How To Stop Your Dog From Crying in the Crate

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Dog Training By Kayla Fratt 15 min read June 25, 2019 244 Comments

dog crying in crate

You’re excited about your new puppy, but it’s been five hours and he’s still crying in the crate. You didn’t get any sleep last night and are at your wit’s end. If this is what dog ownership is like, you’re not sure if you’re up for it.

This is an all-too-common problem for new puppy owners. Dogs that cry in the crate are exhausting to deal with, and many of the solutions out there feel useless.

Don’t worry though – we’ll talk about how to get your pooch to settle down and stop whining in the crate without losing your mind.

Why Should I Crate My Dog?

If your dog has been crying in the crate a lot, you may be starting to wonder if crate training is worth all this agony. While it’s certainly not essential, crate training can really be very useful long term for you and your canine.

Crating dogs is a great way to help with potty training or reduce destruction when you can’t supervise your dog.

All dogs should be at least familiar with the crate to help reduce stress if they need to be put in a crate for travel or medical purposes. But crate training comes with some challenges – namely, lots of dogs cry or bark in the crate.

Crate Training Expectations: Crying is Normal At First

With young puppies, crate training generally takes several weeks. Most puppies under the age of about 16 or 20 weeks (4-5 months) won’t be able to stand being in the crate for more than a few hours. Really young puppies just don’t have the bladder control to be in the crate very long, and they instinctively cry when they’re left alone.

As a foster dog parent, I expect dogs to cry in the crate for their first few nights. I crate these untrained dogs because they can’t be trusted in the house yet. However, I no longer recommend letting dogs just “cry it out.”

It’s pretty normal for dogs to cry when they’re first put in a crate – but the “cry it out” method of crate training is pretty outdated. We’ll discuss below what you can do to help your dog quiet down, rather than simply let them cry it out.

It’s important for you to have realistic expectations as you’re crate training a dog. Just like with a new baby, expect there to be some long nights.

Most dogs eventually settle down in the crate, but what can we do to help them learn to be quiet in the crate? Crying in the crate can be a very real issue, especially if you live in an apartment or are a light sleeper.

stop dog crate crying

Why Do Dogs Cry In Their Crate?

The good news is, your dog is not actively trying to make you lose sleep or get you evicted!

That said, there are a variety of reasons that dogs bark or cry in the crate. Luckily, the treatment for most of these underlying reasons is the same.

Reasons why your dog might be crying in the crate include:

Your dog is lonely. If your dog is at your side whenever you’re home, then gets locked in a crate whenever you leave the house or go to bed, there’s a good chance he’s crying because your dog misses you. These dogs usually will settle eventually, but may start crying again whenever you move around.

Your dog is bored. Crates can be a pretty boring place. Dogs that give steady barks throughout the day are likely bored.

Your dog is scared. Some dogs are ok being away from you, but are scared of the crate. They might not like being confined.

Your dog needs to get out of the crate. Almost all dogs that cry in the crate want to get out of the crate. But sometimes, dogs need to get out of the crate. If a crate-trained dog that’s normally quiet starts whining, he may be sick to his stomach or might need to pee – he’s trying to tell you that he needs out. If your dog is normally quiet in the crate but suddenly starts to cry, look for a reason why.

All of the reasons above are perfectly normal crate-training problems that can be fairly easily overturned with a bit of training and management. This is very different from true separation anxiety.

Dogs with separation anxiety are thrown into a full-on panic when left alone. These dogs will need long-term management, training, and even medication to help with their condition.

Dogs with severe separation anxiety often will dig at the crate, bite the crate, and otherwise take great measures to escape the crate.

You may want to consider an especially durable, strong dog crate to deal with your dog’s separation anxiety in order to keep them safe – but this alone is not a cure for a dog that is panicking. Dogs with separation anxiety need training.

Dogs with separation anxiety generally don’t feel better outside of the crate, and often will have a hard time being left behind no matter where they’re left. They won’t eat, drink, or relax and may even hurt themselves trying to back to you.

Talk to a trainer or veterinary behaviorist if you think your dog has separation anxiety – and make sure to check out our Separation Anxiety Training Plan too!

Why You Shouldn’t Punish a Crying Crated Dog

It’s tempting to scold your dog when he whines, barks, or howls in the crate. It’s best not to punish the dog for a few reasons:

  1. Your dog may already be anxious. If your dog is crying because he’s scared, yelling at him won’t help. You are your dog’s guardian, and he trusts you with his life. Yelling at him when he’s scared might hurt that trust. He might stop crying simply because he’s even more scared now – but you haven’t really fixed the problem.
  2. Punishment gives a bored dog attention. If your dog is barking because he’s bored, you might be entertaining him by scolding him! He might temporarily quiet down because he’s interested in the ruckus going on.
  3. Even negative attention could be a reward for the dog. Many dogs cry in the crate for attention, just like kids do. If you come over to the crate and scold them, you’ve just given them the attention they crave. They’ll stop barking in the moment, but this is a surefire way to guarantee that the dog will continue barking in the future.

Even though it’s hard, try not to get frustrated with a dog that’s crying in the crate. There are some better options for teaching your dog not to cry in the crate.

How to Teach a Dog Not to Cry in the Crate

Luckily, there are lots of things to work on to help stop your dog from crying in the crate. Many of these fixes are small things to change that can make a big difference for your crying crated fur-baby.

Step One: Make the Crate a Great Place to Be

Crate training works best when you set up the crate properly. Before trying to convince your dog to sleep in the crate, you’ve got to make sure it’s actually a decent place to hang out.

  • Leave treats in the crate. You can distract your dog by giving stuffed, frozen Kongs in the crate. This easy fix will really help! I have four or five stuffed Kongs in my freezer at all times. That way I can just chuck a Kong in the crate with Barley whenever I run out for errands! Freezing them makes them last a lot longer.
  • Feed dinner in the crate. I like to feed dogs dinner in the crate. Instead of putting their bowl on the kitchen floor, I just feed dinner in the crate. You can either feed the dogs their dinner when you leave in the crate, or you can let the dog out after dinner. Either way, this is an easy way to start building a good association between your dog and the crate!
  • Put toys in the crate. My dog is a total squeaky toy nut, so at first, I kept his toys in the crate. He was rewarded for going into the crate by a quick bout of play. It was great to see him start to actually want to go into the crate on his own!
  • Make the crate comfy. Make sure the crate is comfy with a comfortable crate mat, a safe chew toy, and something that smells like you!
  • Ensure the crate is the right size. The crate has to fit the dog correctly. Your dog should have room to turn around and stand up comfortably, but not much more than that!
  • Place the crate in a common area. Many dogs cry in the crate because they’re lonely. A simple fix for these dogs is to put the crate in your bedroom at night, near the bed. If the crate doesn’t fit in your bedroom, you can sleep on the floor or the couch near the crate and gradually move towards your final sleeping arrangement. This is similar to what many parents do with young babies – they don’t start with the baby sleeping in his own room upstairs and across the house! They build up to that level of independence.

Some trainers recommend playing crate games to help your dog learn that the crate is a great place to be. I no longer recommend this because it may teach your dog that being in the crate is exciting, and we want the crate to be a relaxing place instead.

Step Two: Exercise Your Pup Before Crate Time

The next step to successful crate training is – drumroll please – exercise. If your dog is still full of energy when you put him in the crate, he’s going to have a very hard time settling down. This is especially true for teenage dogs (around 6 to 18 months old). Be sure to give your dog an age- and breed-appropriate amount of exercise before even attempting to put him in the crate.

For a young puppy, this might just mean running around the backyard for a few minutes. But for an adolescent Labrador retriever (or other working breeds), you might need to spend an hour or more exercising your pup before it’s time for the crate.

As a benchmark, my five-year-old border collie generally gets a three to ten-mile run or a twenty-minute nosework session before I leave for work. No wonder I lost weight when I adopted him!

Most adult dogs will need at least a 20 to 30-minute walk before being left in the crate.

Check out our list of games to play with your dog and suggestions for activity walks to get ideas for how to properly tire out your pup.

Step Three: Teach Your Dog That Crying Gets them Potty Breaks

Conventional wisdom in dog training is changing regarding whether or not to let your dog “cry it out.” The fact is, this method does not work for some dogs. If we can’t punish them, and ignoring them doesn’t work, what can we do?

We can teach our dogs that crying in the crate gets them a potty break – and nothing else.

But wait, you might be saying – doesn’t that reward my dog for crying in the crate? In a way, yes. And that’s not the end of the world. Ultimately, I’d rather have a dog that whines in the crate when he truly needs to go to the bathroom than have a dog that knows that crying doesn’t get him anything. That’s called learned helplessness, and it’s no good!

So rather than attempting to ignore your crying puppy for five hours, I want you to take your puppy out when he cries in the crate. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Carry him outside or put him on leash.
  2. Stand outside in one place for two minutes, tops. Don’t talk to him, play with him or look at him. Just wait.
  3. If he potties, give him a treat and go inside and put him back in the crate. If he doesn’t potty, put him back in the crate. No talking, no playing. Just a quiet, quick potty break.
  4. Repeat.

Your dog will quickly learn that crying in the crate doesn’t get affection, comfort, playtime, or anything except for an ultra-boring potty break. This will teach your puppy how to ask for a potty break when he needs one, but not to carry on for hours just because he’s bored.

stop dog crying crate

This method generally only requires a couple of repetitions for your dog to “get it.” You don’t have to wait for your dog to be quiet before you let him out – just take him out if he fusses.

This method has several major benefits for teaching dogs not to cry in the crate:

It teaches your dog what to do and how to get what he needs.

 It teaches your dog that you can provide potty access, and you won’t ignore his needs.

 Your dog doesn’t practice crying for hours in the crate, effectively strengthening the behavior.

 You avoid the stress of trying to ignore a crying dog, and your dog avoids the stress of not knowing why you’re ignoring him.

 You avoid the risk of breaking down and letting your dog out after hours of crying (which teaches your dog to cry for hours).

 You’re doing something to help your dog, rather than trying to just ignore a dog that’s upset and crying for help.

I used to recommend letting dogs cry it out, but I can say with certainty that that does not work for some dogs. Some dogs cry it out for hours, every night, for weeks. That’s unsustainable for the human and terribly stressful for the dog. This method is far more humane for you and your dog.

It can take several repetitions to teach your dog that crying in the crate doesn’t get them anything but a super-boring potty break. But if your dog keeps on crying the second you close him in the crate, don’t keep repeating something that’s not working! He needs something you’re not providing.

For constant criers who aren’t getting better with repeat potty breaks, go back to basics. Are you giving your pup enough exercise? Does he have a frozen Kong to chew on? Are you leaving him for too long?

When working with dogs that have a really bad time in the crate, you may have a long road ahead of you. Go back to the basics of step one and two. If you’re really stuck, try changing to a different crate, using an ex-pen, or hiring a trainer to troubleshoot your crate training.

Step Four: Avoid These Crate Training Mistakes

With so much conflicting information out there, it’s easy to get tripped up when working on crate training. Should you squirt your dog with water when he cries? Should you ignore him? Or should you take him out on a potty break?

It’s confusing – but it’s easier if you focus on following the instructions in step three and avoid these common crate training mistakes:

Being inconsistent. Whatever method you choose, stick with it. I recommend teaching your puppy that crying gets him a boring potty break. That said, if the cry-it-out method is working for you, be consistent with it. If you mix the cry-it-out method with the boring-potty method, you’re going to confuse your dog and slow progress.

Please avoid using punishment regardless – we’ve already covered why that’s not the best approach for this problem.

Leaving your pup for longer than he can handle. If your Chihuahua or Australian Cattle Dog puppy can only hold his bladder for four hours, don’t try to leave him in the crate for a full eight-hour workday. This means that you might need to get help with crate training at first to let your puppy out often enough.

If you can’t get help with crate training, leave your puppy in an ex-pen with potty pads while you’re gone for longer than his training and bladder can withstand.

Teaching your puppy that crying gets attention. If you skip the “boring” part of the boring-potty method, you can create a huge problem. Ensure that you stick to the plan of taking your puppy directly outside, totally ignoring him for two minutes, and taking him directly back to the crate. Anything extra might teach your puppy that crying in the crate gets him playtime, affection, or attention! We don’t want that.

Crate Training Alternatives: Is a Crate Necessary?

While crate training is a great way to help with potty training or destruction issues, ideally you won’t be leaving your dog in a crate every day for the rest of his life.

If you and your dog are struggling, think about why you’re using the dog crate. Could you be using something else for the same goal?

My favorite solution for dogs that don’t like the crate but can’t be trusted outside of the crate is an ex-pen. Most dogs do better with a bit more space, and they can’t get into quite as much trouble.

If you need to stick it out through crate training but are really struggling, consider a dog walker or doggie daycare. These options are best for dogs that cry during the day, but won’t help nighttime criers. Getting your dog out of the crate and keeping sessions short will help as you’re training him to love the crate.

You might just have to crate your dog a few times a year, or maybe you crate your dog every day while you’re at work. Regardless of how often you crate your dog, you certainly don’t want them to be miserable the entire time!

Having problems with a dog that cries in the crate? Let us know if this article helped! We love feedback!

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Written by

Kayla Fratt

Kayla Fratt is a dog behavior consultant and freelance writer. She is an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and is a member of Dog Writer’s Association of America. She travels full time with her border collie Barley and her boyfriend, Andrew. Before coming to K9 of Mine, Kayla worked at Denver Dumb Friends League as a Behavior Technician. She owns her own dog training business, Journey Dog Training and holds a degree in biology from Colorado College. When she’s not writing or training Barley, Kayla enjoys cross-country skiing, eating sushi, drinking cocktails, and going backpacking.


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Jill Bloser

We have a 9 week old Aussie who crate trained at night very well. She sleeps all night, not a peep. We’ve had her for 2 weeks now and are trying to crate train her during the day. We’ve both been at home but know eventually we will both have to leave at some point. When we put her in the crate during the day, she barks non-stop when she can’t see us. I have her 2 small toys in there and she has no interest. I don’t know if this is something she will “cry out” or how long we do this until we should know it isn’t working. We’re starting for short periods, half an hour, and it’s constant screaming and barking. She has played beforehand, peed, so we know it’s not for a potty break. I don’t trust her in the playpen because it has mesh and she chews on everything. Any suggestions?

Tracy Smith

I have a 9 week old Boxer and crate training is sometimes going great and sometimes horribly. He barks, screams, whines, howls, jumps around, etc. in the crate and won’t stop. I was doing the wait it out method but that is miserable for everyone, and like the new method I”m reading about here. After taking him out, he often will go right back to his screaming and barking antics and I’m not sure how long to leave him for before taking him out again. What do you recommend? I’m trying 5 minutes and he seems to calm down by then but if he doesn’t, should I take him back out and repeat? When do you stop?

Another hard part about this is that I work from home and sometimes simply have to leave him there while I’m in a meeting even if he is going on and on. Or would it be better to leave him out during my meetings so as not to mix messages with two different methods?

Thank you!

