Should a puppy sleep in a crate the first night?
Most of the time, a puppy can sleep in a crate on the first night. However, some puppies will be less amenable to this than others. Since you want the puppy to enjoy being in the crate, if the puppy does not want to sleep in the crate, do not force it into the crate right away.
If you have just brought home a new puppy, you probably want to make sure that you are doing everything possible to make your new furry friend feel at home. You want to get your new family member accustomed to everything in your home, including how they are going to sleep at night.
Some people might wonder if a puppy should be sleeping in a crate the first night in the house. Crate training is a big part of what is advised for many new dog owners, but some people may wonder if it is wise to do this on the very first night.
Puppies Can Normally Sleep in a Crate on the First Night
Typically, it is fine to have your puppy sleep in a crate on the first night that the puppy is in your home. However, it is important that you follow certain guidelines, for the comfort and happiness of your puppy.
It is also important that you remember that this does not apply to every puppy, and in some cases, you would be better off not making your puppy sleep in a crate on the first night.
You should keep in mind that for some puppies, the first few days in a new place might be somewhat traumatic. Some puppies may just be more sensitive than others, and you should be mindful of this.
In some cases, your puppy has just not had much of an opportunity to be in the crate and create positive associations with it. If your puppy is extremely uncomfortable being in the crate right off the bat, it is okay if you do not force your puppy to sleep in the crate for the first few nights in your home.
A big part of crate training is making sure that your puppy loves being in the crate. If your puppy is in the crate crying and stressed out all night, this is not going to happen. This is why it might be a good idea to take it slower and respect the pace at which your puppy wants to go.
There are also certain things that you can do to make it more likely that your puppy will be okay with going into the crate on the first night.
Bring Your Puppy Home Early in the Day
If you can, you should get your puppy from the breeder or shelter as soon in the day as possible. This will allow your puppy some time to get used to the new surroundings in the home.
While you are picking up your puppy, you should ask whoever is in charge if they are able to give you a towel or blanket that smells like the puppy’s mother and siblings. This item will be reassuring to your puppy during its first days and nights in your home.
When you get your puppy into the house, try to avoid letting it run all over the house. This could actually be too overwhelming for your puppy. What you should do instead is confine the puppy to a small room that includes the crate. Try to make the crate a wonderful and inviting place for your puppy, putting the towel or blanket inside, along with some treats and toys.
Whenever your puppy goes into the crate, make sure to give a lot of praise. You might even want to put a few treats into the crate to attract the puppy inside. Do this repeatedly, and they will start creating positive associations with the crate.
It is also a good idea to say “crate” every time your puppy is going into the crate, so that they associate that word with the crate.
At the beginning, you should keep the crate open while you are allowing your puppy to go in and out of it. However, after some time, start briefly closing the gate, and make sure to reward them while they’re inside the crate.
If the puppy associates the crate with getting treats and praise, it will be more likely to be happy about spending time inside.
Prepare the Puppy for a Night in the Crate
Before they go into the crate to spend the night, make sure that you put the towel or blanket with the smell of the puppy’s family (mother and siblings) inside the crate.
On the first night, you can have your puppy sleep in the crate, but you should put the crate right beside your bed. You do not need to keep the crate in this location. As the puppy gets more accustomed to the surroundings in your home, you can gradually move the crate every day, until it is in the location where you want them to be sleeping.
Make sure that right before bedtime, you have taken your puppy outside to pee and poop. It is also a good idea to set the alarm for every two to three hours to take your puppy outside at night.
Your puppy might end up waking you up to be taken out, or you might have to wake them up.
It is possible that your puppy is going to start whining when you put them in the crate. If you can get the puppy to pee and poop right before they went into the crate, it is probably not because they need to eliminate.
You need to make sure that all of your puppy’s needs are met, including not being too hot or cold.
Most of the time, when a puppy is whining on the first night, it is because the puppy is stressed out from being in a new place and feeling lonely without their usual littermates.
You can gently touch your puppy and reassure them with your soft voice. You want to be careful not to do this on a regular basis, because it will reinforce your puppy’s inclination to whine for attention, but it is fine to do it on the first night.
However, if your puppy is whining later in the night, it could be because the puppy needs to go potty. If this is the case, you want to promptly open the crate, take your puppy out without any other events that may entertain the puppy, praise the puppy as soon as they are done with their business, and then give the puppy treats or praise as soon as they go back into their crate.
Useful Crate Training Tips
There are many things that you should keep in mind when you are crate training your new puppy. Sometimes, your puppy will love the crate from the very first day, and it will be much easier for you. However, in other cases, it will be very overwhelming for your puppy, and some extra effort will be needed on your part.
Do Not Use the Crate as Punishment
You want your puppy to associate the crate with positivity and comfort, so you should never use it as punishment. If there is any negativity associated with the crate, you want to try to address this as soon as possible.
Avoid Overuse of the Crate
Do not force your puppy to spend the majority of its time in the crate. The puppy should enjoy being in the crate, which will likely not happen if they are forced to be in there without being able to move around for long periods of time.
Make sure that your puppy has plenty of playtime and exercise in between times when they will be confined to the crate. If the puppy is full of energy, it will not be good to force them to go back into the crate, where they will not be able to move around a lot.
Address Your Puppy’s Needs Before Crating
Before you put your puppy in the crate for the night, make sure that the puppy has eaten and drank everything they need. Make sure that they have gone to the bathroom as well.
Also, it is important to try to make the crate as comfortable as possible before your puppy goes to sleep inside it. Your puppy should not be lying on a cold hard surface. Put some comfy blankets inside with pee pads underneath, keeping in mind that it is possible that your puppy is going to pee while in the crate.
It can be extremely uncomfortable if the puppy has to lie in their own pee, so it will be good to have the pads there for absorption. Additionally, make sure that your dog is able to turn around comfortably while inside the crate and can stand up whenever necessary.
Sleep Well with Your Furry Friend…
As you have seen, it is usually okay to have your puppy sleep in the crate on the first night, although there are exceptions. Crate training is all about getting your puppy to view the crate as a wonderful place to be, and forcing your puppy to sleep in the crate when they do not want to can be extremely counterproductive.
Work with your puppy and its comfort level, and you can figure out what is best. In some cases, you may not want your puppy to sleep in a crate at all, which could be perfectly fine. Crate training can be a great approach, as long as you do it in a way that is considerate and respectful of your puppy’s needs.