Crate training is not always easy, but it can be done with patience and discipline.
It is essential to follow all the necessary steps to minimize the frustration and stress for both you and your dog.
Here you will find all the information you need to prevent your dog from crying in their crate.
Some people believe that it is not a good idea to put a puppy in a crate.
This is because the confinement reminds them of zoos and places where animals are caged.
However, the truth is that crates keep puppies safe from chewing cables, shoes, and doing other damages when you are not around to watch them.
Crates should be seen as small playgrounds for dogs, the same as baby playpens. Crates are ideal tools for training both puppies and older dogs.
Dogs that live outside or in the wild are naturally searching for a safe place where they can hide and sleep.
Home dogs are also naturally looking for their safe spot.
You will often see your dog sleeping beside the furniture, under the table, or the chair if there is no specific area provided for them.
So it is a good idea to provide them a place in your home where they will comfortable, and that will be their own.
Choosing a Proper Crate and Crate Training Your Dog
Crates may be made of plastic or metal. There are all kinds of shapes and sizes of them, so you have a wide variety to choose from in any pet store.
You should get a crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up and to turn in the crate.
Training your dog in your crate can take several days or several weeks.
It depends on how old is your dog, his temperament, and previous experiences.
Remember to associate crate training with something nice and joyful, so your dog will be willing to learn.
Take things slowly, and eventually, your dog will learn everything necessary.
The first step in crate training is to introduce your puppy to the crate. Put the crate in a pleasant area where the family members gather.
Equip the crate with a soft blanket and soft chewing toys. Bring your puppy to the crate and talk to him in a soothing voice.
You can encourage your dog to get inside the crate if you put some small treats near the entrance or inside it.
In any case, do not use force to put the dog inside the crate. If your dog refuses to enter, it is okay; you will try again later.
Continue putting treats inside the crate until your dog goes inside to take the food.
If he does not respond to food treats, then toss some nice dog toy inside.
The next step is to start feeding him regularly near his creation when you introduce your dog to the crate.
That will associate the crate with something pleasant. After all, you certainly do not want your puppy crying in a crate.
Bring the food bowl closer to the crate each day, and eventually, your dog will see this as a pleasant area to hang around.
Once your dog is inside the crate and eats his meal, you can close the crate. If he starts to cry or whine to get out, open the door just a little.
Gradually you can increase the time of door being closed, but at first, go slowly and let him sit inside with an open door.
One important thing to remember is that when your puppy starts crying in the crate, you should not immediately let him out.
Wait until he stops crying and then let him out. Otherwise, your dog will learn that to get out of the crate, he needs to whine and cry and keep doing it repeatedly.
The third step is to condition your dog to stay in the crate for a longer time.
When your dog no longer fears and feels calm near, and in the crate, you can put him inside for shorter periods while you are at home and observe him.
Call your puppy to enter the crate and give him a toy or a food treat. Use the same voice command every time so he will learn to recognize it.
When your dog enters the crate – pet him on the head, praise his behavior, and give him a treat.
Then you can close the door of the crate, but remain close nearby for a few minutes and then leave to another room for a few minutes.
Return, sit near the crate for a few minutes again, and then let your dog out.
Repeat this every day by increasing the length of time until your dog is fully trained to stay in the crate.
The complete training may last up to several weeks, but some dogs can be trained within days.
After your dog is fully trained to enter and stay in the crate, you can leave him there when you are going outside or during the night.
However, do not make your departures outside very long because it can make your dog unhappy and emotional.
When you go to sleep, put your dog`s crate near your bedroom or in the hallway.
This is especially advisable if your dog is still a very small puppy.
They often need to eliminate during the night when they are very young, so you will be able to hear them when they start whining.
In any case, remember to always leave a few safe toys inside the crate so your dog will have what to do when you are not around.
Some Problems with Crating Puppies
Spending too much time inside the crate can become a problem.
If you keep your dog for a very long time inside the crate and do not use it correctly, your dog may start feeling frustrated, agitated, and unhappy.
If they feel trapped, they may become more aggressive.
For example, if your dog is in the crate entire night and then you leave him in the crate for the entire day while you are at work, then that is too much time for the dog to be inside the crate.
Dogs have their physical and emotional needs, so never leave them inside for more than 2-3 hours, especially when they are small puppies.
They simply cannot control their bowels and bladders for longer than that.
Another big problem is whining and crying.
Sometimes, it is difficult to know whether your dog cries because he wants to get out of the crate or has a physical need to fulfill.
If you have trained your dog according to the steps above and you have not rewarded your dog by letting him outside every time he whines, trying to ignore the whines.
He may be testing you to see whether you will let him outside and will likely stop if you do not respond.
Never yell to the dog and never pound on his crate! This can only worsen things.
If your dog continues to cry after you have ignored the whines for a few minutes, use the words that your dog associates when he goes to eliminate outside.
If he responds, take him to do his physical needs. Avoid playing with him during this time, so he will not associate going outside to eliminate with playing time.
