The Crying in the Crate Cast- A Podcast on Barking in the Crate

The Crying in the Crate Cast- A Podcast on Barking in the Crate

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Crying in the Crate Cast

Hey everyone welcome to my completely irregular podcast, Dr. Sammy the Dog Trainer waxes political on all things dog.  Actually it’s been a minute because I was actually finishing up my doctorate.  I’m Dr. Sammy the Dog Trainer, now- Yay! One of the members on the committee for my defense dubbed me a Doctor of Dog-ology.  How cool is that?  Anyways I’m super stoked about that and wanted to share.  I was in school for my doctorate for seven years…now I’m like what do I do with myself?  Oh! Make more podcasts. 

So for today’s topic we’re going to talk about the dreaded, super annoying crying in the crate problem.  This is one of the main questions I get from new puppy owners, so I wanted to address it a little bit today.  A lot of times I hear, “oh well she wouldn’t stop crying so I put her in the bed with me” which worked for like a couple weeks until she got adventurous at night while you were sleeping and ate your feather pillows and pooed on your face.  Yeah there’s that problem.

Don’t get me wrong.  My dog sleeps with me in the bed.  I mean, he’s my pet and he was my service dog, so of course I derive comfort from snuggling with him.  I mean, come on, it’s one of the joys of owning a pet- snuggles!  I hear some trainers now and then that advocate no dogs in the bed ever.  And I get it.  It has to do with pack leadership and all that.  BUT.  In my humble opinion, if you want to sleep with your dog, then you can.  You just have to go about it in the right way to avoid feather eating poo face.

The first step to that is proper crate training.  I hear people all the time complain about the cruelty of crates but honestly, we crate our kids.  We just don’t call them crates.  We call them cribs, playpens, or whatever those bouncy seat thingies are.  I don’t actually have any kids so I don’t know.  I just became an Auntie to River and Grayson so I’m learning the ropes though.  I guess people get worries when you talk about crating kids but…yeah. Anyways, it’s good for their health because they aren’t eating things that will kill them when you’re not watching them (I’m talking about dogs now but I hear kids are the same) and you can actually go to sleep at night knowing your puppy is safe.
That is if….yeah your puppy doesn’t howl all night long. So here’s how I got about howling in the crate.  The first method I try is the good old cry it out method.  Yep.  Get some ear plugs and let them cry it out.  After a couple nights, they will settle in.  You can try getting your puppy a snuggle puppy- which is like a stuffed animal puppy with a simulated heartbeat.  Some puppies really derive some comfort from Snuggle Puppy.  Others eat snuggle puppy in a worrisome cannibalistic fashion.  It just kind of depends on your dog.

Don’t give in and let Puppy sleep with you.  Puppy will pee on you in the middle of the night and eat your pillows eventually.  They can be deceptive all behaving the first few nights, then wham!  Feather fest.  Don’t let a feather fest happen to you!  Now once they’re housebroken and everything, then by all means, if you want your dog in the bed go right ahead.  Some trainers advise against this, but honestly, if your dog is respectful of you and doesn’t have behavioral issues, then I don’t really see a problem with it.  My dog sleeps in my bed.  I would say start considering this after the 2 year mark when they have all their potty and weird emotional growing issues out of the way.

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Ok, what if it’s been a week straight and Puppy is still howling?  There are a couple other methods you could try.  The first, and the most effective for most dogs is a non-shocking bark collar.  I repeat NON-SHOCKING.  This is different from your typical electronic collar where you have to use a remote to activate the collar. A bark collar detects barking, usually gives a couple warning tones, and then vibrates if the dog keeps barking.  It doesn’t hurt.  My friend accidently bought a shocking bark collar thinking it was a non-shocking one and yeah…that was a disaster.  Poor Chloe barked, then yelped, then barked, then yelped…all the while we were chasing her around the yard trying to get the darn thing off of her.  It wasn’t the best situation.  Check the prongs.  They should be rubber or plastic because they aren’t conductors.  Metal…check your box.

Anyways you could try the bark collar at night.  Don’t leave it on your dog 24/7.  It’s not nice to take your dog’s voice away completely.  But I think you’ll find they relax and settle in at night once the howling option is off the table.

The other option you can try is an ultrasonic barkbox.  It’s a box, mine looks like a little birdhouse, that emits an ultrasonic sound when it detects barking.  You can’t hear it but your dog can.  I’ve seen it work on some dogs and not on others.  But if you’re looking for solutions, give it a go.

So those are my three go-to options.  There are fancier ways to go about it.  You can use a remote-controlled treat dispenser to dispense treats to your pup when they stop crying for a pause.  I’ve never trained puppies this way, but the science makes sense.  Reward the behavior you like when it’s happening.  If you like gadgets and gizmos, then you might try that method.  They make all kinds of treat dispensing camera type thingies now.  Just make sure your dog isn’t going to paw or gnaw on your uber expensive gadget thingy.  Position it so it isn’t munchable.

So anyways that’s my 2 cents on crying in the crate.  I usually recommend the good old cry it out and get ear plugs method and then if that doesn’t work bring in the big guns….well not actual guns because yeah…shaking baby syndrome and all that.  No good.  Non-shocking bark collars or ultrasonic bark boxes.  Whizbang treat dispensers if you’re feeling fancy.  There you go.

So if you like these little podcasts, feel free to go on and click support this podcast.  Check out my blog at and once again, thanks for supporting small, veteran owned business.

I’m Dr. Sammy the Dog Trainer.  Cheers!


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