It's a natural instinct for your pup to whimper. In the wild, he would cry out to get his mother's attention. Unfortunately, if you give in to his cries, he learns that it gets results. Structuring his life and positive kennel experiences are good methods to stop nighttime whimpering.
Set up a regular feeding schedule. Feed your pup three times a day and always at the same time. Plan the evening meal no less than three hours before bedtime. Scheduled meals will result in scheduled potty time right after the meal.
Give your puppy lots of playtime. Once you take him to his potty area and he eliminates, spend some time interacting with him. Your pup has lots of pent up energy.
Evaluate the dog kennel or crate. It should be large enough for the pup to stand, sit and turn around. If you purchased a crate to accommodate your pup when he is an adult, section off the back so he can't potty there.
Create a comfortable environment in the crate. Put a blanket or towel inside along with a toy or chew bone. If the pup just left his mother, wrap a wind-up clock or battery-operated clock inside a towel and place it in the crate or outside the crate so he can hear it ticking. The ticking clock is like a beating heart.
Place the crate in your bedroom. Nighttime whimpering could be the result of separation anxiety. Since you are the pack leader, he needs to know you are close by where he can follow your direction. If you sleep, he is more likely to sleep.
Ignore the whimpering. If the whimpering doesn't stop after a few minutes, correct with a sharp command.
- If your pup had an unpleasant experience in a kennel or crate, you can make it pleasant by feeding him in the crate, leading him to the crate with a treat and limiting crate time to one or two-hour periods during the day.
- Give him water no less than two hours before bedtime.
- Don't place the crate away from the family during the day. This can increase separation anxiety.
- Don't place him in the crate until he is calm. If he is still active, play with him until he is tired.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.