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?

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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. Or if you’ve got the space you might try a larger outdoor playpen.

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.

Video: 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 housebreaking a puppy — remember, they are 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 (and other puppy behavior problems) might be at first, your hard work will surely pay off in the long run! And if you still find yourself struggling, you might look into professional training (especially while they’re young). We recommend Doggy Dan’s online course.

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

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Steve
Steve

I just brought my 8 week old puppy home 4 days ago. Should I put the puppy in the crate to sleep overnight before he is fully crate trained. I am trying to ensure that my puppy sees the crate as a positive place and I don’t thing that forcing him to sleep overnight in the crate before he is ready will create that positive experience. Am I right? If so then where should he sleep while he is crate trained which could take weeks.

Shawna
Shawna

I have a 3 month old husky puppy that has been nearly impossible to potty train! She constantly poops and pees inside and refuses to poop outside. I’ll stay out for 2 hours everyday in hopes she finally goes but she holds it till we return home. Then at night I take her out before bedtime and when she’s in her crate she will cry and whine for hours!!! I’ve tried putting food in her crate, toys, and a pad but nothing works. I’m honestly so close to giving up because regardless of much time I put into training her and rewarding her for good behavior she does exactly what she knows she isn’t supposed to do.

J McDo
J McDo

What do you mean by giving up? Puppies are a ton of work and they need you to help them out. Your pup is only 3 months old, don’t expect them to learn everything so fast. I hate reading “I’m going to give up”. As puppy parents, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves prior to bringing a pooch into our home. I have a 6 month old coonhound who has severe anxiety, and I’m listening to her whine and cry as I retry to crate train her. 8 hours of thIs today. We have been trying for three months… Don’t give up on your pup, and for people looking to get a puppy please educate yourself on all of the responsibilities of bringing a dog into your house

Sarah
Sarah

Keep at it. Went through the same thing with my husky when I lived in an apartment. In my experience, it’s stubbornness and distracting smells. What eventually worked for me is ditching the crate at night (locking him in bedroom with me) and only using it when I was out, and then didn’t use it at all when he could be trusted. Crate training a new puppy right now and my poor husky boy hates the site of the crate and won’t go near it. Once he became an adult he had no accidents unless he was sick. Good luck. Also, I don’t recommend pee pads, it more or less told my husky that it was ok to go inside. Taking used pads outside didn’t help. Just persistence and rewards for good behaviors while firm ‘no’s were given for accidents because yelling just stresses them out and doesn’t help. Try to focus your girl while she’s outside with potty or whatever command you are using, she is getting distracted by all the wonderful things outside and needs to be reminded.

Karen
Karen

I have an almost year old puppy that is in his crate during the day while I am at work, kids at school. He whines and hollers off and on throughout the day. We can’t leave anything in the crate because he chews everything. All that I have read doesn’t look like it will work because we are not home while the noise is going on. How can we get him to stop whining/hollering and just settle down quietly?

Laura
Laura

I have a 12 week old Rhodesian Ridgeback. He is in his crate at night with no issues after the first night or two. Sleeps thru the night and, if for any reason has to go to the bathroom, tolerates being put back in the crate to go back to sleep. He is in his crate in the car and seems to tolerate that fine, except for the occasional whine. BUT…during the day if I have to put him in there to run an errand, take a shower or actually get some work done he yowls, scratches at the floor, scratches at the side and whines. I rarely use the crate at home during the day, but on occasion I need to complete an assignment and I have to put him in for an hour. Usually he will calm down after 10 minutes, but the last couple of days he has carried on for almost the whole time. Is there something I can do. At this point, ignoring him does not seem to be working and I am sure my neighbors think that I an torturing puppies over here.

Any suggestions would be phenomenal.

Paula
Paula

Hi, I have a 9 week old Border terrier x poodle and she is adorable. In 5 days she uses her Crate as her bed to snooze in and also to play in, this us day time. I’ve closed the door and walked away for 5 minutes each day. It’s day 5 and she went 3/4 hour, she whined for a few minutes to begin with, then settled for 15 minutes, made a little noise but nothing much and settled again.

