My Dog Won’t Stop Barking At Night in His Crate: How To Stop A Puppy From Barking

Crate training a puppy is a test of endurance (with Stetson it certainly was).

As a guide dog puppy raiser, one thing I’ve learned is how to crate train a puppy.

More importantly, I learned how to stop a puppy from barking at night in his crate!

I’ve been raising puppies for over fifteen years and have seventeen puppies in total.

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Are you looking for a way to stop your puppy from barking in his crate? Continue reading…  

My first guide dog puppy, Stetson, was obstinate and despised his crate.

Needless to say, Stetson nearly put an end to my guide dog puppy-raising career just as it began.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that Stetson took over four weeks to adjust to his crate.

During those four weeks, he didn’t let me sleep for more than two hours in a row.

The good news is that he helped me prepare for motherhood. Stetson! All three of my daughters have slept better than Stetson!

Quick Recommendation: Dog crates come in a variety of shapes and types. If you’re still undecided about a crate, check out our article on which crate is best for your puppy.

Crate Training For A Puppy

If you’re having trouble training your puppy, sign up for our Puppy Training Tips email list to receive our New Puppy Owner Checklist PDF right away. Click here to get started.

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One of Dublin’s first puppy crate training sessions.

Every puppy is different when it comes to crate training.

Stetson was an outlier, and after four weeks of pure torture, he went completely silent and would sleep in his crate all morning without making a peep, much to my delight.

Dublin, on the other hand, had only a couple of nights of whimpering before he started sleeping through the night.

I’ve learned a lot of crate training tips and tricks over the years.

Today, we’ll go over the basics of crate training a puppy and then give our best tips and tricks for those of you who have a stubborn puppy who refuses to adjust to his crate.

For a variety of reasons, we prefer wire crates to molded plastic crates.

  1. Our wire crate collapses for easy storage and transportation.
  2. The wire-style crate allows for better air circulation and allows us to leave it open or cover it with a blanket to make it feel more like a den.
  3. Prosperity! We’ve been using the same MidWest Life Stages Double Door Crate with Divider since we brought Linus home over 17 years ago.

We are given specific instructions on how to crate train our puppies as guide dog puppy raisers.

Here’s what we learned about crate training puppies from Guide Dogs of America:

A crate is a kennel made of wire or molded plastic that simulates a nest or a den. A crate can be a puppy’s safe haven as well as a space saver.

When used correctly, the crate becomes a security blanket, a place where the puppy can go to escape the chaos of the house and feel safe.

Never use the crate to punish your dog!

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Zoom, zoom, zoom! Puppy Crate Training for Golden Retrievers  

The dog’s crate should be a safe, secure place where the dog can also relax.

For in-house training, the crate can be useful.

An unattended puppy confined to a crate cannot destroy or spoil anything.

Do not crate the puppy for more than 3 hours during the day.

On the first night, begin crate training your puppy.

Place the crate in your bedroom so that the puppy can see and hear everything that is going on.

For bedding, put a blanket or towel in the crate.

QUICK TIP: To help our puppies get used to their crate, we’ve been using the Snuggle Puppy Toy with Heartbeat and Heat Pack. It worked perfectly with Charlie, our newest golden retriever puppy.

Although a pup will rarely soil his crate, if he does, try removing the bedding.

A puppy’s crate should be large enough for him to stand, stretch, and turn around in.

Use the words “kennel” or “kennel up” when putting the puppy in the crate.

If he falls asleep somewhere else, pick him up and place him inside, then close the door quietly.

Even if you are at home, don’t be afraid to use the crate on occasion.

To keep the experience positive, feed the puppy in his crate and give him some favorite toys. ”

On the first day, we start feeding all meals in the crate. Wellness Core Puppy Food is what we feed all of our pups.

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Puppy Paws! is working on crate training.

How To Stop A Puppy From Barking At Night In His Crate

Now that we’ve mastered the basics of crate training, Let’s talk about why we’re all here in the first place. Tips for dealing with a barking puppy

We’ve learned a bit about crate training over the last ten years, starting with:

  1. crate conditioningLinus is the first puppy that we rescued from a shelter.
  2. Crate train puppy litters as foster parents.
  3. Training a dozen service dog puppies in their crates

As you might expect, we’ve learned a few crate training tips and tricks over the years.

In Episode 1 of Puppy In Training TV, we talked about some of the first things we do when we bring a puppy home.

We also discussed crate training a puppy and Dublin’s first night in his crate.

Fortunately for us, Dublin didn’t spend too many nights howling in his crate, though we did catch a bit of whining on video – see below.

