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7 Simple Steps for Crate Training a Puppy the First Night

sleeping beagle puppy

There is nothing quite like the smell and cuddly fur of a brand new puppy. It makes me smile just to think about it. Puppies are wonderful, cute, and fun.

They also need to start out with good habits right away. Crate training immediately is one of those habits. The reality is that puppies are going to have “accidents” with house training at the beginning. That’s why starting crate training right away is so important.

It can speed the process of housebreaking and can make the puppy feel more secure in their environment. You can also sometimes use a puppy playpen as an alternative when you are at work. But this should be done with caution.

Despite all the excitement of bringing home a new puppy, the first 24 hours with a new puppy are often quite testing for both parties. Crate training a puppy on the first night is probably the most difficult task because dogs are pack animals. As soon as the puppy realizes that he is alone, he will start crying and whining to call his brothers and sisters. Here’s how to handle that.

Considering the fact that dogs instinctively like crates crates, you should set up a kennel for your puppy. All you need to do is to provide a suitable environment for your pets and they will start learning pretty soon. In this article I’ll show you how to get ready for the first night and what to do with your puppy the first night you have them home.

Here are some additional tips for crate training a puppy the first week.

How to Set Up the Perfect Kennel for a Puppy?

Brown and white puppy sleeping in kennel

The very first thing that you need to decide is the size of the crate. You can find different types of crates in different sizes but you need to choose the one that suits your dog. The general rule of thumb is that the crate you select should be large enough for the puppy to stand up and turn around. Once you have purchased a crate, make sure that it is an ideal residence for your pet. Put some soft towels in the crate to provide a relaxing home to your puppy.  

In addition to a comfortable space, a perfect kennel must have an organized system for providing food and water. For this purpose, you can use spill-proof bowls. Similarly, you can attach a pet drinking bottle to the crate for the puppy. You can also add a toy inside the kennel to encourage your dog to enter the crate.

Setting up the Perfect Crate for Your Puppy

Where to Put a Puppy Crate?

You need to understand that your puppy is in an unfamiliar place and needs your attention. A lot of pets suffer from separation anxiety but you can counter this depression with love and care. The remedy for this problem should begin from the first day to ensure the best possible results.

Putting the crate of your puppy in your bedroom can help a lot with separation anxiety. Continuous interaction with the dog, during the night, will develop the necessary mutual bond between both of you.

In case you can’t keep the pet in your bedroom, place your shirt or some other clothing near the crate. Likewise, you can also use a ticking clock to soothe the puppy on the first night.   

Puppy Crate Training Schedule for Night

chihuahua puppy peeking out of kennel door

Associating the puppy crate with anything bad can do some serious damage to your crate training. Any kind of negativity (including overuse) with the crate can make life difficult for both of you. Therefore, you need to make sure that everything is in order before the puppy enters the crate. Following is a list of some key points that must be checked before crating your pet.

  • The crate should be comfortable and spacious.
  • The puppy shouldn’t be hungry or thirsty.
  • The puppy should have relieved himself right before bedtime.
  • If possible, keep the crate in your bedroom. Otherwise, it should be as close to your bedroom as possible.
  • Keep a toy inside the crate.
  • Praise and treat your puppy when he enters the crate at the prescribed time.
  • Take care of your puppy’s needs and take him out early in the morning.

Do Puppies Sleep at Night?

Brown and white puppy sitting on a bed

Although puppies work quite hard due to their curious nature, their sleeping habits can be a bit disturbing for new dog parents. Puppies are often compared with babies due to their sleeping habits. Just like human babies, young puppies like to wake up in the middle of the night. Similarly, they spend a lot of day-hours while sleeping. However, you can often make a puppy sleep through the night by setting a proper sleep schedule. In addition to that, a number of other factors also contribute to the non-interrupted sleep of your puppy.

Here is a list:

  • A quiet and dim sleeping place can boost the chances of your pet sleeping through the night.
  • Create positive feelings (in the mind of the puppy) for the crate by making it inviting.
  • Stop the puppy’s intake of water and food at least an hour before bedtime.
  • In case of interruption (toilet break), do entertain your dog and take it out. Don’t forget to appreciate the puppy while putting it back in its kennel.

Proper sleep is instrumental in the development of your puppy. Consequently, you need to make all the possible efforts to formulate a suitable routine for them.

Here are Some Tips from Dog Trainer Zak George on Crate Training a New Puppy.

Note: You can get a great starter crate on Amazon for a new puppy here.

How to Stop Your Puppy from Crying at Night?

Just like human babies, all puppies cry. It’s so common that if a new puppy doesn’t cry on its first night at home, that’s worrying. In order to prevent our puppy from crying at night, we need to determine whether the crying is natural or learned.

The one that we experience with all new puppies is called Natural Crying. It is generally caused by fear, hunger, pain, and toileting needs. On the other hand, learned crying is based on the experience of a puppy and is done for some reward. Once we know the reasons for crying, we can try to avoid them because night sleep is important.

  • Tiring out your puppy is one of the best ways to stop it from crying at night. You can do that by keeping him awake before bed (no quick nap).
  • According to a study, soft music can help soothe a puppy and it could be a useful tool to pacify your pet on the first night.
  • In order to make your puppy feel safe, you should try to keep it as close to you as possible. This gives it the feeling of being in your pack and the dog sleeps peacefully.
  • No food and water for the puppy in the last hour of the day (before bedtime). Similarly, make sure that the dog has relieved himself before going to its crate.

How Long Can a Puppy Cry at Night?

Black and white puppy on white background crying

Another popular question that is generally asked by new dog parents is that “How Long can a Puppy Cry at Night?” The duration and frequency of crying vary from puppy to puppy and is somewhat dependent on the efficiency of your training.

You’ll have less crying when your puppy adjusts faster to your routine. So, stay strong and try to stick to the methods that work best in your case.

The Bottom Line on Crate Training Your Puppy the First Night

Crates are wonderful tools, but should always be used in moderation. When used properly crates can provide comfort to a new puppy and speed the housebreaking process.

There are two online video based training courses that I recommend.

  1. Doggy Dan – The Online Dog Trainer
  2. Brain Training for Dogs

These two courses serve two very different purposes. The Doggy Dan course is the best behavioral training course that I’ve ever used. It tackles problem behaviors like barking in ways that are innovative and kind and most of all WORK.

The Brain Training for Dogs course is a course that will help give curious and bored dogs something to do so that they don’t get destructive. Bored dogs often behave badly. The games in this course are fun to play with your dog and they go from easy to very advanced. If you think your dog is barking out of boredom this video course is a good choice.

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