Crate Training at Bedtime
The crate can be a great tool to help with your puppy at night. Puppies do better when the crate is located near your bedroom because you will know immediately when they need something. The trick is to train your baby that night time is for sleeping and potty only. No playing or eating or goofing off.
Puppies should always go potty before they are put to bed at night, but with very young dogs may need to go out in the middle of the night. Responding to this need is not truly bending the don’t-take-the-puppy-out-when-it-cries rule. A puppy that has been sleeping and suddenly wakes up and starts whining may truly need to go out, and as loving owners you want to help. But nighttime excursions should be business only affairs.
- Have your leash, slippers & flashlight on hand because you are heading outside.
- Take your puppy to the potty spot and say, “Go potty.”
- After your puppy completes his business, praise and take him immediately back to the crate and put them back to bed.
- This is not a play time. If you play with your pup in the middle of the night he will definitely want another game scheduled for the next night.
PUTTING YOUR DOG TO BED
Implementing a bedtime routine makes things a lot easier for you and your dog. Let you dog drink, play and/or chill with you for a while, then go potty outside and it’s off to bed. Do not make a big deal out of this keep it simple.
- Use your regular command that tells your dog it is time for bed.
- Encourage your dog to follow you to his bed. You can use a treat or toy if necessary.
- Do not encourage a wild out of control game as you do not want to excite your dog just when you want him to rest.
- Point at the crate and use your crate word (i.e., “kennel up”). You can throw a treat or toy in with your dog as encouragement.
- Close the door, say goodnight calmly and leave the room.
- Do not return for any whining and crying as this will reinforce the behavior.