The 10 Best Dog Pens

Updated May 04, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

10 Best Dog Pens
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. When it comes to caring for a beloved pet, ensuring his or her safety is of the utmost importance. One of these handy dog pens can offer a place in which your furry friend can feel secure, calm, and comfortable. They provide a temporary enclosure for keeping animals away from guests or certain areas of the house, and they also work well for crate training. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dog pen on Amazon.

10. Zampa Foldable

The flexible Zampa Foldable is available in four different colors and boasts fully-reinforced corners, protected seams, and the ability to collapse down flat for quick and easy storage. A carrying case is included for convenient portability during road trips.
  • exterior storage pockets for treats
  • built-in hole for water dispensing
  • zippers are a bit finicky
Brand Zampa
Model pending
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Pet Trex 8 Panel

The Pet Trex 8 Panel comes complete with ground anchors, heavy-duty latches, and corner stabilizers, all of which serve to maintain its structural integrity on virtually any surface, while comfortably and safely preventing even the largest of pets from potential escape.
  • price is very reasonable
  • sleek satin black exterior coating
  • panel height is a bit short
Brand Pet Trex
Model 2205 24 x 24 8 Panel Pe
Weight 24 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. Iris Playpen

Give your pooch a cheery, yet elegantly enclosed, area to call his own with the Iris Playpen. This enclosure provides 21 square feet of space, which is more than enough for Fido to have some contained exercise and fun, and its hinged access door has double-locking latches.
  • made from sturdy molded plastic
  • available in a variety of colors
  • setup is rather time-consuming
Brand IRIS USA, Inc.
Model 301711
Weight 25.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Carlson Convertible

The Carlson Convertible offers four possible configurations with its foldable design, allowing for an efficient indoor or outdoor setup. Its handle features a one-touch safety release lever for convenient walk-through use if you block off an area in your home.
  • resilient chew-proof construction
  • pressure-mounting system for walls
  • corner bars too wide for small dogs
Brand Carlson
Model 2200 DS
Weight 27.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Cardinal Perfect Fit

As a kennel, gate, or play yard, the Cardinal Perfect Fit is ready to use right out of the box. Assembled from a combination of black steel and painted wood accenting, it is both a practical and attractive complement to any rustic cabin or downtown apartment.
  • accordion-style folding for storage
  • panels are easy to configure
  • latch for the puppy door is flimsy
Brand Cardinal Gates
Model PFPG
Weight 36.8 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

5. MyPet Passage

Good for homes with multiple animals, the MyPet Passage comes with 8 easy-to-configure interlocking panels for accommodating a variety of different environments, creating a secure containment area for canines of any age or size.
  • made in the usa
  • skid-resistant pads protect floors
  • small lockable door for petite pets
Brand North States Pet
Model 8799
Weight 26.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Lucky Dog Uptown Kennel

Create a safe haven for Fido in any domestic or professional setting using the Lucky Dog Uptown Kennel. Its welded steel bars and wire mesh materials are fully coated and smooth to the touch, keeping your pets secure without any dangerous, sharp edges to harm them.
  • corrosion-resistant
  • roof is completely waterproof
  • raised legs for easy cleaning
Brand Lucky Dog
Model CL 60548
Weight 106 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

3. Advantek Pet Gazebo

When you have to leave your pooch outside for extended periods of time, the Advantek Pet Gazebo is there to help. Its roof is equipped with a durable, weather-resistant polyurethane cover, while its low-profile design provides easy access both in and out of the enclosure.
  • the cover is reversible
  • assembles in less than 10 minutes
  • great for use during camping trips
Brand Advantek
Model 23200
Weight 55.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Unleashed Portable

Lightweight and foldable, the Unleashed Portable comes with a convenient carrying bag, making it an ideal option for travel or camping. It's made of durable, water-resistant nylon, has a removable mesh roof, and pops open easily with no assembly required.
  • available in medium and large sizes
  • includes a collapsible food bowl
  • suitable for indoor or outdoor use
Brand Unleashed
Model pending
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. BestPet Heavy Duty

Strong enough to contain large and powerful canines, the BestPet Heavy Duty delivers an all-metal construction with an innovative design, including a main access door that is raised above the ground in order to prevent your pooch from rushing out when it's opened.
  • stands 40 inches tall
  • set up as rectangle or octagon
  • able to withstand inclement weather
Brand BestPet
Model HP4032-8-Black
Weight 57 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Benefits Of Dog Pens

To understand the benefit a dog pen provides, it is important to understand that they are training tools, not babysitting devices. A dog pen should never be used to replace proper training in a canine companion, but rather to supplement and enhance a training regimen.

