When is a Puppy Ready to Sleep Out of Crate? Complete Guide

Last Updated on March, 2024

Are you wondering if your puppy is ready to sleep out of the crate? Transitioning your furry friend from the security of a crate to the freedom of sleeping outside requires careful consideration and a gradual approach. But don’t worry.

We are here to help you with that. 

Keep reading.

After reading this article, you will get to know,

  • Whether your pup is ready to sleep outside the crate
  • Precautions you should take as a dog owner when you let your pup out of the crate
  • How to make the transition from the crate to outside as smooth as possible.

Quick Summary

Before letting your puppy sleep out of its crate, you should ensure that your puppy has been potty-trained, is fully crate-trained, has passed the teething phase and has completed the dog-training process.

Most puppies are ready to sleep out of the crate between 7-8 months old, but some may take 1-2 years depending on their individual development and needs.

Transitioning a puppy from a crate to a bed should be a gradual process that requires patience, time, and a bedtime routine. It’s important to let your puppy tire out before bedtime and provide a dark and quiet place for them to sleep.

When is Your Puppy Ready to Sleep Out of the Crate?

A brown and white puppy sleeping in a crate

Most puppies are ready to sleep out of the crate when they are 7-8 months old. But some may take 1-2 years. Every dog is unique. Therefore, there isn’t a set age that applies to all puppies.

Is your puppy ready to sleep outside the crate?

Check out the following signs.

Signs That Your Puppy is Ready to Sleep Out of the Crate

  • Your Puppy Has Completed Potty Training

Potty training a puppy is a lengthy process. But a crate makes it easier to potty train a dog. Before removing the crate, make sure your pup has completed potty training.

If not, your puppy may pee on the floor or any other item, making house cleaning difficult for you.

If your puppy goes without a potty accident for more than two weeks and he alerts you when he wants to go out, then you can consider your puppy fully potty trained. 

  • Your Puppy Doesn’t Bark, Whine, or Try to Escape the Crate

At the beginning of crate training, your pup will bark and whine to be let out of the crate at night. Once the crate training process is complete, he will not bark, whine, or try to escape the crate.

When your puppy reaches this stage, you can let him sleep out of the crate.

  • Your Puppy Sleeps the Entire Night in the Crate

If the puppies sleep through the night without waking you up to go to the bathroom, they are ready to sleep out of the crate.

But if your puppy wakes you up to let go out of the crate at night for potty or due to boredom, then confine him in the crate longer.

Related article:

  1. Puppy Sleeps in Crate At Night But Not During Day
  2. Crate Training a Dog First Night
  • Your Puppy’s Teething Phase is Completed

Puppies start teething when they are 10-16 weeks old. And it completes when they are six months old. During this time, puppies chew everything they find. 

If you leave your puppy out of the crate at their teething age unsupervised, it will chew and damage the things in the house. (1)

Factors That Determine When a Puppy is Ready to Sleep Out of the Crate

Transitioning a dog out of the crate depends on several factors, such as age, breed, and behavior.

  • Age Group

A crate is essential at a certain developmental period of your puppy, such as in their teething age and during crate training. They are ready to sleep out of the crate when they are emotionally mature. 

  • Dog Breed

Small dogs learn and adapt quickly to crate training. These dog breeds can sleep out of the crate at a young age. But some breeds may take longer for crate training. 

  • Dog Nature

Some dogs are well-behaved and adapt to sleeping out of their crates easily. Some have destructive behaviors and chewing habits. They will create mayhem if you let them sleep out of the crate.

  • Dog Training

If a dog’s crate training and potty training process are completed properly, getting your puppy ready to sleep out of the crate is easier. 

Making Your Home Puppy Proof 

A golden retriever puppy chewing on a colorful toy in a house

If you plan to let your puppy sleep out of the crate or let him roam in the house freely, it’s important to ensure your home is puppy-proof. 

