How to Stop a Puppy from Crying at Night

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Dealing with a Puppy Crying at Night

Dealing with a crying puppy is often the first problem a new puppy owner must face. During the first night a puppy is separated from the rest of the litter he will often whine and fuss. This behavior is a very natural survival skill learned early in life. Whether its in the whelping box or in the wild, a puppy learns very quickly that when separated from the pack, calls for help will allow other members of the pack to quickly located him, thus reuniting him with his peers. To that extent, many animal behaviorists recommend allowing a new puppy to sleep in the same room with you to reduce this separation anxiety.

Moving a crate into your bedroom accomplishes two things. First, as stated above, it reduces separation anxiety for the puppy. Second, it allows you to monitor your puppy’s housebreaking routine. Before putting your puppy up for the night, make sure he has had a chance to go outside and eliminate. Inevitably, you will find that as you close the door to the crate he will begin to whine and fuss. At this point you will want to being introducing a "NO NOISE" command and bang your hand on the top of the crate. If the puppy continues to whine, just ignore him. The last thing you want to do is reward this behavior with opening the crate door and comforting him. If you do, he will soon begin to learn that if he cries, the door will open, not the association you want to establish.

Try placing an undergarment or blanket with your scent on it in the crate with the puppy. Additionally, placing a ticking alarm clock outside the kennel can be comforting to your new puppy for the first few nights away from his littermates.

During the night, if your puppy seems to be stirring, get up and take him outside immediately. With puppies you may have to carry them outside to avoid accidents. Once he has had a chance to relieve himself, bring him straight back inside to his crate. If he begins to fuss again, issue the "NO NOISE" command once again.

After a few nights of dealing with the whining and carrying on your puppy should begin to make it through the night with minimal fussing.

Points to remember:
  • Have a vigorous play session prior to going to bed.
  • Allow your dog to eliminate completely prior to being put up for the night.
  • Never open the crate door when the puppy is crying.
  • An undergarment or a ticking alarm clock can comfort a new puppy during his first few nights away from his littermates.

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