Puppy Cries All Night

by David

Olive - 6 Weeks

Olive - 6 Weeks

Our new pitbull puppy cries all night in her crate.

I just adopted a 6 week old pitbull (female) pup 3 days ago. I've read the articles on crate training that this website has provided, and I will begin that training tomorrow.

I was wondering what I should do when it comes time to go to bed. The past two nights we have gone to put her in her crate, and she cries constantly. We moved the crate outside our room so that we could gain some rest; but, I do not like this method at all.

I feel it's not fair to the puppy, and I do not want to frighten her or have her feel abandoned at night. What should I do to fix the sleeping arrangements?

Any help would be appreciated! I've attached a picture of the pup, her name is Olive.

Thank you for any advice,

Gale's Reply:

Hi David:

Olive sure is a cutie pie. I think just about every pet parent that brings home a young puppy goes thru at least some of the whining, crying (and even screaming) at bedtime. It's exhausting. Believe me, I know.

Most puppies settle into a bedtime routine fairly quickly--some more quickly than others. Every puppy is a unique individual so you may need to experiment a bit to find what works for Olive.

On the whole, most owners report that puppies adjust better when allowed to sleep in the same room with them. Since she's probably missing her momma and litter mates, making Olive's crate warm and inviting with plush pillows, toys and blankets may help. I've even heard of putting a battery operated or an old fashioned wind-up clock that ticks under a pillow to simulate a mother dog's heart beat.

You might also want to try Farnam Comfort Zone with D.A.P. Plug-In for Dogs. It's a plug-in diffuser that releases the scent of a nursing mother dog. Another product that's been clinically proven to calm stressed dogs--even in shelter settings--is Through a Dog's Ear, Music to Calm Your Canine Companion Vol. I Audio CD.

Be sure she's getting plenty of exercise so that she's tired instead of wired when it's time for bed. And remember, at this stage, she'll still need potty breaks during the night while she's being house trained.

Most of all, just hang in there. This too shall pass. Be sure to take lots of pictures and enjoy her puppyhood to the fullest. Best wishes to you for a long and happy life together. And, thanks for sharing the pic.

Comments for Puppy Cries All Night

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Oct 29, 2011
olive updates
by: david

We moved the crate back to our room and she continued to scream while closed inside it. She constantly would chew/claw @ the cage and ignore any correctional remarks from us. She ended up getting her jaw stuck in the crate which scared us. We've been allowing her to sleep with us since then.

Oct 29, 2011
This is a easy fix
by: Joe

Hi,You have to make the crate a place that feels good in the dogs mind. This is our tried and true method.
First off, keep the crate in another room.
Make sure it has a dog bed in it and not just the plastic bottom.
When it's time for bed, go in the crate with her, pet on the puppy, use a nice tone of voice when using the word "crate".
For night time the best thing to do is take off the shirt you've been wearing all day. It has your scent on it. Wad it up and stick it right under nose to rest her head on. You scent on something soft will have a calming effect. She will still cry, do not go to her. If you do, you will be teaching the dog that when she crys, you will come. Then she will never stop. When giving treats, say "crate", and teach her that she only gets the treat when she goes in the crate. For treat giving you don't have to lock her in the crate, it's better if you dont. If you lock her in it may seem like a trick, if you give her a treat during the day but she can leave the crate, she will start associating the crate with all stuff good.
The shirt is the key to night time. It can't be a clean shirt.All she is gonna smell on that is detergent. If you wear a dress shirt all day, guess what? when you get home from work put on a t-shirt you don't mind her getting dirty and take it off at night & put in with her. It works.Thats it.
The treats (without locking her in), the shirt, and never use the crate as a punishment, never yell or scold when putting her in crate. The crate is a good thing. A chew toy in her crate is good too. We are 3 for 3 with this method. Good luck and have fun enjoying your new puppy.

Oct 29, 2011
Re: Olive Updates
by: Gale

Hi David: In that case, I would proceed with regular crate training during the day to get her acclimated and comfortable with the crate. Then, I would transition her back to the crate at night once she's come to recognize her crate as a safe place.

She will always probably prefer to sleep with you. So, I would anticipate there will still be some adjustment issues. It's at that point that you may want to break out something like the D.A.P. diffuser. There are also some suggestions from others on our Facebook page. Good luck!

Oct 29, 2011
sleeping arrangements
by: David

We don't mind if she sleeps with us, our bullboxer has always slept in the bed with us. We just want to be able to crate Olive while she's young in case we both leave the house or we can't keep an eye on her. We are continuing to associate the crate with treats and feeding her in it each day. Hopefully within a week or two she will be more acclimated to the idea of being closed in. Thanks for the advice so far, everyone!

