How do you crate train puppies at night?


Quick Answer

Crate training puppies gives them a safe, quiet place to sleep while keeping them out of trouble overnight. Choose a crate large enough for your puppy to stand up and move around in but still small enough to be cozy.

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Full Answer

  1. Prepare the crate

    Place a suitable dog bed or soft blanket in the crate to make the crate cozy. Add a favorite dog toy or two to encourage your dog to spend time in the crate. Place the crate in an out-of-the-way corner of a room that you regularly spend time in so that your dog can become accustomed to it while you are nearby.

  2. Entice your dog into the crate with treats

    Spend time in the room with the crate and your dog. Toss treats around the room as you play with your dog. Toss some into the crate to encourage your dog to explore it. Continue leaving treats in the crate throughout the day to get your dog to associate the crate with rewards.

  3. Serve dinner in the crate

    The next day, serve your dog's food in the crate. Place your dog's usual food bowl in the back of the crate at each meal time so that your dog needs to stand in the crate while it eats.

  4. Train your dog to enter the crate on command

    Sit in front of the crate with your dog. Say, "Go to bed." Toss a treat into the crate. When your dog enters the crate, offer praise and feed it another treat. Repeat 10 times to reinforce the command. Repeat the entire exercise a few times throughout the day. When your dog is going into the crate quickly for the treat, start only giving the treat after the dog enters the crate.

  5. Close the door on the crate

    When your dog seems comfortable going into the crate, start closing the door on the crate after giving your dog the treat for entering the crate. While the door is closed, praise your dog, and give additional treats. Extend the length of time the door is closed with each repetition.

  6. Leave your dog alone in the crate

    After your dog appears comfortable with the crate door closed for 20 second, start leaving the room for a few minutes when the crate door is closed. When you return, reward your dog with a treat before releasing him. As you gradually lengthen the time, leave your dog with new treats or entertaining toys to keep it busy. Build up to 30 minutes of alone time in the crate.

  7. Work on extending crate time

    Before leaving your dog in the crate for periods longer than 30 minutes, always exercise your dog thoroughly. A tired dog is more content to remain in the crate. Gradually extend the time your dog is in the crate during the day to 4 hours. At this point, your dog is ready to sleep in the crate at night.

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