Ann Hilliard

We have a 7 year old, 20 pound dog. He was a rescue that we adopted 6 years ago. We always left him out at night, but discovered he was peeing in the house during that time. We bought a crate a year ago and put it in our bedroom. We put a treat in it at night and he went right in, ate the treat and settled down and went to sleep and would sleep until morning. All of a sudden, 2 weeks ago, he refused to get in his crate so we had to pick him up and put him in it. Then we went and took our baths and came back to the bedroom. During this time, he’s very quiet, just watching us. When we get in the bed, he starts whining and whimpering and making an awful racket. We can’t sleep through that so we get up and go to other places In the house to sleep, but we can still hear him as he gets louder and louder. What to do? What if we take our baths first, then call him to the bedroom and shut the door. He would be with us and his crate door would be open with a treat in it. This would keep him from peeing all over the house and would, hopefully, allow us all to get some sleep. For whatever reason, he won’t sleep in our bed. Any suggestions?

Ben Team

Hey, Ann.
Experimentation is the name of the game, but I’d consider waiting to put him into the crate until you’re completely ready to turn off the lights and go to bed.
The shift in timing may prove helpful.
Best of luck! Just keep at it!

Ann Hilliard

Thank you for the good suggestion.

Sara M

I was told to put the dog crate in a separate room, cover it with a towel, and close the door. This way if i have to get up in the middle of the night it doesn’t cause the puppy to stir/wake. I have been doing this/the cry it out method (just go her 3 days ago). It’s been a little hit or miss. Obviously this isn’t long enough to be effective yet, but i have read several things that say the crate should be in the bedroom so they can see you/hear you breathing. She does stay quieter when i sit in the room with her, even if i ignore her. I also put her to bed earlier than i go to bed, so even if i were to put her in my room, it would be a while before i am in there. What is the best solution?
I am also currently working from home due to COVID and leave her out of the crate during hte day. She usually sleeps somewhere near me or plays with her toys within sight. Is this detrimental to the crate training? Should i have her in there during the day as well? I feel like there is no need – but am not sure if just putting her in there at bed time will have an adverse affect.
She is a 9.5 week old Rottweiler/Australian cattle mix – if that makes a difference.


Sara M

Also, if i take her out and she doesnt go to the bathroom, bring her in, put her back in the cage, she continues barking, how long do i wait between taking her back out again?


Ben Team

Hey, Sara.
It may be very helpful to crate her in your general area (including during the day when you need to do so).
My pup went from crying non-stop to not making a peep when I simply moved her crate so that she could see me.
Best of luck!


for puppies when they wake up at the early hours like 2am for that potty break, do you still do the carry to spot, pee then back into the crate? or carry to spot, pee, offer water/food, then back in crate? or carry to spot, pee, offer water / food, “exercise meaning play”, then back in crate?

Ben Team

Hey, Rosana.
If it’s in the middle of the night, just take her to pee and then put back inside the crate.
Best of luck!


Pre-puppy arrival: read every article, book you can to prepare for the newest addition to the family.

Day 1: fall in love with his sweet puppy face and cuddly self. Run around with him, play with his toys, introduce him to his new home.

Night 1: cuddles and crate time. You think, “wow, I seriously have the best dog ever.”

Night 1 (1:30am): take him out to relieve himself. And when he still cries, let him “cry it out” like the books and articles I read told me to do meanwhile wanting to pull my hair out.

Night 1 (3:30am): take him out to relieve himself and try the “cry it out” method again. Am bald from pulling my hair. I start googling advise and come across this article. Total game changer.

Now, anytime he whimpers, we take him out to relieve himself. He’s so smart! He whimpers now knowing it means he’ll get taken out for a potty break and that’s it. No playtime. And nights have become much easier. I’m still bald and wish I had come across this article in my pre-puppy research. Nonetheless, he’s doing great with this method. Thank you, Kayla!


we got out puppy three days ago. We had to travel a long distance without the crate. At night he was cordon off and I slept by him. He did ok. Fed him in the crate and he seemed to like the crate. I put him in his crate for bed and he put the crate by my bed and he did fine. After 4 hours he whined a bit and I took him out then put him back and he slept for another 3 hours. This morning Took him out potty fed him, played with him, walked him for about 15 minutes. Put him in his crate and he just cries and cries. I have tried taking him out for potty breaks with no talking. He runs back to the door. I pick him up and put him back in his crate. He barks not stop. In fact he barked until he threw up. What should I do? I also put one of my old sweaters in the crate for comfort. He still just cries non stop. I’m at my wits end. HELP!!


Brought 8wk old WGS home 3 days ago. Crated at night well until tonight. Would cry a few mins then play and sleep until potty breaks (every 2 hours approx). Tonight freaked out crying and barking for 40 min. Sooo stressful. He was exercised and ready to sleep. Nothing different from other nights. Raised a previous WGS from same age never had this experience. Help!!!!

Ben Team

Hey, Yiayia. That does sound stressful!
If it was just a one-off thing, it’s probably no cause for concern. Dogs occasionally have bad nights.
Just keep an eye on him and see if it happens again. If so, you may want to contact the breeder.
Best of luck!


I have a 13 week old French Bulldog. I got him for 6 weeks now. The very first day I made him a small ex-pen in study room where I work during the days of quarantine and put his bed & water in it with puppy pads. He didn’t make any problem staying alone in there. He just woke me up when he pooped. I guess this teached him staying alone is OK. After 2 weeks I got him a crate and metal ex-pen and put his pen into living room where me and my wife spend most of our day. I also put his crate inside the pen with the doors open with water bowl just outside the crate and puppy pads as far as possible. He is doing great job using puppy pads. He sleeps inside the crate. I use the ex-pen as his living space and just take him out for play time. He has no problem being alone. He never cries or barks in the night alone in the living room. The vet told he will be clear to go outside in 3 weeks from now so i started to crate(potty) training him. I mean when I’m in study room I put him inside the crate with toys and water and take him with me so I can take him out only for potty breaks. I left the pads in the living room and whenever he whines I put him on leash and nothing else. I tire him out before crating by playing fetch for 10 minutes and walking in the house. He stopped crying after I applied what is written here. BIG thanks. My problem is whenever I move my chair he wakes up. He was like this way when he lived in his ex-pen. Whenever I get up from couch he immediately wakes up and follows me to the edge of the pen. Is this normal? Do I have to crate him with me in the study room or is it ok leaving him in the ex-pen with crate doors open? Do I need to teach him “From now on, you can’t go potty whenever you want”?

Ben Team

Hey, Mert.
Glad you found the article helpful and kudos for your training creativity during these strange times.
It is completely normal for your dog to show interest in you whenever you get up — many dogs do this for their entire lives. If you’re getting good results with him using the pee pads, then you can probably go ahead and start allowing him to use them at his own discretion.
Keep up the good work!

Jatin Chirra

This article helped me get everything ready for our 6 week old labradoodle. However, he is just not liking his crate. We have all of his favorite toys and blankets in there, with treats. Yet all day and all night he whines and cries while In it. So far the only way I found to make him sleep in the crate is to make him fall asleep next to me. Then place him in the crate. Is there a way to fix this issue so he sees the crate as his sleeping place? And if so how?

Ben Team

Hey, Jatin.
Glad you found the article helpful. You may want to try to wear out your little pup with a vigorous play session before putting him inside. That may help give him the nudge to nod off you’re looking for.
Best of luck!


How would you crate train a puppy if you use the cry it out method? He would be inside the crate and if he needed to pee, he’d end up peeing inside his sleeping quarters. And if there is a 2 door crate where one door is connected to the external pen area, wouldn’t he rather stay outside instead of in the crate?
Really look forward to hearing from you.

Ben Team

Hey, Jessica.
Not sure if Kayla will have the chance to respond, but I don’t think she’d recommend the “cry it out” method.
As she says,

the “cry it out” method of crate training is pretty outdated.

Best of luck!

Khanh Truong

My puppy would whine for hours at night when we put him in the crate. Sometimes he bites and scratches the floor to try to get out.
We just got him for a couple days. We are still potty training him.
If I want to try the boring potty break, should I praise him after he pees/poops outside? Or should I just give him treat and then put him back in crate?

Ben Team

Hey, Khanh.
Not if you’re trying the “boring potty break” method. The goal of that approach is to keep the trip outside uneventful.
Best of luck!


Hi Kayla,

Firstly I wanted to say thank you for the advice . My pup (8 weeks) is now settling down in her crate. We did, however, notice last night that she’s started eliminating in her playpen (we set this up outside of her crate so she has access to water) and THEN crying! Not too sure what to do here as this is a new behaviour.


Beatrice Robinson

I have a mini Schnauzer and I fed him in his crate so that he would know it’s not such a bad place to be. We are slowly making progress and in a year we should be good. Im still struggling with getting him to go potty. He will go on wee pads I place in the bathroom but he will also come out and go on the carpet. I haven’t lost patience yet. He’s only 10 weeks.

Erin Harrington

I have a 6 month old bichon who barked in the crate when we first brought him home. We used the cry it out method and were pretty consistent with it. It worked for us over time. By about 4 or 5 months old, he got to a point where we crated him at about 9pm every night and he didn’t make a peep, even if we made noise from the other room. One night, after being taken to the vet to have his glands expressed (which was very stressful for him) he went back to barking again like he did when we first brought him home. He’s really regressed and I’m starting to panic. We stuck through those early months of barking and I feel like I’m back at square one. Moving the crate from the living room to the bedroom has helped a bit, but some nights, he can cry for hours. We would love to let him sleep with us, but he has been known to wet the bed and wake in the middle of the night and cause some destruction. Any advice?

Ben Team

Hey, Erin.
We certainly sympathize with your situation! That sounds incredibly frustrating.

It sounds to me that his crying and barking may be anxiety related. Unfortunately, I think you may have to reach out to a trainer or behaviorist for some help. Kayla actually offers a variety of online options.
Check out some of the services she provides (and learn how K9 of Mine readers can get a discount on her services) here.

You may also want to consider trying a Thundershirt — a tight-fitting garment that helps reduce anxiety for a lot of pups. We explain how to make a Thundershirt yourself here.

Best of luck!


I grew up my dogs being crate trained until they were potty trained. After that, the crate wasnt used. A doggy door was installed many years later. I am now an adult in an apartment as a single parent and looking to get my child his first puppy (Boston Terrier). I work 10 minutes from our home. Any tips on crate training in an apartment as a single person who wont be able to let the pup out frequently during the business week? Worried about messes in the crate and whining that disturbs neighbors. I can come home for lunch daily, but what about the in between times or rare days when not being able to take a lunch break crop up?

Ben Team

Hey, Kelsey.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many great solutions for your situation. You’re probably looking at four or five hours between potty breaks during the day, right? That may be too long for a young pooch to hold it.
The best plan would probably be to hire a dog walker or enlist the help of a trusted friend or neighbor during the first month or two.

Alternatively, you could try to sequester your dog in the kitchen or a bathroom with a dog gate, and then put down pee pads or a canine litter box.
Best of luck!


We just adopted a dog that’s 1 1/2 years old. He is a really great dog during thecday. Doesnt bark at all and is compliant. But night time is a whole other story. Every night when I crate him he whines for at least 30 mins to an hour (I do make sure to walk him twice a day and especially before we put him in the crate at night). What can I do to help him understand that the crate is for bedtime and that he doesn’t need to whine. Thank you!


Hello Kayla,

I just adopted a 1 year old Yorkie from a shelter. We think he was lost and the owner never came to claim him. But that means we have no knowledge of his relationship with crates. We started crate training the day he arrived. First day he cried so bad when we put him in the crate during the day that we brought the crate into the bedroom overnight. The next night we put the crate in our kitchen downstairs, and that’s where it has remained for a week. He will only go in the crate if there is some inducement, and even then, he manages to keep his butt as close to the exit so that he can make a quick retreat. We usually close the door anyway. However, as soon as the treat/food is gone, he turns around and begins howling and whining. He also starts twirling A LOT. We don’t know what this means and are overwhelmed by the amount of info online. We tend to leave him in the crate until he cries it out. But there were a few nights there when he cried for at least 30 – 45 minutes straight. Also, he doesn’t always pee outside when we take him, but when he goes back in the crate he will whine and bark and twirl a few times before lifting his leg and shooting his pee outside of the crate. I’m at a loss for what to do. He is surprisingly good with what little freedom he has been given in our family room. We feel confident that we can leave him there alone without an accident, as long as he is on a pee schedule. Eventually I would like to have him sleep in our bedroom upstairs, but I’m not sure if this should be in a crate or not, I.e., is the crate supposed to be long term? Looking for any advise you can provide.

Tina Liggins

Thanks for the advice on crate training


Hi Kayla thank you so much for your article especially the section on the silent potty breaks and positive training.
I have a tip I found on Google. Use a warm bottle of water wrapped in a soft fabric 2 make the puppy feel like he is still with his mother or siblings. I have a Chihuahua so I use a 16 oz bottle. Large dogs I would use a two liter bottle or more than one 2 liter bottle be sure this water is not too hot! If wrapped in a cloth the water will stay hot 4 hours or warm anyway. Thank you again Kayla


So I have an 8 week old husky that I got about a week ago. He’s an absolute angel, and house training is going very well. However, I have to crate him for two hour intervals while I’m at work (I come home, let him out, play a little, and put him back) from 7 until 3:30. We did the slow crate adjustments until he was comfortable enough to go in by himself and just lay in there for a little while. Once or twice, he carried his toys in and played. But every time I put him in the crate to leave, he cries. I don’t force him in, I usually wait until he goes in, or use treats to get him in. I don’t make a big show of leaving, or of coming home. Is this normal? And if it is, how long will it be for him to stop? It’s not the crate he hates, it’s being alone and away from me. Which I know is normal for puppies, but am I doing more harm than good? A trainer friend of mine says I just have to bite the bullet and keep walking to the car when I hear him cry after I shut the door. He does stop crying after while, but sometimes when I come home he acts out and does things he normally wouldn’t, like he resented me leaving. I work on continuing the crate desensitization when I’m home, but I have to crate him when I leave, he’s just too young. Would appreciate any advice, thank you!

Hallie B

Hello! My boyfriend and I recently adopted a 8 week old Great Pyrenees/Mastiff mix. He is an amazing relatively chill puppy. I have high hopes for crate training him, yet he cries when I leave him in his kennel and leave the room. I would like to try your potty break method. I wonder though, once I take him out, put him back in the kennel, leave the room, he immediately will start crying again. What can you do in that situation? Would you repeat right away and take him out again and again until he understands thats all he will get out of crying?


Give the dog a toy or something to eat

Joanie Cos-Y-Leon

How about you get your dog OUT OF THE FN CRATE!!!
Find an alternative, and take care of your pet with love.


I have an American Hairless Terrier that’s 2 years old. We are her 2nd owners and have had her for a couple of weeks. She has really gotten attached to me specifically in the 2 short weeks that we’ve had her. When I crate her at night(and probably when I’m gone too) she screams and cries for hours. It is getting exhausting. The previous owner said she slept in her crate at night. I had purchased a crate, mat and blanket so she would feel secure and cozy. My husband does not want her or the crate in our bedroom. Our other dog who is 14 years old, sleeps with our daughter. I’ve tried to get the new dog to sleep with one of the kids instead of be in the crate but she jumps off the bed and follows me as soon as I walk away. I think it’s loneliness. I’m really hoping she hasn’t developed separation anxiety. I really don’t know what to do with her at night like this. She’s disrupting the entire house with her loud screams.


This article was so helpful, thank you!