Puppy Proofing Tips for Your Home

  • Keep the electric charges, cables, and cords out of reach. These items can cause electric shocks and burns if your dog chews them accidentally.
  • Keep your trash contained. Puppies are attracted to the trash smell. Some things in the trash can be hazardous to them.
  • Keep your medications in a place where your dog can’t reach them.
  • Remove the poisonous house plants so that your dog can’t eat them.
  • Keep poisonous items such as cleaners, detergents, and other chemicals in high cabinets.
  • Keep the toilet lids closed so your dog doesn’t fall in or drink from them.
  • Close all the doors and windows so that your dog can’t escape. 
  • Keep sharp objects like knives and scissors out of reach.
  • Move away all the small rubber items, jewelry, and paper clips. They can cause choking hazards.

Benefits of Puppy-Proofing Your Home

As dog owners, you are responsible for providing a safe environment for your puppy.

  • Puppies are naturally curious and can get into all sorts of trouble. Puppy-proofing your home helps minimize the risk of accidents, such as tripping, falling, or getting stuck in tight spaces.
  • A bored puppy or an adult dog can create a disaster if left on their own. Puppy proofing protects your possessions from the destructive behavior of your dogs.
  • Puppy-proofing involves keeping medications, cleaning supplies, and other toxic substances out of reach, preventing accidental ingestion and potential poisonings.
  • Puppy-proofing teaches your puppy appropriate behaviors and helps them understand what’s acceptable in their environment. This foundation can lead to better habits as they grow into adult dogs.

Final Checklist for the Dog Owners to Remove the Crate

  1. Is your puppy fully potty trained?
  2. Is your puppy fully crate-trained?
  3. Does your puppy sleep throughout the night without waking up in the middle?
  4. Has your puppy passed the chewing stage?
  5. Is your home puppy-proof?

Training Your Puppy to Sleep Out of the Crate

A brown puppy sleeping on a door mat

You cannot make your puppy sleep out of the crate abruptly. You should follow a step-by-step training process for transitioning your dog out of the crate.

  • If your pup is unfamiliar with the house, don’t give him access to all the rooms at once. This could overstimulate your dog.
  • Choose a single room to let the dog in and close the others. First, let the dog sleep in a confined area in the room. You can use a baby gate or a puppy pen for confinement. Eventually, leave him free to roam around the house. 
  • Allow your puppy to go into the room. Then you leave the room and come back after a couple of minutes. Initially, leave your puppy alone only for a few minutes in the room.
  • Notice your dog’s behavior. If the pup behaves well, gradually increase the time that you leave the pup alone in the room. Always keep the crate door open so your puppy can go in if he feels uncomfortable. 
  • When your dog behaves well, use positive reinforcement, such as praising or giving him dog treats. When your pup does something you don’t approve of, gently lead him away. Never shout or punish your dog.
  • Use your puppy’s old blankets over the new bedding. Also, give the dog its favorite chewing toys to create a familiar feeling. 

Remember, it’s not easy to develop new habits. TIME and PATIENCE are necessary for a successful transition.

Preparing Your Puppy to Sleep Out of the Crate Overnight

  • Feed Your Puppy Early at Night

If there is a fixed schedule, feed dinner 3-4 hours before sleeping time. This way, your dog will have enough time for many potty breaks. 

It’s better to have fixed feeding times. But if your puppy eats randomly, remove all the food items a few hours before sleeping.

Remove the water bowl 30-40 minutes before the puppy’s last potty break before bedtime. 

Most puppies and adult dogs don’t need food or water throughout the night.

A dog sleeping on a couch.

But if they are facing any health issues, or your veterinarian advises you to give them access to food and water throughout the night, then do so.

  • Let The Puppy Tire Out

Engage your puppy in vigorous playing and mentally stimulating activities an hour before bedtime to tire him mentally and physically and ensure he sleeps till morning. 

Don’t over-excite your dog and get him into a playing mood. 

  • Let Your Puppy Go into the Bathroom Just Before Bedtime

Let your puppy into the bathroom before he goes to sleep. Some puppies need to pee overnight. If that’s the case, set the alarm to wake him and take him to the bathroom in the initial transition days.

