A Guide to Pet Exercise Pens
By Johnathan Livingston
Pet exercise is very important. Your dog needs a space in which to romp. With exercise pens, your dog has the opportunity to romp around without having the chance to escape and run amuck in the neighbor’s flowerbed.
Exercise Pens-What Are They?
These 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.
Dog pens come in sizes ranging from 24 to 48 inches in height, and are typically 16 feet in length. Exercise pens are also available with soft sides constructed of canvas and mesh. These weigh less and are more portable, but if your dog is rambunctious or tends to chew they are far mare easily destroyed than the metal dog pens.
Exercise pens can be used indoors or outdoors. Dogs are territorial, and so will be quite comfortable with the notion that the pen is their area. The hinges allow you to configure exercise pens into just about any size and shape you choose. You can also use it as a gate or barrier if you want to keep your dog in a particular part of a fenced-in yard, or keep the dog in the house or garage.
Exercise Pens and Training
One of the best ways to encourage and maintain your dog’s good behavior is to manage his or her environment. These pens are good tools for doing this. You can create a comfortable and familiar environment for your dog when you are not there to watch over and train him or her, or just cannot devote your full attention to your dog.
Travel and Portability
Dogs can be great fun to travel with, if you are well prepared. Taking a dog pen along with you on your trip will give your dog a secure place to relax no matter where you are, without having to tie your dog up all the time. Dogs prefer exercise pens to being tied up.
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 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 can be tremendously useful in housebreaking your dog. It will allow you to use a box or piddle pad, or keep your dog in a limited space until you can take him or her outside. If the dog perceives the space as his own, he may be less inclined to soil it. You will, however, need to remember to take your dog outside frequently to do his business.
Other Uses for Exercise Pens
Pens are used at dog shows to keep the participants safe, happy and separate from each other until it is their turn to tour the ring. They are also used to keep your dog confined to a limited area of your house or yard 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.
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.
You can acclimate your dog to 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.