I’m really exhausted from the lack of sleep and need to figure out what will work for our dog. We have a 6 year old of the same breed mix and she has been potty trained, crate trained and bedtime trained to sleep in her own bed separate from our bed in our bedroom. We have adopted a new pup about 7 weeks ago. He’s approximately 2 years and we know nothing of his history before he was rescued from the streets this summer. After two weeks of great nighttime behavior sleeping in his bed outside the crate and inside the crate near our bed, he started having seizures and has been on meds for that. It’s been a struggle getting him properly potty trained and nighttime crate trained to sleep alone without the crying. We’ve let him out late just before sleeping and that worked once. Now he just cries until we give in and bring him into our bed. This has only happened a few times but not without consequence. He can’t be trusted and has jumped out of bed and peed on the carpet and also on the bedroom curtains. One thing I will say is that he does fine in the crate when we put him in during the day for work or when we can’t watch him during dinner, etc. He’s always hesitant to go in but will sit in there quietly and lay down and can even see us when we can’t watch him. I wonder if he is lonely at night? He slept in a large crate with his foster home for a month with 3 other dogs and I wonder if he is missing that companionship. My first dog wants nothing to do with him and I don’t think she ever will. He seems desperate for someone to snuggle and nap with. He will snuggle and snore in our bed with us before bedtime and I wonder if that was a bad habit to start at the beginning. It’s what we normally do with our first dog and she scratches at the end of the bed when she’s ready to be let down and will jump into her chair where her bed is and essentially put herself to bed by around 8ish. It did take a long time to get to that point with her, but she was trained since I brought her home at 10 weeks old. Help!


Hi! Thank you for the great article. I got my dog a year ago and my parents ended up getting one this past May. We were never a dog family so this is all new especially for my parents (I have been around dogs more). For the most part they are kept together, but are crated separately. My dog is very good about the crate and never barks. If I go out and come home late I take my dog with me to my room because that’s where she sleeps. My parents dog then decides to bark all night until one of my parents goes downstairs and sleeps on the couch in the room with her crate. I feel like they shouldn’t be doing that and they need to train her to not behave that way. However they are saying it’s my fault for getting home late, even though that happens maybe twice a month at most. Any advice you could give about how to fix this/stop my parents dog from barking constantly in her crate at night would be amazing. Thank you!


OMG I have had a hard time trying to crate my 2 years old border collie. She likes her crate when I’m close. However, in the moment I leave her alone (even to go in another room), she start crying and barking like crazy.
Okay, we started this today. I couldn’t expect a pro dog, but it’s so hard to me see how uncomfortable she is on there. I wasn’t a super fan of crates, but because she started being destructive when I’m out, I was recommended to insert the crate training… I thought I should strart slow putting her there when I’m home… Am I right? Heeelp plss

Veronica Seitzinger

8 weeks old puppy now home 6 days.
We have a mesh “crate” …. floor sleeping worked 3 nights…..but using it for sleep & play space? I’m confused & exhaustion has set in… my husband is out of town….I stayed on our first floor next to Sammy for 3 nights… I cried first night’! He spent huge amounts of energy trying to escape…I’m confused my husband is out of town frequently….
Comments? We purchased a larger mesh pen for downstairs & plan to keep the smaller one upstairs for nighttime or during times I need to clean/laundry/shower etc. Help?!?!?


Please, stop locking your dogs in crates. People will look back on this practice with shame in the future. All these poor dogs crying and tortured in their little prisons for the convenience of humans. Humans don’t deserve dogs.


My 3 month old German Shepard mix cries every time we put him in crate and poops and pee everywhere in the crate, he won’t sleep or stay in the crate while we r out. We put him out for his business right before bed, he cries and howl very loud…what to do, today I had to go out, I was out for 45 min, when I came back he had pooped and pee all over his crate…….


My boyfriend and I recently adopted a rescue dog from a shelter. He’s a 1 year old australian shepard/huskey. We are keeping him in the kennel at night and when at work because he’s never been in a house before. We walk twice a day, morning and night but he barks all night long. We moved the kennel into the bedroom and have also tried a kennel cover to calm him. We are having a hard time with any training because he’s not treat motivated unless he is in a safe place like a corner or his kennel. We have a very hard time getting him out of the kennel when it’s time for a potty break since he considers it his safe place. Would you recomend we continue to force him out of the kennel for the barking triggered bathroom breaks? We are hesitant to try the cry it out since we are light sleepers (worry about earbuds causeing us to miss alarms) and have a roomate.


My dog used to absolutely scream at night. The trick I used was to put a big stuffed animal or two in the crate with him to imitate his litter mates. He hasn’t cried since. He just needed that connection to not feel as lonely.

Mandy Wilson

New puppy cries in crate

Diana Westphalen

Found article on crate trading very helpful. Thank you and Bella Rose thanks you too

Ben Team

Glad we could help, Diana!

Panimi | Anypetcare

Hey Kayla Fratt,
My son just got a puppy she is 8 weeks old and the crate he got her is huge she had her own bed and toy and we got her a blanket and some new toys as well. Last night was horrible all she did was cry and cry and try to get out of the crate. I let her out and put her bed next to me with her blanket and she layed on it and went to sleep, so while she was sleeping I moved her and the bed into the crate and she was fine for a while. she cried again and I made my son take her crate into his room and all seemed well till she started crying again early this morning HELP

Mark Little

We have 2 eleven month old shihtzus. one male one female. Both spayed and neutered. We were having some pretty good success with the crate prior to surgery on our female. The female would go right in the make was a little more difficult. Since the surgery and rehab she will go in with a bit of coaxing usually the leash, the male just refuses. It takes at least 10 minutes to get him to go in. Then he whines and cries. We take them out prior walk around play fetch usually try some mental exercise before putting them up. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

melony BAKER

We are going camping and we are taking our dog Sadie a Black n Tan Coonhound. the only time she is in her crate is at night with the door open. But when we go camping we are taking the crate and will have to put her in it when we go to the pool and other activities we do, i’m sure she will whine and cry. Is there anything I can do to help out the situation?

Ben Team

Hey, Melony.
I’m not sure if Kayla will have time to respond to your question, but I’d recommend you start getting Sadie comfortable with her crate several weeks before you go on your trip. This, combined with some of the tips Kayla has provided above, should give you the best chance of a problem-free vacation.
Thanks for reading, and we wish you the best of luck!


My chihuahua is 6 years old and has been crate trained and totally house trained. She as anxiety, but she tends to be too sensitive for medications ( thanks blue Merle gene)… I thought about trying CBD oil, but then again, you never really know what’s in it. She isn’t a chewer and we can’t exercise her like we use to because she also has early stages of heart disease and gets tired easily but it doesn’t seem to help her anxiety even when she is exercised during the day. She is great with holding it over night or during the day in her crate. Lately however, she has been crying the moment we close her crate door ( which I normally put her away 15 minutes before I leave the house). Her crate is in our bedroom next to our bed and a sound machine is usually turned on for her as well. She was just at the vet so it’s not a medical problem. Could it be a confidence/ insecure thing? We used to train a lot but I admit I’ve been slacking and she has also grown more stubborn the older she gets. She is very picky with food and treats as well.


Thank you for these suggestions, much appreciated.
My 10 month old miniature Fox terrier has been crate trained right from the start but has suddenly started crying at night.
I take her out to potty but do talk to her so I will be quiet from now on!
She’s not getting enough walks because of a foot operation I have had but has a yard and I throw ball for her etc.
This is tiring but I’ll get there!
It’s good to know I am not alone


We just got a 5-1/2 year old dachshund. She is crate trained and potty trained. The first couple nights we had her she slept in her crate no problem through the night. But now she quietly barks at about 3:00. The first two nights we did as suggested and just took her for potty breaks. Then she quietly barks at 6:00. Her crate is in our office which is right next to our room. Should she be in our room?
Do you have any suggestions for us?


So i’ve been using this method on my 4 month old dog, Thor for a few weeks now and it seems to work really well most nights but the problem im mainly having is that he wakes up and of course doesn’t want to be in the crate so we go through the method a few times and he lays down but after a few minutes he’ll get up and start crying again so after taking him out to the potty break i try to show him some of his toys to see if he’ll play so i can excersice him to put him back to bed but he doesn’t take interest to them and he’ll go on the couch to lay down which means he does want to sleep but not in the crate, so i wait for him to sleep for a few minutes before putting him back in. So are there any suggestions for better ways to handle this and get him past this?


Although this article contains very valuable information for crate training, I COMPLETELY DISAGREE about not allowing the pup to cry it out. NO ATTENTION should be given and ABSOLUTELY the behavior will decrease and extinguish. They are NOT rational/reasoning animals and yes it WILL work with ALL dogs!! They pair the behavior with the immediate consequence and you are asking for trouble reinforcing the negative behavior. In fact you are only telling them “you like” the behavior by rewarding them with a walk and stand a greater chance of increased crying coupled with MANY false alarms just to get out. I have crate trained countless puppies and would never take them out for crying. Yes, it is heart wrenching and hard work but this IS what being consistent means! If your dog is unable to “cry it out” I would suggest taking a look into your daily routine with your pup and start looking into why he feels so incredibly insecure. A dog who is loved, has an established routine, clear boundaries, and is rewarded for positive behavior while negative behaviors are ignored will grow into a thriving, confident dog who will NOT continue crying in the crate!!! As long as the crate is associated with positive experiences, the crying will pass and they absolutely seek the crate out for comfort and security.

Amie Wright

We have a pure bred yellow lab pup that will be 8 weeks in 3 days. We have had her since Friday (July 5). We have crated all our other 4 dogs we had (since they were puppies) and ,as far as I can remember, we never had this much difficulty having them in their crate. I am a “stay-‘at-home pet mom” thus making the training more consistent. She cried so much last night that she made herself vomit! It is not just a whimper but a full out bark and howl (which to a certain extent – at this age- adorable – but we haven’t given in! In recalling (due to sleeplessness) late last night we carried the crate to the rec room for her to cry it out but no luck. We had our alarm clock set to let her out every 2 hours to pee. Did that – no play, no talking, just put her on the grass and she squatted – success – and back to the crate. No play time. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. WOOF P.S. We also had been given a little blanket to put in her crate that has the scent of dog mommy on it…


my question is:
how about teaching people to educate their dogs instead of locking them away?
crating is animal abuse and cruel and not necessary. in Europe we don’t crate, we educate our dogs and give them healthy walks, quality play time and social contacts with other dogs.
our dogs deserve our attention and crating them is confining them into a mini prison.
dogs are no den animals and there is no excuse for putting them into cages. I run a hound rescue with a huge pack of between 16 and 35 dogs. no crates ever, all are housetrained in 3 days an etc.
stop crating, start educating

Brenda Brahams

I have a 3 month old puppy Daisy. Her mother is a Cavapoo and her father a Bichon. She ranted and raved in her puppy pen in the kitchen for the first 3 nights until in desperation I put her in a pet carrier by my bed. Total silence. She now sleeps in her pen until 4.30 a.m. when she cries to go in the garden. She then comes in and races to my room. She goes in the carrier, I close the door and we both go back to sleep. If I return her to her pen she barks and cries. She is my 9th puppy over many years and they have all slept in the kitchen with no problems. This little madam is quite capable of keeping my husband and myself awake for hours. My question really is do I accept the situation and get a night’s sleep or is this giving her the idea that she can just do what she likes now and in the future. Thank you.


Hi Kayla,
My 6 month old dachshund barks loudly in the crate at night. She is usually snoozing on the lounge with me in front of the tv before she is put in the crate. Is it best to wake her from the lounge and exercise her/do activities before crate time or is it best not to wake her up before bed time?


hi kayla, thank you for this article. i have an 8 week old australian shepherd. i got her 3 days ago. the first night she was here, she slept alright in her crate. she whined for a little while at first, but eventually settled down, and got me up at 5:45 in the morning whining (i took her out, let her potty, and put her back in her crate. she whined a little bit but settled down again). last night, she wouldn’t stop crying. she kept crying and crying. i know for sure she was tired, as i had just taken her to potty before she went into the crate and i played with her. i tried to let her cry it out, but that clearly didn’t work and me nor my mom got a very good nights rest. i’m not sure if it was from the thunderstorm last night, or if she wanted attention, needed to go to the bathroom, i’m not really sure. after several hours of whining i went to her crate and told her to stop and i hit her crate (i know you suggested not to do this, but it seemed to quiet her down after a little while). i read this and thought it would be helpful, but unfortunately my mom doesn’t want me going outside at 1, 2, 3, 4 a.m. to let my puppy to use the restroom, as she feels it’s unsafe. do you have any suggestions or advice for me? thank you so much.


Hello! I have a senior poodle mix that has started to hate being in her crate at night. Sometimes we let her sleep with us and sometimes shes crated. She prefers to sleep with us, but has been going potty on our living room rug in the middle of the night instead of alerting us that she has to go, because she doesnt really like going outside in the dark to potty, and has just discovered an alternative. While in the crate she lets us know if she has to go out, but even if she doesnt have to go, she whines all night because she wants to be up in the bed with us. I tried the boring potty technique last night and it worked like a charm, shes much calmer tonight. In fact I think shes calmer than when she sleeps with us. Thank you for your amazing suggestion!


How long is the longest time I can leave my dog for


Hi kayla, we have a 12 weeks papillon Charlie at home. Got him when he was 10 weeks old.
He doesnt like his crate, will cry most of the timewe put him in. Tried the treats and all in crate doesnt work. Everytime we have to force him in the crate to sleep.
Also, we are tryinng to toilet train him outdoor, as he never pee/poo in his training pad. And we have carpeted house. But that hasnt work out. We bring him out for toilet walk but he rarely do it outside, and we just put him back into his crate. But then he will do his toilet business in his crate. Alot of times. Sometimes when he cries but we ignore him, he will pee/ poo in his crate also.
I have had dogs before and i noe they dont usually do it where they sleep, but Charlie does it. Sometimes i feel he does it on purpose knowing we will open the crate to clean and he is off running around playing.
I cant keep cleaning his crate few times a day and its for his own good as well.
Hes booked for puppy school but that wont start until end of june. Not sure if it helps.


I’ve tried the crate training take outside repeat. Repeated like 8-10 times she still won’t stop! HELP!!

Kayla Fratt

Keep at it, Aiden. Crate training often takes multiple days or even a few weeks.


Hey Kayla!
Thank you for this awesome article! We adopted a lab/terrier mix puppy from a shelter 2 weeks ago. He is currently 11 weeks old. Generally, he is good in his crate. He eats his meals in there without complaint, goes in there to hang out by himself, and most nights barely whimpers when we tell him to go to his crate. His crate is in the living room during the day, which is where my partner spends his time working from home. At night his crate is on the bed, which originally helped him to calm down. However, the past two nights he has barked nearly all night. My ears are literally sore. We took him out every time the barking started again and rewarded him with a treat when he got back into the crate. We tried to calm him, take the blanket off the crate, put the blanked on, and ignore him. Eventually, I put the crate in the living room and he stopped crying within 10 minutes. I don’t know what we’re doing wrong. He is very barky, but during the day we try to ignore him or take him out when he barks (depending on the reason he is barking). We are at our wit’s end. What else can we do?

Ps. He starts puppy classes the first week of June. That is the lighthouse we are currently swimming toward.

