Puppy Crying in Crate: How to Stop Puppies From Whining?

Puppy Crying in Crate: How to Stop Puppies From Whining?

Last Updated on February, 2023

Does your new puppy keep whining when he is in the crate?

Crate training is an excellent way to direct your dogs on the right track. A crate-trained puppy grows into a well-behaved, disciplined adult dog and avoids any terrible habits. 

Little puppies are not going to love their crate time in the very beginning, and they might get quite noisy and cry to seek your attention.

Why do they cry and how to stop their crying are the questions that you might be seeking answers for. We have included everything you need to know, keep reading to find out.

Why Does a Puppy Scream in a Crate?

a crying puppy inside the crate

Screaming in the crate is normal puppy behavior. Puppies whine or cry in their crates for numerous reasons like isolation, needing the toilet, fear, anxiety, boredom, etc. 

Quiet often, they whine due to separation anxiety. Your puppy could have been recently separated from his littermates and might not have gotten used to staying away from them, you or any other family members. 

Dogs and especially puppies, are profoundly social creatures. They hate being separated from their pack, and they might try to get your attention when they feel lonely. 

It is vital to make your puppy comfortable and get used to its crate by being steadfast and persistent. Eventually, your pup will soon learn that you will come back to him, and that understanding will settle him down. 

How to Stop Your Puppy From Whining in the Crate?

With proper crate training, you might not only be able to stop them from misbehaving but also you will be able to reduce puppy whining or crying.

Sometimes even the best training methods might not help to curb puppy cries. But consistency is the key, and it would be best if you are patient while training. 

Below are a few tips that might help to curb your puppy’s whining or crying in his crate.

Select The Right size Crate For Your Puppy

Young puppies need enough space in their crates to stand up, turn around, and play with their doggy toys. A smaller crate without enough room for your little one can make them cry a lot.

Many dog crates come with a divider, which will help you expand or adjust the crate size as your little pooch grows. This way, you do not need to buy a new crate; as your puppy ages, he will have plenty of space. It is also a great way to save your money.

Make Your Puppy Comfortable In Their Crate

One best way to reduce your puppy’s whining is to make its crate super comfortable and get him used to it. 

Never make your pup feel the crate as a form of punishment or never force him into it. Crate being associated with something pleasant and the training given in a series of small steps are two great ways while crate training your puppy. 

You can make the crate warm and cozy by getting a dog bed and furnishing it with a soft blanket or pillow. The more cuddly and cozy you make his space, the more comfortable and safe he will feel in his crate. 

Provide a treat or favorite toy for your new puppy to play and enjoy with, and do not forget to provide him dog treats as a reward for being quiet or when he chooses to go in on his own, it will encourage him. 

If your pup is new to crate then feeding his regular meals closer to the crate will create a pleasant association with the crate. You can place the meal further into the crate each time you feed him and close the crate when he is comfortably eating inside it.

Do not confine your puppy for more extended periods, and make sure you allow him to go in and out during the crate training process. 

Puppies should not be in the crate for more than a few hours, and adult dogs should not be in the crate for more than eight hours. 

Ensure children do not taunt or bother your pup when he is inside the crate. 

Once your puppy is familiarized with his crate, he will readily enter it on his own.

Ignore Their Whining Behavior

Puppies cry, fuss, and whine when they are confined to a crate. 

Letting your puppy out as soon as he starts whining only teaches him that whining is his ticket out and it is one of the most common crate training mistakes that you could ever make.

It is going to be really difficult if you are a new owner, you will tend to give into his cry and release and soothe your pup. But you need to resist that impulse, or otherwise it can make things much worse.

You must not pay attention to your puppy when he is acting up; ignore any of his whining or tantrums. Not even a peep from you! But make sure to check on him if he is crying for a long period. 

Only Let Him Out When He Is Calm And Quiet

If your puppy is crying to get out of the crate, you need to teach him that the opposite is true.

Your aim or motive must be to release him when he is calm and quiet. If you notice your little one being quiet and settled, open the crate door and let him outside for short periods. 

This way, your pup learns that calm behavior results will set him free, and annoying or being loud will get him nowhere!

a puppy is inside the crate

Make Sure To Select The Right Spot For The Crate

It is essential to consider the location of your puppy’s crate. Leaving it in an isolated area like a garage or basement can create major separation anxiety and terrify your little puppy. Your pooch will then start crying in his crate.

Crate placement in an area where your family spends most of their time, like the living room, will make your furry friend feel secure. 

Make sure to leave your pooch’s crate close to your bed at night so that both of you fall asleep in the same room. If you have no space in your room to fit the crate at night, you can sleep on the couch or the floor close to the crate and gradually move towards the final arrangement to sleep.

Sleeping close to your little dog can make him feel less lonely, and you will be able to hear when he wants to use the toilet at night.

Provide Plenty Of Potty Breaks

Puppies cannot hold the urge to potty as long as adult dogs. So, they must be allowed outside for plenty of potty breaks even when the puppy wakes at midnight. Do not wait till they begin barking or whining in the crate at night, asking you for a bathroom break every time.

