If you’re a pet parent who has recently brought home a new puppy, you may be struggling with crate training. While crate training is an essential part of puppyhood, it can be difficult to get your pet to stay in their crate without crying. However, with a few simple steps, you can help your puppy feel comfortable and secure in their crate.
The key to getting your puppy to stay in its crate without crying is to make the crate a positive and safe space. This means choosing the right size crate, introducing your puppy to the crate gradually, and using positive reinforcement techniques to encourage your puppy to associate the crate with good things.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to get your puppy to stay in its crate without crying. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right size crate to introducing your puppy to the crate, and we’ll give you tips for using positive reinforcement to encourage your puppy to feel comfortable and secure in its crate.
By the end of this article, you’ll have all the tools you need to successfully crate-train your puppy and help them feel happy and safe in its new home.
Table of Contents
- 13 Tips To Stop Your Puppy From Crying In Their Crate
- Why Crate Training is Important
- Preparing the Crate and the Surrounding Area
- Introducing Your Puppy to the Crate
- Teaching Your Puppy to Stay in the Crate
- Troubleshooting Common Issues
- Is your puppy lonely?
- Will wearing out the puppy help?
- How does crate training benefit you?
- Is it cruel to ignore my puppy if it keeps crying?
- Should you play music?
- Is the crate the right size?
- Should you consider covering the crate?
- Will leaving the door open help?
- Is it recommended to feed your puppy in the crate?
- You’re considering using the crate for punishment. Is it wise to do so?
13 Tips To Stop Your Puppy From Crying In Their Crate
Are you struggling to get your puppy to stay in its crate without crying? Here are 13 tips to help you and your pet get a good night’s sleep:
- Choose the right size crate for your puppy. A crate that’s too small can make your puppy feel cramped and uncomfortable, leading to crying and restlessness.
- Make the crate comfortable with a soft blanket or bed. This can help your puppy feel more secure and cozy in their space.
- Feed your puppy before putting them in the crate. This can help them feel content and sleepy.
- Provide water in a spill-proof bowl, but remove it a few hours before bedtime to prevent accidents.
- Take your puppy for a walk or playtime before bedtime to tire them out.
- Use a calming scent, like lavender, in the crate to help your puppy relax.
- Place the crate in a quiet, dark room to minimize distractions and noise.
- Use a crate cover or blanket to create a den-like atmosphere and block out light.
- Gradually increase the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate, starting with short periods and building up to longer ones.
- Ignore your puppy’s crying, unless they need to go potty or are in distress.
- Use positive reinforcement, like treats and praise, to reward your puppy for calm behavior in the crate.
- Avoid letting your puppy out of the crate when they’re crying, as this can reinforce the behavior.
- Be patient and consistent with crate training. It may take time, but your puppy will eventually learn to feel comfortable and secure in their crate.
Remember, crate training is an important part of your puppy’s development and can help prevent destructive behavior and separation anxiety. By following these tips and being patient with your pet, you can help them feel safe and happy in their crate.
Why Crate Training is Important
Crate training is an essential part of raising a puppy. It provides a safe, comfortable space for your puppy to rest and relax. Additionally, crate training helps with housebreaking and preventing destructive behaviors.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, crate training takes advantage of a dog’s instincts to seek out a comfortable, quiet, and safe place. When used correctly, a crate can provide a sense of security for your puppy, which can help calm anxiety and prevent nighttime wandering.
Crate training can also be beneficial for senior dogs with health issues. It provides a restful place to rest their joints or take frequent naps. Additionally, crates are a safe way to transport your dog in the car, preventing them from roaming around the vehicle and distracting the driver.
Remember, crate training should always be done positively and gently. Never use the crate as a form of punishment, and avoid leaving your puppy in the crate for extended periods. With patience and consistency, your puppy will learn to love their crate and see it as a safe and comfortable space to call their own.
Preparing the Crate and the Surrounding Area
Choosing the Right Size Crate
To ensure your puppy stays in his crate without crying, it’s important to choose the right size crate. A crate that’s too small can make your puppy feel cramped, while a crate that’s too big can make him feel anxious. According to Dog Academy, your puppy should be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably in his crate.
Making the Crate Comfortable
Another way to help your puppy stay in his crate without crying is to make it comfortable. Place a soft blanket or towel on the bottom of the crate for your puppy to lie on. You can also add a few toys or a chew bone to keep your puppy entertained. However, make sure the toys are safe and can’t be easily chewed apart and swallowed.