Kayla Fratt

Hi Ellen! It’s often easiest to crate train puppies at night if you just put the crate in your bedroom, potentially even elevated so it’s the same level as your bed. That’s how I do it – the crate is up on a bedside table right next to me! We got 8.5 hours of sleep our first night with our puppy.


Hey Kayla!
Thank you for this awesome article! We adopted a lab/terrier mix puppy from a shelter 2 weeks ago. He is currently 11 weeks old. Generally, he is good in his crate. He eats his meals in there without complaint, goes in there to hang out by himself, and most nights barely whimpers when we tell him to go to his crate. His crate is in the living room during the day, which is where my partner spends his time working from home. At night his crate is on the bed, which originally helped him to calm down. However, the past two nights he has barked nearly all night. My ears are literally sore. We took him out every time the barking started again and rewarded him with a treat when he got back into the crate. We tried to calm him, take the blanket off the crate, put the blanked on, and ignore him. Eventually, I put the crate in the living room and he stopped crying within 10 minutes. I don’t know what we’re doing wrong. He is very barky, but during the day we try to ignore him or take him out when he barks (depending on the reason he is barking). We are at our wit’s end. What else can we do?

Ps. He starts puppy classes the first week of June. That is the lighthouse we are currently swimming toward.

Kayla Fratt

Hi Ellen! It’s often easiest to crate train puppies at night if you just put the crate in your bedroom, potentially even elevated so it’s the same level as your bed. That’s how I do it – the crate is up on a bedside table right next to me! We got 8.5 hours of sleep our first night with our puppy.


Hey Kayla! I would really love some advice. My partner and I just adopted a 3-month-old Aust Cattle Dog mix last week. We are trying to crate train specifically for when we go to work because I’m worried about her eating/ destroying things while we’re out. We don’t make her sleep in the crate. She sleeps on a blanket next to the bed hasn’t had any accidents at night. We feed her meals in the crate with the door closed with no problem. I have been trying to get her used to the crate with treats but she just grabs it and walks out of the crate. She’ll sometimes wander in on her own but doesn’t stay in for more than a second. But when we leave for work I put her in with some treats and she whines so loud I can hear her outside my building. Do you have any advice on what we can do to make her more comfortable with her crate? Just thinking of how sad she must be gives me so much anxiety.

Kayla Fratt

Hi Krystal! Keep at it – work on closing the door for just a second, then releasing your pup. Crate training can take a while. You can also consider getting an extra-big crate or an exercise pen. Some dogs really prefer having a lot more space (can’t blame them!)


UPDATE: She has escaped 2 days in a row. I’m really worried that she’ll hurt herself or that this might be separation anxiety.

Kayla Fratt

Oh, no! I think you might be right, Krystal. That’s definitely pretty extreme behavior. If you would like to take my online separation anxiety course, you can use code K9OFMINE you’ll get 10% off the course.


Hey Kayla! I would really love some advice. My partner and I just adopted a 3-month-old Aust Cattle Dog mix last week. We are trying to crate train specifically for when we go to work because I’m worried about her eating/ destroying things while we’re out. We don’t make her sleep in the crate. She sleeps on a blanket next to the bed hasn’t had any accidents at night. We feed her meals in the crate with the door closed with no problem. I have been trying to get her used to the crate with treats but she just grabs it and walks out of the crate. She’ll sometimes wander in on her own but doesn’t stay in for more than a second. But when we leave for work I put her in with some treats and she whines so loud I can hear her outside my building. Do you have any advice on what we can do to make her more comfortable with her crate? Just thinking of how sad she must be gives me so much anxiety.

Kayla Fratt

Hi Krystal! Keep at it – work on closing the door for just a second, then releasing your pup. Crate training can take a while. You can also consider getting an extra-big crate or an exercise pen. Some dogs really prefer having a lot more space (can’t blame them!)


UPDATE: She has escaped 2 days in a row. I’m really worried that she’ll hurt herself or that this might be separation anxiety.

Kayla Fratt

Oh, no! I think you might be right, Krystal. That’s definitely pretty extreme behavior. If you would like to take my online separation anxiety course, you can use code K9OFMINE you’ll get 10% off the course.

Chrissy Smith

I haven’t really tried out all that you suggested for crate training a puppy but I will DEFINITELY try out the tips that you had suggested to all of us. I am currently trying to train a puppy and so far nothing has been working. I was also wondering if you happened to have anymore tips on how to train a puppy or not? If you get this comment could you please send me an email with some more tips on how to train a puppy? Thanks and I’d really appreciate it if you could. Have a GREAT day!


Hi Kayla, I would really appreciate your advice. We have a 6 month old Cockapoo and have crate trained her from day 1 (9 weeks old). She was in the landing outside our bedroom to start with and when whined we whispered to go to sleep and she would settle. We then moved her downstairs and has been ok, never loved her crate but goes in and out to fetch her blanket out and any toys that we put in there. She goes in for an hour or so while we go out and sleeps as we have a camera set up. On a night she will be quiet with her Kong for 5-10 minutes then start crying/barking, we would talk through the speaker on the camera gently telling her to lay down and go to sleep and she would. We have recently made the mistake of letting her sleep in our bed on the odd occasion which was ok until we let her sleep 4 nights in a row and now we are trying to get her back in her crate on a night and the last couple of nights doing so she has cried/barked and scratted at the bars endlessly, we have tried ignoring her for so long but she seems to get distressed so we have spoken through the camera which works for a minute then she is up again. My partner ended up sleeping on the sofa near the crate, she would still cry and bark but he would tell her to be quiet and she would. The same thing happened last night, I went down after an hour and let her out to the toilet without speaking to her and put her back but as soon as I walked away she started crying again so my partner went and slept on the sofa near her crate and she kept whimpering but when he told her to stop she would but this happened on and of until he told here off. I just don’t know what to do for the best do we ignore her completely? Or do we talk to her gently like we always have? If we sleep on the sofa will she always need us to do this? My partner is on nights tonight and I’m already dreading it not knowing what to do for the best. Thank you.

Kayla Fratt

Hi Karla. I personally just have my dog sleep in my bed – that works well for us. I only use crates for potty training, travel training, or when I’m working with aggressive dogs and we need it for safety. You might also just find that a simple fix – moving her crate into your bedroom – does the trick.

Freya Taylor-Baraclough

13 wek old Toy Poodle, will go into the crate on command (so long as you’re holding a peanutbutter Kong) but as soon as she’s finished (5 mins) she begins to whine and cry! Help! If it’s bed time and she been in there a few hours and then starts scrying i will take her out to potty but when she goes back in the crying starts again 🙁

Kayla Fratt

Hi Freya – that sounds really exhausting, I’m sorry. Why don’t you try playing some crate games like the ones outlined above?

Ashley Bishop

Hi there!
I adopted a Great Dane puppy 3 weeks ago and he’s a love. He’s now 12 weeks old. He’s house trained well when I’m home but has accidents when I’m gone. I’m living in a basement apartment and crates him when I worked 3 12 hour shifts but the landlords complained that he cried for hours after I left. I have a dog walker that comes 3 times a day and we tire him out before leaving him. The landlords were tired of the crying so said for me to try letting him have the run of the apartment. I feel that this is hindering the consistent house training as he has multiple accidents when I’m gone, despite being taken out multiple times a day. I have been trying to train him while I’m home but he cries and howls, bites at the door and sides. I tried covering and he pulled the sheet into the crate and won’t touch the toys or high value treats I put in there while he’s in but when I let him out to pee, he’ll come back in and get the treats out. I’m at a loss of what to do because I don’t want my landlords to be miserable but I also don’t want to take 2 steps forward and 5 steps back when I’m off and the working with house training…my previous dane hated her crate too because she couldn’t snuggle with her “brother” and this guy loves him too. Any advice is appreciated!

Kayla Fratt

Hi Ashley! That sounds really tough. Would it be possible to have your dane go to the home of a dogsitter, or have a stay-in dogsitter all day while you’re gone?


I have an 11 week old puppy and he needs to be crated while I am at work. Some days I can make it home and some I can’t. His extra large crate is in a separate bedroom and I have to close the door because his whining gets so loud when I leave. I’m not sure if leaving the door open and letting him see my other free roaming dog is a good idea.

Kayla Fratt

Jillian, that’s an interesting thought. It could go either way and will likely depend on the individual dog. Why don’t you try both options, filming your puppy, and then compare the tapes?


Hello, I recently adopted a blue heeler/husky puppy about 3 days ago. He just turned 7 weeks old. So far we’ve made really good progress as far as getting him comfortable with the crate; he has toys, a stuffed animal and comfy blankets, and he will play and nap in the crate by himself with the door open while I do housework. However, he whines periodically throughout the night. About 20 to 30 medine had been the longest he’s ever cried and he’ll eventually settle down. He usually cries for on average around 5 or 10 minutes before he goes back to sleep. I wake up every hour and a half to 2 hours to let him go pee, if he whines I wait until he is quiet before I go get him. After I bring him back in he’ll usually whine for about 5 to 10 minutes.
His crate is in our spare room right beside our bedroom. He shares the room with our 1 year old Australian shepherd who is perfectly crate trained (we were lucky with him lol), their crates are right beside each other. I put a thin sheet over the puppy’s crate with a small gap so he can still see.
How much longer will he continue to whine? Do I need to do anything different? I know it’s only been 3 days and his whining isn’t really bad compared to what it could be, I just want to make sure I’m on the right track.

Thank you.


Hello, I recently adopted a blue heeler/husky puppy about 3 days ago. He just turned 7 weeks old. So far we’ve made really good progress as far as getting him comfortable with the crate; he has toys, a stuffed animal and comfy blankets, and he will play and nap in the crate by himself with the door open while I do housework. However, he whines periodically throughout the night. About 20 to 30 medine had been the longest he’s ever cried and he’ll eventually settle down. He usually cries for on average around 5 or 10 minutes before he goes back to sleep. I wake up every hour and a half to 2 hours to let him go pee, if he whines I wait until he is quiet before I go get him. After I bring him back in he’ll usually whine for about 5 to 10 minutes.
His crate is in our spare room right beside our bedroom. He shares the room with our 1 year old Australian shepherd who is perfectly crate trained (we were lucky with him lol), their crates are right beside each other. I put a thin sheet over the puppy’s crate with a small gap so he can still see.
How much longer will he continue to whine? Do I need to do anything different? I know it’s only been 3 days and his whining isn’t really bad compared to what it could be, I just want to make sure I’m on the right track.

Thank you.


I recently adopted a 3-month-old Newfoundland/Standard Poodle mix. Prior to adoption, he had never been separated from his sister. I think he bonded with me very quickly and now absolutely cannot stand being alone. He doesn’t mind being in the crate or sleeping in the crate if I’m sleeping or sitting on the floor right outside. But if I’m not in sight (sometimes I’m in the same room), he whines and howls and barks. I work from home a lot, and when I’m home I just let him sit quietly in the living room with me. But sometimes I need to spend 2-3 hours in the office, and I don’t know if he could handle it. It sounds so awful, like I’m beating him or something. Most days it’s hard to even take a shower because he becomes so upset the moment he realizes I’m gone. Do you have any suggestions?

Kayla Fratt

Hi Hailey. That sounds tough! Try practicing with micro-absences first – just barely leaving his sight before you return.

Caitlyn Spielman

I have a 4-5 month puppy that destroys everything. I have managed to potty train him but he hates being in the crate. I have to put him in there at nights when I sleep or he will destory my room. Some times he will cry for 30 mins sometimes all night long. I have tried so many method’s. He definitely has separation anxiety because anytime I leave the house he will cry and panic. I think that is why he hates being in the crate. I have been doing the cry it out method because it seems to be the only thing slightly working. Any advice would be appreciated.

Kayla Fratt

Hi Caitlyn. As I wrote in the article, consistency is key – pick an approach and stick to it. If your puppy struggles with separation anxiety, I’d avoid the cry-it-out method as that can make the panic worse. I’d also check out our separation anxiety guide here: https://www.k9ofmine.com/dog-separation-anxiety/

Doreen walden

Help, I’ve rehoused a 7 year old miniature Dachshund, last week she was in crufts. We have two crates, 1 in the bedroom the other in the lounge. I’m disabled and a wheelchair user, I have a stairlift, problem as we’ve been told she can’t climb stairs in case she damages her spine. I have to carry her on my stair lift. I know dangerous. Buying a basket today. She won’t leave my side, I have to frequently look out for her as I’m terrified of hitting her. I do the potty training (yes she is in season too) the way you say but she’s just not settling. I’ve bought so many toys, she won’t eat any of the many different varieties of snacks we’ve bought. It’s hard to train without them. I do praise her tons. How long does it take to settle a new, older dog. She’s been crated at night all her life, I’m at wits end, I appreciate it’s only been a week, but no progress?

Kayla Fratt

Hi Doreen – that’s a hard question to answer. It certainly depends a lot from dog to dog. I would focus on lowering your expectations for now – try to just build a relationship with her, give her time and space. It can take weeks or even months for some new dogs. You’ll probably benefit from reading this series of posts about helping a new dog adjust (phase one, https://www.k9ofmine.com/dog-adoption-first-week-and-beyond/) as well as this blog about shy dogs and this post about gaining your dog’s trust.

Alex S

It is my 10 year old collie mix’s first time in an apartment setting, my girlfriend and I are both at work for more than 8 hours a day. We have a dog park which is a big plus however she can hear us coming up the stairs at the end of the day and the howling and crying is escalated to 10! My girlfriend suggest the crying out method which I don’t agree with, tensions rise and arguements ensue. I immediately let her out and head downstairs, which she does not agree with because she believes it reinforces the negative behavior. I have yet to try the frozen treats I usually just provide a milk bone before I head to work. I really have no clue on what else I can try but what we are doing is simply not working. I’ve read up on methods similar to this and have tried implementing what I can to compensate for the time we’re gone from home with minimal success. Granted Nebula (fur baby) is my dog and I am used to letting her out after I get home because I know she’s in her kennel all day. My girlfriend on the other hand has not had this problem with her dogs before. All I want is for our little family to be at peace after a long day.

Kayla Fratt

Hi Alex! So is she just crying when you’re coming up the stairs, or does she cry all day? I definitely recommend the puzzle toys – milk bones don’t last all that long! Would it be possible to get midday dogwalking help? That might ease things too.

Kaity Thompson

Hey there! Thank you for this article! It is a unique perspective on the crate training process. I have a couple questions if you don’t mind.

We have a 10 week old French Bulldog puppy named Artemis. She is bright and curious and very confident. She has no issue going in her crate but once the door is shut she almost immediately starts to whine which within about 3 minutes escalates to screaming and even mouthing at the crate.

At first I thought it was being separate from me/us, but I’ve been able to leave her by herself in a room or on the deck and she has no issue with being by herself. We have a wire crate and I know it’s the correct size, it has a fluffy crate pad, planket and her favorite toy. She also gets a stuffed kong in the crate and only in the crate, nothing I’ve tried resultsnin her settling down in the crate unless she is dead on her feet anyway.

Even when she stops crying she stays alert and ignores her toys. I’ve tried a soft crate, ex pen, buying a gate for our half bath – nothing seems to make a difference. She whines when she is restricted and she won’t relax 🙁

Ironically, night time is not our issue. It is daytime while we are here or while we are gone. Until now we’ve been using the cry it out method, but we probably aren’t putting her in the crate often enough for shorter periods, so I’ve been working on that, and it may just not have been enough time yet. We’ve only had her a week.

