Crate training is such a powerful tool. Doing it overnight teaches your dog some of the most vital canine abilities it will ever learn in it’s life. But once those lessons have been taught, is it still necessary to keep the crate? For most dogs, they still need to use a crate for a while longer to really solidify those lessons.
Since dogs are creatures of routine, they may end up just sleeping through the entire night. So this begs the question: Can I stop crate training my puppy at night?
You should first ask yourself:
- Why you are using the crate in the first place?
- Have you met your goals from using the crate?
- Is your dog ready to be left alone without a crate?
When To Stop Crate Training At Night
Your dog may be ready to stop crate training at night. When you meet all your goals, you can confidently let him be on his own for the night. When it comes to the age of the dog, there is no real time limit on crate training.
One of the biggest benefits of crate training for a dog is the mentality that he has his own pen. A place to call his own. He will love his crate and treat it has his second home. Keep this in mind when considering taking away his crate.
The following tips are for helping your dog with night time crate training. See more tips for when to stop crating your dog.
How To Uncrate Your Dog (For Night Time)
Taking note of the den mentality, you may not want to remove the crate immediately. To get started, you may want to keep the crate around and leave it open/unlocked. You may be surprised that your puppy decides to spend the night there after all.
His dog bed and favorite toy to snuggle up with have kept his scent and prepared a comfortable place for him to rest overnight. Some dogs will enjoy using their crate for years to come. Some will be happy to get rid of it.
Gradually let your dog make his peace with the crate. If you’re still using it during the day, you can try this exercise for daytime crating. Be mindful, the difference in daytime puppy behavior and nighttime puppy behavior is huge.
If Your Crate Trained Dog Is Suddenly Whining And Barking All Night
There is a chance that your dog is trying to tell you something. In our experience, whenever this happened, it is usually for a reason. If you have a dog that has been crate trained and they are all of a sudden whining and barking during the night, you may have forgotten to meet some of their needs.
- Did you remember to feed him?
- When was the last time he got to go pee/poo or for a walk?
- Did he pee/poo inside his crate? This can be torture for them.
- You dog may have diarrhea. Give him a chance to eliminate.
- Is there any immediate medical concerns?
- Is your dog recovering after surgery?
If you’ve met all his basic needs and he is still whining and barking, he may be testing you. This is a tough call to make when crate training. If you’ve caved in the past, he will know it’s possible to win you over again.
If Your Puppy Has High Anxiety
Not all dogs are suitable for crate training. Some of them can develop high anxiety from separation and being confined. It is worth mentioning that most dogs will show symptoms of anxiety, such as whining or barking. While this has to be taken into consideration, it is also important to know that uncrating a dog under these circumstances can ruin the entire crate training process. Use your best judgement.