The 9 Best Dog Pens
9. Zampa Portable
- exterior storage pockets for treats
- built-in hole for water dispensing
- the zippers are finicky
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
8. Pet Trex 2205
- price is very reasonable
- sleek satin black exterior coating
- panel height is a bit short
|Model||2205 24 x 24 8 Panel Pe|
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
7. Iris 301711
- made from molded and sturdy plastic
- available in blue and pink
- setup is rather time-consuming
|Brand||IRIS USA, Inc.|
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
6. Carlson 4-in-1 Convertible
- chew-proof and resilient design
- pressure-mounting system for walls
- corner slats too wide for small dogs
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
5. Cardinal Perfect Fit PFPG
- accordion-style folding for storage
- panels are easy to configure
- latch for the puppy door is flimsy
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
4. MyPet Petyard Passage
- made in the usa
- skid-resistant pads protect floors
- small lockable door for smaller pets
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
3. Lucky Dog Uptown Kennel
- corrosion- and rust-resistant
- roof is completely waterproof
- raised legs for easy cleaning
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
2. Advantek Pet Gazebo
- the cover is reversible
- assembles in less than 10 minutes
- great for use during camping trips
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
1. Pro Select Empire
- graphite hammertone finish
- available in 36- and 48-inch heights
- 20-gauge steel frame
|Model||ZW9001 48 17|
|Rating||4.6 / 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.