Should you close a puppy crate at night? How to do it right?

Some people think it’s a good idea to close a puppy crate at night, but others oppose this method. What is the right thing to do as a dog owner? Let’s get to the bottom of this question.


Why lock up the dog in a crate at night?

Crating a puppy at night is helpful for several reasons:

The puppy will learn to sleep peacefully rather than wander around the house and disturb other family members.

It will not pee in the house at night but will learn to be patient.

It will not make any trouble or disrupt things in the house.

So, if your puppy has trouble sleeping, it is worth trying nighttime crate training. If the puppy sleeps peacefully, you don’t need to put it in a crate.

 If you train your dog to stay in the crate all night, it will then be easier for you to leave it in the crate for long periods during the day as well when the need arises. For example, you may need to close the dog while you are at work or during an airplane flight.

Is it cruel to close a puppy crate at night?

Some dog owners and trainers believe that it is not humane to lock dogs in a crate overnight. Indeed, for humans, the thought of being locked in a crate for a long time seems terrifying. But we are dealing with dogs.

Dogs by nature tend to seek out their den. In a confined space, they feel safe. That’s why the crate becomes a favorite place for many dogs.

Also, think about small children. After all, they also are put in a crib at night that they can’t get out of and swaddled in diapers. We don’t think that’s a bad thing. That’s why I’m in favor of crates.

But you have to decide this question for yourself. You have to weigh the pros and cons to make a decision. For those who decide not to use a crate, I have prepared some alternative methods to help calm the dog at night. You can read about them at the end of the article.

  If you still have doubts, read my article about Should I crate train my dog?

Best way to crate train puppy at night

Only puppies that have already been used to the crate can be locked here at night. So you must train your puppy to use the crate during the day and then use it at night.

The nighttime crate training must be gradual:

  • First, you need to introduce your puppy to its new shelter and help it love this place. This requires putting the crate in a prominent place in the house and leaving it open. Make your pet feel comfortable in its new crate, lay its bed, add new toys and try out the crate cover. Feed your puppy in the crate.
  • Try closing the crate for 5 minutes, then increasing this time. In the beginning, your puppy will probably whine. For advice on how to handle this, see my article Puppy crying in crate or whining: what to do?
  • When the puppy can stay in the crate for longer try locking it for the night. But make sure it gets plenty of exercise before going to bed.

When the puppy is older and learns to sleep peacefully through the night, then you can give up the crate. But many dogs get attached to their crate and even like to sleep in it.

Check out this video with helpful tips for crate training at night:


How long can I keep my puppy in his crate overnight?

You can leave your puppy sleeping in the crate for 8-9 hours. But remember that small puppies, up to 3 months old, need to be taken out to the toilet at night.

Where to put the crate at night?

dog crate in bedroom

In the case of small puppies, it is better to put the crate in your bedroom. This way the puppy will be calmer and you’ll be able to see how it’s feeling. But then you can gradually move the crate further away and move it to another room.

What to put in a puppy crate at night?

Only leave its bed or pad there. Do not leave toys or food. This will only prevent your puppy from sleeping peacefully. To soothe your fur baby, you can buy a diffuser with pheromones similar to the scent of the dog’s mom.

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If you don’t want to lock your puppy in a crate, or if your puppy absolutely does not want to be in it, then make a place for it with a playpen or a gate. Here are a few ways you can do it:

There will be more space for the puppy, which is a good thing, of course. I have a great article on how to make a puppy pen.

I wish you success in teaching your little friend! And please write in the comments, what do you think about overnight crate training?


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