7  Strategies to Prevent Your Puppy’s Playpen Escapes

Teaching your puppy to use a playpen helps them get used to being alone. But while you’re at it you might find your puppy is really good at escaping, and stopping them can be tough.

You can stop your puppy from escaping its playpen by installing a taller fence and covering the inside walls with plastic sheets.

Read on to find out more tips on how to stop your puppy from escaping its playpen.

Why do Puppies Escapes Their Playpen?

It’s important to figure out why puppies try to get out of their play areas so we can find good ways to stop them from doing it. The main reasons puppies try to escape include their natural instincts, how they feel emotionally, and what they need physically. Now, let’s look into why puppies act like little escape artists:

  • Seeking Comfort and Security: Puppies might feel scared or nervous in their playpen, especially if they’re not used to their new home yet. Not having their people around can make them feel even more alone and uncomfortable, which may make them try to get out.
  • Excess Energy: Young dogs have a lot of energy, and some breeds are especially lively. If they don’t get to use up this energy through playing, exercising, and brain games, they might try to escape to burn off that extra energy.
  • Curiosity and Exploration: Puppies are really curious and love to check out everything around them. Being in a playpen stops them from exploring as much as they want, so they might try to find a way out to see more of the world outside their little area.
  • Boredom: If puppies don’t have enough toys, fun activities, and attention, they can get bored really fast. This boredom might make them come up with clever ways to get out of their playpen to find something interesting to do.
  • Lack of Training: Puppies might not realize that the playpen is meant to be a safe spot for them to relax and stay protected. If they’re not trained to get used to the playpen, they might see it as something they need to get away from instead of a safe place.

Puppies can be pretty clever when it comes to find ways to escape their playpens and a pro tip is to record the puppy in action to be able to see how it escapes the playpen and use that information to prevent the puppy from escaping it.

How to Stop Your Puppy From Escaping The Playpen

1. Utilize Clear Playpen Covers

Energetic puppies might attempt to jump out of their playpens, risking injury. To deter this behavior, consider using a clear, sturdy cover over the playpen. This prevents your puppy from attempting to escape by jumping, without making the space feel closed off. Ensure the cover is well-ventilated to maintain a comfortable environment inside the playpen.

2. Implement a Smooth Topping Barrier

To prevent your puppy from gripping and climbing over the playpen, installing a smooth, rounded barrier such as a PVC pipe along the top edge can be effective. Opt for a rounded, smooth PVC pipe that is difficult for your puppy to grip. Ensure that the material is safe and won’t splinter or break, posing a risk to your puppy.

3. Stabilize the Playpen

Lightweight playpens might be pushed or tipped over by a determined puppy. To prevent this, secure the base of the playpen with weights or stabilize it against a wall. Use safe, stable objects that won’t pose a risk if your puppy were to bump into them.

4. Extend the Height Safely

If your puppy is a persistent climber, consider extending the height of the playpen. Some playpens are designed to be stackable or have extensions available. Ensure any additions are securely attached to prevent tipping. Always prioritize structures designed for this purpose to maintain safety.

5. Secure a Durable Cover

Covering the playpen with a durable, heavy-duty fabric or specially designed cover can discourage escape attempts. Secure the cover with clips that are out of reach of your puppy to prevent them from pulling it into the playpen. Choose a material that is breathable yet sturdy, to maintain airflow while deterring your puppy from jumping out.

6. Use a Chew-proof Mesh Lid

A secure mesh lid made from a chew-proof material like metal can be an excellent solution for smaller dogs or puppies inclined to jump or climb. Ensure the mesh is securely fastened to the sides of the playpen with ties or clips that your puppy cannot remove. This option allows for ventilation while keeping your puppy safely inside.

7. Positive Reinforcement Training

Training your puppy to view the playpen as a safe and enjoyable space is crucial. Spend time with your puppy in the playpen, providing toys and treats to make it a positive environment. Training your puppy with commands to enter and stay in the playpen can help them associate it with positive experiences. Reward calm behavior and use the playpen as a restful, safe space after exercise or play.

Tips for introducing your puppy to the playpen

Introducing your puppy to its new playpen is an important step and should be done correctly for the best results.

Start with taking the puppy for a walk and then let it in the playpen, giving it a chewable toy to keep it occupied. You should then leave your puppy alone. This should be done subtly, so as to not make a fuss about it. Return after a few minutes and let your puppy out.

These steps can be repeated a few times a day, and the duration for which the puppy is left alone can be gradually increased.

In Summary:

Keeping your puppy safe and secure in their playpen requires a combination of physical adjustments to the playpen itself and behavioral training.

By making the playpen a positive environment and ensuring it is escape-proof through safe and thoughtful modifications, you can provide a secure area for your puppy to play and rest.

Remember, the goal is to ensure your puppy’s safety while encouraging positive behaviors, making the playpen a happy place for them to spend time.