As pet parents, if you are wondering how often you need to let your pup out for toilet breaks, you can simply take your puppy’s age and add one to it. That is to say; a three months old puppy can wait for about 4 hours and a four months old puppy can wait for about 5 hours before they need to use the toilet again. 

There is no such thing as too many breaks when your puppy is potty training. Feel free to take them out frequently. Here are a few steps that might be useful for you in toilet training your little puppy.

Provide Plenty Of Exercises And Tire Your Puppy

A tired puppy is more likely to fall asleep as soon as he is in his crate. 

Provide your furry friend with plenty of playtime exercises. You can try walking him more or get creative with your dog by signing him up for dog games like flyball or disc.

The more energy your puppy burns, he is more likely to feel tired and nap out in the pup’s crate. This way he will not be crying or whining.

You may even add some dog toys that can be filled with treats that can keep your puppy occupied and even get him excited to go into his crate. 

How Long Should You Let a Puppy Cry in His Crate?

When it comes to teaching your puppy that crying is not going to get him outside the crate, you may come across thoughts like how long you should let young puppies cry in their crate. 

There is a difference between a complaining puppy and a truly stressed-out puppy; a complaining puppy will stop crying soon and settle down within a few minutes. A stressed-out puppy will be loudly vocalizing and have a high respiration rate.

So, suppose your puppy has been crying excessively or whining with no signs of settling down for an extended period, like over thirty minutes which is unmanageable. In that case, you might need to re-evaluate and start training all over again. This usually happens when they are distressed.

If you do not use the crate properly, your pup can feel frustrated and trapped. Some puppies have a higher level of separation anxiety; if they do, their whining or crying might only increase rather than settle. 

If your puppy whines are not slowly settling down, you might have to respond to their cries slowly. You might have to start by going back to basics with gradual desensitization and work on crate training games until he feels comfortable in his crate. If you do not start over, they might develop a negative association with the crate. 

If your puppy is below six months of age then you must not crate him for more than three or four hours at a time.

Things Not to Do When a Puppy cries in His Crate

a crying puppy inside the crate

As mentioned earlier, it is expected that most dogs cry to grab the attention and test their pet parents. So, if you feel the crying is to seek your attention, avoid your crying puppy, and he will settle down within a few minutes. 

Do not yell or pound the crates. As you are his guardian, you need to make your pup trust you. You are hurting his trust by yelling, and it can make things even worse by making him cry even more out of fear.

Also, do not let your puppy out immediately as he starts to cry or misbehave. It will only condition this type of dog behavior and will reinforce their crying as they are quick learners. 

It is vital to avoid any negative attention; for example, if you walk over to the crate and scold your whining dog, your dog has gotten the attention he was craving. He might stop barking for the moment but will continue to bark in the future. 

Puppy Crying in His Crate; When Do You Need to Worry?

Although puppies crying in crates is common, pet parents must watch out for any unusually behaving or excessively crying dog. 

If you find that your puppy has been crying continuously for weeks or months even after you have followed all the methods and suggestions, you will need to reach out to a veterinarian. 

You might also have to consult a trainer or veterinary behaviorist if your little puppy seems to be reactive the entire time or injures himself while attempting to free himself from the dog’s crate. The veterinary behaviorist will be able to offer advice, identify and rule out any underlying health issues and guide you on how to proceed further.

Is Crate Essential?

There are many reasons to make us pet parents understand why crates are essential for puppies. 

Crates can provide your little puppies with a sense of security and it can be helpful for house training your puppy or while traveling. It will also help to prevent any destructive behavior in your puppy. 

A crate-trained dog will learn to be calm and have a quiet behavior. It helps your puppy to self-soothe and deal with their anxiety when they get distressed during fireworks, construction, or a thunderstorm.

The crate can become your dog’s own safe and private place, like a bedroom for a child, if he is taught through positive reinforcement. It is also the best way to keep your curious young puppies safely isolated when you cannot supervise them in situations like when you are at work, busy cooking, or at night when you are asleep. 

If you crate train your little puppy correctly, it will encourage his instincts not to mess his place and will also teach him bladder and bowel control. That can serve as a significant benefit in house training your puppy. 

Crates can even make it easy for you to transport puppies by plane or car during long-distance traveling or vacations.

Make sure to have an appropriately sized sturdy crate, like a plastic or a wire crate, and train him properly.

Final Words

Most puppies usually cry or whine in a crate for the first few nights. Building positive associations with your puppy can help minimize the whining or crying. 

Some simple actions like allowing a potty break, throwing in chew toys, making his crate comfy by setting up his own bed with a fluffy blanket or pillow, and placing the puppy’s crate in a family room can be of great advantage for you.

Training your puppy patiently and adequately can make him comfortable in his crate and make your little pooch stop crying unnecessarily. 

A few treats and an investment of time is all it takes to end up with a happy little puppy. 

Let us know if this article helped you. We love feedback!

Related article: What if My Dog Barks on the Plane?


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Thomas Villalpando is the main author of IPet Guides. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. You can find more about him here.

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