Crate training puppies at night isn’t always easy, but it can be done. Those who have new puppies will inevitably face the dilemma of leaving your dog home alone for a short period of time. Of course, most puppies cannot be trusted by themselves at home without a certain degree of concern that they will wreak havoc. Until you have established trust with your puppy, crate training puppies at night are one of the means by which you can start boosting their learning curve so that they are beneficial (not destructive) members of the family. On this page, we will demonstrate everything you need to know about crate training and then illustrate how to begin crate training puppies at night.
What is Crate Training?
Crate training is not to be confused with potty training. Upon hearing this term, many may have this term confused with pad training, which is a form of indoor potty training. Crate training, on the other hand, can be used while potty training, but it also has many other benefits. To put it plainly, crate training is the process by which your dog becomes accustomed to being in a crate for various reasons. Perhaps your dog is destructive, or you simply want them to have their own space, there are many reasons you might try crate training puppies at night.
Why Crate Train Your Puppy?
There are many potential reasons why a dog owner might try crate training puppies at night. For starters, a crate provides your puppy with a nice, safe place that they can call their own. Ideally, this place is filled with many of the things they enjoy. Warm blankets, delicious food, water to drink, occasional treats, and so on. The idea here is to make your puppy immediately feel at home. If you are unsure whether or not you should crate train your puppy, here are some of the most popular benefits that come from crate training puppies at night.
Crate Training While Potty Training
A young puppy is typically one that thinks it is okay to urinate wherever they choose. Of course, this is likely not acceptable behavior in your home. Although potty training can be an exhausting experience, it is one that is a necessary element of any dog’s life. There are two popular methods of potty training. You can either let the dog go do their business outside, or you can pad train your dog to do their business inside. In either case, a crate can be used before and after it is time for your puppy to go to the bathroom.
Providing Your Dog its Own Personal Space
When you are done crate training puppies at night, one of the most immediate benefits a puppy receives is the chance to have their own place to flourish. As humans, many of us enjoy having a private place that we can depend on and return to if you need some alone time. Puppies are not too much different. There are times where a puppy will want to nap and be left alone for a little while. When this situation occurs, they can go to their crate if you established a comfortable place for them to sleep and relax.
There are times where you may wish to travel with your dog. When these times come, there are many ideas to consider. However, one of the easiest methods of taking your dog with you is with a crate. If you are traveling by car, dogs tend to leave their hair on the seats. If you give them their own space in the car, it will save you plenty of time when it comes time to clean up your vehicle after the trip. Those who want to take a puppy on a flight will need to buy specialized flight crates that are acceptable for airline travel.
Protect Your Home While Away
Many puppies have an immediate problem with teething while they are young. Since they are puppies, want to play, are losing their teeth, and so on, teething and biting is something that every puppy owner has to deal with. Of course, a puppy not only plays with their owner or any other person who may be around. Especially when left alone, a puppy may take out their teething instincts on furniture and other delicate items which you may have in your home. A crate is one of the best ways you can ensure your home will not be harmed while you are away.
How to Select the Right Crate
Selecting the right crate is important if you want to ensure that your puppy is comfortable, happy, and easily transportable. Once you are finishing crate training puppies at night, your dog will likely still want to use their crate, especially if you use the crate in a positive manner.
The size you choose for the crate needs to account for the future growth of your dog. Of course, your puppy will not be able to fit in a small crate where they can barely stretch their legs out for long. Before you begin crate training puppies at night, make sure that your puppies have a crate which will fit them for their entire life, not just as a small puppy. Start by researching more about your dog and get a general estimate of how big they will become. For best results, purchase a crate that will be big enough for the biggest dog in your breed. This way, you only have to buy one crate.
Comfort is something that will likely need to be, for the most part, provided separately. Of course, there are certain crates you can purchase that allow you to have a certain degree of stock comfort for your puppy. However, these same crates can also become an inconvenience when it is time to collapse and store away the crate. Many people might simply choose to put some familiar pillows and blankets inside the crate so that their puppy will feel comfortable and at home while in their crate. This will also help them to realize that this is their space, and that they shouldn’t go to the bathroom where they will sleep.
