When you first bring your puppy home, they might not be used to being kept in a crate.
If you’re new to owning a puppy, you might be wondering: Should I ignore a puppy crying in their crate?
In this article, I will cover some key information about crate training your puppy, including whether you should ignore a puppy crying in their crate.
Let’s get started.
Puppies require consistent training and a firm hand in order to grow into well-behaved adult dogs. Crate training is a good method to keep puppies safe and out of trouble whilst you are asleep.
However, whether you’re new to trying crate training, or are familiar with crate training a puppy, it’s not an easy feat and there are a lot of hurdles to overcome along the way.
One of the most frustrating and heartbreaking parts of crate training is when a puppy cries when you put them in their crate.
One of the most common reasons why this happens, in the beginning, is because they don’t understand why they have to stay in their crate.
They think that if they cry, someone will come to rescue them from the situation.
While this can be tempting to stop the noise, giving in to their cries isn’t the best option as I will explore a bit further down.
However, first, let’s take a look at some other reasons why your puppy might be unsettled in their crate.
- 1 Why Do Puppies Cry?
- 2 Should I Ignore A Puppy Crying In Their Crate?
- 3 How To Get Your Puppy To Stop Crying In Their Crate
- 4 When To Be Worried About Your Puppy Crying
- 5 Benefits of Crate Training Your Puppy
- 6 In Summary
- 7 Learn More
Why Do Puppies Cry?
Puppies cry for a variety of different reasons. Crying is often their way of trying to communicate with us and tell us something is wrong.
To understand the different cries of a puppy, you first need to go back to the beginning. When puppies are first born, their experience is very limited.
They can’t even see or move on their own yet, and it takes them several weeks before they start moving around and exploring the world.
This is why they remain huddled by their mother, as they are blind and have everything that they need in terms of food and warmth remaining by her side.
When they do start moving around, it’s usually when they’re hungry and are in search of food.
They may also be feeling scared or lonely. So if we don’t respond to these signals, they’ll keep crying until their needs are met.
Once the puppy is old enough to leave their mother and has begun eating solid foods, it’s normal for a puppy to cry when you first bring them home.
After all, they’re in a new environment and they are having to learn to adapt to their new life away from their mother.
However, it’s a good idea to recognize their cries and figure out what they could be in reference to.
For instance, your puppy will likely cry when they need to go to the bathroom or when they’re hungry, so it’s up to you to schedule a routine around their needs.
No one should adopt a puppy lightly, as it is a huge responsibility and undertaking to take care of them whilst they are first being potty trained. Having patience and exercising determination is key.
They will get it, you just have to allow them the time and encouragement through positive reinforcement.
If your puppy is crying for another reason, such as feeling lonely, their crate might be too far away from you.
It’s important to recognize that the process of crate training is trial and error, and you’re not going to get it right the first time. However, crate training is well worth it in the end.
Should I Ignore A Puppy Crying In Their Crate?
Yes, you should ignore a puppy that is crying in their crate. In fact, giving in to your puppy’s crying is one of the biggest mistakes new dog parents make.
Crate training isn’t easy, and you have to remain consistent with it to ensure that your puppy learns that this is where they sleep.
That being said, there are a few steps that you can take to minimize the stress for you and your puppy.
How To Get Your Puppy To Stop Crying In Their Crate
There are various ways you can get your puppy to stop crying in their crate. These methods include but are not limited to:
Ignore Their Crying
While it might feel unnatural to ignore your puppy’s cries, this is how your puppy will learn to remain in their crate for longer periods of time.
If you give in and give your puppy attention, this reinforces the behavior that crying gets them what they want.
Get Your Puppy Comfortable With The Crate
Ensuring that you take the time to familiarize your puppy with his crate is one way to help cut down on anxiety and reduce their crying.
You should give your dog treats, chew toys, and a cozy blanket inside the crate to help them get used to the crate and make positive associations with it.
You should also never use their crate for punishment, as this will just cause them to have negative associations with the crate.
Take Them Out For Potty On A Regular Basis
Puppies don’t have the ability to hold their waste for the same length of time as adults, so to avoid any mishaps, you need to be taking them out on a regular basis.
As their owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that young puppies have ample opportunities to go outside—even when it comes to taking them out in the middle of the night or during the early hours of the morning.
Typically speaking, a 2-month-old puppy can hold it for around three hours at most. A 3-month-old puppy can go for around four hours.
