When Should A Puppy Stop Using A Playpen? [Complete Guide]

When Should A Puppy Stop Using A Playpen

There can be tons of questions and doubts when you start to raise a little puppy in your household. Out of the huge list, one of the most bothersome issues is when a puppy should stop using a playpen.

Although the average puppy can stop using a playpen at about 5-6 months of age, this solely depends on improvement on the dog’s behavioral pattern. Amount of mental and physical stimulation, obedience training, house training, and health issues are the key factors that influence their behavior.

We’re going to understand how to assess these behavior patterns and how to avoid potential problems and eventually train your puppy to stay without a playpen.

When should you stop using a playpen for your puppy?

So, now you get the question of when your puppy should stop using the playpen. Well, it depends on the progress of your puppy.

It can vary according to the breed of your puppy as well. Typically, after 5-6 months, they will start to show an improvement in their behavioral patterns, and you should be able to observe them closely and identify them.

But still, you will need to keep them in a playpen during the night or whenever you are out of the home. Trust issues matter!

Even if you trust he or she is ready to stay without the playpen and have come to an adult age to stop using the playpen, you should stay alert.

Some puppies show significant good habits when they are out of the playpen, and you can let them roam free. But some still are a bit aggressive and destructive even though they have reached 2-3 years.

So, deciding when your puppy should stop using the playpen depends on your puppy’s improvement in self-training and your keen observation of him or her.

They can’t talk to you and ask but, you can observe them and decide.  

If you are keeping your fellow in a playpen, how many hours can you keep him or her in it? Usually, it is calculated by taking their age in months and adding one.

That means if your puppy is 3 months old, add 1 and count it in hours which means 4 hours. But, you should be aware of their behavior when they are in playpen whether they can manage all alone.

Do not worry; your puppy won’t need a playpen forever. It is temporary until your puppy is housetrained and settled into its new place.

Do puppies really need a playpen?

Well, before answering this question, have you ever thought about why your puppy needs to stay in a playpen, or do they need a playpen?

The fact that your puppy needs to stay in a playpen is kind of an ‘up to you’ decision. To be honest, there’re more benefits that you can have from training your dog to stay in a playpen.

If you let your puppy roam and wander all over the house before potty training, you will have a hectic time after coming home from work.

1. Know that playpen isn’t a punishment.

Do not misunderstand that using a playpen is not a punishment for your puppy. It is just a little area designed only for him or her to keep them secure.     

2. Playpen helps them to learn good habits

One important reason you have to use a playpen for your puppy is that he or she learns good habits, and they will automatically get themselves trained to behave well.

If you need to be successful as a dog parent, these kinds of little things are essential.

3. You can protect your carpets and other belongings.

Then you can protect your carpets, sofas, and your floor without poop everywhere.

Using a playpen is more effective in training your puppy to choose a specific place or an area to poop even when he or she grows older.

How to understand if a puppy is ready to stay without a playpen?

No matter how much time it takes to take your puppy out of the playpen or crate, you should give him or her good training.

A great puppy training will ease your workload, and also, you can enjoy good behaviors of your puppy even in a public place fearlessly.

If you have a new fellow, you should read and be aware of creating a friendly feeling inside the playpen for him or her.

But if your puppy is quite fine with the playpen for a considerable period, you can think of ways to get him out without creating a fuss.

Well, come to the question. If you see an improvement in the behavior of your puppy, before giving him or her a little bit more freedom in the outer environment, you just have to consider some important facts.

1. Take the dog out into a puppy-proofed area.

First, you have to make sure they are ready to go outside the playpen. For that, take him or her out into a puppy-proofed area that lacks harmful stuff and keenly observe how they enjoy the outside environment.

Be careful; you are introducing them to the surroundings, which is the last step of puppy training.

In such an environment they might surely make some very bad decisions where you have to guide them.

Give him or her a chewing toy and see whether they are limited to it or go searching for some other stuff. Do not let them roam all around the home at once.

The procedure should run step by step. So remember to set some barriers like baby gates.

Suggested Reading: Why do some puppies not like the playpens?

2. Slowly introduce them to the outside world.

Another mistake you are making when setting them free is crossing your fingers and going to work like they are obedient pals.

It won’t do! You should slowly introduce him or her to the newly found independence within your home.

3. Leave her in the puppy proofed area alone

Leave them in the puppy-proofed area alone and go invisible to them. It is really important to let them know that they are somewhat free to make some choices on their own without your guidance.

This is one of the best methods to decide whether your puppy should stop using the playpen and is it the correct time.   

4. Give a proper obedience training.

Apart from all the above facts, the most important fact you have to consider when deciding about letting your puppy out of the playpen is that does your puppy listen to you currently?

This will be the most critical question. Even when they roam freely inside your home, do they listen to you?

If they are obedient enough, you can give them freedom but with a keen observation. Because there is the possibility of doing a nasty thing no matter how well they trained.

They can be motivated to disobedient actions if they meet new friends. So better to be careful and on alert.

Think wisely, and don’t rush to throw away the playpen if they are not ready yet.

By the way, here is how to keep your dog from jumping out of the playpen.

Can’t adult dogs stay in a playpen?

Yes, an adult dog also can stay in a playpen or a crate but not for a long period.

As they know the freedom outside, they don’t much prefer to stay in the playpen for like 3-6 hours. You have to manage time and your work without stressing them by keeping in the playpen for long hours.

It will affect their mentality a lot.

But, in case your doggy fellow is still uncontrollable, barks aloud for visitors, and does not listen to you, you’ll have to keep him in a playpen or maybe in a crate and give him or her a good training.

Most of the time, a playpen might be a relaxing area for your adult doggy. But if he or she hesitates to go inside, don’t force them. And also, when they are sick, it will be a calm space for them.  

Why shouldn’t you use a crate instead of a playpen?

It is better if you can go for a playpen instead of a crate because your puppy won’t feel like they are prisoned.

A crate has a little space inside, but they can enjoy walking and sleeping in any comfy position they wish as it is a separate and spacious area in a playpen.

For some doggy fellows, the crate will give a haunting and lonely experience. Considering that fact, a playpen is more effective, and you also can observe them while you are cooking or working.

Another fact is that adult dogs are well grown, and they need a considerable area to manage their body. So, in that case, a playpen meets all their needs. 

Suggested Reading: Here is why do some dogs hurt themselves inside the crate.

Things to be aware of

  1. Well potty-train your dog before setting them out.
  2. Cater to the needs of your puppy and be alert to them.
  3. Think and observe wisely when to stop using a playpen for your puppy.
  4. Don’t throw out the crate or playpen once your puppy is fine to roam freely. Just let them have a little time in it as it was their safe place before. 


Good training and good behavior are the most important factors for your puppy when enjoying freedom on their own. So the above points well explain when you should stop using a playpen and give them the freedom to roam alone if they are ready. Some additional facts like how to decide whether your puppy is ready to go out of the playpen, whether it is good to use a playpen or a crate and whether adult dogs can stay in a playpen are also explained. Hope you got a clear idea without a doubt. We’ll meet again with some new secrets about your puppy.

Till then, cheers!  

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