Crate Training or Pen Training For Your Chihuahua?

You’re getting a new chihuahua puppy, so congrats! As you get ready for the baby’s arrival. You may have a lot of questions about training tips and how to live. As a chihuahua lover, one of the most common questions I get via our Facebook page about chihuahua puppies is if they should be put in a crate or a puppy playpen.
The short answer is that you should get your chihuahua puppy used to being in both a crate and a playpen.

Today, we’ll talk about when to choose one option or the other. And how to teach your puppy to stay in a small space.

Should you teach your Chihuahua puppy to stay in a crate or playpen?


If you have a chihuahua puppy, especially a very young one. It is very important for him to learn how to be comfortable in a small space. It’s just not safe to let a small chihuahua puppy run around your whole house. Not only will he have accidents, but he will also eat poisonous plants, and swallow items, shoes, furniture, walls, swept by a hawk, attacked by a larger dog,and anything else you don’t want him to touch. Many chihuahua puppies get very sick because their owners let them out too soon or gave them too much freedom.

To keep your chihuahua puppy safe when you can’t watch him, he has to stay confined to a certain area. Most of the time, this is a crate or puppy pen.
Most of the time, crates are good at night. You want your chihuahua puppy to sleep, not wander around, and putting him in a small space will make it more likely that he wakes you up if he needs to go potty.

But a chihuahua puppy pen works best during the day. You can put a water bowl and toys in there, and your puppy can stay in there for a few hours without being watched all the time.

Pros of pen training

Pair of puppies in a dog pen


First of all, chihuahua puppies don’t need to be “pen trained.” You just put them in the pen, and if they have lots of toys and things to chew on, they should be happy.

Before he came to live with you, your chihuahua puppy probably spent his days in a pen. No breeder or rescue group will let a litter of puppies run around the house on their own. Instead, he and his siblings were likely already locked up in a play pen.

You can do a lot of fun things with your chihuahua puppy in the pen. In an exercise pen, dogs can walk around, run, roll, and play with their toys. If you put something like a wobble board in the pen, your puppy can even work on his balance and coordination while he is there.

Even though play pens are big enough for your tiny chihuahua puppy to move around in, they are still small enough that puppies won’t pee in them. If you can help it, don’t put pee pads in the pen. Instead, take your puppy out to go to the bathroom on a regular schedule. So, he will quickly learn that it’s not okay to pee inside.

Advantages of crate training

Pair of puppies in a dog pen


Crate training is a good thing to do at night. During the day, playpens are great because chihuahua puppies have enough space to run around and play. At night, however, this can be frustrating. You won’t be amused if you want to sleep but your puppy keeps doing laps in his exercise pen.

Crates give your chihuahua a small, confined space to sleep. When you put him in his crate at night, he can’t do much else but sleep. Even very young puppies can learn to sleep through the night very quickly with crate training, and they are less likely to wake you up to go to the bathroom.

Besides helping your chihuahua sleep at night, crate training will be useful as your dog grows up. If you want to take your dog to dog sports like agility in the future, he will have to stay in a crate while he waits for his turn.

If your chihuahua ever has to spend the night at the vet, he will also need to be in a crate there. His stress and anxiety could get worse because the has never been in a crate before.
Crates are also the safest way to drive with a dog.

Even though people use playpens mostly at home. Your dog will find that being crate-trained will help him in a lot of different situations.

Training your chihuahua to stay in a crate and/or exercise pen

The best way to teach your chihuahua to stay calm in a crate or pen is to start when he is young. And work with him every day for short periods of time. If you put your puppy in a crate for 5 hours during the day, he will almost certainly cry and whine. Instead, start with very short amounts of time and build up to longer ones over time.

Whether you put your chihuahua in a crate or a pen. He will do best if he is active, gets some exercise, or does something that makes him happy. Most puppies cry because they are bored and have nowhere to let off steam. If their owner just took them for a long walk or trained them, they are much more likely to calm down quickly and quietly.

Last Word

Both crate training and pen training your chihuahua puppy have their good points. Playpens are useful if you want your puppy to spend the day in a safe place. Crates offer a small, safe place to sleep at night. Also, getting your puppy used to a crate will help him if he ever has to stay in one later in life. Like at the vet’s office, at a dog show, or in the car.

Most parents do best when they combine crate training and pen training. This way, you get the best of both worlds and your chihuahua puppy will be familiar with a variety of ways of confinement at home. If you don’t want to buy two big things, check out your local thrift stores. Dog crates are often given away and can be bought there for cheap.


Does putting a chihuahua in a crate help with separation anxiety?

When Can I Stop Crating My Chihuahua?


Leave a Comment