As dogs familiarize themselves with a dog pen, the area within can feel like home. Dogs will regard this area as a safe zone, and areas in their brain responding to safety and comfort will light up whenever they are in it. Just as it is important for humans to have shelter, dogs long for this same feeling as well, and dog pens easily provide for it.

Dog pens are also great options to contain your animal outside in an open area, such as a wilderness preserve or park where a leash may seem inhibiting, yet they need some sort of boundary. The use of a dog pens is also an easy way to allow a dog to get exercise and sunlight. The ideal solution is to take the dog on a walk or exercise at the park, which benefits both dog and owner and strengthens their bond. The reality is that this is not always an option. Allowing a dog to play within a pen provides for their need for recreation while allowing you to take care of things around the house.

Dog pens have distinct advantages over building a permanent fence around your property as well. Not only will using dog pens save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in installation, but they are also portable. A dog pen can be placed anywhere inside or outside the home, at the beach, a public park, or even in a hotel room while traveling.

The versatility of a dog pen is another distinct advantage. Dog pens can be used to contain other small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, and even small farm animals who need isolation while healing.

Are Dog Pens An Effective Training Method?

Training is an essential part of caring for a dog. Training a canine can produce incredible results, from simple obedience training to detecting prostate tumors by sniffing urine. Most owners would simply be happy if the dog did not urinate in the house anymore. Dog pens are an effective training tool for a variety of cases.

While training a new canine, it may be difficult to keep them focused and alert to you in every situation. A dog pen provides a safe, controlled environment in which to practice training with your dog. Part of training is to create a similar response to verbal and visual commands no matter the external stimuli present. Most dog owners understand this is easier said than done. By taking a familiar dog pen into an area in which the dog feels uncomfortable (e.g. beside a busy road or at a populated park), you can help ease their stress and strengthen your bond through training.

Using a dog pen for potty training will also prove extremely advantageous. Dogs have an innate dislike for urinating or defecating where they sleep, and would rather hold it in until they can relieve themselves elsewhere. In a large room, this is as simple as walking to the other side of the room, relieving themselves, and then walking back to their bed. This creates irritation in the owner, which a pet cannot understand.

No matter how many times they have their nose rubbed in old pee, a dog will never understand why the owner is doing it. To actually make a difference in potty training a dog, consider providing them with a dog pen as a sleeping area. Through simple classical conditioning, this will build familiarity with the pen as a safe space, and decrease the chances of them peeing in the pen.

Positive Reinforcement Vs. Negative Reinforcement: Does It Matter?

Both positive and negative training methods have become popularized over the last century. These methodologies vary in their application. An example of positive training would be placing a treat in the dogs pen to reward them for entering it. An example of negative training would be to scold the dog and send it to the pen for barking. The basic understanding of the two methodologies is that negative reinforcement training offers the dog a negative stimulus like scolding, reduction in toys or treats, or even physical pain for doing an undesired behavior, where positive training rewards a dog's good behaviors by using treats, petting, and positive noises.

Negative reinforcement has been the norm, though this method may be on its way out. According to many studies, aversive training methods may do more harm than good. Some studies find that using negative training techniques, such as shock collars and the alpha roll, can create fearful tendencies in the dogs mind rather than the confidence they need for these behaviors to cease. These fearful tendencies actually create more aggression in the dog rather that treating the root cause of aggression, which is their lack of self confidence. By far, positive reinforcement therapy is the most beneficial method of dog training.

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Last updated on May 04, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

Gabrielle is a writer and hopeful entrepreneur who hails from a tiny town in Virginia. Earlier in her career, she spent a few years in Southern California before moving back to the east coast (but she misses LA every day). An avid and enthusiastic home cook, she is somewhat of an expert at fending off attempted food thievery by her lazy boxer.

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