Knowing how to stop a puppy from crying is very much the same as knowing how to stop a baby from crying. That’s because the most common reasons why your puppy cries are some of the very same reasons why babies cry.
Why Do Puppies Cry?
They have to go potty (or in the baby’s case, their diaper is wet)
They don’t like being left alone
They are bored (they aren’t getting enough play/exercise/activity)
They want attention
How to Stop a Puppy from Crying
The first step is to make sure their basic needs have been met. Make sure they’ve been fed and have been given a drink. Make sure they don’t have to go potty. And obviously make sure there’s nothing wrong them them that might be causing discomfort or physical pain.
Once you’re certain they don’t actually need anything, then be careful not to reward the crying by granting their wish. If a puppy decides that crying is the best way to get what he wants, you’ll never break him of it. If your puppy’s needs are met and he’s crying, ignore him until he is silent. Attention-seeking behavior can be corrected by ignoring your puppy when he cries and reward him when he’s silent.
Let me take a moment to recommend a terrific puppy training called, “Puppy Training Tips – How to Set Your New Puppy Up for Success” by Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan. You’ll get more advice about how to stop your puppy from crying, and lots more.
How to Stop a Puppy from Crying at Night
For the first few nights, you should put your puppy’s crate in your bedroom. They’ll feel less anxious if you’re in the room with them. Once they’re more settled, you can move their crate or bed to a different room at night if you like.
Make sure the puppy is warm and comfortable. Put a blanket and a soft toy in the crate. Remember to be aware of the season/temperature. Make sure your puppy is warm enough in the winter, and not too hot in the summer.
Again, make sure their needs have been met – they’ve been fed, given water, and have gone outside to go pee/poop. And remember the saying, “a tired dog is a good dog.” Make sure your puppy has had enough exercise and activity.
You might also give them a piece of your clothing – your scent will be reassuring and comforting to them. Something that often helps puppies who cry at night is placing a ticking clock wrapped in a towel or cloth in their crate or bed. The sound is similar to another dog’s heartbeat and will create a familiar feeling for them, especially if they’re very young and newly separated from their mother and littermates.
You should also provide a safe, puppy chew toy so he’ll have something to keep him busy. You can find a nice selection HERE. Playing soft music at a low volume may help keep your puppy calm as well.
Realize the problem might be the crate. If a puppy is afraid of the crate or hasn’t received proper crate training, they may become dangerously upset in their crate at night. Let’s address this…
How to Stop a Puppy Crying in the Crate
It’s perfectly understandable why a new puppy would cry in their crate. Puppies who are recently separated from their littermates will often feel lonely, isolated and confused. Dogs by nature are very social and they long to be with their “pack.” Most dogs don’t enjoy being alone, not to mention the fact that your puppy is likely not used to being confined. If your puppy seems unusually upset in his crate, you should speak to your vet.
It’s important that your puppy not be too upset, scared or anxious, and you certainly don’t want the puppy to injure himself trying to escape. Some crying and whining in the crate is expected, but if it’s excessive, please contact your vet.
That being said, it’s your job to teach your puppy how to be comfortable in his crate. One of the biggest mistakes people make with crate training is responding when the puppy cries or whines in his crate. This only reinforces the puppy’s idea that crying is the way out. Always start by ignoring your puppy’s crying and only open the crate door once he’s silent (even if that’s just for a moment).
Make sure the crate is the right size for your puppy, that the crate is comfortable, and that your puppy’s needs have been met before you put him in the crate.
I highly recommend a full tutorial on crate training a puppy by Doggy Dan, Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist and the owner of the dog training website, TheOnlineDogTrainer.com. Check out his free, full tutorial called, “Crate Training a New Puppy: Tips and Tools for Setting Up your Pup.”
How to Stop a Puppy Crying When Left Alone
Start by practicing leaving the room. Take your puppy to a room in your house and pet him for a few minutes. Once he’s relaxed, leave the room. He’ll probably start whining. After a couple of minutes, only when he’s quiet, go back into the room and reward the puppy with a treat or affection. You can do this repeatedly, each time leaving the room a few minutes longer.
If the puppy won’t stop crying after you’ve left the room, try opening the door and say, “quiet, or “shhh” in a calm, firm tone. Then leave the room again. Once he stops crying, enter the room again and give praise.
If your puppy keeps on crying – just be patient. They’ll usually stop for a minute here and there to listen and hear if you’re coming. It’s during that moment when he’s silent that you enter the room. You might also get some extra help from Doggy Dan’s program developed specifically to calm your dog. It’s called, “The Dog Calming Code.”
By practicing this exercise, you’re teaching your puppy to be alone in a room for longer and longer periods of time, and you’re also teaching him that crying isn’t a way to get what he wants. While you’re practicing this with your puppy, remember that puppies cannot hold their bladder very long. You may have to take him outside for potty breaks.
Remember Not to Reward the Crying
You have to make sure your puppy is safe and that his basic needs have been met. But remember not to reward the crying. Always try to wait until your puppy is silent before you act or address him. Don’t make eye contact, don’t speak to him, don’t even scold him. It’s important that you don’t teach the puppy to see crying as the way to get what he wants. And always remember to reward your puppy with affection or a treat when he stops crying.
When to Take Your Puppy’s Crying More Seriously
Puppies cry sometimes. But if your puppy’s crying or whining is unusual, if it starts suddenly, or if it won’t stop, please call your vet. A puppy excessively or continuously crying or whining could indicate something more serious is going on. If your puppy exhibits this or other stressful behaviors like panting, drooling, destroying things, urinating or pooping in the house excessively or just before you leave – these things can indicate stress, anxiety, separation anxiety or a medical issue.
You’ll likely know when your puppy’s crying isn’t normal. If you feel that way, don’t hesitate to give your vet a call. For more information about more serious reasons why your puppy may be crying, click here.
Be Patient with Your Puppy
Try to have compassion and patience with your puppy. Remember he’s just a baby and he’s just been taken from his mother, his littermates, and his previous home. He’s likely scared and overwhelmed. Try hard to be kind and patient. Never punish your puppy for crying – don’t yell at him and never hit him.
Try to be patient and know things will improve with time. I bet if I called up your mom right now, she’d have a story or two to tell about what a pain in the a** you were at times when you were a baby. LOL! I’m just sayin…
Where To Get More Help
I highly recommend taking advantage of the complete puppy training programs developed by professional dog trainer, Doggy Dan, owner of the dog training website, The Online Dog Trainer. If you check out the site, you’ll see it includes far more training about puppy crying plus every other puppy behavior issue you can think of! You can read my complete review of Doggy Dan’s training HERE.
I particularly like Doggy Dan’s video series called, “Project Moses.” Doggy Dan adopts a beagle puppy named Moses at 8 weeks, then records weekly training videos with Moses all the way up to 1 year old. You get to see the entire training process! Click below to visit Doggy Dan’s Perfect Puppy Program. You won’t be disappointed.
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