Transportable & Collapsible
Although many people may not necessarily be concerned with a crate being collapsible, one of the prime features of a crate in the first place is that it is transportable. A collapsible crate is wonderful for the puppy that is constantly on the go, or the one which only occasionally uses their crate. Collapsible crates have the benefit of being stowed away easily without taking too much space. However, they may not be allowed on certain airlines and may start to prove to be a hassle when you have to constantly install and uninstall them.
How to Start Crate Training Puppies at Night: Important Points
It’s important to remember that dogs are living beings capable of thinking and reaching conclusions. Keep this in mind as you begin crate training your dog. More than likely, if you are crate training your puppy, it is one which you just brought home for the first time. Before you start doing things on your own, there are some key tips to keep in mind:
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Of course, there are many positive reasons you wish to crate train your puppy. However, think of it this way. If you just met somebody new and they put you into a cage, you might freak out. Dogs are usually very loving and submissive to their owners once they get to know them. The key words here are once they get to know them. While you are establishing a new relationship, don’t expect your puppy to joyfully enter the crate. Understandably so. However, they will learn with time that there are many benefits that come with doing this.
Don’t Ever Use the Crate as a Punishment
Remember that one of the main reasons why you may choose to crate train your puppies in the first place is that you can provide them with a safe, comfortable place that they can call their home. If you start to associate punishment with the crate, your dog will immediately begin to see the crate as where they go when they are in trouble, not the place that they can go to relax. Using a crate as a type of punishment will soon prove to be more a jail cell than a sanctuary. Keep this in mind as you are crate training puppies at night.
Make them See the Crate as Their Sanctuary
If you are going to buy your puppy a crate, there is of course a motive on your part. You want to have a means to keep your puppy contained, safe, and happy while they are learning and developing into adulthood. It is important that you associate the crate with your puppy as being the place that only they get to go. Make them see it as their own private place. Fill it up with comfortable blankets and food. Soon, your puppy will actually enjoy spending time in their crate, and they won’t see it as a form of punishment.
Crate Training Puppies at Night: 7 Steps
Crate training puppies at night is arguably the best way to introduce your dog to their crate. However, it’s important to take things slowly and not rush. After all, you need to remember that you are asking your puppy to essentially go inside a jail cell. There will, of course, be some harsh feelings and a potential breach in trust if you don’t treat this process with the delicacy that it requires.
Remember that you are dealing with a living being — not a disposable and inanimate object. If you take this process slowly and gradually work your way up to letting your puppy spend an entire night, crate training puppies at night will prove to be a positive experience for everybody involved.
1. Make it Look Attractive and Comfortable
Dogs respond to their senses like we do; they perceive what is around them using their senses. Of course, their sense of smell may be their most prominent and trustworthy sense for themselves to rely upon, but they also are able to see things decently well, too. Before you start crate training puppies at night, make sure that the crate looks attractive and has plenty of comfortable blankets, food, and maybe even some water.
2. Introduce Your Puppy to the Crate
The first time you introduce your puppy to the crate, make sure that it is ready to go. At this point, you should have already put in the time to make it look attractive and comfortable. Accordingly, the first exposure your dog has to the crate should either be a neutral or (hopefully) a positive experience. Do not shove your dog into the crate and lock the door. This will confuse them, and they might associate it as a prison or some form of punishment.
3. Put the Puppy in the Crate for Feeding Time
The first day you have your puppy, you will likely introduce them to the crate before the sun goes down. Understandably so. Use this time to your advantage. One of the most immediate ways to positively introduce your puppy to the crate is through food. Start by putting their food and water bowls in the crate so that they begin to associate this area as where they eat. Everybody loves food, especially dogs. Better yet, everybody likes to have a consistent source of food. If you keep the bowl filled up in the crate, they will soon see it as the home of their bed and their food.