However, it’s much better to live on the side of caution by taking your puppy out sooner than when they’re desperate to go, as you don’t want them to soil their bed.
Place Their Crate In The Right Location
Where you place a puppy’s crate can have a larger impact on them than you realize.
If you place the crate in a room or location such as your basement, the likelihood is that your puppy might feel lonely and is crying as a result of that.
Considering your puppy has not long left their mum and siblings, you should aim to place their crate in a location where they still feel part of the family. This way, they’re less likely to feel anxious.
There are also huge benefits to your puppy not being too far from you, as this means you’ll be able to hear them when they need to go to the bathroom.
If you place their crate too far away, the likelihood is that they will be forced to soil themselves in their crate.
Provide Your Puppy With Enough Exercise
There’s no denying that puppies require a lot of exercise and playtime to burn off their high levels of energy.
It is your responsibility to ensure that they’re getting enough exercise and attention outside of their crate during their waking hours.
Tiring your puppy out will reduce the risk of them becoming fussy due to an excess of energy when you put them in their crate for their night.
Limit Food And Water Before Bed
While it’s always a good idea to take your puppy out to the bathroom before putting them into their crate for the night, you will also want to make sure that you limit their food and water about an hour before bed.
If your puppy goes to bed with a full stomach and bladder, this is a sure-fire way of ensuring that you’ll be getting up multiple times during the night to let them out.
By limiting their intake, you will reduce the amount they need to cry to indicate that they need to go to the bathroom.
When To Be Worried About Your Puppy Crying
While it’s not an uncommon occurrence for puppies to cry, you should always be aware and make note of if their crying seems excessive whether you decide to crate train your puppy or not.
Consistent crying when you’ve done everything that you can to help them transition into their crate could indicate a larger problem that needs your attention, such as separation anxiety.
In addition to this, if your puppy initially reacts well to crate training and is suddenly crying more frequently, then this could be something to worry about.
This is especially true if your puppy is accidentally hurting itself trying to escape their crate.
If you suspect that your puppy is crying more than you would deem normal of other pets that you’ve had in the past, or it seems constant, then you should seek advice from your veterinarian.
Benefits of Crate Training Your Puppy
There are a variety of benefits associated with crate training your dog. For instance, crate training:
Provides Your Puppy With Their Own Safe Space
It can be an overwhelming process being brought into a new home.
Crate training your puppy provides them with a safe space of their own, which can be particularly useful for fearful or anxious puppies in new environments.
This means that when your puppy becomes overstimulated or is acting out for any reason, they will associate their crate with a calm, familiar place to relax and sleep.
This will also help them to self-soothe during times of distress.
This is why it’s incredibly important to keep your puppy’s crate in a quiet area, as their naps are essential to their behavior.
While it can be tempting to keep them up for longer to play with them, puppies require a lot of sleep!
Providing them with a safe space to sleep where the hustle and bustle won’t prevent them from taking their naps is essential to their development.
Helps House Training
House training your puppy isn’t an easy feat when they’ve got an entire house to run around and make a mess in.
Dogs instinctively like to keep their sleeping quarters clean. Providing them with a contained space that they associate with sleep helps them learn where it’s appropriate to go to the toilet.
As a result, crate training helps your pup to strengthen their bowel muscles as well as their bladder, as with age the number of times they need to go throughout the night will eventually decrease.
Is Good For Traveling
When it comes to transporting your puppy by car or by air during long-distance travel or vacations, the whole process can be made more stressful by your dog feeling overwhelmed and uncomfortable.
And on some occasions, feeling travel sick. Crates make the process of traveling with your pooch safely easier.
Crate training encourages your dog to lay down and sleep without distracting the person who is driving when you’re on the road.
They also contain your dog in one space, meaning that they’re not becoming distracted, and can minimize or prevent motion sickness by covering the crate.
It also means if they do vomit, it’s in one place, not all over your car!
Once your dog has made that association with their crate being their time to relax and sleep, you’ll have a much more convenient traveling experience with them.
Puppies cry for a variety of different reasons. However, when it comes to crate training your puppy, you should ignore your puppy when they are crying.
You shouldn’t give in and allow your puppy out of their crate, as this will reverse the good of the training.
However, there are a few tips mentioned in this article that you can try to make them feel more comfortable and to reduce their crying.
Have persistence with crate training. It won’t happen overnight, but with some patience your puppy will get there.
Good luck crate training your pup!