Does your dog whine when he is in his crate? It can be frustrating to know he is unhappy when you leave for work or are doing work around the house. But, it’s important to understand why he may be upset. Here are a few reasons your dog is whining as well as helpful hints to get him to stop.
Facts about Dog Crates
There are two viewpoints among dog owners when it comes to dog crates. There is one view that strongly believes in using a crate while the other camp believes it’s cruel to do so. Some dog owners believe it is like putting a dog in jail while others believe the use of the crate is a straightforward and simple practice of putting your dog inside the crate for his own safety or to allow him a safe space for certain situations.
While neither the wolf ancestors nor dogs were natural den-dwelling animals, the use of crates taught us that today’s domesticated dog often does seek out a den, particularly in specific cases like whelping. When used properly, a dog crate can work as a safe and familiar place of security and comfort for dogs. A crate should not be used as a punishment or for correcting bad behavior.
With correct crate training, a dog will be able to associate a crate with a clean area where they can relax or sleep in, and also a place where he won’t be bothered. A dog crate can also help a dog owner when training your dog and help structure their routine.
A dog should also never spend time in the crate when it’s not necessary. There is both a wrong and right way to train a dog to use the crate, and if you do decide to use it, make sure you have performed the right introduction to the crate with your dog.
And, when your dog is crying in the crate, you will want to first make sure that you are not doing something wrong when using the crate. Make sure it is comfortable, the right size, and that you have trained your dog correctly to use the crate. If you know that your dog has been fine using the crate so far, and your dog still whines in his crate, there are a few reasons why he is doing this.
Reasons Your Dog is Whining in His Crate
The Crate isn’t a Good Fit for Your Dog
Your first thought should be if the crate is a good fit for your dog. If it’s too small, your dog will need more space to stand up and turn around without hitting his head on the crate’s ceiling. It’s very important that you measure your dog correctly when choosing a crate for him.
If the dog crate is too big, that can be an issue since it is defeating the purpose of providing your dog his own safe area. When there is too much space, a pup will often treat it like they are in a room and pick a spot where they can go to the bathroom.
The type of crate is also important. You can choose from wood, plastic, metal, or a crate that is soft-sided. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages like the smell that often comes with a soft-sided crate.
He Misses You
Particularly at first, when you crate your dog, it will feel as if he is detached from you— so he will probably whine a lot. This will become obvious if he stops whining when you get close to the crate or play with them without opening up the crate.
When a dog is introduced to a crate properly and crate training is done right, your dog shouldn’t whine. Once your dog understands that you will be leaving the area surrounding the crate, he should be fine with being in it and when you close the door. If he doesn’t make the connection, you should crate train him again.
He Is Bored
If you have a lively and energetic dog that likes to race around and jump a lot, he may have a problem being confined in a crate. It’s important to remember that a dog full of energy will need to get it all out. This is apparent when you have a dog that chews on the crate bars, barks and whines a lot, and has otherwise destructive behavior. It’s important to give this type of dog interactive toys that will helpfully settle him down, otherwise, you will need to take him out of the crate and exercise and play with him to tire him out.
He Needs to Go Potty
Often, a dog will tell its owner that he needs to go outside by whining, which can also be the case when he whines in the crate. This is particularly true for puppies that can’t hold their bladders long. Always consider the age of the dog you are crating, and if you are crating a puppy, keep in mind how often he needs to be let out.
When you use a dog crate for potty training, you will need to create a schedule, and, during the dog’s learning process, you will be able to learn how long your puppy can hold his bladder, but you need to remember that it can take some time to find that out.
When a puppy starts to whine, make sure to take him out to go to the bathroom. If you let him continue to cry with a full bladder, your puppy can begin to feel negative about the crate.
He Has Separation Anxiety
A whining dog also might be suffering from separation anxiety, which indicates that he is feeling anxious when you are gone and he doesn’t see you. You can assume this is the problem when your dog becomes visibly anxious when you leave. You can test this by leaving him out of the crate and seeing if his behavior is exaggerated with loud scratching, and barking. Try to put the crate in your room for the first few nights then condition your puppy by moving it away day by day until it’s completely where it should be.
