Puppies whining in their crates is normal behavior. Dogs new to being crated may whine or cry because they are not accustomed to the confinement. And puppies, recently separated from their littermates, are often confused and lonely and will vocalize to call for their mother and siblings.
Dogs, and especially puppies, are social and want nothing more than to be with their "pack." It’s natural to them to try to get your attention and stay in contact.
But how do you get a puppy to stop whining in his crate? The truth is: you may not be able to completely curb whining behavior in puppies, but there are ways to minimize it. It’s important to practice proper crate training and to avoid teaching your puppy bad habits early on.
Tip #1: The top tip to help cut down on your puppy whining in his crate is to completely ignore the whining behavior. If you do that, most puppies will simply stop whining for attention because it doesn't give them results.
One of the biggest mistakes that owners of new puppies make is giving their puppies attention or taking their puppies out of the crate once the whining begins. Any type of attention will just reinforce the behavior. That includes negative attention, such as you reprimanding them. You should avoid giving attention or taking a puppy out of the crate until he is quiet. That way, you are reinforcing the behavior of -not- whining. Being quiet and calm is the only way they're released from the crate, therefore they will learn to be quiet and calm in the crate.
Tip #2: Picking the right-size crate is more important than most people think. The crate must be large enough that the pup can stand up, turn around and play with toys, but not so large that they feel comfortable using the restroom on one side of the crate and being able to move to the other side to avoid it. You will have to buy 2-3 crates minimum to keep up with a puppy's rapid growth, or consider a model with a divider. Expensive, but totally worth it. A correctly sized crate will stop them from using the bathroom in it, and will give them enough space to occupy themselves, thus reducing how much they whine in the crate.
Tip #3: Get your puppy comfortable with the crate. Familiarizing your puppy with his crate is another way to help cut down on anxiety and reduce whining. Take your time acclimating your puppy to the crate. Your pup needs the opportunity to learn that the crate is a comfortable and safe space. If you just stuff a puppy in one, with no toys, no acclimation period etc., it will feel like a lonely, scary dungeon cell.
Never use your puppy’s crate as punishment. Instead, provide treats, chew toys and bedding in the crate to make it fun and homey. Use a lot of treats to reward your puppy when he is being quiet and calm in his crate. Give treats for going in the crate. Make the crate a very positive experience. If you successfully do that, your puppy will willingly go into their crate because they will associate it with good things. If you do it right, when the crate isn't in use, you'll notice that your puppy/dog will often willingly go inside it to sleep or relax.
Tip #4: Puppies cannot “hold it” for as long as adult dogs, so it’s your responsibility to make sure that young puppies have the opportunity to go outside to relieve themselves. Going inside the crate is usually the result of overestimating how long a puppy can go without relieving themselves. The general number of hours a puppy needs between bathroom breaks is ascertained by adding his age in months, plus one.
Using that formula, a 2-month-old puppy can usually hold it for three hours, and a 3-month-old puppy can generally hold it for four hours and so on. When potty training, there's no such thing as too many bathroom breaks. If you're at home and capable, there's no reason to stretch out breaks to their maximum.
Tip #5: Crate placement matters. Some puppies will be perfectly quiet and content if the crate is placed in your bedroom or a common area. Others will whine all night long and you won't get a wink of sleep. Experiment where you place the crate. Try to keep them in a place where they can see you at first. If it prevents you from sleeping, no one can blame you for putting the crate in a faraway room, the garage, basement etc. But by doing that, it's likely that the puppy might feel isolated and react by crying even more. Either way, completely ignore the whining. We suggest trying to keep the puppy's crate in whichever room you're in at first. If necessary, you may have to place it elsewhere to get sleep. Do expect some whining in the beginning, even if the puppy is around you.
Tip #6: Exercise, play, and toys. If you let your puppy play after coming inside from using the bathroom, like most babies, he'll tire himself out and want to nap. So make sure they get to play and spend time with you. And make sure they're occupied in their crate. The best way to do that is to use interactive toys to keep them busy.
And there you have it, 6 tips to help cut down whining in the crate. Again, remember to be patient. Even under the best circumstances, puppies will whine in the beginning; even if you're in the same room. Don't be too quick to put them in another room or part of the house. Only resort to that if it severely impacts your sleep or ability to work. Thanks for reading, please leave a like and share if you find these tips helpful.
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