Placing the Crate in a Suitable Location
Where you place the crate can also make a big difference in whether your puppy stays in it without crying. According to FiveBarks, the crate should be placed in a quiet area of your home, away from high-traffic areas and noise. This will help your puppy feel more secure and less anxious. Additionally, make sure the crate is not placed near a drafty area or in direct sunlight, as this can make your puppy uncomfortable. In summary, choosing the right size crate, making the crate comfortable, and placing the crate in a suitable location are all important steps in preparing the crate and the surrounding area for your puppy to stay in without crying. By taking these steps, you can help your puppy feel safe and secure in his crate, which can lead to a more peaceful night’s sleep for both you and your pet.
Introducing Your Puppy to the Crate
Introducing your puppy to the crate is an essential step in crate training. You want your puppy to feel comfortable and safe in their crate so that it will be willing to spend time in it without crying or whining. Here are some tips to help you introduce your puppy to the crate:
Make the crate a fun and positive place for your puppy. Place treats and toys inside the crate to encourage your puppy to enter it. You can also place a soft blanket or bed inside the crate to make it more comfortable for your puppy. Praise and reward your puppy when they enter the crate voluntarily. This will help them associate the crate with positive experiences.
Feeding Your Puppy in the Crate
Feeding your puppy in the crate is another way to create a positive association with the crate. Place your puppy’s food bowl inside the crate and close the door while they eat. This will help your puppy associate the crate with a positive and rewarding experience. Gradually increase the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate while they eat.
Gradually increase the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate. Start with short periods and gradually increase the duration. You can start by placing your puppy in the crate for a few minutes while you are in the room with them. Gradually increase the time your puppy spends in the crate while you are in another room. This will help your puppy get used to being alone in the crate.
Remember to be patient and consistent when introducing your puppy to the crate. It may take some time for your puppy to feel comfortable in the crate, but with positive reinforcement and gradual exercise, they will learn to love their crate.
Teaching Your Puppy to Stay in the Crate
Teaching your puppy to stay in the crate without crying can be a challenging task, but it’s an essential skill to help your puppy feel safe and secure. Here are some tips to help you teach your puppy to stay in the crate:
Start by introducing your puppy to the crate and letting them explore it at their own pace. Place some treats or toys inside the crate to encourage your puppy to go in. Once your puppy is comfortable going in and out of the crate, start closing the door for short periods while you are still in the room. Gradually increase the amount of time the door is closed while you are in the room.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is key to teaching your puppy to stay in the crate. Reward your puppy with treats and praise when they go into the crate and stay there without crying. Make sure to only let your puppy out of the crate when they are calm and quiet. This will teach them that good things happen when they stay in the crate without crying.
Avoid punishing your puppy for crying in the crate. Punishment can make your puppy associate the crate with negative feelings and make them more anxious. Instead, try to identify the cause of the crying and address it. For example, your puppy may be crying because they need to go outside to use the bathroom or because they are hungry or thirsty.
By starting slowly, using positive reinforcement, and avoiding punishment, you can teach your puppy to stay in the crate without crying. Remember to be patient and consistent, and your puppy will learn this valuable skill in no time.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Crying and Whining
If your puppy won’t stop crying or whining in their crate, there may be a few reasons why. First, make sure your puppy is comfortable and has everything they need in its crate, such as water, toys, and a comfortable bed. If your puppy is still crying, try leaving a piece of clothing with your scent on it in the crate, as this can help calm them down.
If your puppy continues to cry, try ignoring them for short periods so they learn that crying won’t get them attention. Gradually increase the amount of time you ignore them until they stop crying altogether.
Remember, never punish your puppy for crying or whining, as this can make the problem worse and cause your puppy to become anxious or fearful.
If your puppy is having accidents in their crate, it may be because the crate is too big or your puppy hasn’t been properly trained to hold their bladder. Make sure the crate is the right size for your puppy, as a crate that is too big can encourage potty accidents.
Additionally, make sure your puppy is taken outside frequently to go potty, especially after meals and naps. If your puppy does have an accident in their crate, clean it up thoroughly and avoid punishing your puppy, as this can cause them to become fearful or anxious.
Escaping from the Crate
If your puppy is escaping from their crate, it may be because the crate is not secure enough or because your puppy is anxious or scared. Make sure the crate is properly secured and that your puppy cannot push or pull it open.