At night she sleeps on my bed.. Arrrrrrha I hear but you know what, she sleeps all night until around 7.45am. I’ve done this with my other dog and he is 5 years old now and sleeps wherever. I also, have dogs that don’t shed only loses hair/fur when brushed, so no dog hairs all over the bed.

She is virtually house trained as, we live in a flat and have a balcony for her to relieve herself,. We use a dog litter tray, it’s great, it’s a small square plastic tray with a tray you can pull out to empty it and false grass on top. She hops in and out of the patio door which we leave open and I can’t believe how she has taken to this.

So, all in all training is going well. I wonder for those of you that have to work if, it may be a good idea before buying a pup to think about having two weeks off work to start training as, I am retired so I have a lot of time home. It may make a difference and give you time to work with your puppy.
Perhaps also, researching the breed you have gone for and what they are like.
My shih tzu really isn’t that clued up so training wasn’t that easy and to this day, his recall is rubbish. We came to a compromise that when I say Wait he will wait until I get to him to out his lead back on… But he doesn’t come to me. The Crate training for him was easy though, it was his den so no issue leaving him but I did have him on the bed at night as a puppy and when older he went to sleeping in his Crate… Crazy I know!

Hope you all find a way that works for you.

Jaidyn
Jaidyn

my puppy is a shih tzu and whenever we put him in the crate he cries and digs at the floor.We wait about 20 minutes and he usually stops but when we come back he cries again.Does he want to get out? How can we let him like his crate more?

Julian
Julian

You can wait until he’s been quiet for about 10 minutes to start with, and then let him out. Then try 20 and so on. But the key is, he has to be totally silent. That way he’ll understand that if he’s quiet he can go out.

emma
emma

My 7 week old Vizsla puppy is an angel up until we put her in her crate. She barks, howls, cries, and whimpers from the second we put her in, until the second that we take her out. She bites the cage, digs at the floor, and cries. It’s not that she doesn’t like the crate because she will lay in there during the day with no issues, but she will not quit barking at night. I know that everyone says to ignore the puppy for about 20 minutes, but she just will not quit. Any advice?

(BTW She has her favorite toy, one of my t-shirts, and a nice bed in her crate. Her crate is in my room, by my bed.)

Any advice??

Lisa
Lisa

My puppy is ok in her Kennel at night when I am in bed but if I put her in it while I leave or have a shower ect she doesn’t stop crying. Any ideas ?
She will go in it in short periods to get toys ect during the day .

Liza
Liza

I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT he barks and whines A LOT. . So, leaving home is always a challenge for us.
My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Do you crate him when you leave the house?

kat

yes she is a pit bull shepard mix and she LOVES to chew

kat

defiantly go to pet smart super affordable it comes out to like 20$ a class and is really helpful

Amanda
Amanda

My puppy is getting use to the crate, she is better in the crate when we go out grocery shopping or something than at night. But I took her out when she whined and she peed, we came right back inside put her back in the crate. Zoey whined for maybe 10 min and now is asleep so I am totally trying the ignore for 20 min trick I’ve j7st read about on here it seems like a great idea. Well since it’s 2:30 am and she is quiet now I will be getting back to sleep.

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.

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!!

RosaLamb
RosaLamb

Yeah, totally found the whining hard to cope with. So read around a bit. Came up with the “ignore your pup for about 20 minutes every day” thing. That is, be there but don’t give eye contact or talk to them in that time. Correct misbehaviours if necessary by physically moving/blocking but don’t engage.
I think this came from a Doggy Dan article.
My little one has certainly reduced her whining.

Bubz
Bubz

You awful person. It’s a puppy!!! A puppy that is obviously frightened and insecure and you think it’s ok to punish him/her for trying to tell you he/she isn’t happy?!!! If you crate train properly and teach them it’s a good place to be the crying stops. Punishing them for communicating will lead to huge problems down the line. Shock collars on a puppy, whatever next. If you can’t be arsed to train your puppy correctly you shouldn’t have got one. Shame on you. Poor, poor puppy.

kat

try essential oil (lavender) on the collar

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.