In our first episode of Puppy In Training TV, we’ll go over some basics:

21 Ways To Stop Your Puppy From Barking In The Crate

For those of you with a stubborn pup who whines, whimpers, barks, yelps, cries, or makes pretty much any other disturbing noise in his crate, here’s our comprehensive list:

1. Get Your Puppy’s Littermates’ Scent

Bring a plush toy (our new favorite plush toy for puppies is the Snuggle Puppy Toy w/Heartbeat and Heat Pack) or a blanket to rub all over your puppy’s littermates if you get to meet them.

When it’s time to put your pup in his crate, leave a toy or blanket with the scent of his littermates in the crate. This may help your pup sleep better at night. With Dublin, this worked well.

2. Take a Potty Break With Your Puppy.

If your pup wakes up crying in the middle of the night, take him to his potty spot right away. As soon as he finishes his business, take him back to his crate without any playtime or other distractions.

3. Feed your puppy as soon as possible.

Feed him at least an hour and a half before he goes to bed. Also, an hour and a half before bedtime, turn off the water so he doesn’t have to pee in the middle of the night.

We don’t deprive our puppy of water because it’s critical to keep him hydrated.

4. Play with your puppy before going to bed.

To tire your puppy, play with him for an extended period of time just before bedtime. With our pups, a good game of fetch is always a good idea.

5. Use a bedsheet to cover your wire crate.

If you have a wire crate, try covering it with a sheet to make him feel more secure. I’ve had pups pull and chew on the bedsheet over the crate, so be careful.

6. put your crate near your bed.

Put your crate near your bed (we used crates instead of nightstands) so your puppy can see you, and if he starts crying, hang your arm down so he can smell your scent. If that doesn’t work, try…

7. Sleep on the floor next to the crate.

You could try sleeping next to the crate on the floor. This worked for Linus, my rescue puppy. Linus stopped barking while I slept on the floor next to the crate in my sleeping bag.

8. Feed Your Puppy’s Food In His Crate

From day one, we recommend feeding meals to the creation. When your puppy enters the crate, he will be more relaxed.

9. Give a variety of textured toys in your puppy’s crate.

To keep him company, fill the crate with various textured toys. Be careful. When pups are left alone, they chew, destroy, and swallow plush toys. We’ve had success with super-durable toys like the Nylabone DuraChew in the past.

10. Before bedtime, get your puppy used to the crate.

If he sleeps on the floor during the day, move him to the crate. Experiment with opening and closing the door.

11. Lie with the door open next to the crate.

Try leaving the door open but lying down across the crate’s doorway as if napping with him to make him feel more at ease in the crate while also blocking the doorway with your body.

12. When your puppy is doing well, praise him.

Make sure to give him lots of praise when he’s in the crate and quiet.

13. Place a heartbeat toy in your puppy’s crate.

Try out the heartbeat toy. I’ve heard of a toy that helps the puppy sleep by stimulating the mother’s heartbeat. We haven’t tried this one yet, but it will be on our wish list if we have another stubborn pup.

For Charlie’s first night in his crate, we used the Snuggle Puppy Toy with Heartbeat and Heat Pack.

There was no peep!

14. Put a Timepiece in Your Puppy’s Crate

Do you have a ticking clock somewhere in your house? Instead of buying the Snuggle Puppy, you could try that. It may assist in putting your puppy to sleep while also saving you money.

15. Place a stuffed Kong in your puppy’s crate.

Put a stuffed Kong in the crate with your puppy (we like the Kong Extreme because it’s better for heavy chewers like our Lab puppies).

We used peanut butter (make sure it’s dog-safe), but you can also try bananas, rice, chicken, or yogurt to help your puppy get used to being in the crate.

16. Put the crate with your puppy’s favorite chew toy in it.

Giving your puppy his favorite chew toy, such as Bully Sticks, can also help him get used to the crate (and stop barking). If you give your pup a chewable chew like a Bully Stick, make sure you keep an eye on him.

17. When your puppy is quiet, comfort him.

This one worked for me and Stetson because I was a wreck and thought Stetson would never be able to get used to his crate.

When he wasn’t crying, the only way I could get him to sleep was to talk to him for 5-10 minutes and tell him what a “good boy” he was (if he did cry, I would just keep silent until he stopped). To try to quiet him down, I’d say “quiet” or “shhh.”

18. To simulate a littermate, put a heated toy in the crate.

Try a heated toy. There are many different toys that can help your puppy get used to the crate.

We saw one that you could heat up in the microwave before putting it in the crate with your puppy. This gives your puppy the impression that he is with a littermate.

The Snuggle Puppy Toy with Heartbeat, which we mentioned earlier, includes a heartbeat as well as three heat packs to get you through the first few nights.

