If your puppy won’t stop barking in the crate, they likely just want your attention. Puppies don’t like being alone, but until they are crate trained, they might feel lonely in their crate. They might also bark because they have too much energy and want to run around. Be sure your pup gets plenty of playtime during the day.
There aren’t many things more exciting than bringing home a new puppy! However, bringing home a puppy also comes with many challenges. One of those challenges is crate training.
Some puppies will naturally take to their crate with no issues, but it can be a battle for most puppies.
If you have a “barker” on your hands, we know how frustrating it can be. Especially when you have no idea what they are barking for. What could they possibly want after you have taken care of all their basic needs?
In those moments, it’s hard to prevent yourself from checking on your pup. Besides, barking is a sign of needing something, right? Not quite.
Puppies will sometimes bark solely to get your attention. When you go to their crate to check on them, you have unintentionally rewarded their bad behavior with your attention.
So how do you get your puppy to stop barking in their crate?
Don’t Reward Your Pups Barking
We all want the perfect pup, but we can’t expect our puppy to just lay in its crate for hours on end without making a sound.
Unfortunately, the “perfect puppy” will never exist. However, you can teach your dog to stop barking while in the crate with proper training.
The first step is to retrain your dog to learn that barking does not result in a reward. When you check up on your barking pup, you unintentionally reward them. They will quickly learn that barking means they get your attention.
It might be tough, but do not show your puppy any attention when they are barking.
Make The Crate a Comfortable Environment
Although there’s a good chance the puppy is barking because they want your attention, they might also bark because they are uncomfortable. Is the crate too small? Or maybe it’s too big. Finding the perfect sized crate makes a huge difference.
So how do you find the perfect sized crate? The crate should be big enough so the dog can comfortably stand all the way up and turn around without brushing the sides when turning.
However, you don’t want the crate to be too big. If the dog can take more than a few steps or comfortably stand its back legs in the crate, then the crate is too big.
You don’t want your dog to feel crammed, but you want them to feel cozy. The crate should be a warm and inviting space with a comfortable bed.
Cover The Crate
Make sure your puppy feels safe in the crate. Puppies (like humans) want to know they are safe in their new place. Think about it from their perspective. One day they were playing with all their littermates, the next day they were taken to a strange environment and placed in a crate.
Some puppies take to this change with no issues. However, some puppies develop anxiety.
A great way to help your puppy feel safe is by covering the crate with a blanket, so only the opening is visible. This will give them a feeling of protection and seclusion.
Feed Your Puppy In The Crate
One of the best tips we can give is to feed your puppy in the crate. Puppies LOVE their food. When you feed them in the crate, this will create a positive association. They will associate the crate with food.
Feeding them treats in the crate is a great idea as well. You can even hide a few treats in various places, as this will give them something to do while crated.
It’s important to make sure your dog doesn’t get bored while crated or they will constantly bark to get out. A bored dog is a loud dog. Take your dog out for a walk or some playtime before you decide to put them in the crate. This is a great way to tire them out and lower your chances of a yappy pup.
Limit The Crate Time
Puppies should never be in their crate for a prolonged amount of time. Since they have a lot of energy and are eager to play, they become restless in their crate.
By crating your dog for too long, they will become irritable, and the only way to express that is through barking…loudly.If you limit their crate time, you should see a drastic difference in how much they bark while crated.
Don’t Yell At Your Puppy
We previously discussed the importance of not “rewarding” your dog by giving them attention when they bark. It’s also important to refrain from yelling at them in an attempt to quiet them.
It’s hard not to become frustrated at this point, and it’s difficult not to shout at them. But when you try to quiet them down by shouting at them, they may perceive it as you joining in on the barking. This will make them bark even louder.
If you live in a loud neighborhood, your dog might bark from the noise they hear outside their crate.
If that’s the case, consider playing some background music for them. Classical music has worked wonders when calming an irritable puppy. It might help them focus more on the music than on the outside noise.
No One Likes To Be Alone
If all else fails, it might be that they simply want company. While it’s important to not acknowledge your puppy while they are barking, being by their side can help. Try moving your activities to the same room they are in, but make sure you keep your attention on what you are doing without acknowledging their presence.
Even if they bark for your attention, remain patient and calm. Eventually, they will run out of energy and will stop barking. In the long run, they will learn that barking is not an effective way to get your attention.
It’s difficult to stay strong in the face of a crying puppy. But if they are simply barking out of sheer desperation to have your attention, the last thing you want to do is reward that behavior.
Make sure your puppy is fed, taken out, and comfortable before crating them. It will take time and patience, but if you can follow these few steps, you are well on your way to maintaining a quiet and peaceful household.
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