Oct 29, 2011
by: Margaret

Its tough and she is very young. I foster pups all the time but in my case they've been stuck in a cage for awhile and I guess kinda get use to it. Does she get crated in the day at all? To get her use to it try little amounts of crating in the day and I cover the crate with a sheet. She's very young and needs to get use to you and your house. I've also have those rough totes storage containers (without the lid of course) and put those next to my bed and let the puppy sleep next to you in that. Then you can sleep with your hand hanging down in it to soothe the pup when it cries. They seem to tolerate that better than a crate and when he gets older try the crate. I always crate my pups in the day when I have to leave or I have a pen that I have set up on a hard surface (for easy clean up) with plenty of toys.I have two Pittie boys and I did the storage container thing at night and they did get crated in the day if I had to leave (only when they were young) but I work out of my home so I'm usually home most of the day. Now their two and 7 yrs and never crated when I have to leave them but most times unless its too hotI take them with me =). Just say to yourself " They grow fast" LOL

Oct 29, 2011
hang in there and just give him love.
by: Anonymous

I see way to many people using crate training wrongly and do not like the crate training. It is alot better to get a baby gate and have them say like in the kitchen area where they have room to move around. I always had my dog in the kitchen and would just put the garbage up so he couldnt get into anything and once he was old enough I never have him cooped up anywhere. He has the whole house to him and he doesnt get into trouble. I still put the garbage up if we leave and say like bags of chips I make sure they are put in the cabnit. We have never had a problem with him.At night he would always come in and cry to be with us so we picked him up and he was in bed with us. He would never make a peep when he was with us. My dog has been with me every step of the day since day 1 and he is 8 years old now and still loves to cuddle with me. Too many people just stick thier dogs in the crates all the time and the dog hardly sees any time out of it. I am a volunteer in humane investigations so I have seen tons of abuse with the crates and just do not like them because of that. Love your puppy and teach him right. Messes are aesy to clean up in the kitchen or any where you dont have carpet and pretty soon he'll get the hang of it.

Oct 29, 2011
sorry it's long, first paragraph is most relevant
by: Anonymous

To address the specific question of having a puppy that cries all night, I have to stress exercise. Throw a toy for her outside for 30 minutes before bed. This will also give her the chance to potty good while you are outside and hopefully be so tired that she crashes as soon as you put her in the crate. You can actually do this throughout the day -always putting her in the crate to sleep it off. You go about whatever you need to do. Just put her crate where she can see you. By doing this, she will begin to associate her crate with sleeping, so hopefully this will help. Even though she may want to fall asleep on your lap, I would discourage this until she learns to accept the crate. When she finds out how warm and comfy and safe your lap is compared to the crate, she'll never want to sleep alone again. :-)

Every dog is different. I've fostered a lot of rescues, some of whom take to their crates easily and love them for life, others have a very hard time with them and become destructive. It's much easier if you get them accustomed to the crate while they are young puppies, then phase it out as they mature, than to try to crate train a dog over 6 months old. In the case that you ever need to re-home your dog, having him/her crate trained will make chances of being adopted double. These are all things to consider when starting your puppy.

I have to disagree with the last comment. I'm glad that not using a crate worked well for you and your dog, but I think it's reckless to expect a young dog or puppy to not get into trouble even when confined to one area of the house. A strong chewer (as pit bulls tend to be) can easily do thousands of dollars worth of damage in just a few short hours whether it is to the kitchen cabinets or him/herself. I have to shake my head every time I hear of a dog who needs surgery to remove dangerous objects he ingested while the owners were gone - owners who thought putting their dog in a crate was "cruel".

At some point, a mature dog may become trustworthy enough to be left free in the house, but puppies cannot be trusted. They go through phases. A puppy who is not a chewer at 3 months old can become an absolute terror by 4 months. I did use baby gates when I was home to confine the pups to one room with a hard (floor) when supervised. If I was too busy to keep an eye on them, they went in their crates with a stuffed Kong. This really helped with potty training, since they didn't get many opportunities to have accidents.

There are cases of neglect where dogs are left in crates for days/weeks/months at a time, but that is not the intended purpose of crates. The crate isn't what makes that treatment cruel, it's the neglect of the person responsible for their care.

Oct 29, 2011
by: Anonymous

I often hear people say that all you need to raise a good dog is love. With this I also have to disagree with. Love is a wonderful thing, but it will create a monster if it is the only thing you give your dog. As someone working in the pet care industry, I deal with these "monsters" every day.

Dogs need socialization, structure, exercise and boundaries. It doesn't take a heavy hand to give a dog these things, but if all you do is coddle them and fawn over them in response to behavioral issues, they can become demanding, neurotic, territorial and possessive.

By giving a dog a place that is his own, you establish physical boundaries. He has his safe place and you control the rest. Crates are wonderful for this.

Oct 29, 2011
by: Anonymous

I could never imagine making a puppy or dog stay in a crate all night or during the day. I think that is a very cruel thing to do and don't understand why you people support it.

