Can My Puppy Sleep in Another Room in His Crate at Night?

"Hello? I need to go outside!"

"Hello? I need to go outside!"

If your puppy sleeps in a crate in your room and tends to wake you up at night, you're likely considering putting his crate in another room. That isn’t always the best option; typically it depends on the pup's age and state of training.

Training Considerations

Placement of Oliver’s crate ultimately depends on where he is at in his training and how well adjusted he is to the crate. If he’s hesitant about going inside it, you might be going too fast with his crate training. Take the door off -- or prop it open -- and let him come and go as he pleases, the ASPCA recommends. Feed him dinner inside the crate, give him treats in there. As he continues to associate it with positive things, he’ll feel more and more comfortable being in his kennel. Put him in his crate, in your presence, at random for short periods of time when you’re home, like while you’re making dinner. This way he won’t always feel like he’s being segregated from the family or fear that you’re leaving every time you crate him.

The Best Location

Ideally you should keep Oliver’s crate in your bedroom during the early stages of the crate-training process so you can hear his potty cries at night -- early on, a pup needs to go out every two hours. But if he tosses and turns, or snores, or whines, or barks, keeping you up regardless of whether he needs to eliminate, you can move the kennel into the hallway or adjacent room.

Missing Signals

During training, you'll extend the interval between breaks, gradually and deliberately. Setting a clock makes listening for your puppy to signal he needs to go out unnecessary, and it reinforces his interval-lengthening training. Regardless of where the cage is, setting an alarm clock ensures you don't wake to find a soiled cage -- which sets back your crate-training.

Length of Time

Let a puppy out of his crate every two hours when you start training, particularly between 8 weeks and 12 weeks. The Humane Society of the United States website says puppies younger than 6 months old can be in a crate for three to four hours at a time, maximum. This doesn't mean you'll have to get up in the middle of the night every night for six months or more; but you won't be able to go all night for a period. On his own, the dog will sleep through the night when his bladder will let him. If he's sound asleep, he's not desperate to pee. One he awakens, though, he will be.

Feelings of Isolation

If you get in the habit of locking up Oliver in his crate -- located in the guest room on the other side of the house -- he could start feeling isolated from you. He’ll whine and howl, since he doesn’t know where you are, and will come to resent his crate. After all, every time he goes in there, you go away for long periods of time. Eventually, you may have a harder and harder time getting him to even go in his kennel. He could also become destructive in his stressed-out state and feel the need to destroy his bedding or even chew any part of his crate that he can. You’ll have to start crate-training all over again and slowly reintroduce him to his den until he recognizes it as a happy place.

 

About the Author

Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.

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