Do You Close a Crate Door at Night? (Solved & Explained!)

Closing the door on the crate at night is a bad idea. This will definitely lead to whining, as your dog will feel ‘imprisoned’ or like you are punishing them for something. By leaving the door open, you reinforce the idea that it’s a comfy and personal place for your dog.

In this article, we’ll tell you a little more about the do’s and don’ts of crating by answering the most common questions on the web. Let’s look at the answers that you need to know!

When should you close a crate door?

At first, lure your puppy in with some food and then close the crate door while they eat, opening it immediately after they finish and give them a little praise and a treat. With successive feedings, leave the door closed for a few minutes at a time after they finish, increasing the time slowly.

This will help them to get used to the crate, knowing that you’ll let them out eventually, and after that you can leave them in for longer periods.

When should you leave your crate door open at night?

It is a good idea to leave the crate door open at night for the beginning portions of crate training, at least until your puppy gets used to it. Closing the door makes your little puppy feel like they are being held captive or punished for something and can build negative associations with the crate.

Give them at least a week to get used to the crate and to the times when you need to close it briefly and this will help to counter those negative associations and make your pup more comfortable with crating.

Where should a dog sleep at night?

It is best to have your dog sleep in a crate or simply in your bedroom with the door closed at night (provided that you’ve doggy-proofed the room). Sleeping in the same area as you helps your dog to feel safe and also helps to speed along the bonding process between you and your dog.

If you are using a crate instead of letting them simply sleep in the bedroom, then be sure to put the crate close to where you sleep.

Where should my puppy sleep at night time?

You’ll want your puppy to sleep close, but it should be in a crate or on the bedroom floor. Resist the urge to let them sleep in bed with you – puppies have small bladders and you won’t like what happens.

Expect to take them outside every few hours, as well, because of this! For every month of age, your puppy can only wait an hour before needing to go outside, so you’ll need to plan appropriately.

Can I leave the crate open at night?

Definitely and it’s a good idea. You want to make sure that you are building pleasant associations with the crate. Ultimately, the goal is to teach them that they have a comfortable place of their own.

So, while you might need to put your puppy in there with the door closed during the day, once your puppy learns that it stays open at night then they’ll be more likely to go in when they want to sleep somewhere comfortable.

Should a dog sleep in a crate?

Getting your dog to sleep in a crate is a good idea. Over time, they will see it as their own private den, and they will start going to their crate when they feel stressed or simply want a private place to play with their toys.

With a little patience and some comfortable bedding, this will happen, and your dog will no longer ‘hate the crate’.

Does my dog need a bed in his crate?

While some dogs certainly seem to like sleeping on a bare ‘floor’, most dogs are going to prefer something a little more comfortable, so a doggy-bed is a good idea. Not only will it keep your dog warm and comfy, but it helps to build good associations with the crate much faster than a ‘bare-bones’ setup would.  

Do dogs sleep better in the dark?

Yes. All mammals have circadian rhythms built-in from the start, so just as we like to divide up our night and day phases, so does your dog. By regularly turning off the lights as night, your dog will learn when it’s time to be awake and time for sleep.   

Do dogs like to sleep with blankets?

Yes, dogs love blankets, and when you see them ‘nose’ under a blanket then you are witnessing a natural burrowing instinct that dogs possess. Just be sure not to give them a blanket that is ‘stuffed’, as they are natural chewers and you don’t want them ingesting blanket filling that may be toxic or lead to intestinal blockage.

Should you close the door on a puppy crate at night?

No, it’s best to leave the crate door open at night. This will help to ensure that your puppy doesn’t start to associate the crate with punishment or confinement.

When you do need to close the door, be sure to give your puppy a treat before they go in and after you take them out, as well, to help build pleasant associations with the crate.

Do dogs sleep straight through the night?

Older dogs can and often will sleep straight through the night, but puppies definitely will not. Due to the size of their bladders, puppies need to go outside every 2 to 3 hours so they will definitely wake up and cry throughout the night. As they get older, they can wait longer, but it’s a slow process – you will need to be patient!

Do dogs Know day / night?

Dogs definitely know when it is night or day. Dogs have circadian rhythms just like we do and like us, they sleep better when it’s dark and quiet. Turning off the lights at night when it’s bedtime can help to make them feel more comfortable and to learn the proper ‘daily routine’.