How to Crate Train Dog at Night

Crate training can be a valuable tool for dog owners, especially when it comes to teaching their furry friends to sleep through the night. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of crate training your dog at night, from understanding its benefits to troubleshooting common challenges.

Crate training is important for dogs at night for several reasons. Firstly, it provides them with a safe and secure space that mimics a den-like environment. Dogs are den animals by nature, and having a designated area that resembles a cozy den can help them feel calm and secure.

Additionally, crate training can prevent destructive behavior during the night when unsupervised. It keeps your dog contained in a designated area where they are less likely to chew on furniture or other items.

Understanding the benefits of crate training at night is crucial in order to reap its rewards. Crate training teaches dogs bladder and bowel control, as they learn to hold off elimination until they are let out of their crate in the morning. It also helps with separation anxiety by providing a sense of comfort and routine. Furthermore, crate training can aid in establishing boundaries and promoting overall obedience.

By implementing proper methods and techniques, you can successfully crate train your dog at night. From choosing the right size and location for the crate to making it a positive and comfortable space for your furry friend, we will guide you through each step of the process. So let’s dive into this rewarding journey of creating a peaceful nighttime routine for both you and your beloved canine companion.

Understanding the benefits of crate training at night for dogs

Crate training at night for dogs provides numerous benefits that can contribute to their overall well-being and behavior. Understanding these benefits is important in order to appreciate the value of crate training and to successfully implement it into your dog’s routine.

One of the main advantages of crate training at night is that it helps establish a sense of security and comfort for your dog. Dogs are den animals by nature, and therefore feel safer in enclosed spaces. A crate acts as a secure den-like environment where they can retreat to when they want to rest or feel safe. This can be especially beneficial at night when dogs may feel more vulnerable or anxious.

Additionally, crate training can aid in the process of housebreaking or potty training your dog. Dogs have an instinctual desire to keep their sleeping area clean, so when they are confined in a crate at night, they are less likely to have accidents inside. This not only helps minimize messes in your home, but also reinforces good bathroom habits for your dog.

Furthermore, crate training at night can help prevent destructive behavior or escapism during unsupervised hours. By confining your dog to a secure space like a crate, you can protect your furniture, belongings, and even prevent potential harm that may result from chewing on hazardous objects or escaping from the house.

Preparing the crate

Choosing the Right Size of Crate

When preparing the crate for your dog, it is essential to choose the right size that provides comfort and security. The crate should be spacious enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. However, it shouldn’t be too large as this may encourage accidents inside the crate. If the space is too big, dogs may designate one area for sleeping and another for eliminating waste.

To determine the appropriate size, consider your dog’s current size and age while also taking into account their growth potential. It may be necessary to purchase a larger crate if you have a puppy who is still growing. Additionally, take note of any breed-specific characteristics such as long or tall body proportions.

Identifying the Right Location

The location of the crate plays a crucial role in successful crate training at night. Choose a spot in your home where there is minimal noise and activity during nighttime. This will help reduce distractions that could disrupt your dog’s sleep and make them anxious.

Ideally, place the crate in an area close to where you sleep so that your dog can feel secure knowing their human companion is nearby. The bedroom may be a suitable choice for some households, while others may prefer keeping the crate in a separate room nearby. Ensure that the temperature in the chosen location is comfortable for your dog.

Avoid placing the crate in areas with direct sunlight or drafts that could make it too hot or cold for your pet. Furthermore, keep in mind that some dogs may exhibit anxiety if they are secluded from family members while they sleep. In such cases, having their crate near common living areas can help alleviate stress.

Remember that every dog is unique and may have different preferences regarding their sleeping space. Monitor your dog’s behavior during initial introductions to determine if any adjustments need to be made in terms of location or positioning of the crate within the chosen space.

Introducing the crate

Introducing the crate to your dog is a crucial step in crate training and can greatly impact their overall experience and acceptance of the crate. By creating a positive and comfortable space, you can help your dog feel safe and secure while inside the crate.

Firstly, it is important to choose the right type and size of crate for your dog. The crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. If the crate is too small, your dog may feel cramped and uncomfortable. On the other hand, if it is too big, they may feel anxious or insecure. Taking measurements of your dog’s height, length, and width can help you find the appropriate size.

Next, consider the location of the crate. It should be placed in an area where your dog can still feel included in family activities but also have some privacy and quiet time. Avoid placing the crate near drafty areas or direct sunlight as this can make it uncomfortable for your dog.

To make the crate inviting, add soft bedding such as blankets or towels that are machine washable for easy cleaning. You can also place some familiar items inside like toys or a t-shirt with your scent on it. These objects will help create a positive association with the crate as they remind your dog of their own personal space.

