Puppy Sleeps in Crate at Night but Not During Day? [RESOLVED]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Does your dog struggle to stay asleep in their crate during the day? When your pet appears to have no trouble falling asleep in their crate at night but won’t use it during the day, it can be quite upsetting.

You’re not alone though, as I had a similar experience before.

My Bella refused to sleep in her crate when it was daytime for reasons unknown to me, and I decided to do a bit of digging.

In this post, I will share some possible reasons why your puppy may be resisting their crate during the day, and offer some tips and tricks for helping them learn to love their crate.

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Possible Reasons for a Puppy Only Sleeping in a Crate at Night

why does my puppy not sleep in the crate during the day

Without knowing what’s causing this situation, it’s impossible to find a solution.

So let us first talk about the reasons that may cause your puppy to only want to sleep in a crate at night.

Age and developmental stage

Puppies, very much like human babies, go through various stages of development and each stage comes with its own set of challenges and behaviors.

For instance, very young puppies (approximately 8–10 weeks old) might still be getting used to life away from its litter and would be less willing to spend time in a crate by themselves, especially in the light.

Later on, puppies may start to show more independence as they get bigger and enter the teenage stage (about 4-6 months), and they may be less inclined to sleep in a small area like a crate.

During this phase, they could also be more energetic and active, which can make it challenging for them to wind down and go to sleep.

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Training and conditioning

Your puppy will feel more at ease and secure in their crate and will learn to associate the crate with pleasant experiences if they receive the proper crate training and conditioning.

This is especially more so during their growing up years and for it to stick.

Before they do though, you might have a situation where your dog won’t go into a crate even with treats.

Frustrating? Yes. Can it be overcome? Definitely.

Separation anxiety

Puppies often experience separation anxiety, which manifests as anxiety or distress when the puppy is away from their owner or another primary caregiver.

Signs include excessive whining, whimpering, barking, pacing, or trying to get out of the crate.

When left alone in their crate, your puppy may also engage in a destructive activity like chewing or digging.

It’s can be so bad that you might think your dog is going crazy in the crate!

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Why is my Shiba Inu whining?

How to Encourage a Puppy to Sleep in a Crate During the Day

Now that you know the possible reasons causing this, you can go about changing things up for the better.

Here are a few tips that can help you out.

Make the crate a positive and comfortable space

I’m sure you want to sleep in a really nice and comfy spot in your home, and the same goes for your pup.

Consider the following:

Choose the right size crate: Getting a crate that is the proper size for your puppy is crucial. If it’s too small, it could be uncomfortable and restrictive, while one that is too big might not feel cozy and enticing to your puppy. Here is one of my favorites:

Key Benefits

  • Convenient double door (front & right side) dog crate configuration with two slide-bolt latches per door securely locking doors in place
  • Dog crate folds flat for convenient storage, travel & portability
  • Ultra-strong crate design creates a safe place for your pet while you’re away

Provide plenty of ventilation: To make it comfortable, you need to ensure that your puppy’s crate has plenty of ventilation. A crate with lots of openings or slats will allow for better airflow.

Keep the crate clean: Keep your puppy’s crate fresh and neat by cleaning it frequently. This means cleaning the inside of the kennel, sweeping out the crate, and washing their bedding.

Adding a personal touch: We all know our dogs are excellent with their noses, and that means they know our “smell”. A piece of your clothing or a small object (soft toy etc) that smells like you can be a simple but effective way to help your puppy feel more at home in their crate.

Gradually increase the time the puppy spends in the crate

You can begin by putting your puppy in the crate for very short periods of time, such as 15 to 30 minutes, and when you are home and able to see it,

From here, you can gradually increase the amount of time it spends there.

Depending on your puppy’s age and temperament, you can then progressively extend the amount of time it spends in the crate over a period of a few weeks or longer.

Doggy says, you might want to read this too: Dog crying at night in new house

Use positive reinforcement and rewards

Using positive reinforcement and rewards is by far the best way to train a dog, and is an effective way to encourage one to sleep in a crate during the day.

What you do is reward desired behavior with something that the puppy loves, such as a treat, a toy, or praise.

When used consistently and correctly, positive reinforcement can be an effective way to teach new behaviors and encourage your puppy to repeat them in the future.

Do you know how long can a Dachshund hold its bladder?

Benefits of Crate Training for Puppies

For those who have not started doing so or are unsure of the benefits of crate training, have a look at the benefits it can bring:

Potty training: Dogs don’t like to relieve themselves where they sleep, so crate training is an excellent way to teach them that. It trains them to hold it in until they are taken outdoors to relieve themselves. As a general rule of thumb, you should only keep a puppy in a crate for the equivalent of its age in months. For example, if it is 2 months old, you should take it out within 2 hours to let it empty its bladder.

Safety: When a puppy is left at home alone or needs to be moved, a crate can offer a safe and secure space for it. Also, when there’s no one watching your puppy, a crate can also be a helpful tool for keeping it safe.

Behavioral training: A puppy can learn to become more independent and self-sufficient with the use of crate training. It can also teach a puppy to feel more at ease in confined spaces, which is useful while traveling or staying in a hotel room.

Separation anxiety: As it gives your puppy a secure and comfortable place to go when left alone, crate training can help puppies deal with separation anxiety effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should a puppy sleep in a crate during the day?

It is recommended to let your puppy spend the day sleeping in a crate since doing so can help with housebreaking and toilet training. However, you need to be mindful of the elapsed time and take it outside to relieve itself.

Should I force my puppy to nap in a crate?

It is not recommended to force a puppy to nap in a crate. Crate training should be a positive experience for any puppies, and forcing them will create negative associations with the crate. You may need to spend a little more time gently acclimating the puppy to the crate if they are reluctant to enter it at first.

In Conclusion: Puppy Sleeps in Crate at Night but Not During Day

Sleep is an important part of a puppy’s growth and development, so this is not something that should be taken lightly.

With the tips above, you are well on your way to ensuring that your puppy forms good sleeping habits and patterns that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

All you need is some time and patience!

Check out other dog behavior articles on our site such as why do dogs put their head on other dogs’ necks, why does my dog only walk with me, why does my puppy lunge at my face, and many more!

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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