Stop Dog and Puppy Crate Training Whining,
Crying and Howling
Most new puppy owners will deal with puppy crate training whining at some point or another. Often, this form of puppy whining is considered normal, especially during the puppy's first days spent in a new home with new owners.
However, if you do not address it in the right way, puppy whining may become a problem, at times leading to more serious problems and frustration.
It is imperative for a new puppy owner to find out what is causing the whining in the first place so to address puppy crate training whining in the most appropriate way.
Understanding Puppy Crate Training Whining
Being adopted can be quite a difficult time for new puppies.
Used to living with mother and siblings for a good 8 weeks, suddenly separating from them can be quite a traumatic experience. And on top of that, add going to a new home with new people, new noises, new smells and new sights! It is quite understandable, therefore, for the puppy to undergo a roller coaster of emotions the first couple of nights and days in the new home.
A puppy at this stage may have never been placed in a crate and the first instinct may be to avoid that small enclosure. If the puppy is not introduced to the crate properly, the first impression may not be one of the best. The puppy may whine to get out for hours at a time before finally crying itself to sleep.
However, even when introduced properly, it is normal for the puppy to whine the first few nights simply because it misses its mother and siblings. It is the owner's job to intervene and make the puppy feel at home and reduce puppy crate training whining.
How to Reduce Puppy Crate Whining
The first night, a good amount of time should be dedicated to getting the puppy accustomed to his new crate so to reduce puppy crate training whining.
The crate should be left with the door open and a comfy blanket inside along with an enticing, but safe toy. To further encourage investigation of the crate, it helps to add a few tasty treats inside. It is important for the crate door to remain open for quite some time during this exploratory phase. The puppy should be praised upon entering the crate while no big deal should be made upon exiting.
Once the puppy has started associating the crate with good things, it helps to add a warm water bottle wrapped up in a blanket or shirt to mimic the mother's warmth. Some new puppy owners find it helpful to also wrap up a ticking clock in blankets to mimic the mom's heartbeat.
Once the puppy appears comfortable being in the crate with the door open, the crate can be closed temporarily for gradually longer and longer periods of time. It is important to open the crate only when the puppy is quiet and not actively whining so not to reward puppy crate training whining.
The First Night in the Crate Guidelines
As a general rule of thumb, owners are told not to attend to puppy crate training whining or this will reward the whining; however, during the first couple of nights experts agree that a little bit of attention will do no harm.
Ideally, during the first couple of nights, the crate should be placed in the bedroom near the bed. There are several reasons for this. On one hand, by keeping your puppy's crate nearby, you will be within reach should your puppy give signs of needing to go outside to potty. On the other hand, you will be able to be there to reassure your puppy that he is not alone.
It is highly recommended to take your puppy outside just before being crated for the night. An empty bladder and empty bowel will give you a few hours of rest. Expect to hear your puppy waking up and whining a few hours later to go potty. You must attend to these signs to prevent messes in the crate.
Puppies usually take a few months until they are able to keep their bladder and bowel movements throughout the night.
Preventing Puppy Crate Whining
As a general rule of thumb, puppies and dogs enjoy crates as they mimic dens once used in the wild. When introduced properly, a crate is a happy place the puppy seeks for security and comfort.
If you want your puppy to enjoy the time he spends in his crate, never use it for punishment. Also don't use it to contain your puppy for several hours at a time when he is not yet ready for this (use dog pen instead).
It is a good idea to keep the crate open for most of the day with occasional treats placed inside every now and then. The puppy can also be fed in the crate to enforce a dog's natural tendency of not wanting to soil areas where they eat and sleep.
Puppy crate training whining may become problematic once the puppy realizes that it brings attention. If every time the puppy whines, you rush to check him out, he will be quite quick in realizing how rewarding this can be.
It is important, therefore, to ensure all your puppy's needs are met before rushing to check him out. Make sure your puppy has water, has been fed, has engaging toys and was recently taken out before attending to his whining. If you really want to check on him, wait those brief seconds he is quiet to make sure everything is in order.
Many puppy owners find that covering the crate with a cover helps calm the puppy down enough to relax and fall asleep.
General Puppy Whining and Howling
Puppies do not whine only when in the crate. Many puppies may whine when the owner leaves the room even for brief periods of time or when the owner actually leaves the puppy alone in the home.
Puppy separation anxiety is not uncommon in puppies and young dogs which may fear being abandoned. It helps in these cases to promote the puppy's independence by leaving for very brief periods of time and coming back every time the puppy is quiet. Eventually the puppy will learn that quiet brings the owner back, while whining accomplishes nothing.
Hitting or screaming at a puppy for whining is not only unjust, but it also ruins the bond that is very important at this stage. Because young puppies are learning about the world surrounding them, it is important to provide guidance in a calm and positive way.
Owners must also realize that many times they actually encourage puppy crying and whining by attending to it. For instance, it is wrong to baby talk and pet a puppy when it starts whining or crying upon noticing you are about to leave. Rather, make your departures low key to prevent rewarding such behaviors and stop dog whining.
Here is a brief video that shows a young puppy whining and crying while being crate trained...
Wondering how to stop puppy crying? Rewarding puppies when quiet and ignoring them when they are actively whining is the key to promoting good behaviors.
If your puppy is crying and you cannot find a good reason for it, consider having him seen by your veterinarian; there could be an underlying medical condition that needs addressed.
If despite your efforts, nighttime crate training whining still takes place, consider working more on making the crate a wonderful place to be in.
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Want to learn more?
For more advice on how to deal with puppy whining, I highly recommend you read and follow this dog behavior training guide. You'll find lots of information on dealing with many behavioral problems, including whining and crying.
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