Additionally, using treats or praise can be helpful in making the introduction to the crate a positive experience. Start by leaving treats near or around the open door of the crate so that your dog gets used to approaching it willingly. Gradually place treats further into the crate until your dog feels comfortable going all the way inside.

Overall, taking these steps to ensure that your dog’s experience with the crate is positive from the start will set them up for success when it comes to night-time crate training. Creating a safe and comfortable environment will help alleviate any anxiety or resistance they may have towards being in their new sleeping space.

Choose the right size crateThe crate should allow your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
Select an appropriate locationThe crate should be placed where your dog can still feel included but also have privacy and quiet.
Add comfortable bedding and familiar itemsUse soft bedding and familiar items like toys or clothing to make the crate inviting and give a sense of security.
Use treats and praise for positive reinforcementStart by leaving treats around the open door of the crate, gradually working towards placing them further inside.

Establishing a crate training routine for night time

  1. Set a schedule: Dogs thrive on routine, so it’s important to establish a consistent schedule for bedtime. Determine what time you want your dog to go to sleep and wake up, and stick to these times as closely as possible. Consistency will help your dog adapt to the routine more quickly.
  2. Create a bedtime ritual: Just like humans, dogs benefit from winding down before bed. Establish a calming bedtime ritual that signals it’s time for sleep. This can include activities such as taking them for a short walk, brushing their coat, or engaging in quiet playtime.
  3. Use positive reinforcement: Make going into the crate an enjoyable experience for your dog by using positive reinforcement techniques. Before putting your dog in the crate at night, give them treats or verbal praise so they associate the crate with something positive. You can also place their favorite toys or blankets in the crate to make it more inviting.
  4. Practice patience during the night: When you first start crate training at night, expect some resistance or fussiness from your dog. They may whine or bark because they are not used to being confined while they sleep. It’s important not to give in immediately or let them out of the crate when they display this behavior, as it will only reinforce their reluctance to stay in the crate.
  5. Take them out for bathroom breaks: Puppies especially have smaller bladders and may need bathroom breaks during the night initially. Take your dog outside before putting them in the crate and again when you let them out in the morning. This helps prevent accidents in the crate and reinforces good bathroom habits.
What Treats Are Best For Training Dogs

Following these steps will help establish a crate training routine for night time that is beneficial for both you and your dog. With consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement, your dog will soon learn to associate the crate with a safe and comfortable sleeping environment.

Making the crate a safe and secure environment

Firstly, it is important to choose the right type of crate for your dog. Opt for one that provides enough space for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. If the crate is too small, your dog may feel cramped and uncomfortable, while a crate that is too large may not provide the sense of security that dogs seek in their den-like spaces.

Additionally, consider placing soft bedding or blankets in the crate to make it more inviting and cozy for your dog. However, it is important to ensure that these items are safe and cannot be chewed on or swallowed by your dog. Avoid using any bedding material that contains loose threads or stuffing which could pose as a choking hazard.

Another important aspect of creating a safe environment in the crate is to remove any potential hazards. This includes removing collar tags, harnesses or any other accessories that could get snagged on parts of the crate. Additionally, make sure there are no hazardous substances or objects near the crate that could cause harm to your dog.

Choose an appropriately sized cratePrevents discomfort or anxiety
Provide soft bedding materialsMakes the crate inviting and cozy
Remove potential hazards from the crateEnsures the safety of your dog

By implementing these measures, you can create a safe and secure environment within the crate that will help your dog feel more comfortable and relaxed. This will in turn facilitate a positive association with the crate and make the crate training process more effective. Remember to gradually introduce your dog to the crate and consistently use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to encourage them to view it as a safe space.

Tips for successfully crate training your dog at night

Crate training can be a beneficial way to provide a safe and secure space for your dog at night. However, it is important to understand how to successfully crate train your dog at night in order to avoid any challenges or resistance. Here are some helpful tips for effectively crate training your dog at night:

  1. Start with short periods of time: When you first introduce your dog to the crate at night, it is best to start with short periods of time and gradually increase the duration. Begin by having your dog spend just a few minutes in the crate and slowly work your way up to longer periods throughout the night.
  2. Use positive reinforcement: Make the crate a positive and rewarding space for your dog by using treats, toys, or praise when they enter willingly. This will help them associate the crate with positive experiences and make them more comfortable spending time inside.
  3. Establish a bedtime routine: Consistency is key when it comes to crate training. Establishing a bedtime routine can help signal to your dog that it is time to sleep in their crate. This routine could include activities such as a short walk, followed by feeding time, and then settling into the crate for the night.
  4. Make the crate comfortable: Ensure that the crate is equipped with soft bedding and cozy blankets to create a comfortable environment for your dog. Adding familiar scents, such as an unwashed t-shirt or their favorite toy, can also provide reassurance and help them feel more at ease.
  5. Avoid punishment: Never use the crate as a form of punishment for your dog. This will only create negative associations and make them resistant towards entering the crate willingly. The goal is for them to view their crate as their own safe haven.

