How to Stop a Dog Crying at Night

Nighttime crying can cause distress not only for your dog, but also for you. A dog who cries at night might be more snappy and moody the next day and more difficult to train as a result. Stopping nighttime crying might require some lifestyle changes, but it's worth the effort.

Husky Howling
Nighttime crying can rob everybody of sleep.
credit: Britta Bjur/iStock/Getty Images

Reasons for Crying

Dogs cry at night for many different reasons. In puppies, the crying is often connected to a feeling of loneliness and anxiety, especially if they recently have been separated from mom or litter mates. Dogs also might cry when confined to a small space such as a room or a crate or because they're feeling uncomfortable or don't want to be away from the pack -- in this case, you and the family.

Helping Doggy Get Tired

A tired dog is less likely to cry and whine through the night. To make sure Fido sleeps -- rather than cries -- when the lights go out, try increasing the intensity and length of his walks during the day. Some dogs require more than just walking, in which case agility training, an outdoor jog or a play date with another animated canine could be the answer.

Making Bedtime Comfy

Put your dog at ease and make him more comfortable at night by taking him outside on a leash to relieve himself right before lights out. If the crying is connected to being separated from you, try placing the puppy’s crate in your bedroom at night. That way the pup will be able to see you and feel close. Crate training is essential to help puppies feel more secure. Eventually, it will lead to silence.

What Not to Do

One of the worst things you can do is to respond to the crying -- unless you believe that your pup needs to go outdoors to eliminate or if you think he is in physical distress. Responding to the crying just to comfort your dog will prove to him that crying works, and he'll keep doing it.