Why Do Some Puppies Not Like Playpens? [Reasons + Do This]

puppy in the playpen

As a dog parent, you love seeing your furry friend lounging around with a happy expression, right? So, you try to provide everything you think your pup needs, including a playpen. But what if your dog doesn’t like the playpen at all?

If you’re in this situation, I feel you! I’ve had the same issue with my little pup.

A puppy may be reluctant to stay inside a playpen due to separation anxiety, lack of space, poor location, unfamiliarity, or fear. However, puppies can be trained to stay inside a playpen with positive reinforcement, keeping food inside, placing it in a better location, and getting a larger playpen.

I won’t leave you lost in the woods. Let me explain why your puppy doesn’t like the playpen in a more concise way!

Why does your puppy doesn’t like its playpen?

So, here we go!

1. “It’s new to him.”

If you are a toddler’s parent, you might know how hard it is with some toddlers to make them go to their kindergarten for the first time.

The little kid would cry over for you because the place is obviously new to him. Similarly, your little puppy is just not used to the new thing, which might make him hate the playpen.

2. “The area is too confined.”

Puppies are absolutely playful and explorative blossom buddies. So, if the place lacks the space he needs, it would definitely be a problem for the little.

He might even have thoughts like, “I can’t even roll down here and play.” The poor adorable pooch is literally asking for some space!

3. “I am too far away.”

Just like our toddlers need to see us near them, these little pups also want to stay close to you.

So if he feels like you are too far away from him, his poor heart would weep out in pain. This can ultimately lead him to hate the playpen.

4. “It’s too hard to be on this, dada!”

Sure, you might know there are varying types of playpens that are made up of different materials.

When it comes to the mattress of the playpen, the mattress that has been used might be hard, making the puppy uncomfortable and making your little’s pooch butt hurt!

After all of these, who wants to be in a place which gives pain, right/Poor puppy!

5. Location of the playpen.

Now, have you ever been concerned about this? Answer this for yourself. So, pertaining to this, the location of the playpen is either too warm or too cold; it’s not cozy at all for the puppy.

Moreover, if it is located somewhere in isolation, your puppy might think to rather be with you instead of the playpen.

6. “Pretty scared”

If your pup is a beginner to the playpen, he might be pretty scared to get into the playpen. He might assume that he might get trapped in there forever if he gets in there!

7. Separation anxiety.

This is more like an extreme stress condition that might occur when the puppy is separated from the former owner, adopted newly or due to a location change.

Basically, separation anxiety can be defined as a condition in which a puppy or a dog would exhibit distress due to departing from something or someone they loved.

Few symptoms of separation anxiety are,

  1. Anxious behavior
  2. Excessive barking and growling
  3. Urination in house
  4. Overeating or doesn’t seem to be eating at all
  5. Excessive salivation

Moving on, this might also be a reason for the pup to dislike its playpen.

Suggested Reading: When should a puppy stop use playpens?

How to make your puppy to like his playpen?

We now need to find remedies, isn’t it? Let’s dive deep into this now!

1. “Positive reinforcement”

Now this tactic is forever the love of a dog parent. Let me tell you how to get on to it.

“Toss a piece of food into the playpen.”

Get your puppies “seem to be fave’’ food and toss a piece of it into the playpen or near the playpen and ask him to run for that.

Making him go near it will make him feel that it is not something to be afraid of. Try this on for a few days, and also don’t forget to give him praises and cuddle him when he succeeds!

“Play, play fetch. “

As I mentioned before, puppies are indeed playful creatures. So why not try using this adorable quality of them for their own benefit?

You can throw off a rubber ball or a chewable bone into the playpen and let him fetch it. Same as before, let your buddy fetch it and then pat his head with the lovable words ever!

“Hide and seek.”

This is quite your time! Play hide and seek with your little furry friend! You can hide near the playpen or in the surroundings, and when he finds you, better praise him!

By the way, read this to understand how to keep your puppy from jumping out of its playpen.

2. Feed the puppy while inside his playpen.

Make the puppy take his meals inside the playpen as in you can feed the little one inside it. At a slow pace, with each meal increasing the time he stays inside the playpen.

In this way, the little pup will be able to stay for a longer time. Don’t rush the process, though!

3. A better location.

As I mentioned before, a better location might be where he can see you as most of the time as possible and somewhere with good lighting and obviously not an area that sounds haunted!

4. Neither hot nor too cold.

Ensure that the playpen has proper ventilation during the hot weather and adequate insulation during the cold weather.

It is of utmost importance to not allow your pup to sweat extremely and not let him shiver extremely. So better check out that!

5. Spacious playpen.

As a guardian mama or a papa of a little puppy, you are surely aware that pups love rolling here and there and ring around.

So, our pup definitely needs a good space for this. Therefore, make sure the playpen is spacious enough for this.

6. Use a soft mattress or dog pad for the playpen.

If the mattress is hard-covered, the doggy might feel uncomfortable staying throughout. A soft mattress or a dog pad can aid you regarding this matter. Happy pup, happy parent!

Suggested Reading: How to keep dog pens from getting muddy?

7. Use a pet camera while you are away!

Here we go in the use of new technology. This use of the camera will aid in letting your doggy know that you are always here for them, even if you are at work for a couple of days.

This might somewhat be effective in reducing separation anxiety if your pup is going through that phase. So, why not try it?

The above are a few methods in which you can make your fluffy creature love the playpen in no time.

Should your puppy be allowed to roam free if he does not like his playpen?

Puppies are indeed “solo travelers,” if I could use that. What I mean by this is if puppies are unleashed or let be roamed around freely, especially if you aren’t there, it would be quite a bit of a hassle.

He might even get himself into a lot of trouble. He might even travel for miles.

Therefore as per the reasons, it is vital to find a way to make the puppy love his playpen, so he can even be left alone for a while without your supervision.

How long should you keep your puppy in the playpen?

This is a fact to be considered with age and his desire to stay in the playpen.

As a matter of fact, your puppy could be kept in the playpen for between 30 minutes to six hours, depending on the conditions that you come across.

How long do puppies need playpens?

Puppies can be given to use the playpen until the age of two years, and then you can consider and remove the playpen from him at a slow pace.

Further reading: When should a puppy stop using a playpen?

Things to be aware of.

Proper arrangement of the playpen

The proper arrangement of the playpen is of utmost vital before training the puppy inside the playpen. Below are some facts which you should be concerned about.

  1. Proper bedding
  2. A specific potty area
  3. Safe chew toys inside the playpen
  4. Good food

No punishing

“Kindness always wins” can be applied to the relationship between your adorable fur creature and you. If the puppy is unwilling to get on to the playpen, just don’t yell at him or slack him off with a stick.

That won’t work and will turn everything upside down, traumatizing the poor pup.

Therefore, check into this matter with the utmost kindness, love, and affection towards the puppy. Usage of positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to make things go right. So, why not be kind?


In conclusion, I hope that I guided you on why your puppy dislikes the playpen, how to overcome it and much more. I hope you were able to enhance your knowledge through it!

Stay tuned with us to know more about these adorable pooches!

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