By following these tips, you can successfully crate train your dog at night and provide them with a secure sleeping space. Remember that patience and consistency are key when it comes to any form of training, so be sure to take your time and make the process as positive as possible for your furry friend.

Troubleshooting common challenges

One of the common challenges that dog owners may face when crate training their dogs at night is dealing with whining, barking, or resistance. It is important to address these challenges in a positive and effective manner to ensure successful crate training. Here are some tips to help you troubleshoot these common challenges:

  1. Whining: Many dogs may whine initially when they are placed inside the crate at night. This behavior is often a manifestation of separation anxiety or simply a desire for attention. To address this, it is important to remain calm and not give in to your dog’s whining.
    Providing reassurance by speaking softly or patting them through the crate may inadvertently reinforce the behavior. Instead, try ignoring the whining and only acknowledge your dog once they have stopped whining for a few seconds. This will teach them that quiet behavior is rewarded.
  2. Barking: Some dogs may resort to barking when placed in the crate at night. Similar to whining, barking can also be a sign of anxiety or an attempt to get attention. It is essential not to shout or yell at your dog during this time, as it may further escalate their anxiety levels.
    Instead, consider using positive reinforcement techniques such as giving them treats or toys that are only available inside the crate. This will create positive associations with being in the crate and help curb barking behavior over time.
  3. Resistance: Some dogs may display resistance towards entering the crate altogether, making it challenging for owners to establish a solid crate training routine at night. In such cases, it is important to go slow and take baby steps towards acclimating your dog to the crate.
    Start by introducing them to the crate during the day with the door open, allowing them to explore it freely without any pressure or confinement. Gradually increase their exposure and encourage positive associations by placing treats or their favorite toys inside the crate while leaving the door open initially.

Remember, patience and consistency are key when facing these challenges. Each dog is unique, and some may require more time and effort to feel comfortable in the crate at night. By addressing whining, barking, or resistance in a positive manner and gradually introducing your dog to the crate, you can overcome these challenges and successfully crate train your dog at night.

Gradually increasing crate training duration at night

Start with short periods

When crate training your dog at night, it is important to start with short periods of time and gradually increase the duration. This allows your dog to get used to being in the crate for longer periods without feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Begin by having your dog spend just a few minutes in the crate at night, gradually increasing the time each night.

Can of Pennies Dog Training

Use positive reinforcement

To make your dog more comfortable with spending longer periods in the crate at night, it is crucial to use positive reinforcement. Whenever you put your dog in the crate, reward them with treats and praise. This helps create a positive association with the crate and encourages your dog to view it as a safe and enjoyable space.

Provide entertainment

As you gradually increase the duration of crate training at night, it is essential to provide entertainment for your dog while they are in the crate. This can include interactive toys or puzzle toys that keep their mind engaged and prevent boredom. By providing these types of distractions, you can help alleviate any restlessness or anxiety that may occur during longer periods of confinement.

Give bathroom breaks

During the process of gradually increasing crate training duration at night, it is important to give your dog regular bathroom breaks. If your dog is confined for too long without being able to relieve themselves, accidents may happen inside the crate which can hamper their progress. Take your dog outside before crating them for extended periods and provide opportunities for bathroom breaks throughout the night.

By following these gradual steps and incorporating positive reinforcement, you can successfully increase crate training duration at night for your dog. Remember to be patient and consistent throughout the process as every dog’s progress will vary.

Graduating from crate training


Crate training can be an effective method to teach dogs good sleep habits and provide them with a safe and secure space at night. However, there may come a time when you feel your dog is ready to graduate from crate training and transition to sleeping without a crate. This section will discuss the steps and considerations involved in this process, as well as provide tips for a successful transition.

Ensuring readiness

Before transitioning your dog to sleep without a crate, it’s important to ensure they are ready for this change. Consider factors such as their behavior during nighttime crate training sessions, their overall comfort with being alone at night, and any housetraining progress made. If your dog regularly exhibits signs of anxiety or engages in destructive behaviors when left unattended at night, it may be better to continue crate training until they are more comfortable and reliable.

