How To Stop a Puppy From Crying in the Crate

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In this article, we will be giving you some recommendations if your puppy is giving you a hard time when you need to put him into his crate, so read on to find out how to stop a puppy from crying in the crate.

Puppies are so adorable, and taking care of them is a fantastic experience and a big responsibility. Here are some steps you can use to help minimize your puppy’s whining in his crate.

However, there are still times when they exhibit unwanted behaviors such as whining and crying. Without enough diligent and obedient training, these behaviors will continue until they grow as adults, and we do not want that to become a routine. 

If you are looking to raise an obedient dog, you will need to provide proper training for your puppy, starting with basic things such as potty training, sit and stay, basic obedience, and many more tricks.

A cute puppy

Misconceptions of Crating Your Furbaby

If you’re a new pet parent, it is a prerequisite that you have already purchased their necessities, such as food and water bowl, harness, leash, dog toys, and a crate.

Most dog owners are hesitant to buy a crate for a young puppy because it resembles a cage and has associated this as cruel training for their puppy.

Dog playing on a chew toy

On the contrary, being on a crate is similar to their natural environment that mimics a den’s feel. Dogs in the wild live in a pack and often spend their sleeping times inside a confined space, such as a cave.

Domesticated dogs still have this instinct from their ancestors, making it natural for them to stay in a crate. 

If you have ever left your puppy in a room alone for some time, you already know how frustrating and heartbreaking hearing your puppy’s whining could be.

Crate training will help you eliminate this behavior, and in this article, we will be tackling some ways on how to stop a puppy from crying in their crate.

Dog feeling sad on a carpet

Why Should I Crate My Puppy?

Crate training has multiple benefits for you and your dog. Here are the reasons why veterinarians and animal behaviorists swear by why you should crate your puppy. 

1.    You will be able to have peace of mind when leaving your puppy alone, knowing that your appliances and household items are safe. 

2.    Potty training a puppy in a crate will be easier to manage since confining them in a safe space will establish a routine for outdoor elimination and prevent accidents at night or whenever they are unsupervised. 

3.    Whenever you have guests over, your dog might get over-excited, and that may be bothersome. A dog in a crate will eliminate any of these incidents that can turn a gathering into a hassle.

4.    When traveling, their crate will help them adapt to the new environment since they see it as their “safety blanket.” 

5.    Your puppy will be able to enjoy the privacy of a crate of their own, to which they can retreat when they are tired, stressed, or ill.

Why Do Puppies Cry in their Crates?

A sad puppy whining

Dogs are naturally curious animals, which means they love exploring their surroundings. Once they are in their confined crate, they lose their ability to roam around.

Whining and crying is their way of getting your attention and what they need.

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According to animal behaviorists, it is normal for puppies to cry inside their crates. Dogs are social animals, so when they are in a crate, they have the limitations of being with their pack leader, their pet parent.

They will whine because they are uncomfortable in confinement and will try their best to get your attention.

How To Encourage Your Puppy That It Is Okay To Be Alone?

When puppies cry, they want to be with their pet parents. So it is essential to encourage your puppy to be alone and to show him that everything will be okay. 

A training method to help you is by practicing to leave your house and then coming back after a short time.

Using this method, they will learn that being alone is reasonable, and they will have the assurance that you will always come back. It will also avoid developing negative behaviors if they are left alone. 

Dog resting on a sofa

For the first few sessions, to easily achieve this method, leave your home for a minute and go back immediately.

As the sessions go by, increase the time you leave them alone and, at the same time, check to see if they are comfortable and at ease and will not start barking. 

Initiate positive reinforcement by giving them a treat when you are about to leave, but never when you return.

It is also important to avoid making a lot of noise while leaving your house, as your dog can sense that you will be leaving them and can get upset.

How to Get a Puppy to Stop Whining While In His Crate?

Keep in mind that eliminating your dog’s whining is not possible; however, there are still ways to minimize it. It is crucial to engage your puppy in crate training early on in their life.

Worry not, here are some things you can do to minimize your puppy’s whining in their crate. With consistency and patience, you will hear less of the whining in no time! 

1. Select a crate that is comfortable for your puppy

The crate should be big enough for your puppy to stand up and circle around. If your dog’s breed grows faster, choose a crate that can accommodate his adult size.

If you’re cutting out some costs, some local shelters rent out cages. This is more convenient for most pet parents because they can easily trade the crate size according to their dog’s growth. 

What Kind of Crate Is Perfect For Your Puppy?

A variety of crates are available for your puppy, and choosing the perfect one will depend on your dog’s breed, personality, and needs. Here are the most common kinds of crates and their benefits. 

  • Plastic Dog Crate

These portable and lightweight crates are perfect for pet parents who are always on the move together with their puppies. If you’re planning to bring along your puppy on your out-of-town trip, this crate is what you’re looking for (which is why they’re also called airline kennels).

Plastic Dog Crate
  • Metal Dog Crate

If you want your puppy to stay at one specific place in your house, then you should get a metal dog crate. 

Metal Dog Crate

Metal dog crates are customizable, you can add dividers to create more room for your other dogs or you can also add some crate covers to make it look more visually appealing inside your home.

  • Soft-Sided (Fabric) Dog Crate

If you want your dog’s crate to be transferred from one place to another around your home, then a fabric crate is perfect for you. It is lightweight and portable. With its beautifully patterned fabric walls, it can easily blend in your home as a piece of furniture.

