Does your puppy cries when you leave him in its dog crate?
In this article, I’ll tell you what not to do and what you should do
By the end you hopefully know how you can stop puppy crying.
In this article, I’ll explain how you can stop puppy crying.
If you prefer watching my YouTube video related to this topic you can do so by watching the video below.
What you should not do when your puppy cries in its dog crate
Many people wonder what to do when a puppy cries in its dog crate.
I still hear people advising to slam the dog crate with their hand because that is supposed to stop the puppy squealing or the puppy crying.
In spite of these people’s lack of expertise, they are right in what they say.
There is a serious chance that your puppy will stop crying after you slam the dog crate with your hand.
However, the reason your puppy stops squealing is that you are frightening it.
In fact, it will be scared to death if you strike the dog crate with your hand all of a sudden.
The risk involved in slamming a dog crate is that your puppy may associate fear with its dog crate.
You may well find that next time you try to direct your puppy to its dog crate, it will refuse and just freeze or walk the other way. If you pick it up and forcibly put it in the dog crate, it will feel unsafe and uncomfortable, preventing it from calming down.
You also risk having your puppy associate this fear with you as a person. It notices that you are the one slamming the dog crate, making it feel less secure around you. Your puppy will become less likely to approach you because it doesn’t fully trust you anymore.
All in all, you never want to slam your hand on the dog crate to silence your puppy.
Using physical and verbal aggression toward your puppy is a big no-go area!
Realize that your puppy is crying for a reason. It may be the urge to pee or poop, hunger, thirst, loneliness, boredom and lack of fun and games, cramps, or growing teeth. Whatever the reason, when your puppy cries, it is trying to tell you something. It is up to you to deal with this responsibly and to find a fitting solution. Again, ask your partner for help when you feel your frustration rising to the point where you can’t avoid getting emotional in your reactions.
So, although it may be obvious for you, I just want to make sure you know you shouldn’t slam the dog crate.
What you SHOULD do when your puppy whines
Suppose it is 11 p.m.—almost time for bed—and your 10-week-old puppy has just peed and pooped outside.
You direct your puppy to its dog crate, but the moment you shut the door, it starts crying.
What to do now?
The first crucial step is putting the dog crate right next to where you sleep. This can be in your bedroom, but you could also decide to put a mattress down beside your puppy and sleep there. From there, you can use sighing, coughing, or physical contact to let your puppy know you’re there. Of course, this has the added benefit of allowing your puppy to smell and see you.
Obviously, the type of squealing or whining determines what to do.
If it’s just soft whining, there is no need to act immediately. This is just part of the learning process. As soon as gentle whining turns into hysterical squealing, something else is going on. There is no point in ignoring this behavior.
As I always say, prevention is better than cure, so the following few tips will help you prevent puppy crying from happening in the first place:
- Give the puppy a nice treat that will keep it occupied for a few minutes, like a chewy bone, for instance. Don’t leave your puppy alone with a toy or chewy bone, though.
- During the first 15 minutes, put a bowl of water in the dog crate and allow your puppy to drink.
Should you ignore a puppy when it cries in its dog crate?
If not, the next question is: should you take your puppy out of its dog crate immediately?
I regularly receive questions like these from other new puppy owners.
I have worked out 2 situations in detail here, so you can figure out which one best fits your own situation.
Situation 1 – puppy cries at night
Is 3 a.m. usually the time at which your puppy starts to cry?
Chances are it needs to pee or poop.
The best thing to do is to wait for 30 seconds before removing the puppy from the dog crate because you can’t be sure what its exact reason for squealing is. It might whine because it woke up suddenly and feels lonely. That is why you should first try making some noise to make your puppy hear you and let it know it is not alone. You can do this either by sighing, or by making some noise as you turn over in bed, or by coughing a few times.
If that doesn’t work, lower your hand and stick your fingers through the wire of the dog crate. Try to comfort your puppy like this. If you’re lucky, the crying will stop, and your puppy will go back to sleep.
Do note, however, that this advice only applies to pups squealing or barking normally. If it is squealing hysterically, ignoring it is pointless. By hysterical squealing, I mean the kind where it sounds as if your puppy is in considerable pain.
If your puppy won’t continue sleeping and the squealing continues, there is no point in ignoring it for more than 30 seconds. Your puppy probably needs to pee or poop badly.
Move over to the dog crate and calmly stand in front of it. Your goal is that it stops squealing. After your puppy is silent for two seconds, open the dog crate and lift the puppy out. Support the puppy on your arm and walk outside, placing it in the spot where it is allowed to pee and poop.
The reason for lifting up the puppy is to activate the mechanism blocking the urinary tract.
You do this because you don’t want your puppy to pee on your way to the front or back door. In nature, the urinary tract blocking mechanism prevents puppies from leaving scent traces behind for predators when their mother picks them up with her jaws to move them around. The same mechanism activates when you lift up your puppy. Be aware that exceptions can always occur. To prevent awkward situations from happening, don’t aim your puppy toward your partner or children as you lift it up.
Once you return inside the house, direct the puppy to its dog crate using a chewy stick, and then head back to bed yourself.
Situation 2 – puppy cries during the day
Does your puppy cries in the dog crate during the day, and are you at a loss about how to deal with this?
The first question is: did you introduce your puppy to its dog crate the proper way?
Have you kept the door to the dog crate open during the first few days? If you haven’t introduced its crate correctly, your puppy hasn’t been trained correctly for the dog crate. It will not feel secure and at ease inside. The advice is to start over with crate-training. Give your puppy time and space to get used to the dog crate.
If your puppy has received proper crate-training but still keeps crying while inside the dog crate during the day, then the same strategy as in situation 1 applies. If the pup keeps squealing inside the dog crate even though you have introduced the dog crate to your puppy correctly, then please leave a comment below so I can give you some more pointers.
For more information regarding crate-training feel free to check out my book How to Crate-Train a Puppy: The Ultimate Guide on Amazon.
Well, there you have it. My thoughts on what not to do and what to do when your puppy cries in its dog crate.
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Please leave a comment below this video and tell me your dog’s name and what breed it is. Always fun to hear different dog names.