If you are sure that your puppy does not need to go outside to eliminate, but just whines for no reason, the best thing to do is to ignore the whining.
Never give in to his cries, because he will learn to whine long and loud to get something that he wants from you.
Why Puppies Cry In Their Crates?
Puppies whining and crying in their crates is something normal that every dog owner should expect.
Dogs usually cry when they are not familiar with the environment and not accustomed to their confinement.
Small puppies feel lonely and confused, which is why they start crying when they are put inside a crate for the first time.
Many veterinarians say that loneliness and isolation are primary reasons why puppies whine in their crates.
Dogs are social animals, and they want to be around people, so it is not surprising that they try to get people`s attention in any way possible.
How to Stop the Dog from Crying
You cannot fully eliminate the whining , but there are a few good things you can do to minimize it.
Of course, the first most important thing to do is to do a proper crate training for your dog, so he will learn good habits.
The following are the steps for stopping your puppy crying in the crate.
- Ignore the puppy`s whining.
Many pet owners make a mistake when they give attention to their puppy or take them out of their crate as soon as they start whining.
Ignoring is the best course of action, although you may find it hard to ignore it.
Don`t give in to the whines, because puppies are smart and will learn that they can get anything they want with whining.
Wait until the dog becomes quiet and then take him out of the crate.
That will reward quiet behavior, and your dog will never whine without a big reason.
- Pick a larger crate.
Puppies need space to play, jump, sleep, and be active. If their crate is too small, then they may feel uncomfortable.
That will inevitably lead to crying. Choose a crate with good size, or you can get a crate with adjustable sizes as your dog grows.
- Familiarize your puppy with the crate.
Your puppy will feel much more comfortable when he learns that the crate provides a friendly environment.
Put many toys inside that your puppy can play with and have food and water close to the crate.
When your dog starts to see the crate as a safe place to be and play, he will not cry when inside.
Do not use the crate to punish your dog. That will make your puppy very anxious when it approaches the crate and will whine often.
The crate should be a happy place, not a punishment place.
Give your dog treats every time it goes inside the crate, so he will be calm, comfortable, and quiet.
If they are properly trained to enter their crate without forcing, you will rarely hear your dog crying inside.
- Give your dog enough potty breaks.
Puppies have weak bladders, and their bowels cannot hold on for much longer.
You must take them out many times during the day for them to finish their business.
Different dogs have different needs, and sometimes your puppy may cry because it needs to go to eliminate.
It is best to train your puppy to learn a phrase that is associated with eliminating outside.
That way, you can easily recognize if the puppy whines because it wants to go outside, or it cries just to get your attention.
- Put your dog`s crate in a nice place in your home.
Sometimes the crate location can influence whether the dog cries or not.
Avoid placing the crate in dark rooms that are rarely frequented by family members.
Do not use the garage, basement, or some faraway room for placing the dog`s crate.
The ideal placement for the crate should be in a room where family members all gather together.
The living room is the best place for putting the dog crate, as it will calm your puppy down and will make it happy to see you all together.
Dogs feel more comfortable when they hear the voices of their pet owners.
If they do not feel alone and isolated, they will have no reason to whine in their crates.
You can also consider getting two crates – one for the living room and one for near your bedroom.
That way, your puppy will always hear you and see you close, and it will not feel lonely, anxious, and sad.
You can also hear your puppy and will know when they need to go outside to eliminate.
- Make sure your puppy gets enough physical exercise.
If you give your dog enough playtime and the dog is tired from playing, it will certainly stop him from unnecessary whining.
Give your puppy all the attention it needs during the day, so it will feel happy when going into the crate.
If your puppy receives plenty of attention and gets lots of exercise, the chances are that it will take a nice long nap when crated.
Adding some interesting dog toys inside the crate will also do the job for you because puppies will never get bored.
Over time they will learn how to behave and will rarely whine about anything. So, in short, keep your dog active and happy to eliminate the crying.
Should You Be Worried If Puppy Crying In Crate Is Persistent?
Puppy whining is something normal that happens to many pet owners.
However, pet owners should always be observant.
You must be attentive when there is an excessive whining or an unusual puppy behavior, regardless of whether your puppy is in the crate or outside.
The best thing to do is to speak with your veterinarian if you see some worrying signals or unusual behavior.
Explain to them the situation, and you will get good advice on how to proceed further.
Veterinarians have seen all kinds of cases with whining before, so they are qualified to give you proper advice.
As you can see, teaching your dog to a few things will help in prevention from crying in the crate.
Here you have a step-by-step guide on what to do to make your home as pleasant as possible for your dog.
Teaching puppies how to behave may take some time, and some dogs learn faster than others, but it can certainly be done.
As soon as you train your puppy properly, you no longer will have to worry about crying.
Use the information to learn more about puppies’ behavior and which steps to use to deal with the problem of crying.
In most cases, training the dog will deliver the desired results.
Although it may take you some time before you teach your puppy everything, it will be well worth it in the end.
Your puppy will grow into an obedient and happy dog, and it will make you happy.