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How to Stop Your Puppy From Crying in its Crate

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Puppy crying in crate: How to Stop Your Puppy from Crying in its CrateIs your new puppy more whine than roses when he’s in his crate? Is the joy of your new family member wearing thin because he won’t stop crying and whining? Well, it’s time you take the lead. Crate training a puppy can be frustrating, to say the least, but the earlier you start the better. The good news is — there’s a lot you can do to nip the crate whining in the bud so it doesn’t become a prolonged problem.

Will Your Puppy Ever Like His Crate?

For sure, but it’s important that you ease him into it the right way. Dogs are instinctively den animals, and they find comfort in having their own pad. But first, puppies need assurance that their new crate is a safe, inviting place — not a cage that serves as a long-term babysitter or a tool for punishment (it’s not a time out chair). Easier said than done, right? If you take the lead and follow the steps in our article, Crate Training Your Puppy: The Key To A Pee-Free Home, it can be a relatively painless process. Remember: keep your eye on the prize! Your end goal is for your puppy to want to be in his crate!

Why Is Your Puppy Still Whining in His Crate?

So, you followed the initial crate training steps, but he’s still whining. It could be that you went through the process too quickly for him. Try again more gradually. If he continues to whine, don’t go to him or pay attention to him. He’ll quickly learn that whining will get your attention, and then you’ve got a major problem on your hands. It’s not only okay for your puppy to be in his crate alone, it’s actually beneficial for his future behavior and temperament  — it fosters independence and helps stave off later issues with separation anxiety.

With that said, it’s important that you don’t overuse his crate or make it a place of punishment. Leaving a puppy in his crate for long periods of time or putting him in there too frequently can be a cause of his whining and crying. Dogs are extremely social animals and need companionship.

If you do have to crate him more than you’d like at certain times (long workday, tons of errands to run, etc.), make sure you spend time playing with him or taking him on a walk in between crate times. And don’t forget that a puppy’s bladder can’t go for long periods of time without relief. According to the Animal Humane Society, leaving a puppy in a crate for an 8-10 hour workday is “not an appropriate way” to crate train. If you have times when you can’t be there for him, ask a neighbor or hire a pet sitter to give him a break. The more attention he has while outside of his crate means less time whining and crying when he’s crated.

What About a Puppy Whining at Night?

You don’t have to lose sleep over your puppy whining in his crate at night. First, you need to make sure you’ve taken care of his needs before it’s bedtime.

Is He Actually Tired?

Puppies have a lot of energy (as you well know!), and they need to work it out before going in their crate at night. Take him on a long walk and play with him so he burns off that energy.

Does He Need to Relieve Himself?

This is key, especially for puppies whose bladders can’t last long. Make sure your puppy does all his business outside as close to bedtime as possible. Don’t worry — the older he gets, the longer he’ll last!

Is His Crate Comfortable?

Make sure you have good bedding and some of his favorite toys in his crate for the night. Consider the room temperature where his crate is located. Puppies and smaller dog breeds can get chilly pretty easily, so make sure it’s not too cold where you’ve placed his crate. And if his crate is too large, he could feel intimidated. Read our article on choosing the best crate for your dog for some recommendations.

If you’ve done all you can to satisfy his basic needs, consider putting him to bed with a chewable treat or toy that will keep him occupied until he gets sleepy. The key concept here? Distraction! If he continues to whine, don’t go to him. The same problem will arise — if you acknowledge his whining with attention, he’ll learn that all he has to do is whine and you’ll be there. As hard as it might be, let him settle himself down. After a few nights, he should be trained to know that whining and crying in his crate won’t get him anywhere.

Don’t Say No to the Crate

We couldn’t resist sharing this funny video of what can happen if your dog doesn’t like his crate. You don’t want an ongoing battle with your pup.

Remember Why You’re Doing the Tough Training

It’s not easy being a puppy — he’s in a new place, away from his mom and litter. Try to remember that it’s all new to him, and he needs time and reassurance to adjust. As time-consuming and frustrating as crate training might be at first, your hard work will surely pay off in the long run!

