We don't know how we would get by without exercise pens – also referred to as ex-pens. They have many uses.
Our biggest use is as an added security measure around our front door to provide another layer of protection from dogs darting out the door. We always have one up around our front door to help guard against the possibility of boarding dogs darting out the door. Our dogs are trained to never dart out doors, but not all of our boarding dogs have impeccable door manners!
We use them extensively when we have a puppy and need to confine them for housetraining and to limit their movement so they do not pee somewhere in the house or find something inappropriate to chew. Although our puppies spend some time in crates, we use ex-pens regularly to give pups more space when being minimally supervised.
We also use them to separate our adult dog from a new puppy so that the adult dog is not having to deal with an obnoxious puppy all the time. It's important for a new puppy and a resident adult dog to get plenty of time apart from each other when adapting to their new roommate. It's also a great way to help dogs learn how to give each other personal space when eating, chewing on bones, napping, or other times when a dog needs a bit of space.
For our adult dogs, we sometimes use them in the winter when it is too cold outside to give our dogs a raw meaty bone to chew. Confining them inside in an ex-pen with a tarp on the ground allows our dogs to chew on these bones without getting flooring or carpet dirty from the bones.
For our boarding dogs, we use them to keep dogs separated or away from areas where they could find something to chew on, such as shoes, chairs, carpeting or such.
We also use them to separate out dogs who are still acclimating to each other. Some dogs are a bit shy or need a bit more time to get used to new dogs. Some dogs need some down time and personal space from the other dogs, especially if they are not accustomed to living with other dogs.
These ex-pens are easy to wash and when not needed, they are easy to fold up and store in a corner somewhere.
We use the 36-inch and 48-inch tall expens.
The only gripe we might have with them is that the metal clamps which hold the panels together can get stressed and pull apart. We have only see this on the joints closest to the outside panels and just the top one. But it is a relatively easy fix by using a pair of plyers to squeeze these metal clamps back together.