Why Do Puppies Cry At Night?

By Daniela Carrera
Updated on 25 November 2019

Hearing your cute little puppy crying at nighttime can be quite disheartening for a lot of puppy owners.

Puppies cry during nighttime as they hate to be alone. In this article, I will explore the reasons of puppies crying during nighttime and how their parents can train them not to cry.

I am Daniela Carrera from LittlePawsTraining. I am professional dog trainer with 8 year experience in this field. I will help dog owners solve their problem of puppy crying during nighttime.

Hearing your puppy crying during night can not only be disheartening, but can also disrupt your sleep and routine for the next day.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to stop your puppy from crying in the nights. I will give you some useful expert advice as well using which you will definitely stop this kind of behavior of your puppy.

Expectation of First-Time Pet Owners

When new pet owners bring a pet dog in their homes, they expect to take care of potty training problems and teething problems of their puppies.
But they never expect that they would even have to deal with crying problem with their puppy, that too also during nighttime.

Let’s discuss the reasons behind their crying.

Why Do Puppies Cry?

Just like human babies, puppies cry a lot as well because they are helpless and need someone to meet their needs.

They can even cry to alert their parents that they are not happy with something or something is disturbing them.

We put our puppies in the crate during nighttime because we want them to stay safe when we are sleeping. It is normal for us.

But for a puppy who has never ever seen or spent time inside the crate will definitely cry as he would feel dangerous there. If your puppy also cries inside the crate during nighttime, be sure to check this guide out.

Now let’s dig deeper and look into different kinds of puppy crying:

There are two types of crying, one is natural crying and other is learned crying.

Natural Crying is when a puppy cries because he is feeling frightened or in danger. Learned crying is when puppy cries deliberately because he knows crying gets him rewarded.

Reward can be anything like food, comfort or love. This is similar to Positive Reinforcement training which encourages desired behavior using treats as rewards.

There are two different kinds of crying and different ways to deal with them. So, it’s important to understand and then identify the type of crying of your puppy. Let’s look at Natural crying at first.

Causes of Natural Crying

Red and white Alaskan Klee Kai pup (Photo: lifewithkleekai/Instagram)

Red and white Alaskan Klee Kai pup (Photo: lifewithkleekai/Instagram)

During the first few weeks of your puppy, your puppy only cries naturally. For these few days, your puppy is not crying deliberately but because of some reasons.

They are:

• Hunger
• Pain
• Fear
• Full Bladder

But when it comes to crying at night, majority of the times the reason is fear of being alone. Many puppies do this and if they feel they are safe, they can stop crying.

Some owners feed their puppies with treats or give them toys to stop them from crying and I really feel this is a short term solution while the long term solution is pretty easy.

Let’s talk about them…

Spending Time with your Puppy

There was a study published in 1977 that looked at separation distress in 24 young puppies and came to the conclusion that the most effective way to end separation distress is to spend more time with your puppy.

Spending time with your dog works much better than toys, food or spending time with another dogs.

I am not telling you to always be around your puppy. But only for those first few days of your puppy as your puppy needs you the most during that time.

Why Do Puppies Cry at Night?

Small puppies in the wild are an easy target for predators. So they need the protection of their parents and other siblings.

Puppies are too weak to protect themselves from these predators and hence they live in a den.

This den makes them feel safer and protected. They won’t cry in the den when their other needs like thirst, food and toilet is met.

When puppies live in our homes, there is no den and hence they feel they are not safe.

They feel vulnerable and live in fear. Even though dog parents provide him with a cosy and comfortable bed, that’s not an alternative to a safe den for them.

Whenever your puppy is out of his den, he cries and tries to alarm his parents that he is exposed. In wild, this alarms the parents and can save his life.

But in our homes, this alarm is irritating and disturbing for us. But Puppies are screaming for their lives.

Hence, there’s no point getting frustrated and it’s best to understand the fact and then move to it’s solution.

Paying Puppy Attention at Night

If you show the puppy that he’s safe again, he will stop crying. One way to accomplish this is to be around your puppy instead of letting him sleep alone inside his crate or an isolated room.

Don’t get wrong, Crates are really important for a young puppy. But for his first month, you can let him sleep in your room or besides you.

A friendly human face can reduce this crying behavior of your dog.

I know you can’t be showing him your face at 3 AM, but if you make your presence felt during the time he is feeling endangered and in fear can help him a lot.

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