How To Stop A Puppy From Crying In A Crate At Night

Aug 14, 2023 | Dog Behavior, Dogs

Bringing home a sweet little puppy is an incredibly exciting experience. However, you may find yourself frantically searching for tips to stop your puppy crying at night. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal! We’ve put together some tips to help new pet parents get your puppy settled in and start sleeping peacefully as soon as possible.

Understanding why young puppies make that heart-wrenching sound makes it easier to assist them. Just think back to the day before you brought your new fluffy friend home. They were snuggled up with their mom and siblings, in the only home they’ve ever known. Now, they have a cozy bed all to themselves, but it’s quiet and doesn’t smell the same, leaving them a bit confused. They still aren’t sure if their new home is a safe space, especially that first night.

But fear not, the good news is the crying won’t last long. Your precious pup will be snoozing quietly in their new home in no time! So get ready to say goodbye to those sleepless nights as we guide you through the process of stopping your puppy from crying in their new crate at night.

Should I Crate Train My Puppy?

So, is it a good idea to crate train your precious little pup? The answer is a resounding yes!

Crate training is an essential part of raising a well-behaved and happy dog. Not only does it provide a safe and secure space for your puppy, but it also helps with housebreaking and prevents destructive behaviors. When properly introduced, the crate becomes a den-like environment that mimics the natural instincts of dogs to seek out small, enclosed spaces. This sense of security can help alleviate separation anxiety and promote relaxation. But it’s important to make sure your new dog understands the crate is not a form of punishment. The early days of crate training are vital in ensuring your little guy or gal sees their crate as the best place to spend much time over night or during nap time.

Now, let’s address the issue of stopping the puppy crying in the crate at night. It’s not uncommon for puppies to whine or cry when first introduced to their crates, especially in the middle of the night. After all, they’re used to being with their littermates and suddenly find themselves alone in a new environment for the first time.

By following some simple steps, you can help your puppy adjust to the crate without excessive crying. Simple things like making sure the crate is comfortable with soft bedding and keeping their favorite toy with them provides mental stimulation to prevent boredom. And establish a routine where you gradually increase the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate during the day before attempting overnight stays is a great way to slowly introduce them to the crate. But most important, never give in to your pup’s cries or let them out when they are crying as this will reinforce their behavior and make the process much harder in the long run. With consistency, patience, and hard work, your puppy will soon learn that their crate is a safe place for restful sleep.

Why Do Puppies Cry In Their Crate?

Cute Labrador Retriever Puppy in His Crate

To understand why your furry friend may be feeling anxious in their enclosed space, it’s essential to recognize that up to 80% of puppies experience separation anxiety when left alone. This anxiety can manifest itself through crying and whining in the crate, especially at night when they’re most likely feeling lonely and insecure.

Puppies are social animals by nature, and being separated from their pack can be distressing for them. The crate represents a confined space where they’re unable to roam freely or interact with others, which can exacerbate their feelings of isolation. Additionally, puppies have a natural instinct to seek comfort and warmth from their mother or littermates, so being alone in a crate goes against their innate need for companionship.

To help stop your puppy from crying in the crate at night, it’s important to create positive associations with the crate. Start by making sure the crate is comfortable and inviting with soft bedding and familiar toys. Gradually introduce your puppy to the crate during the day by placing treats inside and allowing them to explore on their own terms. Avoid forcing your puppy into the crate or using it as punishment, as this will only increase their anxiety. Instead, the best way is to make it a pleasant experience by providing praise and rewards when they voluntarily enter the crate. It may also help to establish a bedtime routine that includes calming activities such as a short walk or gentle playtime before settling them into the crate for sleep.

Consistency is key in helping your puppy feel secure in their crate over time, so be patient and understanding as they adjust to this new environment during nighttime hours.

How To Stop Puppy Crying In The Crate

To stop your puppy from crying in the crate, there are several things to try. There is no one size fits all solution as every puppy is different, but the next several tips are general ideas to try.