RosaLamb
RosaLamb

It is like with any baby. If they don’t wake up during the day – when you are happy for them to be awake – you pick them up and play with them so that they WILL be ‘happier’ to sleep at night.
So, we didn’t quite get the crate thing right at first. We picked our pup up at 4:30 with an hours drive to get home and it seemed time for bed in no time flat, so we just made it comfy and popped her in – to her absolute disgust.
She wailed for an hour the first two nights and ten minutes the next four! and would go near the crate at all during the day.
Not helpful.
So, to actively start desensitisation, I worked
a) taking out the crate blanky and feeding her lunch kibble piece by piece every time she touched the blanket – more for when she sat or laid down on it.
b) next day, moved the blanky into the crate and fed (piece by piece) as above. Mostly she didn’t go right in but half in was an improvement.
c) as in b) but put some high value treats (liver jerky bits) into the far end of the crate.
d) next day did some outside the crate blanket work, then put it back in the crate and put some (two) bits of kibble in for her to find.
e) introduced a chicken chew stick to her during play time (got her hooked!). Put it in toward back third of crate. She went in, started chewing, I closed the door, sat next to it but not looking or talking to her. Opened door. Out she pops. Take chick stick away. Put back in crate. When she went in again. Close door/sit outside -about five/ten minutes. Release.
f) continue regime. And also increased the length of walk before bedtime.

Justine Krider
Justine Krider

He whines at night to go out. He has to go out a minimum of two times in a night at that age. Also nap time should be done by a minimum of 5 hours before your bedtime. Also no food after 6 as it takes 6 hours for kibble to go through their system. Take him on a long walk before bed as well. A long walk for him not you btw. If he still cries just ignore it. The more you react the more he thinks he can get you to him.

kat

does he chew ?? pee on the floor??if not i don’t see the problem with getting him a nice doggie bed on the floor

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!

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 what I want) and immediately take them out to eliminate. Wait 5 minutes and if they didn’t eliminate put them back into the cage and wait again.

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.

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 put his favorite stick and toy in a crate. He naturally gravitated to the crate. I didn’t lock him in he just stayed in there for a break or after a long walk. If you provide lots of metal stimulation like a structured walk or a job or activity for learning instead of just letting it run free (which causes excitement) this will burn energy. When crying does occur move further away from the crate. If you puppy is in a crate stay close to it, when the whining happens move further away from the crate. This teaches it that crying or whining moves mama away and when it is quiet you move toward the crate teaching it that quiet equals mama moving closer. When it sleeps you shouldn’t have to let it out to potty. This means you have to master the potty training better. Check out this book on kindle. Puppy Training: how to house break and crate train your puppy in 7 days using dog psychology. Master dog leadership without using treats. It is a great read with good techniques for this issue you describe and many more.

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 in her crate and if she doesn’t whine between the time i leave her to get some water or something, i give her a treat to let her know that it is good to not whine and she is safe in her crate.

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.

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??

Jimm
Jimm

The puppy is too young at 4 weeks. You should not buy puppies before they are 8 weeks of age.
You should keep her next to you just about all the time to keep her warm and comfortable.

Natasha Day
Natasha Day

He’s just a baby, to young to be away from.his mommy. I hope you got.it figured out now that it’s October.

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!

Natasha Day
Natasha Day

I heard, and I’m new to this also, (like 4 days new) that if they’re crying, talk gently to them to calm them down, take them out to the bathroom and back to the crate again.. also, my puppy, I’ve put a blanket over the crate so she doesn’t see me. She can smell & hear me, but not see me. During the day is when she whines, when it’s day time naptime, but at night time she just seems to know it’s bed time and than we get up 4-5 hrs later go pee and back to bed again.. I haven’t left the house yet. Again new 4 days new and Sedora is an 8 week old Rotty×Blue tick Hound.

kat

hes a baby who jus got whisked away from his mother consider increasing cuddle time

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