4. Put Your Puppy in the Crate Alone for a Short Time
After immediately introducing your puppy to the home of their food, try closing the door. If they are eating and they don’t seem bothered by the closing (and locking) of the door, then you know that you have successfully introduced your furry friend to their new home. This means that you will be ready to begin crate training puppies at night with less concern of crying and whimpering.
5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 Until Your Puppy is Comfortable
If you notice that your puppy was uncomfortable going into the crate, even with food, then they will need some time to get used to the crate. Everybody needs some time to get used to change, and dogs are no exception to this. Although some dogs may naturally be a little more fearless than others, it’s important that you ensure your puppy is comfortable in their new crate before moving to the bulk of the training.
6. The First Overnight Stay
Once your puppy is noticeably comfortable in their new crate, you can start to plan their first overnight stay. Since you likely want to establish this as a routine place for them to sleep, there is no simple way to begin othen than just to do it. Of course, an important first step is to make sure that they are comfortable so that you are not up all night listening to crying and whimpering.
7. Put the Puppy in the Crate While you are Away
Once your puppy is completely comfortable with their crate for overnight stays, putting them inside the crate while you are gone during the day will be much less stressful for your furry friend. Of course, they may require a little bit of time getting used to this. After all, time in the crate during the daye is much different than at night. They are active in the day and may not be immediately happy with this. For best results, don’t leave them alone for long periods of time.
Common Issues with Crate Training and How to Handle Them
As we have been illustrating how to crate train puppies at night, you may have noticed some of the most typical concerns like whining, how long they can stay in there, and so on. For your reference, let’s go ahead and break down some of the most common issues that can develop with crate training and how best handle them best.
Leaving Your Puppy in the Crate too Long
One of the main reasons to get a crate is so that you can give their puppy a safe place to relax in. However, any sort of relaxing place can quickly turn into a torturous scenario if a dog is left in there alone, unfed, and needing to go to the bathroom for an unreasonable amount of time. After all, would you enjoy being put into a cage for a long period of time? Probably not.
How to Manage Your Puppy’s Crate Time
For best results, start by only putting your puppy in the crate for ten minutes or so while they are eating. Once this is comfortable for them, let them stay in there for overnight stays. Once you reach the point where they are comfortable overnight, try leaving them alone during the daytime for an hour. However, never leave a dog in a crate longer than three or so hours during the daytime. Remember that they need to go to the bathroom and exercise. Dogs are simply too precious to be caged up all day.
Your Puppy Cries and Whines Constantly
One of the most common issues that people may experience when they first begin crate training puppies at night is that the puppy may cry in the middle of the night upon the door locking. This is one of the reasons why we mentioned the importance of not establishing the crate a place where your puppy goes when they are in trouble. Think of an alternative if you are the type of dog owner who uses this sort of reinforcement.
Handling Puppy Whining
It’s important that you don’t positively reinforce this sort of behavior. When a dog whines, of course it means that it is not comfortable with its current situation. Many human owners are empathetic and immediately feel bad for the puppy, wishing to alleviate their emotional pain. When you give your puppy what it wants while it is whining, you are teaching it that whining is how he or she can get what they want. If you teach your puppy to be a whiner then you will reap what you sow. You will have many years of whining ahead of you.
Separation anxiety is something that is actually very common for dogs. You need to remember that once they are part of your family, you are all that they have. Sure, you may have work acquaintances, casual friends, and so on, but your dog, on the other hand, only has you and your love. They soon learn to become dependent on you. When you consider this fact, it is really no wonder why your dog can develop separation anxiety.
Handling Separation Anxiety
The best way to handle separation anxiety is to stop reinforcing it in the first place. Upon hearing their precious puppy cry for help after being locked in their crate for a short errand, an inexperienced dog owner may immediately be overly empathetic and then immediately let their dog out. If you have successfully passed all the steps to provide a comfortable place for your dog, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to handle themselves alone for a reasonable amount of time.
When they cry, try your best to ignore them. Teach them that they won’t get what they want by crying. However, always be sure to take them out when they settle down and give them a treat, play a game, or do something fun with them. Positively reinforce good behavior and ignore bad behavior.