Although many dogs like to be in crates, is it cruel to crate a dog at night? Most dog owners say “no”, it is not cruel and can be beneficial to both you and your dog. Crate dog at night is a good idea if you are gone during the night or have long drives, or even if you are at work. It can keep your pet safe from both potential intruders (if you leave the room) and boredom, plus give them their space to sleep.
Before crate training your dog to crate at night you must prepare them. First, you must be sure that the room is not too large for the dog. A crate that is too large will make them feel claustrophobic. Some dogs also can be finicky eaters. They may eat where they lay sleeping.
You also need to be sure that your dog is used to being alone at night. Many dogs become fearful when they are left by themselves. You can take them out on a leash to see how they act around other dogs. If they are skittish, leave them at home alone for about an hour. Take them back afterwards and see if they are any more afraid. Be alert for signs that they may feel anxious such as sweating, pacing, or scratching.
Another thing to prepare them for crate training at night is to keep their new house warm and clean. Dogs have a natural desire to want to be clean. A clean room is easier to keep them in than one that is dirty. Make it attractive enough for them to want to stay there.
If you think crate training a dog at night is going to be a bit of a challenge, you can try using a favorite toy. Take your new dog into the bedroom and leave him there with their favorite toy. While they are sleeping, use a soothing lullaby and talk gently to them. They will enjoy hearing your voice and will most likely come to trust you.
If this method does not work for you, there is an alternative that will stop your dog from whining during the night. I do not recommend using a newspaper because dogs tend to ignore sound so much better with their nose. If your dog sleeps in one of your rooms, turn your bedroom light off or use a fan. You will be surprised at how much they notice that you are not whining at them.
The last resort is to take your dog into another room and close the door. When you open the door, your dog will probably start whining non stop and will go to sleep immediately. Of course, it is not the best idea to do this while you are awake. Just close your eyes when you are trying to get your dog to sleep and try closing the door softly as you walk around in the room. You should quickly notice a huge change in behavior.
If your dog does start whining at night when you are not around, it is probably best to crate train them before they get older and more mature. It is cruel to crate a dog at night when they are still young and need lots of attention. Older dogs can be crate trained when they are older. However, I am not trying to scare you off crate training at all. I just want you to know that there is a way to stop them from whining when you are not home and you don’t want to go through the trouble of crate training them when they are older than you would like.