peaceful place to be away from children
  • Reduce the need for constant supervision – great if you work from home and can’t keep your eyes on your puppy all the time!
  • A place to leave your puppy if you need to go out and leave them safely
  • An area that can used for sleeping but also have an indoor toilet if required
  • A dependable and familiar place to put your puppy when going on holiday with them and you stay somewhere new

Finding the right playpen for your pup

There’s a few things to consider when finding the best playpen for puppies, such as:

Puppy Playpen Material 

Do you want a fabric playpen that can be used for travel, or a sturdier metal version to use at home? Is your puppy going to chew on zips, or the mesh of a travel puppy playpen. 

Size of your playpen

The size required for a Labrador to stretch and wander about is going to be different to one needed by a Chihuahua, after all! 

Security and safety

Ensuring your puppy’s playpen can be shut securely and is escape proof is definitely something to consider when looking at puppy playpens. Making sure it’s tall enough that your puppy can’t jump out is going to be important for their safety. No one needs a little Houdini on their hands!

Design of the playpen

Some playpens come with a roof, which is useful for providing shade outdoors, while others have a waterproof liner to help catch any toilet training accidents.

For a detailed breakdown, check out our full article How to Choose a Playpen for your pup 

Crate training vs Playpen training 

Puppy playpen training, and puppy crate training, are similar but different. While they’re both used to contain your puppy and give them a safe environment, crates are generally used for shorter periods for puppies to sleep and for travelling, and toileting in the crate is not desirable. Whereas playpens provide a larger puppy proofed area that your puppy can play and explore in, you can put them in there for longer periods, and you can add an indoor toilet for your pup.

Read our guide to crate training your pup for a step by step method to teach your puppy that crates are fine! .

Download the Zigzag app to learn more about how to get your puppy to sleep in their crate or playpen, as well as sleep through the night. 

The benefits of playpen training your pup

Using a puppy playpen provides many benefits, whether you have a new puppy, a rescue puppy, or you think it’s time to try playpen training. Here’s what you can look forward to 

  • A safe area for your puppy to be in – puppies are curious and want to get into everything! Playpen training means you don’t need to have eyes in the back of your head to watch them all the time, 
  • A place for your puppy to relax – puppies need a lot of sleep and aren’t so good at switching off in a busy house, so playpens can help get them into a nap time routine where they won’t be disturbed.
  • Teaches your puppy to spend time alone – puppies naturally want to be with us, and puppy playpens can be used to teach them that nice things happen when they’re in there, helping to prevent separation anxiety
  • Safe socialisation – if you have other resident dogs, cats or other small animals, then having your puppy in a playpen can help them get to know their housemates in a safe and controlled environment.

Learn more in our guides to socialisation, introducing your puppy to a cat, or puppy sleep explained. You can also find out more by downloading the Zigzag app, go through your puppy’s personalised training programme, or chat to our professional dog trainers, 24/7 via the in-app chat 

Playpen Training a Puppy FAQs

Can you train a puppy in a playpen?

Yes! You can get inside your puppy’s playpen and train them in life skills and obedience tasks in there if there is room. 

Can I leave my puppy in a playpen all day?

We don’t recommend you leave dogs on their own all day while you go out, they’re social creatures, after all. But if you’re working or hanging out from home, you can leave them in there whilst also giving them regular toilet and play breaks.

Should I put a pee pad in the puppy playpen?

It’s up to you, some people find it useful to put an indoor toilet in the playpen as it will help their puppy sleep through the night and not wake them up. Others prefer to get up and take their puppy out, and don’t want them peeing inside under any circumstances

Can I use a playpen instead of a crate?

Yes, although we recommend using the two together, with the crate inside the playpen, you can also use a puppy playpen on its own. If you want to learn more about training your puppy with a playpen, safe confinement area, or with a crate, download the Zigzag puppy training app and get going with your puppy’s training today!