If your puppy continues to escape, try covering the crate with a blanket or towel to create a cozy den-like environment. Additionally, make sure your puppy is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation to help reduce anxiety and stress.
By following these tips, you can help your puppy stay in his crate without crying. Remember to always choose the right size crate and make it a comfortable and safe space for your pup. Introduce your puppy to the crate gradually and use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage him to go inside.
Stick to a routine and gradually increase the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate. Provide plenty of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation throughout the day to prevent boredom and anxiety. If your puppy continues to cry, try using calming aids or consult with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer.
Remember, crate training takes time and patience, but with consistency and positive reinforcement, your puppy can learn to love his crate and feel comfortable and secure when left alone.
Is your puppy lonely?
Much of the anxiety in the crate stems from the fact that the puppy feels that their owner has abandoned them. By orienting it in a way that gives them a view of you, they will feel more at ease inside the crate.
Consider staying by their side until they relax, before you leave them alone for a longer period. Eventually, they will adjust to the crate without you being a constant supervisor.
Will wearing out the puppy help?
Dogs, especially puppies, have a lot of energy to expend. Letting your puppy in the crate will have them redirecting their energy to the walls, causing them to bite and scratch at the bars.
An excited puppy will eventually yearn for time away from the place, so it is best to deal with this before letting them in. With sufficient exercise, your puppy will have lowered defenses in the crate and will associate it with a place of rest rather than a place of apprehension.
How does crate training benefit you?
Accustoming your puppy to a crate is a process. The puppy will be averse to the crate at first, so professionals recommend crate training. Crate training allows your pet to identify the crate as a safe location that will shelter them from potential harm, as opposed to a place of restraint. Crate training can be done by positively reinforcing the process, and validating the puppy for the time they spend in the crate.
Is it cruel to ignore my puppy if it keeps crying?
Many people recommend letting the puppy ‘cry it out’, however, it is inhumane to constantly ignore your puppy if they are uncomfortable for long periods. Sometimes, it may be a cry for help that needs to be addressed.
If your puppy cries for prolonged periods, consider taking them out for a while and calming them down. Don’t leave them in the crate for too long lest it makes the pup depressed. If the situation is completely unworkable, try alternate methods like tethering.
Should you play music?
A study by animal behaviorist Dr. Deborah Wells showed that classical music can help anxious dogs calm down. When the owner is not around to positively reinforce the pup, consider using music as white noise so the puppy may remain occupied.
Be careful in choosing the music, it should have calm or soothing tones rather than exciting ones because that will have the opposite effect on what you’re trying to achieve.
Is the crate the right size?
Crates are not universally sized. What works for one breed, might not work for another. Consider sizing the crate ergonomically according to your dog, with enough space for them to maneuver around without constantly hitting the walls. Your puppy might be uncomfortable because the crate might feel claustrophobic and not like a haven if it is not sized reasonably.
Should you consider covering the crate?
This might be achieved through hit and trial, but one reason for incessant crying might be the fact that the puppy feels too exposed inside the crate. Cover it partially or totally with a blanket to gauge if that is the problem.
If it works out, consider doing it regularly so that the puppy might feel at ease. Exercise caution though, keep a check to see if your pup is okay and not feeling suffocated.
Will leaving the door open help?
Leaving the door open seems counterintuitive, but is a good way to condition the puppy to stay in the crate. Consider doing this when you’re sleeping next to the pup so that they feel enough at ease to let you close the door. This way they know that you are watching over them and they have not been abandoned.
Is it recommended to feed your puppy in the crate?
The answer is yes! You can give one main meal to the dog in the crate so that they associate it with a sheltered feeling. However, only do this two or three hours before taking them out. Make sure to remove the bowl after they’re done eating so that the crate does not get dirty.
You’re considering using the crate for punishment. Is it wise to do so?
Crates should never be used as a place of punishment. Using the space as a tool to reprimand the dog will only create more fear, and have them avoid the crate, or feel depressed in it. Remember, you want to train your dog to feel safe and loved, and not create a hostile environment for them.
My name is Ken and I’m one of the staff writers at Petloverguy.com. I’ve cared for pets most of my life starting with hamsters, turtles, and snakes. Then moving up to parakeets, guinea pigs, and even ducks.
I currently live with two yorkies and a chihuahua mix.