Would your crying = potty method work for her at this point? I feel like she is frustrated more than scared, and I do not want to reward that, but I definitely don’t want her to be afraid to let me know she needs to get out.

I just want to get on the path of success for her and the sooner the better for all of us.

Any additional thoughts would be appreciated!! 🙂

Thank you!


Kayla Fratt

Hi KT – try sitting and doing training sessions with the door halfway closed, then a bit more, etc. It sounds like being confined is the problem more than being alone. this isn’t totally unusual, but it can be tricky to fix! Stick with it and use the suggestions above.

Jackie G.

Help, I have a 15 month old Great Dane who needs discipline. puppy class wasnt enough. She needs training when out of her crate. Can you help?

Kayla Fratt

Hi Jackie, what are your problems with your puppy exactly? A basic manners class for teenagers might be your next stop!


Last month we adopted a 5 month old American coonhound who has been crated at night since the first night we got him. He is fine going on the crate to eat or get his toys but at night still cries for 30 minutes before finally laying down. We have tried putting his crate in a room away from us and have tried it sitting right next to our bed so he knows he isn’t alone. I’ve followed all the advice but still no luck. Ideas?

Kayla Fratt

Hi Kristi, it sounds like you’ve tried a few different things already. Start a journal and track how long he cries each night. Then commit to spending at least 7 days with one approach (either having him in your room or putting him far away). Consistency is key – if he feels unsure about what’s happening next, he’s more likely to cry.

Jane Seymour

I received my 5#, 8 week old puppy 4 days ago. I prepared a room for him with divided 2-door crate, chaise lounge for me, and lots of chew toys & stuffed toys & tugs. I introduced the crate with treats & toys. I have implemented many suggestions in this article, but Puppy hates being confined to the crate, the puppy room, & even a 10×10’ outdoor play area.
He always cries 5-20 minutes & then goes to sleep.
I will persevere, trying things on your list, & hope he settles into a satisfactory routine in the next few days. Meanwhile awe will have a vet check & first day of puppy kindergarten. Jane

Kayla Fratt

You’ll get there, Jane! If you need to just sit on the other side of the gate for a while, that’s ok. 8 weeks is SO young <3


I have been reading nonstop about crate training but still feel at a loss. I recently adopted an 8 week old lab/Great Pyrenees mix. His foster family had him and his brother since birth, kept them in an open puppy pen, slept in the bed with them, and was carried around often during the day. It’s only been 5 days but I want to do it right. Last 2 days we have worked on being shut in crate. First day we did 4 times at 15 minutes sessions and the next day 30 minute sessions 3 times a day. He howls/barks/cries/ bites but the cage and digs the whole time. I’ve made sure we’ve been fed, pottied, had play time before the kennel with fav toy and a kong inside. Sometimes he goes for the kong and is happy for 5 minutes, other times he ignores it and cries the whole time. We haven’t crate trained at night yet since it wasn’t what he was used to and I’m trying to get him to like his crate. During the day I leave treats for him to find in the crate or I’ll sit outside the crate and if he enters he gets a treat. He won’t go to the crate unless there are treats, except maybe a quick drive by to check if the treat fairy came by. Am I on the right track with him? I know you said no cry it out, but the potty break doesn’t work for me right now. We haven’t done longer then 30 minutes and I wait until he has a lull in crying before I open the kennel. My previous dog had bad separation anxiety so I’m terrified this is going to be the same. Is he young enough that it’s just going to be persistence and in a few days or weeks he could be fine?! I go back to work part time soon so I need to be able to crate him and right now I’m afraid to leave him alone at home in the crate while he is crying like this. Thanks for any help or reassurance!

Kayla Fratt

Hi Amanda – it sounds like you’re on the right track. Try doing more of having him in the crate while you’re sitting next to him watching TV, for example. You can also try Karen Overall’s Relaxation Protocol inside the crate – that often helps!

Chris Z

I have a 12 week old Brussels Griffon. Got him at 8 weeks. He is doing very well on potty training but absolutely hates the cage. I work from home so I am with him 24/7. If I put him in the crate he begins crying immediately and doesn’t stop for up to two hours. I really have not let him go any longer than that. It breaks my heart, and I haven’t left him alone which is really inhibiting my life. What should I do?

Kayla Fratt

Hi Chris – try the Karen Overall Relaxation Protocol inside of the crate. He needs to slowly learn that the crate is a great place to be.


We are working on crate training our 7 week old golden Retriever. I just read this article, but I have a question. When he cries and I take him out for the potty break, what should I do if he continues to cry when I put him back on the crate after the potty break?


Hello, I just got a Lab//Husky mix puppy that is 2 months old. I work overnights and my fiancé works during the day. What would you recommend be the best option with crate training and how long he should be in there? I also have two dogs that roam free upstairs since they are old enough to know not to get into anything and to go through the doggy door to go outside. How can I use my two older dogs to help with this as well?

Kayla Fratt

Hi Kelli, what have you stared with so far? It’s best to start small and build up your dog’s tolerance over time. The same goes for the adult dogs.

Charlotte Robinson

Hi , I’ve got a 2 year old cockapoo who’s been crate trained since I brought him home for the first time when he was old enough to leave his mum. He is perfectly happy in the crate throughout the day and I didn’t even have the tears at night when he was only weeks old. I also have another cockapoo puppy (again very happily crate trained day and night this one- bonus!) At my house, they both sleep throughout the night with no interruptions from either of them .

However , the older one has now chosen to wake up when we all stay at my partners or my parents house usually early hours 3/ 4 am and continues to whine / cry . We have tried to leave him to it until he stops but he just doesn’t stop!
When we both have to get up early for work it doesn’t leave us in the best moods , so we have had to resort to going down and either letting him out the crate or swapping them around – again not ideal !

We don’t know if it’s jealousy / attention seeking/ different surroundings?
i’m resorting to buying ear plugs now.
any thoughts/ tips would be great! Many thanks

Kayla Fratt

It sounds like your dog is probably scared of being asleep in new places. This is pretty common. Where is the crate located in the other homes? Does he keep crying if the crate is in your room with you?

Deborah hatfield

This was very informative, I do have one question. My puppy is 5 months and he hates being in the crate during the day but at night sleeps like an angel with the occasional whine. But during the day, he will cry and whine for hours. We have tried everything. But it appears that even when he is left in a room alone or we leave him in the house to take out the garbage he starts crying and whining and digging at the door. Should I look into separation anxiety? He is really really bad with my boyfriend but not as bad with me. When my boyfriend leaves in the morning, he acts like he is going to die. Thanks!

Kayla Fratt

That’s really interesting, Deborah! It’s possible that your dog has separation anxiety. You might get some good info from this blog on why dogs bark when left alone. K9 of Mine is also publishing a guide to separation anxiety soon, keep an eye out for that! You might also want to check out this upcoming course from my partner.


I have a 12 week old that only the last four nights she’s been crying barking and pooping a lot in her crate. She was really good up untill. Not a peep or accident! I’m trying the “boring potty breaks. Any idea as to why she’s suddenly started this new night time routine?

Kayla Fratt

Interesting question, Lynette! I’m not quite sure why the change happens, but it’s not unusual. Could be teething or something else normal and age-related, it seems to happen a lot!

Debra Madden

Hi we just got a puppy we are creating her she cries for a few minutes and then she will go to sleep with me but at night she sleeps in my son’s room that’s who she is most attached to my son but she cries if he is not in the room and he goes in and out of the room which I think is not good for her I’m consistent about taking her out we’ve had her for about 2 months and she’s had accidents in the beginning but now she is doing very well. I feel bad crating her but she wants to bite and tear up everything in the house we got her from a shelter and she was created 24/7 so I’m wondering could that be why she does not like the crate when I give her treats she will go into the crate on her own. She is a shepherd mix they could not tell us what she’s mixed with possibly lab I think she came from a puppy Farm. I just want to know the best way to get her to stop biting on things and I’m wondering if she going to do this forever chew things up also do you know of any safe toys that I can leave in the crate with her I’m really afraid to leave anything in the crate with her we try not to leave her any more than 3 hours. She was a very smart dog we have already taught her some tricks was wondering if you could refer me 2 a book it might be good on how to train your puppy she’s 15 weeks now thank you for the article it does help

Kayla Fratt

Hi Debra! I’ve got a few good resources for you. For basic training, I can’t recommend the Official Ahimsa Dog Training Manual highly enough. Dr. Ian Dunbar also has a great (free) book. They’re linked below. I’ve also linked our chew toy article. Stick with it, puppies are hard!


Hi! Thanks for the great article. I just got my puppy, she’s 8 weeks old. She’s doing great. I have done many of the things you suggest like feeding her inside the crate, put her toys and give her a bit of peanut butter for her to eat/suck only when in the crate. She goes in and out of it without a problem.
When I do close the door, she cries but only when I first put her in and in the middle of the night, just once. She whines/howls more when in the crate and she can see me. I let her go at it and calms down.
So just wanted to check that I am doing this right. She holds it well when in the crate and is going great going in the pads or grass when she’s let out. I mean for 8 weeks old I think it’s grear right?
Last night I left her in the crate during the late afternoon/early evening for about a little over an hour to go to dinner with a friend. Repeated it this morning. Same thing.. she whines for like 10-15min then goes to sleep. My plan is to increase time a little bit every day. She’s fine as long as she’s sleeping but I’ve come back when I hear she’s awake. Should I allow her to be awake while I am out even if she cries a bit?


I am having the same problem as Jess Nicholls with my 1/2 Lab 1/2 German Shepherd

Jess nicholls

Sorry I forgot to add to my previous comment that we always give her a Kong in her crate which she will Lick for a minute and then as soon as we walk away she’ll notice and then won’t have any more of it she will just cry and dig/chew the crate


Hi Kayla, great article
We’ve got a 12 week old cockerpoo and have had her for nearly 3 weeks. When we put her in her crate at night she cries for about 5 minutes if that and then goes to sleep so she is really good at night. However when we put her in her crate In the daytime she cries for around 20-40 minutes so I can’t try and build it up I.e leave her for 5 minutes an let her out before she cries as she cries straight away and then I’m hesitant to open the door within 5 mins in case she learns to cry for attention. Also whenever we leave the room she cries and doesn’t stop which is quite tiring. do you think she will eventually settle down and we should continue with this or should we try the ‘teach her whining to go to the toilet’ method?


Hello. I have a 10 weeks old teacup Pomeranian who used to be with his siblings before the adoption. He is a nice guy who doesn’t bite, chew stuff, bark for strangers or other things. However, he cries a lot and sometimes, only sometimes, when he realize I’m ignoring him, he starts barking. He is in a play pan with his bed, water, toys, and pad. He is doing great for peeing and pooping inside the crate but when I take him out it seems like he cannot find the pad anymore while the door of the pan is open. Many people told me to keep him in the pen and make it bigger by time until he learns how to only do his work on the pad. So he is always in his pen except walking or playing time. When he cries I want to cry too because I really want to help him but I can’t. Please help me to stop hime from crying and peeing/pooping when he is out of the pen.


I have a 9 week old maltipoo he is having trouble with potty training & being left in the crate when he gets in trouble for using it on the floor so we put him in the crate for 5min to let him no it was bad for using it on the floor and not on the puppy pads. I start my new job which I have to be there at 8:30am which leaves him in the crate for 2 hours/ 30min into my boyfriend gets home from work at 11am. PLEASE HELP!?!?!? Makes me so sad to leave my baby while I’m at work..


I fear I’ve created a monster. We have a 10 week old husky and when we got her two weeks ago I would sit next to the crate until she fell asleep when ever I put her in for bed and after potty breaks during the night. I thought I was doing good because I was trying to let my girlfriend sleep as she works long hours. Now the little one won’t go to sleep unless I’m next to the crate. Was this wrong of me? How do I go about fixing this? I work from home so she is always with me during the day. Is this adding to the problem?

Kayla Fratt

Hi Travis – I’d start teaching your puppy to be alone in small chunks using the suggestions described above. At just 10 weeks old, it’s normal for her to not like being alone. You haven’t created a monster!


Thanks for the reassurance and quick response. This is the first puppy I’ve had to crate train so I was really worried I had done wrong. Will keep at it.

Kayla Fratt

Any time, Travis! Feel free to book a 15 minute consult with me if you get really stuck, 15 minutes is perfect for crate training woes!


I’ve had my cockapoo puppy for 2+ weeks now (she is almost 6 months old now) and I’ve been crating her daily. I put the crate in the living room where she usually likes to be (she would of course prefer the couch but we aren’t to complete freedom yet). She usually doesn’t have accidents in the house, but I usually come home to a pee covered dog. When I put her in the crate, she immediately starts howling and attempting to get out and does not calm down. I feed her in the crate and give her treats in the crate. I’ve also tried to crate her while I am home, thinking it was just about me being gone, but even then she will cry and struggle. Is crate training not for her? Should I get a smaller covered crate?

Kayla Fratt

Hi Mai! It sounds like your pup really hates the crate and panics being inside. A different crate is unlikely to totally solve the problem, but an exercise pen or different crate might help. When you get that set up, make sure that you start off leaving her for just a few seconds at a time, then a few minutes, and slowly build up tolerance so she never panics inside.


I have a 5 month old Boxer cross who is struggling with his crate training. We put him to bed in his crate at 9 pm and he sleeps good til about 3:00-4:00 am at which time he whines and I let him out for a pee break. Once he pees I put him back and in his crate and he is quiet til about 5 am and then won’t stop whining. He will not stop whining from 5 am til we get up with the kids at 730. I tried the cry it out and he just won’t stop we are going on 2 weeks of this behavior. I do the boring potty break at 3 am. I’m starting to lose my mind, I’m so tired… I need help

Kayla Fratt

Hi Courtnay. Is it possible that your puppy needs another potty break at 5am? Is there any chance that you’re shifting or scolding around that time, giving your puppy attention and keeping the crying going? It’s hard to cry it out in the morning, because eventually your alarm goes off and you get up – and wa-lah, your puppy thinks that crying for 2.5 hours got you to do it.


At first we were letting him go m out at 5 to go and as soon as we let him out he was going for the door. I haven’t scolded him or yelled at him for the cry it out, when I get up, I keep him in the kennel until he is quiet and no longer whining and then I let him out. Just today I started feeding him in his crate to try and associate good things with his bed and I will pick up some kongs so I can freeze them and see how he does.

Kayla Fratt

Great! Let us know how it goes, those are excellent next steps.

Carmen Davis

HI Kayla, thanks for the article, it is very helpful. We have an 8-week-old boxer puppy and a 9-year-old boxer. He cries, howls like he is being tortured when in the mudroom (back of house) or his crate. I am working on crating the baby a little at a time, while we are in the room, with plenty of treats, etc. We just got him from his mama and siblings less than a week ago. Is it fair to think that a certain amount would be separation anxiety from that? He is fine when he is with all of us, no crying or wailing. Also, I get the “cry it out” advice is antiquated, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it anyway. But how long is enough before we let him out, and if we let him out to get on the couch, are we rewarding the crying? THANKS!

