If you’re already a puppy parent, you will notice how vulnerable and dependent these little babies are. They follow you everywhere, desperately cry if they’re left alone, etc. So, every puppy parent’s priority is not to raise the dog with separation anxiety. And for this, you need to get your puppy used to crate from an early age.
Crate training a dog at night is tough since the dog might feel more lonely while the parents are sleeping. But of course, there are some tips on how to crate train a dog at night, and I will teach you them in this article.
Crate training your dog is simply training for patience. It is the process of helping your dog learn to spend time in their Crate and ultimately use it as their personal space at home.
During crate training, dogs also develop their natural instincts to find a comfortable, quiet, and safe place when the surroundings become too loud or overwhelming. This is an important tool to prevent dogs from chewing at home or during training at home.
But does crate training mean tons of sleepless nights for the owner? Read on to find the easiest solutions.
Benefits To Crate Training A Dog
First of all, do you really need to crate train your dog? Why crate train a dog?
Yes, it is highly beneficial to get your pup used to crate. This is a shortlist of why it is better to have your dog crate trained:
- Crate training helps puppy control the bladder
- Crate training lets them feel isolated and secure
- Crate trained puppies are easier to transport
- Crate trained puppies seem to grow up more patient
Crate training might become a long-term procedure. Your puppy might find it challenging to feel safe in the Crate, so it is better to let them used to the Crate from daytime, not only night.
Little by little, your dog will get used to the Crate and manage to sleep in it peacefully at night as well. So, how should you start?
Daytime Crate Training: Introducing To Crate
First, I recommend putting the crate in an area of your home where your family members gather and spend a lot of time, maybe in a living room. Place a soft and gentle blanket or dog bed in the crate. Remove the door or leave it open to allow the dog to explore the Crate at his leisure. Some dogs are naturally curious and immediately start sleeping in the Crate.
Take them to the Crate and talk to them in a pleasant tone. Ensure the crate door is open and secured so your dog won’t hit his head and get frightened.
To encourage your dog to enter the crate, you can throw his favorite small treats in there or nearby. However, if he does not wish to enter for the first time, that’s fine, just don’t push them and make them enter.
You can simply continue throwing some small snacks in your dog’s crate before your dog calmly walks all the way into the Crate to get food. If they are not interested in snacks, try to toss their favorite toys into the Crate. This step may take several minutes or as long as several days.
Crate training a puppy with another dog in the house is also a great and easy option. Do you own another dog? If your older dog is already trained on Crate, the little one will start copying his actions. He will see the Crate is not a danger but a safe and friendly place where he can get treats. So, show the little one how your big one gets treats for entering the Crate, and the half job will already be done.
Let Your Dog Know That Crate Is Not A Jail
One of the most important parts of crate training is to do it positively. Your dog should realize that Crate is better for himself. It lets him feel safe, isolated from noises, has his quiet place. So, owners should never use the Crate during punishment.
You can’t stay mad at your dog for long and keep him in Crate forever, but the dogs will never forget the moment and will start associating Crate with something terrible and evil.
So, never make your pup go in the Crate when you’re mad.
Dog Crate Training Schedule: Start Feeding Your Dog In Crate
After introducing your dog to the Crate, start feeding them near the Crate. This will establish a pleasant connection with the Crate.
If your dog can quickly get into the Crate, keep the food tray or interactive puzzle toy with food at the back of the Crate.
If they are still reluctant to enter, put the plate to enter without becoming scared or anxious easily. Each time you feed them, place the plate a little bit back in the Crate.
Once your dog is comfortably standing in the Crate to eat, you can close the door while they eat. When doing this for the first time, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. However, you can keep the door closed for a few more minutes on the next attempt.
If they start complaining about being released, it may be that you are adding time too quickly. Next time, try to keep them in the Crate for a shorter time.
Gradually, your dog will start eating in his crate daily, without any fear or anxiety. Then, you can already keep them there for a short period at home.
Start Basic Puppy Obedience Training At Home
It is better to start the basic dog training during training a puppy on Crate. Your puppy is already introduced to the Crate, so he does not feel stressed about it already. So, it’s time to teach them how to enter the Crate on your command. (check Loobani to learn how to train your dog on commands).
With the help of dog training treats, pointing to the Crate, and the vocal command “Crate,” your dog will already know what to do.
After your dog enters the Crate, praise them, give them snacks and close the door.
Sit quietly near the Crate for a few minutes, then enter another room for a few minutes. Come back, sit quietly for a while, and then let them out. That’s it. You have trained your dog how to get into the Crate.
However, puppies are easily damaged, so it is best to repeat this process several times a day to gradually increase the time you keep them in the cage and the time you can’t see them.
Once your dog has been in the cage quietly for about 20 minutes and you can barely see it, you can leave them in the cage after you have been away for a short time or let them sleep there at night. This may take days or weeks.
How To Train A Dog To Sleep In Crate
Crate might seem a big pressure for your dog at the beginning. Getting used to the crate daytime does not mean your pup already feels great staying there at night. You might hear your crate training dog crying and barking all night. It might be stressful for the owners too, so let’s discuss what we can do about it.
Although your puppies used to sleep close to their little brothers and sisters, they now sleep alone in a crate. Therefore, nighttime crate training may seem more stressful. Putting their crates in or near your own bedroom can help them feel safer. In this way, they will think they have a company, rather than lonely.
In addition, putting Snuggle Puppy in a crate can also help calm a puppy who is used to sleeping on its own because it mimics the warmth and heartbeat of a litter nearby. Keeping them close to where you sleep will also make them easier to soothe at night.
On the other hand, your puppy’s sleep may be disturbed by a lot of exercise or activity in the room. So, I recommend putting their Crate in a quiet corner or a separate, less active room. You can also put their cage near where you sleep at night, but set up a fan or sound machine to help eliminate any noise that might interfere with your puppy’s rest.
Crate Training=Potty Training: What Does It Mean?
Once your dog is potty trained, you can say you covered 80% of potty training as well. If your dog is eating his meal in its Crate, then there’s a low chance they will have an accident in it. Dogs don’t tend to eliminate urine in the area where they sleep, eat, or rest. For instance, as soon as my puppy got familiar with Crate and felt comfortable and safe in it, she had never had an accident in it.
However, as bladder control is difficult for young puppies, you will need a peeing bedding pad inside the Crate.
These reusable pads from Loobani are the perfect and affordable choice. The material is soft, easily washable, and reusable. So you can cover the inside area with these peds in case you leave the puppy in the Crate at night.
To conclude, crate training a dog at night is a massive milestone in your and your puppy’s happy living. Soon they will fall in love in their personal space and learn where to jump or sleep.
Once your dog is used to the Crate, you can leave him in there if you’re going out for a few hours. This way, your house won’t be a mess, your pillows won’t be torn off, and your slippers won’t be eaten when you’re gone.
Owners also tend to think the Crate is evil. They feel sad and guilty about making their dog stay in a crate. So, they also need to realize that the Crate is not a jail but a safe and peaceful personal space for the dog. Especially, crate training dogs for nighttime tend to be more independent, so if you want to develop all these characters in your pup, you should get a crate.