You’ve brought your little puppy home, and your family members are excited, but then, it’s the middle of the night, and your little fur friend starts to cry. And when the dog barks turn into sleepless nights you may even consider returning your canine companion.
Don’t panic or return your fur friend just yet; it’s normal for a puppy to cry, especially on the first night. They’re probably going through separation anxiety as they settle into their new environment.
The good news is that you can stop your pup from crying using several simple methods. This post will explain why pups cry and provide you with 8 of the best tips to stop a puppy from crying.
Let’s dig in!
Why is my puppy crying?
There are countless possibilities for why your pup may be crying, ranging from loneliness to fear and boredom. Understanding the root cause of the problem is key to stopping the puppy from crying.
Here are the common reasons why your fluffy friend might be crying:
A young or adult dog is a social animal well adapted to living in groups, including with its owners. A pup will be needier as it tries to adjust to being separated from its siblings and mother and often cries when left alone.
As your pup explores the new home, its behaviors may range from being daring and playful to being fearful and withdrawn. If this is the case, your pup will whimper or cower under furniture or in a corner instead of greeting the visitors.
Your fur friend may also run away from you when you introduce new objects, like a backpack, stick, hat, umbrella, etc.
Like a human baby, your puppy will respond to boredom with a rising wave of emotions, including fussiness and crying. This is especially true if the puppy lacks enough physical and mental exercise.
If your pup cries in times leading to meals, it could indicate that they’re hungry. However, note that this may not always be the case, so don’t give them food every time they cry.
Like a human baby, puppies can’t ‘hold it’ and often cry when they need to go to the toilet, so factor in potty breaks.
Although rare, your pup may be crying and whimpering because they are sick. However, this will be accompanied by other symptoms, including loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, dizziness, vomiting, or increased breathing rate.
Excessive scratching, biting, or licking may also indicate an infection, parasites, allergy, or other skin problems in one area. If your normally social puppy doesn’t want to be touched, it could be in pain or suffering an injury.
How do I stop my puppy from crying?
Once you understand why your pup is crying, you can now choose how to approach it. Generally, there are several tested and proven methods that work to stop your pup from crying, including:
Method #1: Crate train your pup
If your pup is crying because he is unfamiliar with the new environment, crate training them can help them adapt. This training leverages your pup’s instincts to create a quiet, comfortable, and safe place when their environment becomes overwhelming.
However, you must figure out whether this training is right for you and your fur friend. You’ll need some research, as crate training isn’t as simple as putting the puppy into the crate and leaving them there.
Crate training means creating a bold, positive association with the crate so that your pup feels safe and comfortable in there. However, if you master the art of crate training, the crying will soon turn into snoring.
So, how exactly do you crate train your pup?
You can start feeding your pup all their meals in the crate, rewarding them for entering the crate, and ensuring they remain unbothered when they’re in their crate. You can also refrain from opening the crate door unless they are quiet to avoid the habit of crying to be set free.
However, ensure you get the right dog crate for your pup – one that they’re comfortable in. You can buy a crate with a dividing panel so that it grows as your pup grows.
This is a great way to save you money as it ensures that you don’t have to buy a new puppy crate every year.
Method #2: Provide comfort but not attention
Yes, I know: the puppy cries may feel like the end of the world, but it sounds more dramatic than it is! And the drama can end with simple methods like providing your canine friend with a companion and comfort.
But be careful, as you trying to provide your pup with comfort may turn into a dangerous habit. Comforting your pooch will only ensure they repeat the same tactic the next time, and again, and again…then you’ll never stop your pup from crying.
So, how do you provide comfort to your fur friend without giving them attention?
You can start by allowing the pup to sleep in a crate or dog bed placed in your room, so they can know you’re around. Then, you can slowly move the crate from your room to the family room as the pup starts to get used to sleeping undisturbed in their bed.
However, ensure that you don’t give your pup any attention whenever you’re in the room. Please note that your pup can interpret a simple word as ‘Shh!’ to be attention, so only allow them to sleep in your room if you’re sure you won’t chat with them.
You can also place clothing or other items that smell of you into your pup’s crate to create familiarity. The pup may think you’re around and will most likely be comfortable.
Method #3: Limit water and food intake before bed
If a toilet break is the main reason why you’re your pup cries in the middle of the night, then you should limit water and food intake before your puppy sleeps. If the pup goes to bed with a full stomach and bladder, you’ll need to wake up at least once in the nighttime to let them out.
Method #4: Use music
Yep, you read that right. Music has proved very effective in calming and comforting young puppies when crying; it helps them sleep.
Soothing sounds and music are therapeutical to humans and dogs as well. The right sounds will relieve your young puppy’s stress levels and help them relax and fall asleep.
Method #5: Don’t make it a big deal
I’ll agree with you on this one: it can be tough to hear your pooch cry at night, but if you want the cries to cease, you need to be indifferent. Resist the urge to run to your fur friend whenever they cry.
Giving your young pups close attention when they cry teaches them that this behavior gives them what they want – which is not what you want!
Method #6: Limit access to distractions
Your canine companion doesn’t need a lot to get a good night’s sleep – a safe environment, soft beddings, and the fewest distractions are all they need. But, this isn’t a walk in the park for most pet parents.
Most like to keep playing with the pup even during their bedtime, discouraging them from sleeping at night. Avoid leaving favorite toys or treats in their sleeping area, as most puppies will get naughty when trying to make their fun.
Method 7: Give your pup a good time out
Give your puppy an excellent alone time during the day, not just at bedtime. Put them in their own space, like a crate or pen, and give them a fun chew toy they like – you want them to think of being alone as a good thing.
Method #8: Check other issues
You’ve given your puppy a bathroom break, reduced their distraction, tried playing classical music, or used other methods mentioned here, but none seems to work? Your pup may be experiencing distress from several factors, including a health problem.
If your furry best friend has been crying for a couple of weeks, take it to a vet or dog expert for further examination.
A quick tip: Give your pup plenty of exercise before bedtime
A tired puppy is a sleepy pup, so use playtime to stop them from crying. Give your furry best friend a toy filled with treats, to increase their work rate. For instance, you can smear peanut butter on the pup’s toy to increase their activity.
What not do when trying to stop your puppy from crying
So, you’ve been trying to make your pup love their crate and stop crying, and now it seems like it’s never going to happen. You may sometimes resort to several methods that seem to work in the short term but could hurt your puppy’s crying behavior in the long run.
Here is what not to do:
- Don’t pet your pup immediately after they cry; wait until they settle first. Otherwise, you’ll teach your pup the wrong lesson – that crying gives them cuddles.
- If you want them to end up sleeping in the living room, don’t entertain the idea of having them sleep in your room. Otherwise, they’ll demand to sleep in your room again and again.
- Avoid using your puppy’s crate as a punishment, which can create stress at bedtime.
The bottom line
Bringing in a new puppy at home can mean playtime all day, but no time is better than bedtime when your puppy starts to cry. This article provides you with eight tips to help you stop your pup from crying the entire night.
Good luck as you purpose to use it to get you and your canine companion a good night’s sleep!