Now if you’re continuing to struggle with your puppy barking in their crate overnight, I want you to set some time aside during the day, to work through this behavior. And if the only time that your puppy’s going in their crate is at night, overnight while you’re sleeping, then you may have found the solution to your problem right there.
Your puppy really needs an opportunity to understand that the crate is a safe, comfortable, happy place to be. No matter what time of day.
A great way to really instill and reinforce that sense, is by having them in their crate when you’re watching TV or popping them in their crate during the day, when you’re making lunch. Or at anytime that you think it would be better if your puppy were hanging out in their crate, maybe enjoying their favorite chew toy and you aren’t able to supervise them, then put them in their crate. You really wanna build on the idea that, their crate is a great place for them to be, regardless of what time of day it is.
Chew toys are a great pastime for your puppy, when they’re in their crate. And a really great way to keep them a little bit distracted and not so focused on the idea, that they’ve gotta remain in their crate.
So maybe take their favorite, you know, nylon bone and pop it in the crate so that they have something to do if they’re are not quite ready to go to bed yet. If you’re in the process of potty training your puppy, be sure that your puppy’s not letting you know that they need to go out to have a pee.
After you’ve established that your puppy doesn’t need to go outside, then we’re gonna talk about a couple of ways to interrupt the behavior that stops them barking and what you need to do next. If you’re struggling with your puppy barking away at night, it’s really important that your puppy is within eyesight or earshot of you. So bring their crate into your bedroom or close to wherever it is that you’re sleeping at night, because we’re going to want to keep a close eye on that puppy and we’re definitely going to want to be able to communicate with them when they are barking. The first interrupter I want you to use is your voice.
The barking can be a pretty self rewarding behavior for a lot of puppies. And, what you need to do is break them out of that cycle of that barking. So simply something like a ah ah or hey. (dog barks) Ah ah. Something that’s going to catch them off guard, interrupt the behavior. When they pay attention to that sound, you can begin to praise them. When they stop barking and they take a moment and they relax a little bit, you can tell them how good they’re being for being quiet. Good girl, good quiet.
Now some puppies won’t even respond to the verbal. Whether they can’t hear it over their barking, or it’s not an acute enough interrupter. You’ll often find for those puppies, tapping on the top of the crate or tapping on the side of the crate, is a sound that they’re not expecting.
So in that knock knock sound, that moment where they break that cycle of barking, they’ll you know, maybe investigate what that knocking sound was. You’re gonna have a moment to start to praise them for being quiet. it’s really important, that you do lay on that praise when they are quiet, because you really wanna capture the moment that they’ve made a good choice. (dog barking) (knocking) Ah quiet. Good girl, good quiet.
Now what if your sleeping arrangement doesn’t allow your puppy to be within arms reach. Well, I’ve got a trick for you. Simply clipping your leash to the door of your puppy’s crate, or clipping a long line on to the door of your puppy’s crate or the side of the crate, can be really helpful. This allows you, from a distance, to have good timing with that interrupter.
If your puppy starts barking, you can jingle jingle on that crate and the moment they investigate the sound, you can start to praise them for being quiet. But this allows you to be at a greater distance from your puppy and still be able to give them the information that that barking at night, isn’t allowed.
This is something that I use for my dog Deegan, who you know, I started to crate her far too late in life and she really struggled overnight. She really struggled when I was at a distance from her. So I clipped on that long line and every time she’d start to fuss or bark in her crate, I’d jingle that door and then when she, you know, would investigate the sound, and sort of check in with me, I would start to praise her.
It was a really, really helpful tool, to teach her that that barking behavior, isn’t what I want. By working on a couple of these exercises with your puppy, they’re gonna very quickly figure our that, barking in their crate overnight isn’t allowed. And that sort of clear information, is going to be really helpful for you to find a resolution and to have them rest comfortably in their crate.