What to Do When a Dog is Whines in His Crate
Get a New Crate
It might be time to get a new one if your dog is consistently whining and crying in his crate. It’s very possible that your dog is just uncomfortable inside the crate, so it can be a good time to replace it. With so many types of crates available today, you can easily find one that may be better suited for your dog. Besides the typical plastic and metal crates, you also have crates with soft sides that can even fit into your home’s décor.
Choosing the correct size can be a bit confusing, particularly if your puppy is still growing. You may want to consider a crate that is adjustable and uses a crate divider to limit the amount of space your dog is using.
Make the Crate More Comfortable
Anxiety can also cause your dog to whine when he is in his crate. If you think this is the case, then you may want to keep him in the crate for smaller periods of time and then gradually start to prolong it, which will cause less stress for your dog.
You can also put some toys inside to help him adjust. If you have a particularly anxious dog, you can also use separation anxiety toys or use one of your blankets or pieces of clothing that has your smell on it to ease your dog’s anxiety. You can also find several types of dog blankets and fluffy mats to make his crate cozier.
Make Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Exercise
If your dog seems unsettled and a little agitated when he wines, he may be bored or just too energetic, particularly if he seems to look for things to chew or destroy. In this instance, you may want to play with your dog more before you crate him.
It’s easy to get into the habit of walking your dog right before you put him in the crate. A quick game of fetch towards the end of the walk can also help to tire him out. As your dog gets used to quiet time inside his crate, you may not need to exercise him quite as much.
Take Your Dog to his Veterinarian
In case you think your dog is whining in his crate because of a psychological issue or health problem, you may want to stop crating him for the time being and take him to his vet. If his vet finds an issue that needs to be treated without using the crate, or he requires consistent monitoring during his treatment process, you may want to get a dog sitter or leave him with family or friends when you are at work.
Don’t Use the Crate
If you are sure you have chosen the right type of crate for your dog as well as followed the training and introductions to it, you may want to just not use the crate anymore. This is especially true if your vet hasn’t been able to find any health concerns that could cause your dog to whine in his crate. A crate really isn’t a normal setting for a dog, and, while some dogs may love having a place to escape that is all their own, other dogs may hate being closed up in one. Remember that not all dogs are den dwellers, and they should be forced onto them.
When you need to confine your dog, you may want to consider a playpen or gate as an alternative. Not only will this give your dog space and freedom to play and move around, but he won’t be as restricted as he is in a crate. You may also want to consider getting a pet sitter that will help your dog adjust to your absences by allowing him to communicate your dog’s needs.
How do I get my dog to stop whining at night?
First, you need to tire out your dog before putting him in his kennel. Make sure his bed is very comfortable and also make sure he has all his basic needs met. You can also play some music or comfort him with a soothing smell like one of your shirts to help lull him to sleep. If he continues to whine, make sure that your pup is not in pain, if he is fine, you may need to crate train him again so that he learns that the crate is the new place where he is to sleep. It’s important that you do not ignore his whining and find out why he is doing it, but it is also important that you do not reinforce the behavior.
How long should you let the puppy cry in a crate?
If your puppy is crying a lot in his crate at night, you may be wondering what is a reasonable amount of time that you should allow him to cry before taking him out. A reasonable amount of time is 1o to 15 minutes and then you should check on your puppy. This is because your puppy may be crying in order to get your attention, but they will most likely stop their crying within this amount of time.
Why is my dog whining in his crate suddenly?
If you have a dog that is whining suddenly in his crate, it can be due to the fact that he doesn’t feel exactly comfortable in his crate, and he is trying to let you know. Instead of feeling like the crate is a comfortable den, it is now a place he isn’t comfortable in due to some reason he can’t tell you. So, it is important to find out what exactly is causing him to be uncomfortable whether it a noise, size issue, or smell that has made him uncomfortable.
Is it OK to let a puppy cry in a crate at night?
You should only allow your puppy to cry between 10 and 15 minutes before you go and check on him. This will allow your dog to cry to get attention before stopping within this time period. If he continues to cry for more than 15 minutes, you should go check on him, since there is a pretty good chance that he has a legitimate reason for being upset like needing to go potty or that he is thirsty or hungry. A puppy will have a fast metabolism, which means that they get hungry several times during the night.