Kayla Fratt

Hi Carmen! Great questions. You’re on the right track with the nice, slow intro to the crate. If at all possible, set up training sessions so that he doesn’t cry. This might mean just putting him in the crate with a chewie while you watch TV, or while you step halfway out of sight, etc. Building up tolerance can feel slow at first, but it’s faster in the long run!


Hi there, my partner and I have a 1 year old cockapoo that we have crate trained. He doesn’t mind being in his crate and voluntarily gets in when we ask him to. Lately he’s started crying after about 30 minutes in his crate at bedtime. We let him out for a potty break, which once done he always tried and makes a break for our bedroom which we don’t allow. Once he’s back in his crate, he still carries on after he comes back inside. My partner gets really frustrated at not being able to sleep/potentially annoying the neighbors and always lets him out to come into our bedroom. This has put stress on our relationship because I don’t feel like it’s the right call, especially considering my partner is already the fun “master” and I’m more of the secondary puppy mom. Do you have any idea as to how we can deal with this? Much appreciated, Kristal

Kayla Fratt

Hi, Kristal! Why don’t you allow the dog in the bedroom? Is there a reason this is a problem? Many dogs do MUCH better when they’re allowed to sleep in the same room. Regardless, you and your partner will need to be on the same page to solve this problem because right now your dog has learned that crying is EXACTLY the way to get what he wants! Either ignore him as a united front, or let him in every night.


We have two husky brothers that are 7 months old. We crate trained (mostly) both of them from the start, however our one, Colby, gets very anxious to get out of the crate when he is done being sleepy. He bites and scratches at the wire door and will do this for quite a long time. This mostly happens when he knows that we are home and he just wants included. It also happens every morning between 4 and 6 depending on how late we put him to bed. He is usually consistently AWAKE at 5. I used to be able to tell him calmly to lay back down and go to sleep, but we moved to a new house a few weeks ago and he will only do that for 5-10 minutes instead of an hour or so. My fiance gets up around 5 anyways to get ready for work, but we want him to be quiet until she can get him out on our terms. Do you have any suggestions?

Kayla Fratt

Hi, Robert. Sorry to hear that you’re struggling. What have you tried so far? My guess is that you might be sending mixed signals and letting your dog out sometimes, and trying to “stick it out” other times – that’s generally the problem here. Is that a fair guess?

Katherine Lampkin

Hi, I rescued a plott hound mix 2 years ago. He used to tear up the carpet scratching it at the door to get out to find us when we left. We decided to crate him and he would cry but after a few months, he was ok. He never liked it, but he would go when you told him to. Just recently out of nowhere, he started to cry and howl again when we leave. Any idea why he would do this? I thought maybe it could be because I’m not home as much because I’m working 2 jobs. He still gets play time because my husband is home a lot when I’m not. Thoughts?

Kayla Fratt

I agree, Katherine. I think you’re right that the problem is the change in schedule. This is pretty common. Are you being sure to leave him with stuffed kong or other chew toys while you’re gone?


My husband and I just rescued a 15 month old beagle from an organization that rescues dogs from Bio medical research labs once they are done being tested on. He came to us not potty trained but is doing very well with his potty training so far and is eager to please me. He has been with us 3 nights and was fine in his crate at night until last night. His crate is in the bedroom with us next to me and we have 2 other dogs in the room too who do not sleep in crates. He whined and howled for 2 hours so I let him outside again to go potty and he went. I couldn’t take it anymore and let him out of the crate for the night and he eventually fell asleep next to me on the floor. Just not sure if this is the right move considering how new he is to the family and if this is showing him he is in charge. I just know he spent his entire life in a cage so it must not be a pleasant feeling to have some freedom and the loose it at night.

Kayla Fratt

Raquel, I’m sorry you’re struggling with this. Thank you for helping rescue a dog who really needed it. If he’s not causing damage or having accidents, does he need to be in the crate? I’ll also urge you not to think of his distress as him trying to show you he’s in charge. His crate crying is a sign that he’s upset and scared, not that he’s trying to take over your home! 🙂


Hello, I have a 13 week old pup. He’s great in the crate all night. It is in my bedroom. He absolutely cries and howls whenever I leave the room during the day though. If I crate him or use the ex pen, he just cries or howls unless I am in the room with him. I am trying to let him cry it out. I’ve tried increasing his exercise, etc. Not sure what else to do…

Kayla Fratt

Hi, Maureen. Sorry to hear that you’re still struggling with your puppy’s crying. I know how hard it is! Have you tried leaving her with stuffed Kongs?


Yes, he is quiet for a few minutes and then starts up.

Kayla Fratt

Hmm, beyond that we’d probably need to discuss in more detail. You can check out your options for a video or email call with me here.

Gnanamani Hooyman

Hi! I have the same problem! I have a 5 month old Terrier mix, and she’s does great all night in her crate but the minute I leave her in the crate she starts crying. She can’t be quiet in her crate for more than 5 minutes. I don’t know what to do…she won’t play with her toys or anything. And she also has accidents in her kennel when I do come back! Help me pleas!

Kayla Fratt

Let’s start with 5 minutes. Leave her in the crate for 4.5 minutes, then come back and let her out. Then take a break. Then leave her in the crate for 4.75 minutes. Slowly slowly, you’ll be able to build up to leaving her alone for longer. The key is to let her out before she starts crying and to ALWAYS leave her with something awesome to do.

Mary Beth

We have 4 standard poodles and each one of them were easily crate trained. The new dalmatian, on the other hand, is driving me insane. He is knows “in the pen” and goes in without hesitation. He eats all of his meals in there without a word. At night, he is fine and only whines to potty once around 4; then he comes back in and goes right back to sleep.
The problem is when he is crated during the day, like while I am mopping or something, for the entire time he is in the crate he barks and whines. I have tried giving him toys, I have tried ignoring him, and nothing has worked. Please help, I am losing my mind.

Kayla Fratt

Mary, I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with this. It can be quite the pain! I’d pick a strategy and stick to it. When you switch up strategies too much (sometimes letting him out, sometimes ignoring him), his best course of action is to keep crying until you give up. Try giving him a stuffed Kong and leaving him in the crate for just a few minutes at a time, building up his tolerance.

Mary Beth

Thanks. I spent 2 straight months with trying with toys as distraction. And another 2 with ignoring him. I am thinking if he hasn’t figured it out in 2 months it is time to try something new. He is extremely smart and learned several other commands within 2 weeks. I am at a loss.


Hi there,
Myself and my partner got a cockapoo puppy about 6 weeks ago, since we’ve had him we’ve attempted crate training. He is now 16 weeks old and he is still crying through the night, and strangely at similar times each night, 2 o’clock, half past 3, 5am. we leave him with everything stated in your advice page and I let him have toilet breaks. Toilet breaks are pretty quick and I put him back into his crate afterwards.
My partner is away with work Monday – Thursday so I’m exhausted as I’m getting a lack of sleep due to the crate training. It has got to the point when I have actually allowed him to come up and sleep beside my bed, just so I can get some sleep. I know I shouldn’t do this but I wasn’t sure what else to do!
Any advice would be great, thanks!!

Kayla Fratt

Elena, I’m sorry to hear that! Crate training can be such an exhausting process. Have you tried putting the crate on a table next to the bed? If you don’t mind having him sleep with you, it’s just fine to have him sleep with you. My dog shares my bed, too.


Hello! We rescued a dog at 20 weeks and she is now 23 weeks. She came from a foster home and knows how to do all the basic puppy commands (sit, kennel, stay, lay) and she sleeps AMAZING in her crate at night time from 10-6AM. When we leave during the day (only 2-3 hours at at time) – she goes crazy! We put a camera up and she barks, whines and bits the sides of the crate. She will lay down eventually but then wakes up after 30 minutes and repeats the behavior. We have tried putting treats/toys in the crate but she ignores them. We do try and play with her and make her tired before she goes in but like I said, after 30 minutes she is up and barking.

Any suggestions?

Kayla Fratt

Hi, Beth! If your dog is ignoring treats while you’re gone and barking nonstop, she might have more of a separation issue than a crate training issue. Does she start barking/panicking right away? To treat separation anxiety, it’s best to start at levels where she’s not panicking (say, 20 seconds or 4 minutes), then gradually build up her tolerance from there. I offer separation anxiety help through my online training program, if you’re interested!


Hi Kayla!
We adopted a 9 week old Argentinian Mastiff 2 weeks ago. He has been doing pretty good with house training and sleeps all night in his crate with no issues. Our problem is when we go out (for no more than 2 hours), we put him in his crate. When we get home, he has either peed or pooped in his crate. We have been feeding him in his crate and always give him toys when we leave. I work from home, so I’m concerned that this is slightly separation anxiety. As per a recommendation from a dog trainer, I removed all soft things from the crate. He only gets chew toys and a Frozen Kong. She also recommended that I put the dog in his crate for a couple hours during the day while I’m working, in a separate room. I started that today and he did eat the filling of the Kong , but he cried almost the entire 2 hours. Should I just push on and keep up this routine? With the assumption that this will break after some time? Thanks!

Kayla Fratt

Angie, thanks for reaching out! I think it’ll be best to pick a strategy and stick with it – so it’s up to you. At just 11 weeks old (if my math is right), it might take some time to build up your pup’s tolerance. If you can, I’d try putting him in the crate with a Kong for just 2-5 minutes, while you’re in the bathroom for example. 2 hours might just be too long for him right now. Letting him cry it out for 2+ hours might work — or it might make him MORE anxious next time you put him in the crate. Sorry, I know that’s not a very definitive answer! It really can go either way.


Hi Kayla, me and my wife recently adopted a 2 month old hound puppy, he is energetic and loving as can be. We are crate training him as we have 2 cats as well. He will go into his kennel on his own to chew his toys during the day and doesn’t seem afraid of his crate but when it’s time for bed, he throws a fit, barks, howls, digs, high pitched squeels and whines. He stops after about 10 to 15 minutes but if he hears us at all he starts up again which can be very frustrating as my wife is a nurse and works very long hours. I have put toys in his kennel, chews and his favorite shirt of mine that has my scent. When he whines at night I take him outside to go to the bathroom and then right back in the crate where he continues to whine and bark. We also live in an apartment so I know it’s stressful for our neighbors as well, we’ve had him almost 2 weeks and aren’t seeing much progress with his crating in terms of sleeping through the night peacefully. Any help is appreciated, we are at our wits end.

Kayla Fratt

Nick, Thanks for the message and I’m so glad you’re reaching out for help. I’m sorry you’re struggling with crate crying. I know how challenging it can be! In order to best help you and your dog, I am can help you one of two main ways:
1) During a one-on-one video training call where she’ll help you create a plan and demonstrate training with her dog to help you out.
2) Via ongoing email support where she helps you step-by-step for longer-term problems.
Based on your situation, I think it would be best to try the video call + the (free) 1 month of email that accompanies it.

You can check out those options here: https://journeydogtraining.com/shop?rfsn=1821309.14aacd

Stacey Leclerc

Hi, I recently got a new pup 3 months old he was crate trained the first 2 days went amazing went in the kennel fine with no issue. But last few days everytime he goes in the kennel he whines for a bit settles down ( chews on toys) but as soon has he hears someone talk ( specially me ) he starts crying again. And settles down again.
I know it’s separation anxiety I don’t know how to correct it. If I let him out I’m rewarding him with my presence…

Kayla Fratt

Stacey, the good news is that it’s probably not separation anxiety! 3 month old puppies that settle in their crates aren’t typical for a true anxiety disorder. If he settles in again, then leave him in there for now. If he’s getting worse instead of better, let him out so he doesn’t keep practicing screaming. You can also try putting him in an exercise pen or tying him to you/the wall if you’re home.



I adopted a 5 month old puppy from the local animal rescue. He was homed before the kennel and then brought to the pound and then transferred to the animal rescue. I have had him now for 10 days. When I try to teach him the crate (did the dinner in the crate, treats in the crate, his blanket in the crate, favorite toys–slowly introduced him with the door open). When I put him in the crate and shut the door however he goes absolutely crazy. He digs with his paws on the bottom of the crate as if he is digging a hole in the ground–he snarls and tries to bite the cage sidewalls and door and he has a complete and utter meltdown.

I am beside myself. He also seems to think he can just nip at me and play with me whenever he wants, almost like I am another dog. A lot of the online stuff I read about this behavior is that I shouldn’t swat him off, tell him no or nudge him because he will think it is play, I am to re-route his attention to a toy. I have done this and he just keeps coming back for more.

I am afraid he was traumatized by a crating experience prior to me!

Thank you for any insight or help.

Kayla Fratt

Teresa, it sounds like you’re really doing a lot of the right things! I’m sorry that things still feel tough. I wonder if trying a different type of crate, or even an exercise pen, would be a good place to start over.

As far as the puppy nipping goes, we’ve got an article on the subject here — https://www.k9ofmine.com/puppy-play-biting/ I also did a video on puppy biting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Vtt7XU4A7U&t=58s

jojo sorenson

everytime my dog is put in his crate he will start whining till he is let out, even when we in our room an he can see us on our bed watching movies… please someone help wit this..

Kayla Fratt

I’m sorry to hear that you’re struggling, Jojo! Can you give me a bit of information about what you’ve tried so far?


Thank you for the great article! I have a 16 week corgi mix we adopted at 8 weeks old. From the first night we brought her home she’s always slept in the crate we got her. She was doing great, sleeping through the night. Occasionally she would cry to go to the bathroom but would go right back to sleep. We recently started letting her on the couch where she often falls sleep while we are watching TV. Now when we put her in her crate at night she cries. Anywhere from 5 min to 30 min. We do the usual potty break and then right back to the crate but she continues to cry. She seems to run from the bedroom to the living room and wanting to go back to the couch. I am worried she only wants to sleep on the couch now.

Kayla Fratt

It’s possible that she does like sleeping on the couch. How can you make sleeping in the crate BETTER than sleeping on the couch? Perhaps some tasty food treats?

Jess Gould

Thanks for this article! Quick question about response time— our newly adopted poodle/pom/wiggly noodle dog is 4 mo old.

She starts whining and crying as soon as she’s in the crate. Like the very first second, She’s got a frozen kong a snuggle blanket and her favorite crinkle toy in there with her.

Do we give her a few minutes to TRY to calm down after a “boring” potty break? Or on the first bark or cry take her out again? Just trying to figure out the timing in between the seemingly endless potty breaks to keep it consistent.

We have been letting her cry it out since we adopted her, and she eventually chills out in a minute or two but other times it takes twenty minutes+ and it’s stressful for her. Today is our first day of trying the potty break method.

Thanks for your insight! You’ve given us a glimmer of hope.

Kayla Fratt

Great point, Jess! If she can self-soothe or settle within a few minutes, I’d let her do that. If she’s getting more and more worked up, then waiting it out won’t help. But if she’s whimpering a bet and then settling, wait for the settle.


Thanks for the great article. I am writing this at 3 am while our new 8 week old puppy is screaming in her crate. The first night she cried when we put her in and then settled down. She isn’t our first dog so we felt we had a sense of how to crate train. Crate is in on room, covered, toys etc. Tonight she seemed to to do well when we put her in at bedtime. She was quiet and went to sleep. Around 1 am she started to really cry somwe took her for a potty break. We are trying to be extra aware of her potty needs as she has parasites and needs to go often. We put her right back in the crate and taking her out and she screamed for an hour. So we took her out again. She didn’t need to go. We are exhausted but want to do the right thing. She’s waking the kids etc We finally nusf took her out and brought her to our bed. We need help! Any help would be truly appreciated and a phone session would be great if that’s something you offer.

