Crate training puppies can be an excellent way to set your puppy's sleep schedule, but you must use them correctly so your pup doesn't feel trapped and frustrated.
Understanding how to crate train a puppy at night will make it easier for both you and your pup to get a better night's rest, as well as help in potty training your young puppy. Before you begin crate training a puppy, ensure they are eating and drinking normally and getting plenty of exercise during the day. Doing this will increase their willingness to go in the crate at night.
Here are some tips from dog trainers and many pet parents on how to get your puppy to sleep in a crate.
Place the Crate in the Right Location
When crate training a puppy at night, you must choose an appropriate location for their crate. Your pup should feel secure and relaxed in a peaceful spot where both of you spend a lot of time; so they don't feel isolated while in their crate.
If puppies are young or have never been crated before, it may take some patience and time to get them used to the idea. Start by placing the crate in an area of your house where they can see you, smell you, and have access to food bowls and other necessities throughout the day. Your bedroom is ideal.
The initial step in training your puppy to use a crate is to introduce them to it. To do this, leave the crate door open for several hours and let your pup explore it. When they show any interest, praise them and offer a treat as reinforcement.
You can even start feeding your puppy their meals in the dog crate, which will help them associate positive feelings with being there. This is especially helpful when working on nighttime crate training as it will make the experience more pleasant for them.
If your pup won't enter the crate, try hiding a food dish or an interactive puzzle toy with treats inside. This may gradually entice them to enter. As your puppy spends more time in his crate, he will become more comfortable in it, and therefore will be more willing to go into his crate on his own.
Give Your Pup a Last Call
To avoid confusion, make a mental note of the word or phrase you want to use as your last call. It could be something as straightforward as "Kennel up" or more complex like "Go to bed." Whatever you select, be consistent so your dog knows this is an official signal when it's time for them to enter their crate.
When calling them from their crate, use a soothing tone of voice. Avoid using an angry or frustrated tone as this will only increase their anxiety. Instead, use a happy and high-pitched voice so they develop an enjoyable association with coming when called.
Before your puppy goes to bed, spend 10-20 minutes playing with them. This will tire them out and prevent them from getting bored, helping to avoid accidents in their crate in the middle of the night.
When you're ready for bed, give your pup one last potty break and take them outside before going. Do this a few hours beforehand so they have had enough time to relieve themselves and reduce the likelihood of needing the bathroom during the night.
Don’t Punish Your Pup
If you want the best results from your dog's crate training at night, you must avoid punishing them at all costs. Punishing not only causes cruelty but also makes the dog associate punishment with negative behavior - leading to an uncomfortable future where teaching them what should be done becomes harder.
Reduce Anxiety in Your Dogs
If your puppy isn't enjoying being in their crate, take them outside for a walk to let them relieve their bladders and reduce any separation anxiety they might be feeling. This will give them time to explore outside while relieving themselves of stressors.
Make Every Experience Positive
If you're not careful, your puppy might start to fear the crate due to previous negative experiences in it. This could prove hazardous for them and set them up with difficulty using their crate in the future. If this occurs, make sure they only have positive associations with their crate so they feel secure using it safely and comfortably.
It takes time to train young puppies and it may take even longer for them to learn to love their crate at night. Remember that your pup is new in your family and might be confused for the first few nights. Be patient when your puppy cries and don't succumb to opening the crate doors every time he does.
During your puppy's crate training, be sure to use the same voice and command whenever possible. This will teach them how to listen attentively and also prevent them from becoming frustrated with you.
To support crate training at night, ensure your puppy uses the crate during the day as well. That way doggo will become more familiar and comfortable with the routine in a shorter time.
Recognize and Reward
When your puppy is in their crate at night, reward them with praise and treats. Showing that you are proud of them will help them feel good and promote positive reinforcement for future success.
Make sure your puppy doesn't get bored in the crate by providing them with a variety of toys and treats. This will keep them engaged and ensure that they're not too exhausted when you take them out at night for potty breaks.
Crate training at night can be a challenging endeavor. Just like babies, most puppies may wake up for nighttime potty breaks.
The good news is that there are numerous ways to give your pup the rest they need while keeping them secure and content in their crate. Ideally, you want them to view the crate as a place of sanctuary and relaxation, not as punishment or loneliness.
Once your puppy has become comfortable in her crate, you can gradually increase her time there during the day, with food, water, toys, etc. By taking this approach, you'll help her establish a positive association between her crate and food.
When crate training puppies, it's important to consistently reward them for their accomplishments and offer plenty of praise when they succeed.
Now that you know the best way to crate train a puppy at night, you and your pups can both be sleeping soundly really soon. For nighttime crate training in style, check out the trendiest small dog crates or designer dog beds for small dogs at ShopHiddin.com