Before I share these tips on how to crate train a dog at night, there’s probably one question that’s on everyone’s mind.
It’s a debate that isn’t going to be solved here, so I will just give you my two cents and you can post a comment if you disagree. Is crate training mean or cruel to your dog?
Is Crate Training Mean or Cruel?
The short answer is no. I used to think that it was. I saw a metal cage and I thought no way. But that was me thinking like a human.
However, the more I researched, the more I learned that when used properly, crates create a sense of security for your dog that is very healthy.
I am not talking about leaving your dog in a crate or a cage for 12 hours a day and 12 hours at night. I am talking about setting up a crate as more or less of a den for your dog to sleep in at night.
No matter what, your dog needs exercise daily. Not just physical exercise, but mental stimulation as well.
That being said, let’s talk about crate training at night. Many people love sleeping with their dogs. Other dog experts say its a bad thing. Some people simply don’t have the option and need to have a crate for their dog to sleep at night.
Regardless of the reasons, lets look at
How to Crate Train Your Dog at Night
The most common issue The moment you place your dog in a crate and then leave the room, they feel like they are being abandoned so they cry in hope that you will return to them.
I know you love your doggo, but with him whining like this through the night, you will have less sleep and might be frustrated. However, there are, of course, some things that you can do to stop it all.
Here’s how to crate train your furry Fido through the night and some tips to encourage him to peacefully sleep on his crate so that you can enjoy some rest too.
Tire Out Your Dog Before Bedtime
If your doggo is fully rested before putting them to bed, then he is going to be wide awake, beaming with energy and ready to seek attention and play. Thus, you want to make sure that he is tired out and ready to sleep during nighttime.
In order to do this, you need to make sure that he gets a lot of exercise and play throughout the day, particularly during afternoon or so leading up to his bedtime so he won’t have the energy to cry out at night.
Also, you want to make sure that he does not have any naps leading up to his bedtime. If you catch your furry friend falling asleep, try to do everything you can in order to keep them awake and active by playing with him.
This way, when you put your Fido in the crate for sleep, it will not be long before that is exactly what he will do.
Never React Or Pay Attention To Crying
The most common mistake and the worst thing that people can make is to worsen the problem by going to their crying doggo, to comfort and reassure them or even let them out of their crate just to get a moment’s peace.
If your dog whines at night and you go to him, then he will quickly learn that all it takes is a simple noise to get your rushing back to him. In the future, he will do the same trick, even if he has to go on for hours.
So make sure that you don’t pay attention to his cries and completely ignore him. He’ll eventually stop whining and go to sleep. And do not punish or scold your dog either. He is only acting naturally so scolding or punishing him is pretty unfair.
Having said this though, you’ll have to go to your dog at least once during nighttime…
He Might Need A Potty Break At Night
Puppies of 12 weeks old or more will be unable to hold their bladder through a whole 7 hours of nighttime. Even adults sometimes take a potty break in the middle of the night. And for house training reasons, you simply don’t want your furry Fido to do his business in their crate, don’t you?
Thus, you’ll need to go to your dog to encourage potty break.
When going for a potty break, you need to be super quiet. Just take your buddy out of his crate and guide him straight to his bathroom spot. Encourage him to do his business and take them straight back to their crate, closing the crate door in all absolute silence, with a quiet and calm praise when he did the right thing.
Any fuss you make can teach your pup that there is a time at night to play and seek attention. It is important that you teach your dog that you are only coming for him for a bathroom break and nothing else.
Make Sure Your Dog Is Empty Before Going To Bed
Dogs will cry if they want a bathroom break, however, they also cry when seeking attention.
Now, how do you differentiate and make sure that you are not ignoring his potty need and are ignoring only attention-seeking cries?
Well, you will want to make sure that he empties out before bed. This means that he should not be fed 3 hours before bedtime and drinking 2 hours before. Then, make sure that you take him to potty training before sleeping.
This will give him enough time to process the last water and food they consume and is ready for a potty break before bedtime.
In addition, you will get up during the night for a scheduled bathroom break anyway.
Initially, Place Your Dog’s Crate In Your Bedroom
In the first few nights, you need to place your dog’s crate inside your room so that he can sleep near you. The reason for this is so that your dog can hear, smell and even see you that makes him feel much secure and safer and taking away the feeling of abandonment that causes their loud crying.
After a few days, you can slowly begin moving the crate to where you really want it. First, you can start moving it to your bedroom door. Then the next night, put it in the hallway where your dog can still see your bedroom. Finally, you can place it in the space you want.
Doing this creates a step in between and helps your dog transition from sleeping with you to being completely alone at night, while also getting used to sleeping in his crate where you want him.
Just make sure that if your bedroom is not where you want to place his crate, do this for the first couple of weeks. If you sleep with your doggo for over 3 weeks, he will get used to it and moving him to another room will be harder and ends up with more whining and loud cries.
Crate training your furry friend is not the easiest thing to do, however, it is not that difficult either. All it requires is for you to follow the rules and the dedication with lots of patience to see it through calmly and systematically.
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