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Crate Crying: What to do if Your Puppy Cries in Their Crate

Part of Our Summer 2023 Puppy Primer

By: Teoti Anderson

Last Updated:

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Featured Photo Amber Aquart/Shutterstock

Does your puppy cry in her crate? Here are 10 tips to help your puppy learn the crate is a safe and happy place. 

  1. Feed all your puppy’s meals in the crate, with the door shut. Mealtime is typically happy time, so you’ll be associating meals with the crate.
  2. Give food-stuffed toys in the crate to occupy and delight your pup during confinement.
  3. Teach your puppy to go in and out of her crate on cue. Crate training games build positive associations.
  4. Don’t let your pup out of the crate if she is whining or crying, or you will reward this behaviour. Wait until she is quiet, even if just for a moment.
  5. Don’t only crate your pup when you leave the house, or you’ll associate the crate with your absence. 
  6. If possible, put the crate in your bedroom.
  7. Always leave several safe toys in the crate to give your puppy something to do. Rotate them every day so she won’t get bored with them.
  8. Make sure the crate is the right size. Your pup should be able to easily stretch out, toe to toe.
  9. When your pup is alone in her crate, put on the TV or music. 
  10. If your puppy still doesn’t love her crate, call a professional to help you.

How long can puppies stay in their crate? In general, young puppies 8-11 weeks will need an elimination break every two hours. From 12-14 weeks, they can “hold it” for 2.5 hours; 15-16 weeks, 3 hours.


Photo Jus_Ol/Shutterstock



1. Helps with housetraining. Most puppies do not want to eliminate in confinement.

2. Keeps your household safe from chewing.

3. Keeps your puppy safe from chewing something dangerous.

4. Necessary if you ever have to board your puppy or your pup has to stay at the vet’s.

5. Keeps your puppy safe when you travel and stay in a hotel or another house. 



This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Dog magazine. Subscribe today!

Last Updated:

By: Teoti Anderson
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