Gradual introduction

When transitioning your dog to sleeping without a crate, it’s recommended to do so gradually. Start by leaving the crate door open during the night while keeping the crate in its usual location. This allows your dog to have the option of going inside if they still feel more secure or comfortable. Make sure they have access to their regular sleeping area or bed outside of the crate as well.

Over time, you can experiment with gradually moving the crate further away from the sleeping area or even into another room. Monitor your dog’s behavior during these transitions and adjust accordingly based on their comfort level. It’s important not to rush this process and give your dog plenty of time to adapt to the new arrangement.

Tips for success

As you transition your dog from crate training to sleeping without a crate at night, there are some tips that can increase success:

  1. Stick with a consistent bedtime routine: Dogs thrive on routines, so maintain a consistent schedule for bedtime and waking up. This helps signal to your dog that it’s time to settle down and sleep.
  2. Provide a comfortable alternative: Make sure your dog has a comfortable bed or designated sleeping area outside of the crate. This will help them feel secure and encourage them to choose this area instead of the crate.
  3. Establish boundaries: Set clear boundaries for your dog’s sleeping area without the crate. Use baby gates or closed doors if necessary to prevent access to certain areas of the house during the night.
  4. Continue positive reinforcement: Reinforce good behavior by rewarding your dog when they successfully sleep without the crate. Use treats, praise, or their favorite toys to create a positive association with sleeping outside of the crate.

Remember, each dog is different, and the transition process may take time and patience. It’s essential to understand your dog’s needs and adapt accordingly to ensure a smooth transition from crate training to sleeping without a crate at night.


Crate training your dog at night can be a challenging process, but the rewards are well worth it. By providing a safe and secure environment for your furry friend, you are not only ensuring their safety during the night but also establishing a routine that promotes good behavior and reduces anxiety.

One of the key benefits of crate training at night is that it helps with housebreaking. Dogs naturally do not like to eliminate in their sleeping area, so by confining them to a crate during the night, you are teaching them to control their bladder and bowels until morning. This can significantly speed up the housebreaking process and save you from waking up to accidents or having to clean up messes.

In addition to promoting good bathroom habits, crate training at night also helps dogs feel more secure and less anxious. Dogs have an instinctual denning behavior, and crates mimic this natural desire for a small, enclosed space. By creating a positive association with their crate through training and gradually increasing crate time at night, you are providing them with a safe and cozy environment where they can relax and sleep peacefully.

Remember, patience is key when crate training your dog at night. It may take some time for your furry friend to get used to the routine and become comfortable in their crate. However, with consistency, positive reinforcement, and gradual increments in duration, you will start seeing rewarding results. So stick with it and enjoy the peaceful nights knowing that your dog is comfortably resting in their own little den.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my dog to stop whining at night in his crate?

To get your dog to stop whining at night in his crate, it’s important to understand the underlying reasons for the behavior. Dogs may whine in their crates due to anxiety, discomfort, or a need for attention. Start by ensuring that your dog’s crate is comfortable and inviting with a soft bed and some toys. Gradually acclimate your dog to the crate by making it a positive and rewarding space during the day through treats, praise, and short periods of confinement.

At night, establish a consistent bedtime routine that includes taking your dog out to potty before placing them in the crate. Avoid giving in to whining by ignoring it or avoiding eye contact, as this may encourage the behavior. If necessary, use white noise or background music to provide some soothing sounds that can help calm your dog while they adjust to sleeping in their crate.

How do I train my dog to go to his crate at night?

Training your dog to go to their crate at night requires consistency and positive reinforcement. Start by creating a positive association with the crate during daylight hours. Leave the door open and place treats inside so that your dog voluntarily enters the crate on their own accord.

Once they are comfortable going into the crate during daytime, introduce specific cues such as “crate” or “bedtime” accompanied by treats and praise when they enter willingly. Gradually extend this training to nighttime routines by using the cue phrase before guiding them towards their crate with a treat reward waiting inside. Over time, your dog will come to understand that going into their crate at night is rewarded and expected behavior.

Should I ignore my dog whining in crate at night?

The decision of whether or not to ignore your dog’s whining in the crate at night depends on various factors such as age, health, and previous training experiences. In general, it is advisable not to give immediate attention or open the crate when a dog starts whining as this can reinforce the behavior by teaching them that whining leads to desired outcomes.

However, it is important to ensure that your dog’s needs are met before crating them at night, such as taking them out for a potty break and providing enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. If your dog continues whining persistently despite meeting their needs, it may be necessary to evaluate reasons behind their distress, consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist, or consider potential health issues that could be causing discomfort.

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