How to Stop your Puppy Crying at Night
Training and Behaviour
How do you get a puppy to stop crying at night?
And why are they crying?
There is a strong chance that your puppy will cry, whine or even scream during their first few nights in your house to alert their family that they are alone and need to be found. They may be feeling helpless or insecure in a new home - especially if they are sleeping in a separate room. In the wild, puppies are too small and weak to protect themselves, so being left alone without their pack represents an extremely unsafe and stressful situation.
As a pet parent, your heart may be aching for your crying puppy; but don’t forget this is a common problem as they transition into your family and there are plenty of things you can do to ease their nighttime wailing.
Surviving the first night with your new puppy
It may take a while for your puppy to settle in to their new environment. They may feel scared and a little intimidated. Reassure them with love and attention. There are different tactics you can use to help ease your puppy’s crying. Here are some of your options:
Tire your puppy out. Keep your puppy busy well into the evening to make sure that they’re knackered by the time you take them to their crate or bed.
Make their crate a more comfortable place. If you’re crate-training, place a warm blanket in their crate, add an old t-shirt of yours (something with your scent on it), or leave a long-lasting treat that’ll keep them entertained for a long time.
Move their bed a little closer to your room or inside your room. The further away you are, the more insecure they might feel. However, it’s important at this stage that you don’t let them sleep on the bed as this can confuse their sense of the pack hierarchy.
Take them to the potty or give them a chance to before sleeping. Sometimes, your puppy might be crying because they need to relieve themselves. Since it’s difficult to tell one reason from another, it’s best to make sure you work their potty time into their evening routine before they settle into their crate.
Try not to respond every time they cry. As counterproductive as this sounds, puppies can develop “learned crying” which means that if you continue to respond or soothe them, they will associate the crying with a reward and the behaviour is then reinforced.
Typically, it takes a few days or up to a week for the puppy to adjust to their new surroundings. During this time their nightly crying will start to die down.
How much sleep does my puppy need?
It's also worth noting the amount of sleep your puppy needs, which will depend on their age. In general, an 8-week old puppy will need to sleep 18 to 22 hours a day.
Don't forget; it's totally common for your new puppy to cry at night but with some time, patience and attention, you'll be able to ease this problem reasonably quickly.