19. Construct A Littermate Using A Warm Water Bottle

After the first night, you’ll need to buy more heat pads for the Snuggle Puppy Toy.

Fill a water bottle with warm water and place it inside a thick, comfortable sock (extra points if you rub the sock on littermates and mama to get their scent).

Hey,

You make do with what you have around the house.

20. Play Relaxing Music for Your Puppy

One of our readers suggested that we now have a new furbaby, another golden. He’s eight weeks old and has already made us realize how much older we are. We use the same soothing music and nighttime method, and it’s worked perfectly again! ”

When we leave the house, we play soothing music for our older dogs. We never considered using soothing music to help our pups adjust to their new crate and surroundings. Thank you for your suggestion. K.Y.

21. Mentally exhaust your puppy with basic obedience training.

Working on your puppy’s training right before bedtime will mentally tire him out. It doesn’t take much to mentally tire a puppy. Try 10 minutes of working on some basic obedience right before it’s time to go in the crate.

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Crate Training Puppies: We begin crate training the puppies around the age of four weeks.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Puppy Barking in Crate

Is It Okay To Ignore A Puppy Barking In A Crate At Night?

It depends on your puppy, but yes and no. We’ve learned over the years that puppies will bark for a variety of reasons while in the crate. If our puppy starts barking, we usually ignore him for the first 10-15 minutes. After that time, most people will calm down. We give our puppy praise as soon as he is calm.

However, as I previously stated, it is dependent on your puppy. You should not neglect your puppy if:

  • In the crate, he’s getting anxious. In this case, we will try to introduce our puppy to the crate at a slower pace.
  • He needs to use the restroom.
  • He’s having some sort of health problem.

If your puppy is barking in his crate, please leave a comment or, better yet, contact a certified professional dog trainer in your area.

How long should a puppy bark in a crate?

ANSWER: We’ll let our puppy bark for 10-15 minutes if we don’t notice any other issues (see above FAQ). Within this time frame, most puppies will calm down and stop barking. If we notice that it’s just attention barking, we’ll extend this a little longer.

It’s important that you keep your puppy inside when he’s barking. Before you open the door, wait until he comes to a complete stop.

If you open the door and let him out while he’s barking, he’ll learn to associate barking with escaping the crate. No Bueno.

What should I put in the crate for my puppy at night?

We start all of our puppies in the crate with two items. A blanket and a Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Toy. After that, we keep an eye on our puppy to make sure he doesn’t destroy the Snuggle Puppy or blanket.

The long answer to the question of what should I put in my puppy’s crate is that it depends. If we have a destructive puppy, we might not want anything in the crate.

If our puppy has accidents in the crate, we remove the blanket from the crate.

If our puppy is having trouble adjusting to the crate, we will occasionally use toys such as Nylabones, KONGs, and even chews such as Bully Sticks.

If you put a toy or chew in the crate that your puppy could potentially destroy or swallow, such as plush toys and bully sticks, make sure you supervise him while he’s in there until you’re sure he won’t swallow or choke on anything.

How Long Does It Take For A Puppy To Stop Barking At Night In His Crate?

We’ve crate trained dozens of puppies over the years. Most puppies stop barking in the crate at night after the first 5-7 days, according to our experience.

There have, however, been outliers.

Stetson, our first guide dog puppy, took four weeks to stop barking in his crate at night.

Our English Cream Golden Retriever pup, Charlie, on the other hand, never barked in his crate at night.

Puppies adjust to their crates based on their previous experiences.

Before sending puppies to their new homes, a responsible breeder may have already begun crate training them. A puppy rescued from a shelter may have only known the kennel run in which he grew up.

It’s something I’ve said before and will say again. It depends; each puppy is unique.

Conclusion

That concludes my best tips and tricks for getting your puppy to stop barking in the crate, as well as answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about puppies barking in their crates.

What are your thoughts?

Do you know any tricks for getting a puppy to stop barking in his crate?

We’d love to hear about your crate training experiences with your puppy.

Is this one of the first nights you’ve spent with your new puppy at home?

If that’s the case, read about Stetson’s first night at home and how we helped him settle in.

One final note: we recently discovered the Snuggle Puppy – New Puppy Starter Kit, which includes the Snuggle Puppy Toy, heartbeat, additional heat pads, chew toys, and a blanket, and plan on ordering it.

Also, we just made a New Puppy Checklist with all of the products we recommend to people who just got a puppy.

We plan to use this new puppy starter kit with our next puppy, due in early 2019…

Keep an eye out

Charlie loved the Snuggle Puppy New Puppy Starter Kit that we received. He didn’t say anything the first night he was in his crate.

Pin it to Pinterest.

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How to stop a puppy from barking at night in his crate

 

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