Crate training isn’t the easiest thing to do when training a puppy.  You can probably tell if you’ve tried it, and ended up with a relentlessly howling puppy, digging or biting their crate. Rest assured, you’re not alone! Crate training can be a real challenge, but is ultimately so worthwhile for your puppy. Some reasons include toilet training, alone training, travelling, and for making sure your puppy gets enough beauty sleep.

In this article, we’ll get into how to make your puppy’s first night in the crate go smoothly. You’ll learn how to deal with common problems with crate training like your puppy crying at night in their crate, digging in their crate, biting their crate, or yes, even pooping in their crate. We’ll also help you work out what to do if your puppy simply can’t be crate trained. There will be a solution, no worries!  Our crate-related FAQs will also help mellow any training problems you’re facing. 

Download the Zigzag app today and get access to a full programme of puppy training lessons. These include ones we’re sure you’re desperately in need of, like how to help you teach your puppy to sleep through the night, and how to decide whether to use a crate or not. There’s also a team of professional dog trainers on hand 24/7 via our in-app chat too, whose expert advice can help heaps on crate training problems. 

Puppies first night in their crate

Firsts are always challenging. The first night your puppy sleeps in their crate is no different. If it’s your pup’s first night in your home, or you’re introducing the crate to your puppy for the first time after having them for a while, have the crate next to your bed. That way, you can hear them when they wake up and take them for a wee, or provide them with comforting pets and cuddles. Everyone needs a bit of reassurance every once in a while. 

My puppy keeps crying at night in their crate…. 

Nighttimes are lonely for new puppies. If your puppy is crying at night in their crate, chances are they either need to know where you are, so you can give them some comfort, or they might need to get out to use the toilet. 

You might want to read our guides on toilet training and crate training – they’ll hopefully give you some reassurance too. 

My puppy keeps digging in their crate…. 

Digging in a crate happens for a few reasons. It might be because your puppy is trying to make a nest of their blankets and beds, or perhaps their digging is simply a way to deal with stress. We’re quite similar aren’t we…fidgeting around when something doesn’t feel right.

If you’re curious about this, you can read more in our article why does my puppy dig their bed.

My puppy keeps biting their crate… 

Puppies biting their crate can be because they are trying to escape due to crate anxiety or general stress. Because they are puppies, it might just be that they feel like chewing because they’re teething

Our crate training article will help you feel prepared for this stage of your journey together. Always remember to provide them with plenty of puppy chews, and stuffed Kongs…they’ll help sell the whole crate idea much better.

Is your puppy chewing or digging at their crate? Or perhaps you’re dealing with other crate-related issues. Let us tell you now, downloading the Zigzag app now will make your life much easier. You’ll manage to train your puppy to enjoy their crate just fine, from the comfort of your own home, with the help of our experts looking over your shoulder.  

My puppy keeps pooping in their crate

A puppy pooping in their crate can be caused by them not being toilet trained, but stress may also be the simple culprit for this one. Generally, puppies don’t like their crate to be messy, so it’s up to you to do anything you can to avoid it. 

You’ll have an important role in preventing any chances of mess by not leaving them too long, getting a good training schedule, and keeping an eye on their behaviour to look for signs of stress or crate anxiety. 

What to do if your puppy won’t crate train? 

If crate training simply isn’t your puppy’s cup of tea, you might want to consider other options like playpen, or baby gates as a management solution. You can also reach out to the puppy coaches in the Zigzag app for advice. They are professional dog trainers and will help you figure out what your next step should be; whether that’s ditching the crate all together, or helping you work out how long it might take to crate train your puppy and giving you ideas to try.

Download the Zigzag app, and you’ll get access to much more than our team of professional dog trainers. You’ll also get a personalised programme for puppy training based on your puppy’s breed, needs and your lifestyle. Doesn’t get any better than that, does it? 

Crate Training Problem FAQs

Are some dogs impossible to crate train?

Some dogs will have some problems crate training; especially those with crate anxiety who struggle being trapped in enclosed spaces. It’s not impossible to crate train these dogs, we just need to take the training much slower and at their pace, using plenty of rewards, to make them feel good about the crate.

Should you ignore puppy crying in their crate?

Nope! Not at all.  We never recommend letting puppies cry it out. Crying is a way for puppies to express their distress and that they need your support! By ignoring them, you’ll just contribute to them making bad associations to the crate, which can have negative effects on other areas of their life. Don’t want that.

At what age do puppies not need a crate?

When puppies are toilet trained, can sleep through the night, and are past the chewing stage, you can say goodbye to the crate. However, many people find that once crate trained, their puppy actually really likes their crate as it gives them somewhere safe to be away from children, or to go and rest and sleep. Your puppy may just like to keep it around.
There you have it! Crate training may come with ups and downs. The easiest ‘down’ you’ll have to deal with by far is downloading the Zigzag app…you’ll actually like dealing with this one. Don’t forget, you’ll also get 24/7 support from our team of professional dog trainers via our in-app chat!