Dogs use barking to communicate their emotions, be territorial, show anxiety, or grab your attention. All these are normal until it becomes a nuisance to yourself and the neighbors, especially if you live in a townhouse or condo. Even if you don’t have a neighbor that complains, an endlessly whining or barking puppy can be a real pain and nuisance to your night. You may be tempted to try calming him, but the noises only get worse. I know how daunting the situation is for you, and you may even feel like you made a mistake bringing him home. You can even find yourself shouting at him out of frustration.
However, that could be the first mistake you made. Rewarding the wines and barks from your dog only encourages him to cry more. It doesn’t matter whether you shout at him, wake up to check on him, or call him from your bed and asking him to be calm. All these reward reactions in a dog’s language and will earn you more noises in the night.
The best way to deal with your dog’s barking is to go back to your crate training lessons. Your puppy will less likely bark if you crate train him the right way, and he’s comfortable being in the kennel. However, you also need to consider his health to ascertain that his whines and cries aren’t a result of any discomfort.
As such, you may want to check with your veterinarian to rule out any signs of discomfort and ensure that your puppy is fine health-wise. Explore all the possibilities with your vet to get to the bottom of your dog’s whines. You can do this by describing how your dog behaves in his crate while he barks, as that will help with diagnosis. Here are possible causes of a dog barking.
Why Dogs Bark
Knowing the cause of your pup’s noises will be your first stab at understanding how to stop your dog from barking in a crate. Here are some possible reasons to consider.
Your dog may get anxious if he’s not used to being alone. For example, a puppy who had litter mates and a mom may take longer to adjust and suffer separation anxiety.
Dogs instinctively want to keep the place they sleep clean. As a result, your puppy may be having a full bladder and yearning for the toilet. Take him out, straight to the potty, and back into the crate without petting or playing with him.
Infections and Other Discomforts
Sometimes your puppy may be whining from a discomfort he feels in the body. Let your veterinarian inspect your puppy for urinary tract infections and other forms of pain. Vets can quickly tell what’s normal from what’s not. As a result, you should make the initial decision with your vet. Let the vet examine the dog, understand how he behaves while in his crate, and get the correct diagnosis.
You may be having rough days at work, but your furry friend has been waiting for you to come home. As a result, you should consider granting some time in the evening to play and run with your dog before his crate time. Denying your puppy’s attention will make him lonely and increase the chances of whines and barks.
If none of these produces results, then you may have to crate train all over again as your dog is less likely to bark if the dog enjoys being in his kennel. The most critical part is to involve your veterinarian to establish what causes your dog to bark. Here are some tips to help you crate train your dog successfully.
Crate Training Tips
Crate training a puppy can be a hectic process, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Not understanding the dos and don’ts of training your pup can make you stuck to the cycle forever. Here are some points to consider.
1. Check the crate for comfort
You should consider making the crate a place your dog wants to be. You may consider adding a blanket into the kennel to make it cozy, or add your sweater so your dog can feel the scent. Similarly, you may want to consider covering the crate on the three sides to simulate a den and give your dog comfort. This may help your dog to stay relaxed and feel safe even in stressful situations.
2. Treats in the crate
Trick your dog into relating the crate with special pleasantries. You can sneak a few treats in the chew toy or under the blanket when your dog is outside playing with another family member. It gets more effective if you keep the items discreetly and your dog finds them on his own.
3. Meals at the crate
Crate training can be a struggle, but your dog will soon feel accustomed. And when that happens, you can consider serving his meal in the crate to help him relate the kennel with pleasantries. Occasionally serve his meal and leave home eating in the box, with the door closed for approximately ten minutes. However, avoid prolonging the stay because your pup will most likely want to drain his bowels after meals.
4. Encourage gradual crate stays
Your puppy isn’t accustomed to being alone in an enclosure, especially if he was in a litter. As a result, be gradual with the changes as much as you can. Hurrying the process can also get your puppy nervous and make him bark. Thus, avoid confining your puppy for hours, especially when you’re at home. Remember that dogs are social creatures and would love to be close to you. As a result, consider letting him free and with you, unless you leave the house or working.
On the contrary, crates are the best places to keep dogs if you’re working on a task that you can’t involve them in, like painting or using cleaners. Also, consider going through the training process one step at a time. For instance, you may consider leaving your puppy wand closing the door for ten minutes, then extending to fifteen minutes, and as you move close to hours.
5. Location of the crate
You may consider placing the crate in your bedroom if you want your puppy to spend his night in there. Putting the kennel far from you may make them develop the fear, trigger separation anxiety and start whining. As a result, you may consider having the crate in your bedroom for the first few days. Even so, your dog may still whine and cry. If he does, avoid petting at night.
