How to Stop a Dog From Crying When Crated
Crate training a dog or puppy is a safe and effective way to control the animal as well as creating a place of comfort and security that they can retreat to. Some dogs, especially when first exposed to a crate, may spend a good deal of time crying and whining. Seeing to the dog's comfort and needs first, followed by correctly responding to the dog's whining, will eliminate the animal's vocalizations.
Create a safe and comfortable place for the dog inside the crate. A dog may cry and whine if it is uncomfortable or feels anxiety over the crate. Place a blanket inside the crate, especially if the blanket contains a comforting smell, such as from a puppy's litter mates and mother. Some dogs also are comforted if the crate is covered by another blanket, creating a small den for the dog.
Tend to the dog's needs before placing it inside a crate and every few hours after. If the dog is hungry, thirsty or has to relieve itself, it will alert you by crying. By seeing to these needs you will know that the crying is not related. If the dog learns that crying gets him let out of the crate, even for a legitimate need, the negative behavior becomes positively enforced.
Place the crate in an area where the dog can be in close proximity to you. Placing the dog's crate where he can see you, such as in a bedroom at night, may help calm this anxiety and prevent crying. If you do not wish the dog's crate placed outside a specific location in the house, feel free to leave it where it is. The dog will learn that the separation is only temporary and grow accustomed to it over time.
Ignore the crying. As long as you know that the dog is comfortable and all its needs are seen to, it is safe assumption that the crying is for attention. Ignoring the dog while it is crying will teach it that crying is not the proper way to receive attention and it will eventually learn that the behavior will only be ignored.
- Do not give treats or affection in order to comfort a crying dog while in the crate. This is giving them positive reinforcement for crying. The dog will associate crying with receiving comfort or treats. After the dog has stopped whining and calmed down you are free to give the dog treats and affection as a reward for their good behavior.
- Dogs do get bored and need to be physically and mentally stimulated from time to time. Give the dog plenty of exercise as well as social playtime. A few chew toys inside the crate can also give the dog something to do if it gets bored in the crate. A dog that is physically and mentally stimulated will be less likely to feel bored or neglected when crated.