Happy labrador lies in his kennel

Pick The Right Size Crate

Make sure you choose a crate that’s just the right size for your puppy, snug enough to make them feel secure but with enough room for them to stretch out and turn around comfortably. A crate that’s too small will make your puppy feel cramped and anxious, which can contribute to their crying. On the other hand, a crate that’s too big may give your puppy more space than they need, making it easier for them to have potty accidents inside or become restless during the night.

When it comes to the crate training process, picking the right size crate plays a crucial role in helping you stop a puppy from crying. By providing a cozy and appropriately sized space for your furry friend, you’re creating an environment where they feel safe and protected. This sense of security can go a long way in reducing their anxiety and minimizing their cries at night. Remember that consistency is key in crate training – make sure you use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats or praise when your puppy enters or stays calm in their crate.

And for the first few days or weeks, it’s best to leave puppy pads inside the crate as your pup will likely have accidents when in the crate for a long length of time. This allows your pup to get used to using the pads for potty training and helps keep your crate a bit cleaner.

 

Consider The Location Of The Crate In Your Home

Finding the perfect spot in your home for your puppy’s crate is like choosing the ideal cozy nook for a good book – it should be quiet, comfortable, and away from any distractions.

When considering the location of the crate in your home, keep in mind that new puppies are highly sensitive to their surroundings, especially at night. You want to create an environment that promotes relaxation and minimizes anxiety. Choose a room where there’s minimal noise and foot traffic. A good option could be a spare bedroom or a quiet corner in your living room. This will help reduce any external stimuli that may cause your puppy to cry during the night.

Additionally, consider placing the crate near you so that your puppy can feel your presence and reassurance. Dogs are social animals and being close to their pack (you) provides them with a sense of security. But avoid putting the crate in your bedroom if you’re a light sleeper or easily disturbed by whining or movement. Strike a balance between proximity and personal comfort.

By carefully selecting an appropriate location for your puppy’s crate, you can greatly reduce nighttime crying episodes. Remember to prioritize creating a calm environment free from distractions while also considering proximity to provide comfort for both you and your furry friend. With time and consistency, young pups learn to associate their crate with good things like safety and restful sleep rather than anxiety-inducing confinement during longer periods of time.

 

Get Your Puppy Comfortable With A Bed And Warm Blankets

Create a cozy haven for your furry friend by introducing them to a plush bed and snuggly blankets. When it comes to stopping your puppy from crying in their crate at night, providing them with a comfortable sleeping space is essential. Start by choosing a bed that’s the appropriate size for your puppy crate, ensuring that there’s enough room for them to stretch out and get comfortable. Look for a bed made with soft materials that’ll provide cushioning and support for their growing bodies.

In addition to a cozy bed, adding warm blankets can make all the difference in helping your puppy feel secure and calm in their crate. Blankets not only provide warmth but also mimic the feeling of being cuddled up close to their mother or littermates. Choose blankets that are soft and durable, as puppies may chew on them during teething stages. Introduce these items gradually, allowing your puppy to sniff and explore them before placing them in the crate. By creating this comforting environment, you can help ease your puppy’s anxiety and reduce nighttime crying episodes in the crate in little time.

 

Give Them Plenty Of Exercise Before Crate Time

Prepare your furry friend for a peaceful slumber in their haven by unleashing their inner energy through a hearty exercise session. Before crate time, it’s important to give your puppy plenty of exercise to tire them out. A tired puppy is more likely to settle down and sleep through the night without crying or whining in their crate. Take your puppy for a long walk or engage them in active playtime before bedtime. This will help burn off excess energy and ensure that they are physically tired when it’s time to go into the crate. An exercise pen filled with your pup’s favorite toys is a great way to let them tire themselves out for a long time in a confined space.

Incorporate activities that stimulate both their mind and body, such as playing fetch or teaching them new tricks. By providing ample exercise opportunities, you’re setting your puppy up for success when it comes to crate training. When it’s finally crate time, make sure to create a positive association with the crate by offering treats or toys inside. Encourage your puppy to enter willingly and reward them for doing so. By doing this when they’re a young puppy, you’re establishing good behavior techniques as they become an adult dog through a positive experience.