You may consider hanging your hand over the crate and letting your dog smell your scent. Also, sleeping next to your dog’s kennel is a good idea where placing the kennel in the bedroom fails. Seeing and feeling your presence may help the puppy to relax.
If your dog gets accustomed and stops crying, you can start moving the crate gradually to where you want it to be permanently.
6. Consider your schedule and your dog’s
Work on a plan that smoothly aligns with your life and work demands. Also, you need to figure out your dog’s needs and work out a plan that meets the requirements. Crate training is a procedure that takes a different phase when dealing with puppies or old dogs. Compiling a schedule that your work allows you to keep and aligns with your dog’s needs, like mealtime and potty training, will help you find a phase to curb dog barking.
7. Ensure the dog isn’t bored
Crates can be boring, especially if you don’t give your pup something to distract him and keep him committed. You may consider including outlets like Kong-type toys that your dog can lick and chew while in the crate. Similarly, you can fill a sturdy toy with dog-safe peanut butter and moistened kibble, freeze it, and include it in your dog’s kennel, so he finds it when he’s inside.
8. Work out your dog before crate time
Exercising is a critical factor in your dog’s life. Also, a dog’s exercise span is relatively short and won’t likely disrupt your schedules for the day. Taking your pooch for a ten minutes’ walk is enough work out for him, and even if you decide to leave your pup out to run more and sniff, it will be better. Always do that every time you want to get your dog to the kennel because a tired but happy dog is less likely to bark in his crate.
Some Things to Avoid When Crate Training
- Don’t use the crate as a punishment- The aim is to help your dog appreciate the environment. Thus, make the space as appealing as possible.
- Avoid putting your dog in the crate while hungry- A hungry dog will most likely bark to communicate what he feels. Vets recommend that you take your pet to his kennel at most one and half hours since the last meal.
- Forget the potty break– Dogs typically feel the urge to visit the bathroom a few minutes after eating. You may consider walking your dog or allowing some sufficient time to use the potty.
Response and Dog Barking
According to their language, every single attention (a scold, complaint, praise, or checkup) you offer to their whines is interpreted as a reward. As a result, you need to help your dog understands that whining doesn’t earn him any attention by not showing any reaction that shows obvious signs of attention.
Similarly, avoid calling out, petting, or shouting from the other room as that encourages your dog to bark louder and longer. Instead, you may come to the dog, take him out on potty break, and straight back to the crate. Avoid playing or any other communication in between. That helps your dog to understand that crying only awards potty breaks and nothing more.
If your pup is fighting separation anxiety or any other form of terror, you may consider other soothing methods such as white noise to absorb the sound that comes from the street. Similarly, you may consider dog appeasing pheromones to calm your dog. Again, music is another excellent remedy to soothe a whimpering dog. Pipe some relaxing beats to the room where the crate is located.
What If My Dog Won’t Stop Barking?
Crate training is fun till you meet a dog that never ceases to bark. If you try out the tips but your dog still doesn’t buy into the idea, there are a few more to consider. Again, the situation may get worse before improving.
The best remedy for dog barking is ignoring the canine. However, remember that your furry friend will try as much as possible to achieve your attention. The more you deny him attention, the more he will probably cry more but will come around in time. If he stops whining and stays peacefully in his crate, praise him and offer some benefits.’
However, if he doesn’t respond well, try these tricks:
- Check the crate size. Your dog’s kennel shouldn’t be too large but spacious enough to allow them to turn, stretch, and lie.
- Only get your puppy out to play with him when he’s silent in the crate.
- For a puppy who was a littermate, rub a plush troy or blanket over his litter mates (if you van have access) and leave the material with his mates’ scent on his crate.
- Consider heartbeat toys. There are some that a mom’s heart and could be an excellent soothe for your puppy to sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I ignore dog barking in crate?
Ignoring your dog is the best remedy since most pups bark to seek attention. However, you should first try to find to know the cause of his barking and provide the solution.
How can my dog stop barking in his crate?
You can stop a dog barking in his crate by first establishing the reason behind the whines and cries. For instance, it could be resulting from pains, desire to take potty breaks, or the crate’s size and condition. Once you know what’s causing the whining, you can provide a solution. However, dog crate training is the most effective way to approach barking.
Will dog eventually stop barking in crate?
A dog can stop barking in his crate. However, you have to establish why he’s barking in the first place and come up with a remedy that works. Also, it requires consistency and determination to see results to gain from crate training.