  • Exercise Pens

Exercise pens or ex-pens for short are technically not crates but it still does the job of confining your puppies. Unlike crates, ex-pens are similar to fences that you set up in your home’s spacious area. Exercise pens can be easily adjusted to whatever shape and size you want.

2. Place the crate somewhere safe and quiet

Now that you know which crate to get, you can decide where to place it. You’ll want the crate in your home with the most undisturbed and quiet corner, avoid the window to eliminate exposure to direct sunlight, and put it away from your cleaning products or indoor plants that can be harmful when accidentally ingested.

A dog sleeping on a carpet

3. Make sure that staying in their crate is comfortable

Choosing what to put inside your puppy’s crate is vital for safety reasons and depends on several factors, such as their age and personality. 

  • Bedding

Your dog should feel comfy whenever they sleep in their crate, and thanks to bedding, this can be made possible. Select bedding that can fit perfectly in the crate.

An additional feature that you need to look for is durable against your puppy’s chewing habits and easy-to-wash if they pee on it. 

A dog on a sturdy bed
  • Food and Water Bowls

Consider putting in food and water bowls. Although most pet parents opt to place their pet’s food and water bowl outside the crate to prevent spillage, it is recommended to ensure that your puppy has something to eat or drink once they wake up while you are asleep. You can also consider elevated bowls.

Dog drinking water

There are feeders available in most pet stores that can be clipped on a crate. As for drinking water, there are lick-able water bottles that you can clip on the crate for easy and spill-proof drinking. 

  • Dog Toys

You don’t want your puppy bored while they are in their crate so it is better to give them a toy to play with. Place a toy that is big enough to avoid falling from the crate slits, especially if the crate is elevated. A perfect example of a toy to put is a kong or a durable stuffed toy made especially for dogs.

A dog playing with his chew toy

4. Ignore your puppy’s whining

Giving puppies attention or taking them puppies out of the crate when they are whining should be avoided, even if it is heartbreaking to hear them crying. Once you provide them with attention, it will just reinforce this behavior because you responded to it. 

It is best only to let your puppy out once he stops whining and calms down. By ignoring your furbaby until they calm down, they will soon realize that quiet behavior will eventually result in going out of the crate. 

5. Give them adequate potty breaks

Puppies are not great at holding their bladder as much as most adult dogs do, so it is your job to make sure that your puppy has ample opportunities to go to their designated potty area to do their business.

Potty breaks at night may interupt your pup’s sleep cycle. Find out from this article whether you should wake your puppy up to pee or not.

Puppies licking each other

Adult dogs usually need to pee between three to five times daily. But puppies need pee breaks more frequently. Here are the average time limits for puppies of different ages:

  • 8 to 10 weeks: One hour or less. Puppies at this young age simply cannot hold their bladder for more than an hour. For best results, start crate training your puppy while they’re at this age, but do not leave them for long hours. Remember that puppies are prone to separation anxiety too.
  • 10-12 weeks: Bladder capacity is getting bigger, but 2 hours is still the best time that most puppies can hold it at this age.
  • 3-6 months: At this age, start using the “one hour per month rule.” Three-month-old puppies can hold their bladder for three hours, four-month-old puppies can hold for four months, and so on. 
  • After six months: puppies can hold their bladder for around six hours. If you don’t have a doggy door, be sure to go home at lunch or get your trusted dog walker to pay a visit if you’re unable to do so.

Any dog who is forced to hold his bladder for too long is at risk for urinary problems such as stones and UTI. Like what we experience, holding the bladder for too long is uncomfortable and can lead to unwanted accidents.

To get some more information on how to potty train your dog in a crate, you can read our previous article.

6. Give your puppy plenty of exercises

It is a good practice to give your puppy plenty of playtime and exercise while still young. Always remember that a tired dog is a happy dog that will easily fall asleep. 

Playing Puppies, Young Dogs, French Bulldog

Giving your puppy daily physical and mental activity that drains his energy will help in preventing behavioral problems.

If they still have a vast amount of energy, they will find creative ways to become busy and use up this energy, including staying up late and whining in their crate.

7. Consistency is the key

Similar to humans, having a schedule makes our puppy’s daily life easier to manage. It is essential that your furbaby has a regular scheduled mealtime, exercise, playtime, nap, and sleep time. 

Dog under the sun

Dogs are known to be animals of habit. They can sense what time it is and know what to expect for the rest of the day, making them less restless and anxious. 

By having a consistent schedule, our furbaby can manage the time better when they are alone. They can efficiently distribute their energy for the day.

They are most likely to spend their time resting and napping instead of staying up in their crate, whining to get out to play. 

Excessive Whining

While puppy whining is not to be worried about, pet parents should be alert for any excessive whining or unusual behavior regardless if your puppy is in a crate or not.

Contact your veterinarian if whining is new behavior for a puppy that has been handled being crated well or if the crying doesn’t subside after quite some time.

A veterinarian checking a puppy

Just like any other training, this needs patience and time, but everything will be worth it once the training has been completed. If training your puppy by yourself seems to be hard, it is better to consult an animal behaviorist.

Once your puppy reaches adulthood, you can start looking for a nice playpen.

Now that you have learned how to stop your puppy from crying in his crate, comment down below if you have any tips on how to stop a puppy from crying in the crate that you would like to share with our pet parent community!

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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