And once they’re inside their safe haven, provide them with some quiet time and allow them to settle down on their own. It’s natural for puppies to cry initially when placed in a crate, but try not to respond immediately every time your puppy cries. Instead, wait until there is a break in the crying before providing any attention or reassurance. And over time, your puppy will learn that the crate is a comfortable space and secure area where they can peacefully sleep through the night without any crying episodes.

 

Factor In Potty Breaks

Before placing your puppy in their crate for the night, it’s essential to factor in regular potty breaks to ensure they have the opportunity to relieve themselves and maintain a comfortable sleeping environment. Puppies have small bladders and limited control over their bladder and bowel movements, so it’s important to give them frequent opportunities to go outside before bedtime. Take your puppy out for a potty break right before putting them in the crate, as well as once or twice during the night if needed. By doing this, you’ll minimize the chances of accidents inside the crate and help your puppy develop good bathroom habits.

When taking your puppy out for a potty break at night, keep it low-key and avoid stimulating activities that might wake them up fully. Use a designated spot outside where you want them to go and use consistent cues or commands like ‘go potty’ to reinforce what you expect from them. Be patient and give them enough time to do their business. Once they’ve done their business, reward them with praise or a small treat immediately after they finish. This positive reinforcement will help reinforce that going potty outside is a good thing.

By factoring in regular potty breaks before crating your puppy at night, you can create a routine that not only prevents accidents but also gives your furry friend a chance to relieve themselves comfortably, leading to fewer cries or whines throughout the night in their crate.

 

Ignore Their Whining

Once your furry friend is settled in for the night, it’s important to remember that their whining is just a temporary storm passing through, so weather it out and stay strong. When you first bring home your new puppy, they may feel anxious or scared being in a crate at night. This can lead to crying and whining as they try to seek comfort and attention from you. But it’s crucial to resist the urge to give in and comfort them during this time. And be sure that all family members are on board with these rules and follow through with them.

Ignoring their whining may seem difficult at first, but it’s an essential step in helping them adjust to their nighttime routine. By responding every time they cry, you unintentionally reinforce their behavior and make it harder for them to learn how to self-soothe. Instead, ensure that all of their needs are met before bedtime. Take them out for potty breaks, provide enough exercise during the day, and offer safe toys and a comfy bed or blankets in their crate. Once you’ve done all of this, confidently ignore their cries during the night. Remember that puppies are adaptable creatures and with consistency and patience on your part, they’ll eventually learn that crying doesn’t get them what they want.

What If Your Puppy Still Won’t Stop Crying?

If your furry friend continues to protest and won’t stop crying, there are a few tricks you can try. First, make sure that all of their basic needs are met before putting them in the crate for the night. Make sure they’ve had a bathroom break, have had a lot of time for exercise, and have had a chance to eat and drink. A tired and content puppy is more likely to settle down in their crate without much fuss.

Next, try providing some soothing background noise for your puppy. This can be as simple as turning on a fan or playing soft classical music. The gentle hum or calming tunes can help drown out any external noises that might be causing anxiety for your pup. Another trick you can try that often works on human babies are car rides. The motion of the vehicle helps soothe them enough and they’ll relax and get sleepy.

If these strategies still don’t work, it might be worth consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who specializes in puppies. They’ll be able to provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation and help you address any underlying issues that may be contributing to your puppy’s persistent whining. Remember, patience is key when trying to stop a puppy from crying in their crate at night. With consistent training and positive reinforcement, you’ll soon have a quiet and contented pup snoozing peacefully through the night.

How Long Should I Let My Puppy Cry In The Crate Before I Take Action?

Welsh corgi puppy in a crate

It’s important to consider how long you should allow your puppy to cry in the crate before taking action. While it can be difficult to hear your puppy crying, especially at night, it’s essential to give them some time to adjust and learn that the crate is a safe and comfortable space, buty you also don’t want to ignore their distress for too long. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to wait around 15 to 30 minutes before taking any action.

