how to stop your puppy crying in the crate

How to Stop Your Puppy Crying in the Crate

Most new pet parents easily give up on the idea of becoming full-pledged pet parents for the simple fact that they cannot stand the crying and whining of their puppy especially at night when everyone already desires some peaceful sleep. Regrettably there are no shortcuts to crate training and each puppy will be slightly different from the one before it and the one to follow. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you will become a hostage to puppy crying and whining forever. Here are some ways on how you can stop your puppy from crying in its crate.

Introduce the Crate Slowly Into its Life

If you were the puppy and your human master suddenly put you inside a cage, how would that make you feel? You’d definitely feel frightened and helpless, too, right? That’s exactly what puppies feel when they are crated especially when they were put into the crate without proper training. And by proper training we mean slowly introducing the crate as a normal contraption of its daily life. You don’t get a puppy from the shelter and automatically shove it inside a crate, thinking that it is okay since it spent the most of its life at the shelter in a cage anyway. This is not a good start for any puppy or for any dog for that matter.

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puppy crate

Allow the puppy to roam around with the crate in plain view. Just leave the crate’s door open and let your puppy ‘sniff’ it out. You can always ‘entice’ your young pooch to go near the crate, but never shove it in. Let your pup accept the presence of the crate as ‘natural’. This is actually the secret to making your pup learn to live inside its crate without having to cry or whine all the time.

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Make the Crate a Safe and Inviting Place

Did you know that just as you would love to sleep and rest in a bedroom that is comfy and relaxing, your puppy will need a safe and inviting place to sleep in, too? Now take a look at your pup’s crate. Does it come with a comfy bed that is just right for your puppy? How about a pillow or perhaps even a toy that your pup is most affectionate of? The point is that while crates do look like cages, you don’t have to make your pup feel like it’s living inside a prison cell. The crate should be seen by your pup as a wonderful place, a very relaxed space, and a really inviting area that your little doggie can call as its own private place.

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Determine the Cause of Your Pup’s Crying

There are many reasons why puppies cry or whine especially when they are inside their crates. It could be because they want your attention or it could also be that they really have to go and they cannot do that because they are in their ‘home’.

If the issue is the former, by all means resist the temptation to give in immediately. Most new pet owners have this automatic response to go see their whining pups immediately. If you do this you’re actually teaching your pup that the way to get your attention is by crying. The louder and more ‘helpless’ the cry sounds the more likely are you going to go see them and let them out of their crates. Wait until your pup stopped crying or whining before you go and see it in its crate and even perhaps opening it. This way it will not be able to associate your going to the crate to see your pet to anything.

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dog crate

Now if the issue is that your pup needs to go, you’d have to ask yourself if you are observing a schedule of elimination for your pup. You need to understand that puppies have more hyperactive bowels and bladders than adult dogs. So if you missed this point then make sure to bring them out for a walk for them to eliminate first before putting them in their crates.

Sometimes the reason puppies cry in their crates is that they’ve been left there longer than usual. If you really have to crate them longer than necessary, make sure to make up for it by spending more time with them when you come back.

The crate should never be associated with punishment. This is the key to putting a stop to your puppy’s crying in its crate. That is why you have to go slow in crate training and to make the crate as comfy and cozy as possible. Lastly, address the different reasons why your young pooch cries in its crate.

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  1. Mikkel Becker, Why a Puppy Barks at Night and How to Stop It, Vetstreet
  2. Dr. Katie Grzyb, DVM, What to Do When Your Puppy Whines in His Crate, PetMD

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