Kayla Fratt

Jill, that sounds really tough! If you’d like to sign up for a call, you can use this link.

In the meantime, give your pup a stuffed Kong and try to sit next to her if needed. I’d also recommend not leaving her in the crate while she continues to cry, as this really only makes her a better crier and clearly isn’t helping her learn to settle!


Would you give the stuffed Kong before bed?

Phyllis Latterell

We have a three year old Cavashon. We have kenneled her since we brought her home as a puppy. She did great in the kennel at night the first year and a half. Then she started whining at night. So we moved her kennel up to our bedroom at night. That settled her down and everything was fine. She would go in the kennel at night when we told her kennel up without any problems. Then about 9 months ago, she started whining after we put her in the kennel. This has slowly gotten worse instead of better. Now she often will start whining during the middle of the night. I’ve taken her outside to potty and then brought her right back in and back in the kennel. She normally doesn’t seem urgent to go potty. She sometimes will after walking around in the yard a bit. She is worse when I am gone. My parents live in Texas (I’m in Minnesota) and I have had occasions over the past couple of years where I need to go down there and stay with them for a week or so (for their medical issues). When I’m gone, Bella seems to have separation anxiety. I’m at my wits end trying to figure out why she is whining and how to stop it – when I’m home and when I’m not! It’s just odd to me that she was fine in her kennel for a long time and then suddenly she isn’t. Nothing in particular has changed. It’s the same kennel that she has been in. It’s big enough for her to stand up in and turn around, but not too big. It is a wire kennel, so she can see out. HELP! Thank you in advance for any advice you might have!

Kayla Fratt

Phyllis, that sounds really tough! You might be right that your pup is struggling with some separation issues. Given your complex situation (with frequent absences and a pup that cries even when you’re home) I think getting a trainer on-board would be a good idea. You can work with me over video chat and email or we can help you find a good trainer using this guide.


My dog is 11 months old. We have been trying to crate train since he was 9 weeks old. At night, he does great! But, during the day, if I have to leave him, he screams for hours!!! Even if I’m in the room with him. I’m not sure what else to try since everything you have suggested has failed. He is driving my family crazy with his incessant crying. Please help!

Kayla Fratt

Carlie, that sounds really tough! Without more information, I’m not sure if I can help much. Does he start crying right away? Does he get enough exercise? Does he have enough to do? Does anything make it better?


Can anyone offer advice on crate training.
Our Boy is crate trained, but lately after a visit into the bed during the night ( biiiiig mistake) he now whimpers during the night to go out.
Last night he needed to pee twice.. when we got him at 10 months he could go all night without a wee.
I have been letting him come in the bed at around 5am… is this his way of letting me know he’d like to come in earlier?

Kayla Fratt

It might be confusing for him that sometimes he gets to sleep in the bed, sometimes not. I’d recommend picking one for now. My dog shares my bed!

Harshitha Ramesh Holmes

Oh my goodness, thank the lord that I found this article in the middle of the night and could get some sleep. Poor girl, I didn’t exercise her enough and she had a lot of energy left. I sure learned my lesson! This method did work in terms of getting through that night though. She kept quiet after the first try! Thank you!!!!

Kayla Fratt

I’m glad it helped so quickly!


Thank you…moving the crate to the bedroom where my new boxer puppy was nighttime training worked. Once he saw me, heard me as I slept, he relaxed and went to sleep.

Kayla Fratt

So glad that worked for you!


Thank you this article was great and gives me hope. We have a brand new what we think is a Rhodesian Ridgeback. What works for him, unfortunately, is my daughter getting up and just letting him see her. When he knows she’s near him and ok, he goes to sleep no problem. But I’m know she’ll appreciate options so she can get some sleep!

Kayla Fratt

Glad we could help!


When do you let your puppy out to hold, cuddle, run and play outside?

Kayla Fratt

After they’ve gone to the bathroom! I try to spend as much time as possible with my puppy OUT of the crate.


I have an 12 week old lab and husky mix. I know that you recommend the boring potty breaks if the dog starts to whine while in the crate, but what if that doesn’t work for me? Is there anything I can do instead? The isssue is that I’m starting school very shortly and I won’t be able to take out the dog every time he makes a fuss and neither will my parents because they have work around the same time I go to school. So again, is there something else that can be done?

Kayla Fratt

If neither you nor your parents can take the puppy out, the best bet is probably to hire help – someone who works from home or a neighbor can help, perhaps?


I know that you recommend the boring potty breaks if the dog starts to whine while in the crate, but what if that doesn’t work for me? Is there anything I can do instead? The isssue is that I’m starting school very shortly and I won’t be able to take out the dog every time he makes a fuss and neither will my parents because they have work around the same time I go to school. So again, is there something else that can be done?


Thank you for this, I really am struggling with my 11 week old pug crating at night. It’s good that I have been responding to her cries by taking her for potty breaks, then immediately back to bed – no touch, no talk, no eye contact (lol). During the day, she does fine when I’m not there, even up to 3 hours. But if I am home she hates being in the crate. Due to my bedroom being upstairs from her potty training area, and the fact that she is still too young to safely go downstairs by herself, I’ve placed the crate in a large extra bathroom that I have with her bed, a towel, a blanket and a cover. I play music to sooth her and purchased a heartbeat toy, which has helped her a lot. She often wakes up several times a night though and cries and sometimes she needs to potty sometimes doesn’t need to potty. She does better if I sleep right next to her, but it’s very uncomfortable for me. So if I’m sleeping in my own bed, I have been taking her for potty breaks but then I’ll put her back and she will scream for hours. Sometimes she will soil herself in the crate from the anxiety. If I go upstairs (I have a baby gate) and she’s outside of the crate she will cry and often soil herself there. It’s very concerning and I’m not sure what to do.

The good news is that she is doing excellent with potty training, but I can’t have her sleep in my bed because she may suffocate or I may roll over and crush her, she likes to burrow when we snuggle for brief naps in bed. She also sometime confuses my pillow and comforter for a puppy pad and has peed on it by accident a couple of times.

I don’t know, should I just move the crate to the bedroom? I really don’t want poop or pee in my bedroom and I don’t want to march her up and down the stairs for potty breaks. Should I potty break her in my bathroom by my bedroom? I thought about placing the crate in my bedroom bathroom upstairs rather than the guest one downstairs. But I feel like this wouldn’t solve the problem since I still won’t be next to her. Oh, what to do…..

Kayla Fratt

Thanks for the note, Emily! It sounds like you’re making excellent progress. At 11 weeks, your pug is still an itty-bitty baby. It’s not uncommon for babies to struggle sleeping through the night (of any species). Keep at it, and expect not to sleep through the night for at least a few weeks. There’s always a few “unicorn” puppies out there that are potty trained much earlier or sleep through the night with ease, but restlessness and crying at night is far more common. I personally prefer to keep my puppies IN my bedroom. That alone is a huge help for crying and reducing restlessness. Plus, it helps you bond!


First, thanks for this post… my wife found it as we were looking for a reasonable approach other than “crying it out”. We are going to give the boring-potty-break approach a try but there are a few things about what we are going through that weren’t covered in your article.

Luna is a 12 week old female Weimaraner who we brought home from the breeder at 8 weeks old. She’s our second Weimaraner. Unfortunately, we are having challenges with her that we didn’t have with our first Weim.

Luna did do a good bit of crying the first few nights but thankfully would eventually quiet down and would sleep. After the first night, we moved her crate into our bedroom in corner just the other side of my bedside table and that helped a little. One distinct behavior is that while she would always cry a bit when put in the crate at night, once she settled down she would start back up if I left the room, even for a minute. The good news is that eventually that stopped… now once in the crate for the night she usually lies down and is quiet until in the morning at which point she may start fussing a bit once she’s really awake. Although occasionally she’ll fuss in middle of night to go out, she usually goes 7-8 hours without making a peep.

Our real challenge is during the day. Given the night time crying, we unfortunately did not focus on crating her much during the day in first two weeks. We had gotten an ex-pen and were beginning to use it but she’d cry in it, too. After a week of use, she managed to get out of the ex-pen. We didn’t see it happen but my wife is confident she managed to nose her way under it. Anyway, we returned the ex-pen and started working in earnest on daytime crate training. We spent several days gradually working up to having her in with the door closed, even just for a few minutes. We did all the recommended things… right size crate, comfortable/durable crate pad, plenty of toys in the crate, water bowl in crate, hidden treats, always putting her in with something like a frozen Kong, antler or bully stick to chew. We usually tried to make sure she had some exercise but between extreme heat (up to 110 degrees) for several weeks and rain daily for the past week, we weren’t always able to wear her out before crating her.

Unfortunately, in spite of all that any time she is in the crate during the day she will cry, sometimes constantly for however long she’s in (typically no more than an hour or so). In best cases, she’ll cry 5-15 minutes then maybe lay down for 15-20 minutes but go back to crying for awhile. We know this is her behavior (even if we are away from the house) through use of a webcam used to monitor her crate. It doesn’t seem to matter whether we are in the room or not (though if we are in the room she may spend more time sitting there watching us and wimpering than outright crying). We don’t let her out unless she has quit crying, if possible waiting till she is laying down (rather than sitting there waiting to see if her crying got anyone’s attention).

Another issue is that when in the crate she almost never touches whatever chewable thing we put in with her or any of her toys. On occasion we can get her engaged in something (like a pig twist) that she’ll finish but that’s rare.

The other challenge is that she’s now reluctant to go in the crate at all. It almost always takes luring her in with something *very* yummy (the latest is cheese). We try not to physically put her in (though sometimes there’s just no choice, unable to get her all the way in without a little help).

Sorry for the length of this… we’ve just read so much advice that hasn’t helped that we’re hoping your technique will make a difference and that perhaps you’d have some additional advice for helping Luna.

Many thanks,

Kayla Fratt

Nate, thanks for the questions! It seems like your puppy is having a pretty hard time with crating. You’re doing a lot of things right. At just 12 weeks old, it’s not unusual to still see some fussing and reluctance in the crate. Based on the info I have from you, I don’t have a lot more suggestions – you’re really doing a good job so far! If you want to hop on a call with me to discuss things further, I think I can give you some suggestions if I can ask more questions!

Nate Eaton

Kayla, an update on Luna. (now 18 weeks old)

Very long story short, between the crate issues and some other problems we were having with Luna acting out, we took advantage of a referral from local Weim rescue and boarded her with a trainer for little over 3 weeks, visiting several times a week to go through group and private classes with her. The good news is that it made a huge difference in almost every aspect of Luna’s behavior and our relationship with her.

The bad news is that the day-time crate behavior is no better and, in fact, is worse. Besides spending almost entire time pacing, whining and barking, she will also pee in the crate. That’s even after having been out before being crated and only having been in there as little as a half-hour. As she can go all night and as we’ve already had her checked by vet to make sure there’s nothing physically wrong, that seems like a behavioral issue (i.e., peeing because she’s agitated, not agitated because she has to go pee).

My concern is that this may be separation anxiety. She rode home for over an hour in a crate in our car quite happily, she eats her meals in the crate, she sleeps all night just fine – even happily trots in and lays down – and she’ll even on occasion go lay in crate on her own when I’m at my desk in the office.

One of the main things she learned at the trainer’s was to be calm. It’s part of what has helped with the other behavior issues and it *seemed* like it was helping with the crate before we brought her home. Unfortunately, almost immediately after the crate door closes if it isn’t bed time (or returning to bed during the night), she is anything but calm.

We have been keeping her world small since bringing her home, having her on lead, or in pen (office where her crate is and hall with baby gates) when not in the crate, and the boundaries have really helped all other aspects of her behavior. Just not sure whether those boundaries are contributing to the day-time crate issues or is immaterial.

While the trainer we boarded her with has been a huge help and had Luna quite happily staying in crate both at night and for various periods during the day, it was in the kennel building (across from the kennel she spent rest of her time in) so even when there were no people around, there were always at least one other dog around. We’ve followed all the tips the trainer gave us on how to handle crating her – much of which matches advice in this article – but nothing seems to be helping. Not sure whether she was ok there because of other dogs and not here because its either us in the other room or gone all together, or if there is some other key difference. Unfortunately, the trainer lives an hour a way so a home visit from her isn’t an option (or we’d have tried that by now).

Anyway, for now we are only using crate during the day when absolutely necessary and taking out her pad so there’s nothing to soil. That seems to help – she still paces and barks but hasn’t peed when it’s just the plastic crate pan. Not ideal, but is best we can do till we figure out how to help her get through this.

I guess our next step may need to be finding a local behaviorist.


Kayla Fratt

Nate, thanks for the thorough checkin! I agree that this looks a bit more like anxiety of some sort than crate training issues. You’re right that having other dogs around could have been the key, that’s not unusual. You might want to check out Mission Possible (a $100 self-study course from the industry leader in separation anxiety) and her blogs as well. Malena really is the best of the best, and her site will be incredibly helpful as this is her specialty!


Hi Kayla,
Thanks so much for the article! I’m having similar issues as Nate mentioned. My shichon pup is 3 months old and I’ve had her for a couple weeks. If anything it seems like she is becoming worse at being in her crate during the day. She sleeps fine at night as long as her crate is right beside the bed, but when she has to be locked up for 2-3 hours during the day she cries almost the entire time (I monitor her on camera) and has had a few accidents (number 2) that she then proceeds to walk on and spread across the entire crate and herself as she jumps and cries to get out. She is uninterested in chew toys, treats, Kongs, or anything that should occupy her. She does play by herself when I’m home and I’ve tried to teach her to be in different rooms than me and be okay with it, but that’s hard when you need to keep a constant eye on a potty-training puppy.

I have been feeding her in her crate (she would rather take mouthfuls of food to the carpet and eat so it’s tough making her stay in), I try to play fetch in her crate, give her treats, tell her she’s a good girl, and wait for her to calm down before letting her out if only it’s for a few seconds, but I’m not seeing any progress. She is hesitant to go in her crate to get a toy or a treat and grabs it as quick as she can and runs away. There is a soft bed, blanket, snuggle toy, chew bones, and the create is covered. She doesn’t seem to notice any of it.

I’m praying this isn’t separation anxiety and is normal for a puppy her age, and maybe I’m just being too impatient, but 2 weeks with no progress and she seems to be moving backwards has me concerned. I really don’t want to come home to a poop smeared crate every day which stresses me AND her out. Any advice? I really appreciate your time and consideration.



I have a 14 week Airedale puppy. Other than the first 2 nights when we brought him home he has settled and slept well in his crate until this week. For the past 3 nights he has continually cried in his crate. I’ve let him out to toilet but he just lies down outside so he’s not crying for that reason. He has a blanket, a cuddly toy and last night I gave him a stuffed king (which kept him quiet for about 15 mins). When he comes out of his crate he just sleeps so it’s not lack of exercise. He’s very chilled during the day, he doesn’t get crated much during the day as I’m mainly at home but neither does he follow me around the house, he’s happy to be in a room on his own so I don’t think he’s lonely. Help please!

Kayla Fratt

I’d try to increase his exercise before bedtime, and just put him back in the crate if he doesn’t go potty. If you do that a few times and it doesn’t help, go back to the drawing board and try something different. Don’t just keep trying the same thing over and over if it’s not working!



