How to Train a Puppy to Sleep in a Crate

Make your puppy's crate cozy and welcoming.
i dog in a cage image by igor kisselev from

A cozy den, tucked safely away from noise and annoyances -- that’s what your puppy’s crate will come to mean for him in time. It takes a while, however, for your little tail-wagger to sleep soundly in his crate. You can help him adapt through consistency and patience.

Step 1

Choose a dog crate that is big enough for your little guy to stretch out comfortably and stand up, but not so large that he can romp and run from end to end.

Step 2

Place your puppy’s crate where he can see you but not right beside a hallway or a door where he can be disturbed by your comings and goings.

Step 3

Put a soft blanket and a cuddly stuffed animal in the crate to keep your puppy company. Make his crate as appealing and comforting as you can.

Step 4

Feed your puppy and give him a drink of water about two hours before you crate him. If you allow him to eat or drink after that, he might have to go potty when he’s in his crate, which will interfere with his sleep.

Step 5

Take your puppy outside, and wait for him to go to the bathroom right before putting him in his crate.

Step 6

Put your puppy in his crate and close the door while you go about your household tasks. In many cases, the puppy will fall asleep right away.

Step 7

Carry your puppy or lead him to his potty spot as soon as he wakes up. Puppies usually eliminate right after they awaken so it’s important to take your puppy out of his crate right away.

Step 8

Leave your puppy in his crate no longer than one hour for every month of his age. Three hours is the limit for a 3-month-old puppy, five hours for a 5-month-old puppy and so on.

Step 9

Cover the top and sides of your puppy’s crate to encourage him to sleep. A sheet or a lightweight blanket will do the trick. If your puppy has a tough time winding down, you can drape the front of the crate as well, but make sure he gets plenty of fresh air.

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