Is your new puppy more whine than roses when they’re in his or her crate? Is the joy of your new family member wearing thin because it won’t stop crying and whining? Well, it’s time you take the lead.
Crate training a puppy can be frustrating, 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 Its Crate?
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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 its crate!
Why Is Your Puppy Still Whining?
So, you followed the initial crate training steps, but your dog is still whining. It could be that you went through the process too quickly?
Try again more gradually. If your dog continues to cry, don’t go to it or pay attention to it. They’ll soon learn that whining will get your attention, and then you’ve got a significant problem on your hands.
It’s not only okay for your puppy to be in their crate alone, but it’s also beneficial for future behavior and temperament — it fosters independence and helps stave off later issues with separation anxiety.
With that said, you mustn’t overuse the crate or make it a place of punishment. Leaving a puppy in their crate for long periods or putting it there too frequently can be a trigger for whining and crying. Dogs are incredibly social animals and need companionship.
If you do have to crate your dog more than you’d like (long workday, tons of errands to run, etc.), make sure you spend time playing with or taking it 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, ask a neighbor or hire a pet sitter to give your pup a break. The more attention it has while outside of the crate means less time whining and crying once back in the crate.
What About Whining At Night?
You don’t have to lose sleep over your puppy whining in their crate at night. First, you need to make sure you’ve taken care of his or her needs before bedtime.
Is Your Puppy 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 your dog on a long walk and play with them, so it burns off that energy.
Does It Need To Relieve Itself?
Bathroom breaks are critical, especially for puppies whose bladders can’t last long. Make sure your puppy does all their business outside as close to bedtime as possible. Don’t worry — the older your pup gets, the longer it’ll last!
Is The Crate Comfortable?
- Make sure you place good bedding and a few favorite toys in the crate.
- It is also essential to consider the room temperature in the room. Puppies and smaller dog breeds can get chilly quickly, so make sure you position the crate in an area that is not too cold (or too hot).
- And if the crate is too large, your dog could feel intimidated, so be sure to select the best crate for your dog.
If you’ve done all you can to satisfy your pup’s basic needs, consider putting them to bed with a chewable treat or super strong toy that will occupy it until they are sleepy. This will distract your dog.
If your puppy continues whining, don’t go to the crate. If you acknowledge your dog’s whining with attention, they’ll learn that all they have to do is cry and you’ll be there. As hard as it might be, let your dog settle themselves down. After a few nights, they will understand that whining and crying in the crate won’t get them 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 their 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’re in a new place, away from their mom and litter. Try to remember that this is an all-new environment, and your puppy 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 your dog is young). We recommend Doggy Dan’s online course or a local dog trainer.
What methods have you found most useful in curbing your puppy from crying in its crate?