October 08, 2020 5 min read

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Bringing home your puppy is a very exciting time! They are small and cute. All you want to do is cuddle with them! However, it is also a vital time for properly introducing them to your home. A new puppy needs to adjust to life away from their litter and in a new space. If your puppy is whining at night, it is normal, but you’ll need to work on it immediately if you don’t want the habit to stick. Follow this guide to figure out what is causing your puppy to whine at night, and how to fix it!

Why Do Puppies Whine at Night?

Separation anxiety is a problem many puppies face. Dogs, by nature, are pack animals. When you get a puppy, they were likely with their litter before coming home with you. Once they have been separated from their littermates, you become their family. Putting them in a crate is a vital part of their training, but it takes time to adjust. During this adjustment period, your puppy may whine in their crate at night. Proper crate introduction will help reduce this separation anxiety. Not allowing them to sleep in bed with you will also help. They won’t want to sleep in their crate if they know what they are missing! Try not to coddle them if they whine at night. They will learn to self soothe, and that they are safe in their new home.

Anxiety is normal for a dog who is new to your home. They are adjusting to you as their new family and your home as their new safe space. At night time, when everything is still and quiet, they may get anxious and feel they need to protect their new space. This can cause them to whine at night. Using a crate is the easiest solution to help them feel safe and settled.

Fear of the unknown is also a common reason for puppies to whine at night. They are in a new place. There are new smells and noises and this can scare a puppy. With time they will adjust and settle in.

Getting your puppy in a bathroom routine will help eliminate the chance of accidents in your house. However, many puppies cannot hold it through the night. Whining at night may indicate they need to use the bathroom. Once you establish a routine, it will be easier to tell what they need from you.

A feeding schedule is also very important in establishing your puppy’s routine. If you feed them too late, they may have an accident or need to go out in the middle of the night. If you feed them too early, they may whine at night because they are hungry.

How to Stop Your Puppy from Whining at Night

Establishing a routine is the first and most important thing you should do when you bring your puppy home. At first, you may need to take your puppy out multiple times throughout the night. As they get older, they will be able to hold it longer. The best way to tell is what their routine looks like during the day. If they can only go 3-4 hours without having to go out or have an accident, then that sets the precedent for night time.

A feeding routine should be established based on the food recommendations from your vet. Do not let your puppy graze on food all day. This is not good for their long term digestion or their potty training. If you train them to eat their meal all at once you will be able to gauge when they need to go to the bathroom better. This will prevent potty breaks in the middle of the night.

Let your puppy graze on water throughout the day. With-holding water may cause them to have accidents because they will drink way too much way too quickly when allowed. Still, monitor it closely. What goes in must come out! If your puppy whines at night to go outside, you may need to pick up their water bowl a little bit earlier.

Teaching your puppy to spend time alone is one of the toughest parts of training. It is very unnatural for them, but in order to have a happy, well-adjusted pup, it is completely essential.

The crate is a great tool in establishing a routine and some healthy boundaries for your puppy. It may take some time and patience, but it will do great things for both of you. When properly introduced to a crate, it can become a safe space for your puppy. They will treat it as a den, and sleep comfortably in it through the night.

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Start small with your puppy. The first few nights at your house your puppy may whine at night. Work on alone time through the day for short periods. Put them in their crate in a room, and move around your house. Go about your normal business even if they are fussing. They can hear you and will know that you are there even if they can’t see you. Once they settle down, you can go into the room where their crate is. You don’t need to talk to them or let them out, but just pop in and out. You can increase the time spent alone as they get better about it.

Inevitably, there are mistakes made when your puppy first comes home. If your puppy is whining at night, you may need to correct your crying. If your puppy has learned they get attention for whining, they will continue to do so.

The best way to address learned crying is to ignore them. Sometimes we get frustrated and snap at our puppies. Even this reaction can encourage the whining at night. They still see it as attention. Make sure you keep them in their crate. This comes back to establishing a routine, making sure they are fed, and don’t need to go out to go to the bathroom. If you know they have everything they need, you can let them work through the whining.

Your puppy whining at night can be very frustrating. They can wake you up many times throughout the night, and make you feel so bad for them. However, if you encourage this behavior, and don’t teach them proper habits while they are young, they will continue. Following these guidelines and understanding why your puppy is whining at night can help you address the behavior very early on. You can make sure your puppy is comfortable and well-adjusted to fit into your daily life!

Meet The Author

Nicole DeVault author of my new puppy won't sleep at night

Nicole DeVault

Nicole is a professional dog trainer who has been in the business for about 5 years. She has two dogs of her own. Milli is a ten-year-old Beagle with plenty of sass to go around, and Axel is her three-year-old Pit bull who has more energy than anyone knows what to do with. Both of her dogs are rescues who came to her with their own set of issues. Working with troubled dogs is where her passion for dog training started. She has grown to learn that teaching people how to communicate with their fur babies allows them to enjoy happy and stress-free lives together.