  • Provide a Dark, Cozy, and Peaceful Environment

Your puppy is trained to sleep in the crate for months. Sleeping out of the crate won’t be easy for your dog. Therefore, give your pup a peaceful environment to reduce stress. 

Even a soft sound can wake the dogs; you don’t want that. So, keep him in the dark, quiet, and cozy room.

  • Establish a Bedtime Routine

Lower the lights and switch off the screens when the dog is ready to sleep at night. Doing this activity every day creates a visual cue in dogs. With time, they’ll learn to associate this routine with bedtime. 

  • Wake Up Early

Like us, dogs go to the bathroom first thing in the morning. Wake up before your puppy to make sure your pup goes potty on time. 

Relevant articles:

Supplies You’ll Need for the Transitioning Process

supplies needed for the transition of puppy from the crate
  • Baby Gates or Puppy Pens

When you transition your puppy out of the crate, providing them with a confinement zone in the initial days is better. 

You can create a confinement zone in your kitchen or bedroom using baby gates or puppy pens. 

  • A Comfortable Bed

A dog bed will help to keep your puppy safe and comfortable throughout the night. Many types of dog beds are available in the market. 

Consider the size of your puppy when buying a bed. It should be large enough for your puppy to stretch out without hanging off.

Beds with washable covers are easy to use.

Dogs naturally thrive on other animals’ company. However, isolating them completely can result in anxiety. To create a more comfortable environment, try placing their bed in a room with you.

Avoid keeping the bed in areas with constant disturbances, such as hallways or behind doors.

  • Cleaning Supplies

Your puppy might have potty accidents in the first few weeks of sleeping outside the crate. Use an enzyme cleaner as it eliminates the odor. 

If the odor is not eliminated properly, your puppy may use the same place for potty again.

What Should You Do if Your Puppy Refuses to Sleep Out of the Crate?

A puppy is sitting in a crate looking at the camera

If a puppy prefers to sleep in a crate, leave him to sleep there for a while longer. Many adult dogs sleep in the crate overnight too. 

If you are trying to remove the crate for aesthetic reasons, and your puppy refuses to sleep out of the crate, you can buy a wooden dog crate that matches your decorations.

Still, if you want to stop using a crate, try these tips.

  • Leave the crate door open at night. After a few days, your dog will come out of the crate and try sleeping elsewhere. 
  • Buy a new comfy bed and put it in the same room as the puppy crate to get your puppy’s attention to the new bed.
  • You can train your dog to go to the new bed as you trained him to get in and out of the crate.  
  • Choose a command to cue him to go to the puppy bed, and use the command to train him.

Keep the crate open till your dog gets used to sleeping outside.

FAQs

It is not recommended to let a new puppy sleep out of the crate since they need the safety, comfort, and structure provided by a crate to learn good habits. Once they are house-trained and sleeping soundly through the night, they may be allowed to roam freely, though precautions should be taken to puppy-proof the home.

The amount of time it takes to house-train a puppy can vary from 4-6 months, and for some dogs it may take up to a year. The timeline is dependent on the puppy’s age, breed and temperament.

For a fully house-trained dog, it is recommended to have them sleep in a bed at night. However, if the dog is not yet house-trained, a crate should be used to ensure they stay safe and out of trouble.

Are You Ready to Ditch the Crate?

Most of the puppies are ready to sleep out of the crate in 7-8 months. But some may take 12-24 months. The time depends on the dog’s age, breed, and behavior.

If a pup is fully crate trained, potty-trained, passed the chewing phase, and sleeps through the night, you can let the dog sleep out of the crate. You have to puppy-proof your house when you let your puppy roam freely. 

Transitioning dogs from the crate to a dog bed takes time. Be patient with your puppy and follow the steps in this article for a smooth transition.

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Stefano Giachetti
Stefano Giachetti is always excited to share his knowledge and love of animals with you through our blog, IPetGuides. And he has always loved animals and has been blessed to have many pets throughout his life. Currently has a Pomeranian Dog Breed.

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