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What to look for in an exercise pen

You want your dog to exercise, but also to be safe. You worry that maybe your dog isn’t bright enough to be on a leash without strangling himself. Enter exercise pens. They give your dog place to play without the chance to do something stupid and dangerous.

Exercise Pens-What Are They?

Exercise pens, also known as dog pens, are fences that allow your dog a safe place for your dog to exercise and play. Portable exercise pens are available. These consist of portable fencing made of heavy gauge wire formed into eight hinged panels. The hinges make the exercise pen easy to put away or transport.

Sizes range from 24 to 48 inches in height, with length of most portable dog pens being around 16 feet. Some exercise pens have soft sides made of canvas or mesh. They aren’t as heavy and they’re more portable. If your dog is destructive, be aware that you’re better off with metal dog pens.

Exercise pens are suitable for indoor use, not just outdoors. Dogs prefer pens to leashes, and it satisfies their notion of territory. The hinges on your pen will allow you to configure exercise pens into whatever shape you want, and even use it as a barrier to section off your fenced-in yard, or keep your dog in the garage.

An Excellent Training Tool

Exercise pens are excellent tools for controlling your dog’s environment. You can create a comfortable area for your dog when you are not present to watch and train him or her, or when you’re not able to devote your full attention to your dog.

Traveling with Your Dog

If you are well prepared, you may enjoy traveling with your dog. A dog pen is a useful accessory for your trip, not only giving the dog a secure place to relax, but also making it so you don’t have to keep your dog on a leash all the time. Dogs prefer exercise pens to leashes generally.

Dogs are easily unsettled by unfamiliar surroundings. This can cause the dog to behave inappropriately. For example, the dog may be tempted to urinate on furniture or decorative items, or chew on furniture and fixtures-particularly awkward if you’re staying at someone else’s house. Spacious Exercise pens with a familiar soft blanket and chewable toys can be a welcome place to rest for your dog. Knowing your dog is relaxing will ease your mind as well.

Exercise Pens and Potty Training

Exercise pens can also be used as a tool in toilet training your dog. You may use it in combination with a box or piddle pad. Dogs are loathe to do their business in their own personal space, and their pen isn’t big enough to have a bathroom corner. They’ll wait for you to take them out, but be sure you do so in a timely matter, or your dog will be really unhappy.

Other Applications

Exercise pens at dog shows to keep the participants safe and separate from until it is their turn. They also can be used to confine your dog after your dog has returned home from surgery. A dog that has been recently operated on should not be allowed to roam free, but rather must remain where you can closely observe him.

Other Considerations

While your dog’s pen is useful for keeping your dog at select times, they are not intended to be a place where the dog can stay indefinitely. In spite of the name you’ll want to take your dog out of the pen and let him get some real exercise.

Teach your dog to accept the pen the same way you would to a crate: feed him in the pen, do not leave him alone in the pen until he’s used to it. Don’t leave his collar on when he’s in the pen, for his own safety.

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