Crate training is an incredibly powerful tool to help you get your puppy on the right track early. The downfall is that you have to help your puppy get comfortable in the crate or they might start whining and never stop. Our vets at Dunnellon Animal Hospital in Citrus County, FL are here to remind you why crate training is so important and how you can stop that annoying whining.
Why Should I Crate My Dog?
If your dog has been crying in the crate a lot, you may start questioning if it's worth it, or if it's even in your dog's best interest. While it’s certainly not essential, crate training can really be very useful in the long run for you and your pooch.
Crate training can help reduce destruction while your puppy is still learning boundaries, help with potty training, provide a safe place to rest, and keep nervous animals away from guests.
Our Citrus County vets belive that a crate is an important tool that all dogs should at least be comfortable with in case they need to be crated for safety such as when traveling.
Why Do Dogs Whine In Their Crate?
Dogs will whine in their crate for a number of reasons including boredom, loneliness, fear, anxiety, or they need to be let outside.
All of these reactions are perfectly normal, and it is your job as an owner to make your pup feel comfortable and get used to their new crate.
How To Stop Your Dog From Whining In Their Crate
There are many different tricks to stop your puppy from whining in their crate. It might take some time, but once you figure out the reason your dog is so uncomfortable, these techniques can help to stop the behavior.
Make your puppy comfortable in their new crate
Familiarizing your puppy with his crate is one way to help cut down on anxiety and reduce whining. Your puppy needs the opportunity to feel comfortable and happy in this new space before they get locked in
Your puppy shouldn't feel like their crate is a punishment, so make sure they are given the opportunity to go in and out during the day and fill it with soft bedding and fun, puppy safe toys, and give them rewards when they chose to go in on their own.
Ignore the behavior
One of the most common mistakes new pet owners make it to give their puppy attention or let them out once they start whining. Giving them attention could reinforce this behavior.
The puppy can be released after waking up from his nap or after a few minutes of quiet behavior.
Tire your puppy out
If your puppy is tired from playing, they're far less likely to make a fuss about being in their crate.
If their need for activity and attention is already met, they are less likely to seek attention once they've been placed in their crate.
Pick the right sized crate
Puppies should have enough space in their crates to help them feel comfortable. A properly sized dog crate allows your dog to stand up and turn so they can play with their toys.
Consider dog crates that have a divider that you can use to adjust the size of the crate as your puppy grows.
Make sure they've had plenty of potty breaks
Your puppy isn't able to control their bladder as well as adult dogs, so it's important that they get outside for regular potty breaks so they don't have to whine to tell you they have to go outside.
A 2-month-old puppy can usually hold in their urine for three hours, and a 3-month-old puppy can generally hold it for four hours, but it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to potty breaks. Even if they could hold it in for longer, it's a good idea to let them out frequently so you don't have to bring them into our Citrus County vet clinic for urinary issues from holding it in too long.
Pick the right spot
Where you have your puppy’s crate located may be a factor in whether or not they will feel the need to whine. If the crate is in an area that is isolated such as a basement or garage, they may feel scared and start whining.
In addition to helping your puppy feel less anxious, keeping the crate close will allow you to hear when your puppy needs to go outside.
When Is It Time To Worry?
While puppy whining is not uncommon, pet parents should be on the lookout for any excessive whining or unusual behavior—whether a puppy is crated or not.
Pet parents should stay alert and reach out to their veterinarian if puppy crying doesn’t subside. A little bit of puppy whining in the crate is to be expected but if a puppy is reactive the entire time they are crated, or they injure themselves in an attempt to escape, it's important to bring your pooch in to our veterinary hospital to talk to our Dunnellon and Citrus County vets right away to discuss some options.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.