What methods have you found effective to curb your puppy crying in his crate?

Sally grew up in a feline-only home, but cat allergies in her early 20’s made it an easy transition to dog ownership. And she couldn’t be happier with her canine shadow, who’s been at her side (literally) for years. No longer a cat person for obvious reasons, Sally is now a true bone-ified dog lover.

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13 Comments on "How to Stop Your Puppy From Crying in its Crate"

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Marcela Riano
Marcela Riano

We adopted a mixed poodle, he’s is 3 years old. He won’t stop whining at night in his crate. I don’t pay attention to him. I have tried all that says here. He won’t chew on his bone if it is in the crate, outside he loves them, but won’t try anything inside his crate. Please help!

Lisa
Lisa

Someone please help? I have a 7 week old Mastiff/Sharpei, we put him in the crate at bedtime and he does nothing but whine. We take him out and he finds a place on the floor and goes to sleep We have done everything we can think of, we don’t know what else to do. This has been going on for the last 5 days. He also sleeps all day long. We are at the end of our rope. Someone please help! Thank you.

Hannah
Hannah

Don’t take him out of the crate if he wines! This teaches them the wrong message. Power thru and you should see him stop whining after a while.

Christiana
Christiana

We bought a shock collar but are only using the vibrate.. we had enough.. we have tried everything to get our puppy to stop whining!!

Laura
Laura

I have a 9 week old puppy who cries all night in his crate. I read that he shouldn’t go more than 2.5 hours between potty breaks. I also read that you shouldn’t give attention to the crying but how do I not when I have to let him out to go to the bathroom and he’s crying. Please help!

Geoffrey
Geoffrey

You simply take the dog out to potty, and return him immediately to his crate. He will eventually learn that you see his crying is a sign of bathroom needs and nothing more! Be sure to treat the puppy after successful bathroom breaks, and throw an extra treat in the crate afterward you head back in.

I am having the same problem, but my issue is simply a new dog. Good luck and I hope this advice isn’t still needed, but merely for others to see on here!

Jennifer
Jennifer

I have the same problem i just recently got a 1 month old puppy & he wines at night while im sleeping &, i have to get up & check what it is he wants when I carry him he stops whining idk what to do??

rachael kiley
rachael kiley

treat him/her like a baby, if it takes more than 10-15 minutes for them to calm down go to them DO NOT TAKE THEM OUT and just love on them and let them know that you did not abandon them and that they are safe and loved.

rachael kiley
rachael kiley
i also have a 9 week old puppy, she cried a lot at night so what i do is i put puppy pads in her crate and i also put her bed in her crate so she can still go potty and sleep in her bed. we are trying to house train her and crate train her since we are all out during the day and we don’t want her potying all over the house. i have been getting her to sleep by playing music, talking, and just watching tv to calm her down; i also put her favorite toys… Read more »
Norm Thomas
Norm Thomas
It might help to tire your puppy out more before putting it to bed. If a puppy is crying in its crate here are some things to remember. 1. It hasn’t associated the crate with being a place of relaxation. 2. It has too much energy when it is put into a crate. When a puppy is tired it will move to where it finds a comfortable spot, you want it to find the crate. I own a pit bull and he was crate trained from the start. I would exhaust him and when he needed to sleep I would… Read more »
Sorelle
Sorelle
Lol probably already found an answer, but I’m new to puppies as well as I have a 2 month old Cockapoo who whines in her crate when I’m around/not. (Sleeping in my room while she’s in the living room). Depending on how your puppy whines you should hear a lull in the whine which can be hard to tell. Some websites I’ve read said wait I’m small times while he is in the crate. Wait till he/she has settled down as you do not want to take them out when they are whining (hence the learning to whine will get… Read more »
Zini Da Kazem
Zini Da Kazem

What are you trying to say here? Sentences make no sense at all. What are you trying to communicate here: “Some websites I’ve read said wait I’m small times while he is in the crate. ” ????

rgustlin
rgustlin

Don’t be rude. Move along please. nothing for you to see here.

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