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Nobody likes to hear a dog whine, especially when they’re an innocent puppy. Still, some pooches are more sensitive than others when it comes to the nuances of crate training. Rather than resorting to living with earplugs, here are a few tips for solving why your puppy barks in its crate:
1) Exercise Your Puppy
An exercised dog is a quiet dog. Just like humans, dogs need to have their muscles and joints exercised on a daily basis to have proper rest. Whether you’re taking your puppy on a brisk walk or playing fetch in the backyard, exercising your dog regularly is the number-one crate quieting tool in your arsenal.
2) Don’t Yell at your Puppy
Yelling at your puppy might be right on the tip of your mind and tongue, especially if you’re in desperate need of sleep yourself. However, not only will this potentially cause your dog some fear, it will encourage your pup to bark back in reply. If their owner is barking, then there must be something really worthwhile to shout about!
3) Avoid Putting Crates in High-Traffic Areas
Dogs that are shyer or otherwise not used to so much hustle and bustle could be startled or overwhelmed by lots of chatter and foot traffic. This makes them more likely to bark when they see people walking in front of their crate. When training your puppy, expose them to areas with more and more traffic and noise increasingly but overtime for the best results. You wouldn’t want your own bed outside of an airport!
4) Make Sure the Crate Allows for Vision
A dog that is overly constrained is more likely to bark in panic due to their anxiety. Not only are they in a crate, but now they can’t see. Though it might be tempting to cover the crate with a blanket if your dog gets distracted easily, your puppy is not a bird. Dogs have sensitive eyes and ears, so making sure that they can see the things that they hear outside of their crate, like the house creaking at night, will make their crate training process less stressful.
5) Teach the Pup that Being Quiet Means Being Good
Don’t give your puppy treats or doting attention as a solution for their crate barking. That’s classic Pavlovian conditioning that will cause your dog to associate barking and being generally annoying with getting food, fun, and love. If your puppy starts barking in its crate, stick nearby but don’t pay the dog any mind until it is settled and quiet, then give it a reward once a few seconds of silence have passed, like a toy or calm attention. If your puppy gets up and barks again in return, remove the reward and look away until they lay back down, then return to them your gaze and their prize. Remember to change up the rewards to keep things fresh. One day it can be something to chew on, the next it can be their favorite toy, but make sure that you keep consistent with the training!
If you’re looking to have your little furbaby get the best start possible, consider enrolling your puppy in Houston Dog Ranch’s dog training programs. Your four-legged friend will learn under the caring guidance of professional dog trainers how to not bark in a crate and much more. Call or email us today to learn more about our puppy training programs!