During this waiting period, keep an eye on your puppy from a distance. Observe their behavior and body language. If they are simply whining or softly whimpering, they may just be trying to settle down and fall asleep. In such cases, it’s best to show patience and let them self-soothe. But if your puppy continues crying intensely or becomes agitated by barking excessively or scratching at the crate door, it might be time for intervention.

When deciding whether or not to take action after the initial waiting period, consider factors such as their age, overall health, previous experiences with crates, and how long they have been crying consistently. Remember that every puppy is different and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Ultimately, trust your instincts as a pet owner and do what feels right for both you and your furry friend when it comes to addressing their cries in the crate at night.

A Crying Puppy Can Also Have Separation Anxiety

Litter of pembroke welsh corgi puppies sitting in a puppy cage

Remember, your furry friend may be experiencing separation anxiety when they cry persistently. Did you know that according to a study, around 14% of dogs suffer from separation anxiety? It’s important to understand that when your puppy cries in the crate at night, it might not just be because they want out or need to go potty.

Separation anxiety is a real condition that can cause distress for both you and your pup. To help alleviate this issue, there are several steps you can take. First, make sure your puppy feels comfortable and secure in their crate. Providing them with cozy bedding, toys, and even an article of clothing that smells like you is a good way to ease their anxiety and help create a positive association with the crate.

Additionally, gradually increase the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate during the day so they become accustomed to being alone for longer periods. Finally, try using calming techniques such as playing soft music or leaving a TV on low volume to provide some background noise and make them feel less alone.

By addressing separation anxiety in a compassionate manner and taking steps to make your puppy feel safe and secure in their crate at night, you can help stop their crying episodes and promote better sleep for both of you. Remember to be patient in your approach as it may take time for them to adjust. With love and understanding, you can conquer separation anxiety together!

Puppy Crying Frequently Asked Questions

What are some signs that my puppy may have separation anxiety?

Signs of separation anxiety in puppies include excessive barking, destructive behavior, and urinating or pooping indoors. They may also display restlessness, pacing, or attempts to escape. Proper training and gradual desensitization can help manage their anxiety.

Can I use a crate cover to help calm my crying puppy?

Yes, using a crate cover can create a cozy den-like atmosphere for your puppy, helping them feel secure and calm. It blocks out visual stimulation and reduces noise, promoting better sleep and reducing crying at night.

Are there any specific toys or treats that can help comfort a crying puppy in the crate?

To comfort a crying puppy in the crate at night, offer special toys such as chew toys or puzzle toys that provide mental stimulation. Long-lasting treats like frozen peanut butter can also help soothe their anxiety and make them feel more secure.

Should I let my puppy sleep in my bed instead of using a crate?

Letting your puppy sleep in your bed instead of using a crate may seem tempting, but it can create long-term behavioral issues. A crate provides a safe and secure space for your puppy to sleep, reducing anxiety and promoting good sleep habits.

Can I use a white noise machine or calming music to help soothe my puppy in the crate at night?

Yes, you can use a white noise machine or calming music to help soothe your puppy in the crate at night. These can create a comforting environment and mask any outside noises that may disturb your puppy’s sleep.

The Tail End

Crate training can be a valuable tool in helping your puppy feel secure and comfortable. While some crying is normal during the adjustment period, it’s important to address any excessive crying to prevent separation anxiety from developing. If you’ve followed all the steps outlined in this article and your puppy still won’t stop crying, it may be worth consulting with a professional trainer or behaviorist for additional guidance. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation and help you address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the crying.

When determining how long to let your puppy cry before taking action, trust your instincts as a responsible pet owner. While it’s important not to immediately give in every time your puppy cries, it’s equally crucial not to ignore their distress completely. Finding the right balance will ensure that your puppy feels safe and secure while also learning appropriate behavior.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! It takes time for puppies to adjust to being alone in their crate at night. With consistent training techniques and plenty of love and attention during waking hours, you’ll see progress over time. Soon enough, your furry friend will learn that their crate is a cozy den where they can relax and sleep soundly through the night without shedding tears like there’s no tomorrow.

So hang in there, keep up with the training routine, and remember that ‘patience is a virtue.’ Your efforts will pay off as you witness your little pup become more confident and content in their crate.

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