I have a 4 month old female french bulldog puppy that I have been trying to crate train since I got her at 2 months. She cries like crazy and does not stop if she knows there are other people in the house. I have her let out about halfway through my work day (after ~3 hours), and she still continues to cry when put back in. I have tried the peanut butter kong, the calming music, the walks before crate time, and I do not let her out when she is crying for attention. If you have any advice I would greatly appreciate it as I am moving into an apartment in a few weeks and thought she would be used to her crate by now.



Hi! My name is fatima, and I relate with you so much! I have a 2 month old puppy and he is beyond annoying during the night. Sometimes I’ve woken up at 3am or 5am just to see what he wants. If I could, I’d give him calming treats! Your dog is old enough that you can give him a few calming treats just so she could become more relaxed

Kayla Fratt

Thanks for the question, Gabrielle! We just edited this article to change some of the suggestions, why don’t you try this advice and see how it goes? It’s pretty different, but I’d love to hear if it makes a change for you!


I have an 8 week old Staffy puppy and I think she has really bad anxiety on her first night we put her in her crate in the lounge room half an hour before bed and she was fine until about an hour and a half later we could hear her winging and howling really bad we left her for about 15 minutes until she somehow got out and we could her her wining in the hallway so we put the crate in our bedroom next to our bed and made sure she couldn’t get out of the crate and she still wined and howled and kept doing so all night! we put her out a few times for the toilet but she still didn’t settle for longer than an hour she has a little bit of water a chew teddy and a chew toy with little kibbles in it a piece of her blanket from the people I got her off and a piece of my clothing so she can smell me a sheet half over the crate so she can still see us but feels secure I warm her with a hot water bottle under her bed but none of it helps I feel like I had no sleep last night and Iv tried everything she was ever chewing her crate frantically plus I work split shift 4 days a week so I don’t want to leave her for a couple of hours if she’s going to panic the whole time, she’s really attached always wants to be touching you and if I’m home she sleeps in her crate with the door closed fine but soon as night time comes she panics in there I feel bad and I’m worried for her 🙁

Kayla Fratt

Thanks for your question. At just 8 weeks old, several hours is a very long time for your puppy. You need to slowly build up absences. If nothing else, she can’t hold her bladder for more than an hour or two. She will likely benefit from a dogwalker or dogsitter with some regularity. You can learn a bit more about puppy potty training and development here.


Thankyou if I leave her locked in a laundry and she still cries will she eventually stop crying and give up? is it bad for her to cry for too long? Like how much crying is to much crying for a puppy?


I have 2 dachshunds that are a little over a year old. Since 3 months, they have been left in their crate while we are at work (3-5 days per week). Each morning when I pull the kongs from the freezer they run straight for the crate and go in. The last couple weeks, I’ve come home to their blanket in the water, and crate mat all ruffled to one side of the crate. It has happened every day for almost 2 weeks. We set up a camera just to see what is going on and within an hour of leaving for work, the male put the blanket in water and everything in the crate is all jumbled. I have no clue what to do. They don’t avoid going in the crate. I just don’t know what the problem is.

Kayla Fratt

Hmm, that sure is interesting! Does he look like he’s playing, or did he seem to be distressed? I’d go ahead and contact a behavior consultant in the area if you’re feeling stuck.


I have a 7 week old puppy who is very sweet but very attached to my husband and me. We have a good schedule where the puppy is only left in the crate about 2 hours before one of us gets home. However, when he is in the crate he has an awful piercing cry for over an hour because he can hear my family moving around upstairs. He is always let out before we put him in there. How long is too long to leave him in there crying? On occasion my family upstairs will come down to let him out because his crying is so loud and frightening. Should they just leave him alone until we come home even if he cries the whole time? Is he too young to be crate trained?

Kayla Fratt

Thanks for your question! At 7 weeks, he’s still very young. You can keep working at it, but I’d focus on making the crate an awesome place to be from the start.

Adam Groves

Hey. Great aricle thanks.
We have a 3 month old maltipoo and are trying to crate train him. He cries whenever he is left alone or whenever he is put in the crate. I have read loads of articles and guides and am following all of the suggested steps but one of the main tips is ‘never give in to the crying/whimpering and never let him out if he is crying’ …..i understand the logic but what am I meant to do if he literally never stops crying!? Any extra advice would be most appreciated. Thanks

Kayla Fratt

I would go back to basics, Adam. If she’s crying constantly, something has gone wrong in the training and we need to go back to step 1.


Hello Kayla,

We loved your article!
We got a 9 week springer spaniel last weekend, he is a great guy, loves to stay close, almost everytime he hits the pee pads we have in our balcony, and we’ve been working through crate games. He enters when we toss treats, sits to wait the door to be opened (for a short period, as expected), we also kong fed his meals inside, that one we’re learning to improve, because even in kong he eat faster than we would like
Our main problem is, this takes time to work, but we need to crate him for night time, specially to poop train correctly.
We live in a apartment building, so barking to much could be a huge problem, and he just realized he could bark and howl loud.
We also like a lot to lay on the ground and cuddle/play with him, does it make the barking inside crate worse?
We are trying to improve our crate schedule so I can leave the house (I work in home office) to do shopping, exercise…
It’s really hard to say no and leave this lovely puppy whining.
Do you have some tips that might help us?
Thanks again for your article!

Kayla Fratt

Douglas, I’m glad you found this helpful! To answer your first question, no. I don’t think playing with your puppy is a bad idea. You’re just bonding with him, and that’s great! It might make him want to be with you more, but that’s a good problem to have. It’s SO hard with little puppies, but it is important to try to stick it out and only let him out when he’s behaving well. It’s really easy to accidentally teach him to cry in the crate if you let him out whenever he “asks” for it!


You’ve kind of contradicted what you said in the article here making me slightly confused…


Our dog is almost 3 and does wonderfully in her crate… mostly… she sleeps all night with no issues, except about 4:30-5:00 in the morning. She starts to whine. I used to just let her whine. I could sleep through it. My new wife is a light sleeper, so just letting her whine isn’t an option. We tried to transition her out of a crate at night, but she started jumping up on the counters and pulling stuff down and she started using the bathroom in the house. But didn’t whine anymore. My wife isn’t a dog person and has no patience for the dog. She loves the dog, but hates when she acts up. I am struggling with all this.

Kayla Fratt

That sounds like a really tough situation. It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot, and hiring an in-home trainer to assess the situation might be a good next step.


Our pup is doing well in the crate at night and if we are not in the house but there are times when we are home that we need to put him in the crate because we are preoccupied and cannot watch him (about 3x/day: making dinner, getting ready in the morning and evening). Unfortunately, if he can see us or hear us he cries and it’s not a sweet wimper but rather a piercing cry and sometimes a howl. We share a wall with our neighbors so really need this to stop.

Any suggestions?

Kayla Fratt

Hmm, you might want to try working on mat training using Karen Overall’s relaxation protocol. This can help teach your pup to relax calmly while you’re bustling about. You can also try using the “umbilical method” of training where you simply tie your pup either to you or something solid. This lets your pup be near you but also prevents him from getting into trouble!

Jake Bates

My puppy makes noise at night on some occasions. Usually this is because she needs to go to the bathroom. If I let her out, she just tinkles a bit. My girlfriend does not have the patience to make our dog hold it. So, she gets up after she whines for a moment. Lately, this behavior has started just when she wants to get up…I think after reading this, I’ll need to move the crate out of our bedroom.

Kayla Fratt

Let us know if that helps!

Kimberly Webb

Last Friday I got a 6 week old puppy, tomorrow (the 4th) she will be 7 weeks. I’ve been trying to crate train her since she got here but she’s not doing very well. I’ve done the comfort, dinner, treats, and toys. When we sleep she’s fine, but when I shut it to try to get her used to it and even sit right in front of it she’s cries, when I leave the room when she’s in it she cries, and today I left her for the first time in it and when I got home she was still crying after 30 minutes, I could hear her through the door. Is this what you would consider seperation anxiety, and is there anything I can do until I can get her trained because she can’t until she’s 10 weeks???

Kayla Fratt

That sounds really tough, Kimberly! I’m sorry you’re struggling. At only 6-7 weeks old, your puppy is still very much so a baby that will need a lot of comfort from you. Can you try shutting the door partway, then immediately giving her an awesome treat (like chicken), then immediately opening it again? That’s a starting point at least.

Morgan F

We rescued a Cane Corso from the streets and were not sure how old he is. When we put him in the crate he howls and screams so loud, we ignore him because we don’t want to reward his behavior. He’s fine when we leave him outside of the cage running around with the other dogs but as soon as he goes in the crate he yells. What should I do??

Kayla Fratt

I would start by really teaching your new dog that the crate is an awesome place to be, rather than just closing him inside and ignoring him. What have you tried so far for rewarding him to go in? When I crate train a new dog, it often involves lots of one-second intervals where the dog is just in the crate for the blink of an eye, gets a treat, then comes out.


So my 6 month old golden retriever cries endlessly in the middle of the night all night long. He didn’t do this the first week we got him and now all of a sudden is doing it now (it’s been over two weeks) we are crate training him and have left him in the crate for up to 4 hours during the day as part of training. He’s normally fine with that. However when it comes to nighttime, he won’t stop barking no matter what we do and my husband and I can’t take it anymore. He has to get up for work at 5:30am and is getting no sleep and neither am I. Our dog sleeps in our room near my husband. We have not bought a good crate mat yet and will purchase that soon here with next paycheck, but we always put a few toys In The crate and try to make it as comfortable for him by laying down towels. He hates his crate and is afraid to go inside. When we leave during the day,, we give him treats going in and coming out. I’m at a loss. We don’t know what to do and we can’t handle it anymore. Our neighbor has mentioned she hears his barks. We literally share the same wall in our townhouse living! Help please!

Kayla Fratt

That sounds really stressful, I’m so sorry to be dealing with that. Just to confirm, he’s only crying in the crate at night? Can I ask what your response is? Has anything changed in the house that could have triggered this?

Kayla Fratt

When I’m dealing with a sudden backslide in behavior, my first step is usually to go back to basics. Try working on teaching him to relax in the crate for just a few minutes at a time, then slowly build up. In the meantime, is it at all possible to leave him somewhere other than the crate overnight?


I have a 6 year old pit bull. He spends quite some time during the day in the crate while I’m at work. We go for long walks and runs on a regular basis when I get home in the evening. He hangs out in a spacious kennel outside in the morning for about an hour and a half. Sometimes walks in the AM as well. But, at night he cries and barks to get out of the crate. Sometimes for hours keeping everyone up all night. If I take him out and leave him by himself, he tears up the couch. He doesn’t like toys, only rawhide bones and rubber balls. Do you have any advice that could help him calm down?

Kayla M Fratt

Thanks for your question, Dan. You might want to try going back to square 1 of crate training – meaning playing games in the crate and working on him being quiet and calm in the crate for just a few seconds at a time. He also might really benefit from a flirt pole and other more strenuous exercises. He might just have too much energy left over at the end of the day!

I just posted this video to YouTube of me working with my dog to restart crate training, it might be helpful for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9CPtD93IcU&t=326s

Hayley Ward

Hi there. Thanks for this article! We’ve been trying this method for a couple of days now (2-3) and have ended up continuously bringing our dog in and out of the crate for his boring potty break. The second we leave the room he starts crying again. During the night he is fine in the crate as long as we’re in the room — we have lots of toys and treats for the crate specifically but are struggling with getting him to not cry when we leave his site. Any suggestions?


I have a 1 1/2 year old lab/golden retriever mix and I have tired everything to get her to stop howling and crying in the crate. She is from the shelter so I think she doesn’t like being caged up, she was also bounced from 2 different homes within the year and now she is with us. I go to school 2 days a week and I have to put her in the crate and she scratches, chews, howls, cries and drools the entire time. I set up my Ipad to record her last night while we went out to dinner (3 Hours) and she did all that for 1 hour and 20 mins then she finally laid down. I bought a metal crate today and put here in it while I am at work (she comes with me to work) to get her familiar with it and she cried for a bit, then stopped and laid down (she can see my feet under my desk), but when I leave she cries again. I have given her toys and treats while in there and she wont mess with anything while she is in there. Once I let her out she will turn around and go back in to grab her stuff to eat and play with outside of the crate. Any suggestions on what I should do? Let her cry it out and she will get use to it?

Kayla Fratt

That’s a great question, Megan. I’m glad you asked. As a professional trainer, I can’t say for sure without asking more questions – but it sounds like your dog is really stressed out by being in the crate. I’d suggest a combination of slow desensitization to the crate, speaking to a trainer (I’d be happy to help over phone or Skype), and potentially some calming treats such as Rescue Remedy or Composure.

How long have you had her in your home? Can you practice leaving the room for just one second, then returning and giving her a treat and releasing her from the crate? You likely will have to build up to her being comfortable in the crate very slowly. She sounds very stressed by being in the crate – that’s a quite extreme response that likely will require extra work beyond normal crate training.

j mcveigh

this article very helpful… our dog Trevor is 12 and crate trained for a long time ..we got him crate trained and everything good til a 6 mos ago now he barks whines to get out of crate in am early am ! also barks whines to get in after feeding him on deck he is a big dog and he steals the other pets food ..if left inside or out of crate at night ..
IT is annoying..we have walked him at night to tire him out but that only works part of time ..instead of waking at 4am he wakes at 530 600am ..we are usually up by 630 so he still cuts into our sleep pattern


I still have many things to learn before taking a puppy home. I have kept my friend’s dog one night and he whined all night in crate until I brought him to my bedroom, not a good experience. Crating training is the first things I need to know. Thank you for sharing the post!

Kayla Fratt

I’m so excited that you’re doing research before bringing home your next puppy! Have you seen our series on selecting a dog? Part 1 is live now, parts 2 & 3 are coming soon! https://www.k9ofmine.com/dog-adoption-guide/


Our little Bichon is 13 years old and crates in our bedroom at night. He has his entire life with is brother who is the same age. He was put on Prozac 1 1/2 years ago for his horrible marking behaviors and whining. It seems he had regressed back to his puppy problems that we had overcome for years. The medicine has helped up to this point. Even with added meds to help that are prescribed by the vet, he still whines and wants out. We have let him “cry it out” but he breaks out into barking. This will go on 4 plus hours! Of course we check to see if there is a need and have found he needed to potty a couple of times which has started this behavior every night. He can’t be trusted to stay out for marking which is common if we are not in the room with him at night. I am desperate for sleep! It’s been 3 weeks serious sleep deprivation averaging 4-5 hours of sleep per night. The advice you give is great but hasn’t worked for us. Any new thoughts or advice? He gets every social, physical, and need met but wants out at night to sleep on the recliner. Help!

Kayla Fratt

Oh man – that sounds like a really tough one. Are you certain that this isn’t medically related? It sounds like you’ve been to the vet already, but any time I see major behavioral changes in an older dog, the vet is my first stop. What is his brother doing when he cries? Can you put the crate in your bedroom so they feel close to you? Are you giving in to the crying? If you let him cry for 4 hours and then cave and let him onto the recliner, you’ve just trained him to cry for 4 hours!

Joey Pierre

It seems like your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, or you’re letting him know that you’re paying attention.

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