Is Your Puppy Crying in Crate - Here's What You Do

Is Your Puppy Crying in Crate - Here's What You Do

Author WDF Staff


Getting a new puppy is very exciting. Many of us start daydreaming of all the good times we will share with our puppies; walks, hikes, bicycle rides, and we will take them everywhere with us. However, in many cases, puppies are not immediately too happy they have been taken from their mom and littermates. Many of us will have to deal with a puppy crying in their crate.

Dealing with a crying puppy can be exhausting. It is absolutely heartbreaking, and many of us will get no sleep in the first couple of days when the puppy is still getting used to their new surroundings and home. One of the best things you can do for your new puppy is getting them used to a crate.

Some owners think crates are cruel, but in all honesty, crates are great. Not only will they restrain the dog’s movement when you are not close to them, but it will also give them their own peaceful place where they can always relax and have no one bother them. Keep in mind that the first few days, your puppy might cry in the crate. Here is what you should know about puppies whining in the crate;

Why is the puppy whining in the crate?

Whining is instinctive behavior puppies are used to. When they wanted attention from their mother, all they had to do was whine, and mom would be there to feed them or clean them. When a puppy is taken from their home, and away from their mom and littermates, they will be confused, scared, and lonely at first. They will take some time to get used to their new home and new family. Here are the three main reasons puppies whine in their crates;


The first possible reason puppies cry in their crate is because they are not used to confinement. Perhaps they were free before, and they are not used to having their movement restricted.

Want to know more about crate training? Check out this article - Crate training a puppy.


Puppies were used to having constant company while they were living with the breeder. Their mom was always close since they were dependant on her for food and often for warmth. Puppies are rarely born alone, and your new puppy probably had many littermates that were keeping them company. That all changed now, so don’t get discouraged if your puppy takes time to adjust. Plus, dogs are social animals, and they want nothing more than be with their families.

puppy in crate

Physical needs

Your puppy might be whining because they need a potty break. Young puppies can’t hold their needs as long as adult dogs can. The main thing you have to do is make sure your puppy often gets potty breaks that will ensure they are always as comfortable as possible.

How to deal with whining puppies?

We went through this exact situation. We started getting desperate and couldn’t figure out how to help our puppy feel better. They would whine all the time they were in their crate. We know it is vital to get them used to it, but we were afraid they will start hating their crate. We didn’t want them to feel like they are kept in the crate as a punishment. Luckily, we can share the same advice with you that our dog trainer shared with us. Here is how you deal with a puppy crying in the crate.

Ignore the behavior

This is a common piece of advice many dog owners hear from other owners and dog trainers. They are whining to get your attention, and if they achieve their goal, that type of behavior will be reinforced. Most puppies whine because they want attention and if you give them that, they will learn that works. Every time you put your dog in the crate, they will start whining. Your best option is to ignore the behavior and allow them enough time to get used to their new surroundings.

Potty breaks

We already mentioned that puppies can’t hold it as long as adult dogs can. As a general rule, a puppy can hold it for one hour for every month. That means if you have a 4-month old puppy, they can hold it for 4 hours. You have to provide your puppy with plenty of potty breaks because whining can be a sign they have to go.

Large enough and comfy crate

One mistake some dog owners make is they buy a crate that is too small. If your puppy is not comfortable in their crate, you can’t expect them not to whine. You have to make sure the crate you chose for your puppy is large enough. The second thing you need to provide them is a comfy bed. They need a comfortable surface while they are in their crate, and you can find some great choices here - waterproof dog beds.


Your puppy might simply need more activity. Don’t underestimate the importance of playtime outside of the crate. Puppies that are happy and tired will most likely be more than delighted about some downtime inside the crate. If the puppy is not tired and full of energy, they will get bored and unhappy inside the crate. Make sure you give your puppy enough attention while they are outside their crates, so they can be happy while they are on the inside of them.


Many dog owners forget the importance of crate placement. If a puppy is isolated in another room or in the basement, they will not be too happy about it. Playtime and comfy beds won’t offer comfort if they are feeling isolated. It would be best to place a crate in an area where you or your family spends a lot of time. The puppy can see someone at all times, and it will help them feel less isolated.

In conclusion

If a puppy is crying in the crate, you shouldn’t be too worried. That type of behavior is entirely normal at the beginning. They need to get accustomed to their new home and rules. They were taken away from their mothers and littermates, so make sure you arm yourself with patience. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get enough sleep in the first few days. Keep in mind you will soon have a great and well-behaved dog that will be your best friend for the rest of their lives.

World Dog Finder team

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