Oct 29, 2011
Tick tock of a clock
by: Laura K

We used a clock that ticked. If you put it under the puppy's blankets, it sounds like momma's heartbeat.

Oct 29, 2011
Olive - update crate attempt
by: david

Put Olive in her crate while my girlfriend and I went to the grocery store for an hour. Included my shirt with my scent, a kong full of peanut butter, a chew toy, a towel with soft covers over top and draped a sheet over the kennel. When we came back she was screaming at the top of her lungs, holding on to the cage with her paws and biting @ it simultaneously. She had somehow dragged the sheet that I draped over her crate about 4 inches through one of the openings on the gate and had covered it in slobber where she was chewing on it and screaming. Even as I was trying to calm her down to let her out, she screamed as loud as she possibly could. It sounds like she is being murdered when she's inside. We bought a baby fence so we can leave her in the laundry room that has tile floor from now on. Do you think that is a better alternative?

Oct 30, 2011
yes that is better but be wise
by: Anonymous

Yes I believe that is better but MAKE SURE to have any thing that is poisonous out of there, Everything. AS I said before in my give him love statement and someone commented about them getting into stuff. It is very very true that they will get into everything and anything. I had baby locks on all of my cabnits so he was not able to get into any of them. I even had a lock on the fridge. I would put the garbage up and have a bunch of like kongs and stuff tht he could chew on and not rip anything off so he wouldnt choke. It worked out great for us and I know alot of people who do the baby gate thing over the crate. Some dogs do love the crates and some just do not like it. I as I said since working in humane investigations, see way too many dogs being abused in them. Yes it is the people not the crate who do it but still it just seems like a place that they are stuck in. We had one dog that the people had the dog in the crate all day then only let it out for a short bit and right back in it went. It was a big breed dog and they could not see paying all that money for bigger crates as it grew so they left it in a way too small crate and when we got there, the dogs bones were deformed because it was so cramped in there. It couldnt walk because its bones grew funny. Yet I have a friend that has a dog that loves its crate. They dont even have to lock her in it. It varies for eaach dog. Just my seeings I dont like them. Putting him in the laundry room when you are not there is ok just please get anything and everything out of there so you dont come home to a dead or sick dog from him eatting something. If everything is up way up out of the way that is fine. My dog is 8 now and we never have to put him away. We have let him out probably since he was a year old or so with no problems. I would shut some of the doors to certain rooms like my kids room. I had a baby that was a year and a half old when I got our dog so my house was already baby proof so we did good. He is a heavy chewer and always has been so I always had stuff around for him to chew but yet it was sturdy enough not to choke him. My dog was always with me and still is. He still sleeps with me, still has to follow me into the bathroom, I mean every where and i wouldnt change anything. Hope you have good luck. Just please put everything up no matter what room you keep him in. Just think as if you had a baby in there and needed to baby proof.

Oct 30, 2011
Whatever works for you
by: Anonymous

It doesn't matter if you use a crate or baby gate, you will figure out what will work best for you to keep your little girl safe.
If she's that terrified of the crate right now, don't force it, try the baby gate and maybe down the road when she's a little bit older and separation anxiety is not that bad anymore, she will react better to the crate.
All my dogs roam freely in the house now when they are home alone, but I had to confine them too when they were puppies, except 2 of them, they just never chewed anything and were potty trained within a week. But I used baby gates, and they did not mind at all. I do have 2 crates in my house, open, and they love to sleep in there, but I never locked them in there except when we were traveling by plane.
You will figure it out, we all did. And as said before, when you do leave her, make sure everything is put up and locked away.

Oct 30, 2011
by: David

Thanks everyone for your input, I will continue to post on this website as Olive progresses through her puppy stages. It's nice to hear input from different point of views.

Nov 10, 2011
Baby gate/puppy
by: Anonymous

I would suggest to keep the crate in the room with her with the baby gate. You can keep the door open and put the kong and toys in there while you're gone. She might start to associate it with good things. Don't push the crate, you can make it a really horrible thing if you just lock her in there while she's freaking out.

Nov 18, 2011
by: Anonymous


i have a 4 month old bluenose pit named Onyx. unfortunatly im a marshmello and let her sleep on my bed with me. during the day when im at work tho i have to leave her in her crate. the only way she wont cry is if i put her toys in there with her and i crumble up a few dog cookies as well as something hard to chew ( bully sticks) if i dont do that yes she will cry but only for a short time. the first few weeks i had her she did cry when i first left. but now she is fine with ehr crate and is quite used to it. Have you tried putting a cookie or something like their toys in there so they assosiate their crate with good things?

May 06, 2013
how to train a 3 month pit in house
by: Anonymous

So we just got a female baby pit as we take her out side she still comes in n uses the rest room. We have a beautiful back yard but have a male pit they get along but i'm afraid if he will try to have relations with her ??? Can u put them together ? Please help thanks :/

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