Why do Puppies Cry in Their Crate?
Puppies cry in their crates for several reasons. Your puppy may cry because it feels bored or lonely or needs a bathroom break. Boredom is one of the most common reasons for puppy crying.
Sometimes, your young puppy may be sad or upset about being confined in the crate. Your puppy may also cry if it doesn’t get enough human contact and cuddles during the day or if it has separation anxiety.
It’s essential to look at your puppy’s environment and figure out why it might be crying. If you can figure out what’s wrong, you’ll be able to fix it.
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Should I Leave My Puppy to Cry in His Crate at Night?
Yes, it would be best if you left your puppy crying at night in crate. Any attention will encourage the behavior – you will end up with a puppy that cries in the middle of the night, even when an adult dog.
Crying is actually an important part of communication, especially for puppies. When a puppy cries, it’s trying to get your attention or let you know it needs something like food or water or to go outside.
It is also normal for puppies to cry during their first night in the crate. However, in most cases, only the first time is bad – over time, with proper training, puppies get used to the crate.
Crate training a puppy is a process that takes time and patience from you and your pup — don’t expect overnight results!
How do You Stop a Puppy From Crying in the Crate at Night?
The first few nights at a new home can be very stressful for your new puppy. It is probably used to sleeping surrounded by its littermates’ warmth and smell, and now it’s alone in a new environment with strange sounds and smells.
Here are some tips to help your puppy feel better and adjust more quickly.
Practice Puppy Crate Training
Crate training involves teaching your puppy to create a positive association with the crate. This is done through providing good experiences and rewards.
When it is in the crate, it gets something good — a treat or a toy, perhaps — but only when calm and quiet. The key is providing enough positive reinforcement so your puppy associates the crate with happy memories.
As long as you practice this crate training method frequently throughout the day and night, it should take only about two weeks for your dog to get used to being in its crate at night.
Use the Right Size Puppy Crate
If the crate is too big, it will leave the puppy room to wriggle and turn around. It may even be able to get out of the puppy crate altogether.
A crate that’s too small can also cause problems; your puppy will feel confined and uncomfortable.
Use a crate that’s large enough for your pup to stand up, turn around, lie down, and sit comfortably without having any part of its body touch the sides of the crate.
Try an Anxiety Crate for Your Puppy
The high-anxiety dog crate is designed to reduce anxiety in dogs by giving them a sense of security. It is like a den with walls on all sides and is dark and comfortable inside.
If your puppy sleeps in an anxiety crate at night, it will make it feel more secure and less likely to cry out in fear while sleeping.
Give Your Puppy a Potty Break
Make sure your puppy has had a potty break before you put it in his crate for a good night’s sleep. Young puppies must go out every two hours, and old puppies at least once during the night.
If your puppy is crying and whining because of discomfort, it’s likely trying to tell you that it needs to go outside. These toilet breaks are also important for potty training.
Exercise Your Puppy Before Crating
Exercise tires out your pup and makes it sleepy, so it will be calmer when it goes into its crate at night.
If you have a puppy, ensure it has plenty of exercise and playtime before going in the crate. If you have an older dog, get it moving before bedtime.
Today, you can use many dog toys to tire down your pup – from chew toys to Kong toys to interactive toys.
Ignore Puppy Whining in the Crate
If you ignore your puppy’s whining, it will soon learn that there is no answer to its cries, and it will stop crying.
This may take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. The key is not to keep the crate door closed until it stops whining. The puppy must learn that you determine the crate time.
Use Positive Reinforcement For Good Crate Behavior
When your pup is in the crate and is quiet, give it lots of praise and maybe even a treat. This will help teach it that being in the crate is good and it should use as a puppy home – whenever it is tired or wants to rest in its own bed.
It will also teach it that being quiet means good things happen. For example, you can use the crate as a playpen and fill it with your pup’s favorite toys.
Leave Toys in the Crate for Your Puppy
Leaving toys and other chewy treats in your dog’s crate will keep it occupied while alone. Put items on both sides of the kennel so it has something to chew on either side as it turns around.
Put a Blanket Over Your Puppy’s Crate
If you have a wire crate, place a blanket or crate cover over it so your puppy can be more comfortable. This helps block noises and visual stimuli, which will help calm your puppy down.
The blanket can also prevent your puppy from feeling too hot or cold, which is especially important if you live in a climate where the temperature fluctuates throughout the year.
Move Your Puppy’s Crate to a Quiet Area
Puppies are easily startled by loud noises and unfamiliar sounds. Try moving your puppy’s crate to a quiet area where there aren’t any distractions or noises from inside or outside the home. This way, when it’s bedtime, your puppy can fall asleep without being bothered by anything around him.
Ideally, puppy owners should have two crates – one in the living room and one in the bedroom. Alternatively, one easily portable crate can also do the trick.
How Long Should You Leave a Puppy to Cry in a Crate?
Most puppies will cry in their crate, but how long is too long? There is no magic number that applies to every dog, but here are some general guidelines:
- If your puppy cries for more than 20 minutes at a time, check on it. If it stops crying when you put your hand in the crate, leave it there until it falls asleep again. If it continues to cry when you touch it, try rubbing its tummy or scratching behind its ears while you talk soothingly.
- If your puppy cries for less than 20 minutes and then sleeps quietly, move on with your day.
- If your puppy cries for more than 20 minutes and does not fall asleep quietly after being held or rubbed, remove it from the crate and try again later with a new strategy (for example, feeding or playing with it directly before placing it in its crate).
- If you do not see progress after a few days, consult with the breeder or dog trainer.
How Long Does it Take for Puppy to Stop Crying at Night in a Crate?
It takes about 2 to 3 weeks for most puppies to learn to sleep through the night in their crate. However, some puppies may take longer or have more difficulty with it than others.
It’s important to remember that you are training your puppy and not the other way around. If you are not very good at posing strict rules, have another family member help you with crate training, house training, and other aspects of training.
While this can be challenging, keep in mind that the first weeks are the hardest, and with time and patience, everything is possible.