You want your dog to feel safe, comfortable, and happy while sleeping at night. And, if you are a dog owner, chances are there you have heard about crate training which will develop healthy habits for your dog. Crates are a dog’s den, they use them to sleep and rest at night. But, for how long?
So, in this article, I will discuss when your puppy is ready to sleep out of the crate.
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When to move the dog crate out of the bedroom?
Many questions come to the mind of inexperienced dog parents with the transition of crate training. Question like –
Dog crate until what age? What is the transition from crate to dog bed?
Stop there, I know it’s tough to figure out and you have a lot more questions in your mind. I, being the father of 2 dogs, will help you to get answers to all your queries.
Dogs are social animals and after a certain point transitioning a puppy from crate to bed at night is important for their mental stimulation. Knowing when a puppy is ready to sleep out of the crate and roam around the house freely is a hard task.
So, let’s discuss.
Why Crate Train a Puppy?
Dogs are creatures of habit, and crate training is important when you can’t supervise your dog 24*7. A crate is a safe sanctuary for the dog, it is a natural place for a dog to seek out and rest in a peaceful environment. Dog crate training is important when the dog is small till he is two years old and he is not mature.
When the puppy is not mature and is small and he needs a place where he can sense safety. If a puppy feels overwhelmed, anxious, or tired he craves “me time” and nothing is better than a dog crate. Even to eliminate home accidents or pee indoors, crate training is important. For potty training, or keeping him in a car in silence, crate training is essential.
If you’re wondering when can I move the puppy crate out of the bedroom, then the short answer is after he is 3 months old. Once he develops some habits and knows you well.
When is a Puppy Ready to Sleep Out Of Crate?
I have crated Benji out of his bed when she was around 2 years 3 months old and crate Lucy out when she was around 1 year 2 months old. So, the answer to your question – when is the puppy ready to sleep out of the crate depends on when he doesn’t have any setbacks and he is fully housebroken for several months.
Every dog is different, every breed has different developmental stages, and an adolescent dog behaves differently from a puppy to a juvenile dog. Therefore, you have to decide when to let the puppy sleep out of the crate, depending on his behavior. You have to understand how he bonds with you or your loved ones, how he behaves at home or in your backyard, or among the crowd for a successful transition.
You should be aware of his destructive inclination, his disturbances, his stress, his chewing habits, or his behavior around the house. He should know the difference between bedtime and playtime, and potty time. Now, if you feel his behavior is appropriate and he is well behaved then you can crate him out.
When Can Puppies Sleep Out of a Crate?
You brought the best puppy crate bed and facilitated him with all the best things but now he is emotionally mature and you should crate him out. So, here are the factors to your question – when is the puppy ready to sleep out of the crate?
1. Age group and breed
Puppies develop their maturity between the ages of 15 to 20 months. Once they exhibit their chewing behavior after 23 months of age you can trust him to sleep out of his crate.
Small breed dogs mature emotionally faster compared to bigger breeds. But this is just a general study made by dog experts. The key mantra is observation done by you toward your dog’s behavior. If you ask me, then it takes 14 to 23 months to trust your dog to sleep out of the crate.
2. Dog nature
The second key mantra is to know that your dog is ready to sleep out of the crate when he is no more stubborn, understands the situation better, and is not too overwhelmed.
Some strong breeds take time to develop their maturity; you should know how to calm your dog to make your crate training successful.
3. Dog training
The dog is a creature of habits; you teach him and train him to socialize, behave, and sleep. Once he develops this as a habit then you know he is ready to sleep out of the crate. Proper crate training and proper house rules will help you to teach him his habits.
When to Stop Using Crates at Night?
Ask yourself, why did you crate your dog at night? Did you crate him to provide a safe and comfortable resting environment? Or, help with potty training? Or, prevent any house accidents? Or, keep him safe while on the road?
Once you have your answer you know when to stop. If he has successfully crafted potty training or got matured, then he is ready to be crated out at night.
If you crate him to prevent a home accident and then make sure your dog is well behaved and someone supervises him when you are sleeping. Age is just a number and you should know his behavior to trust his instincts. If you see that you can leave your dog alone at home without distress behavior then he is ready to crate out at night.
If you crate him for potty training, then remember that large dogs have large bladders and they can be soon crated out at night. Whereas, small dogs have small bladders and they should be crated for longer.
Positive crate training will make your dog love the crate; sometimes dogs love it so much that they prefer sleeping inside a crate even if you keep the door open and never ask him to go inside.
But, sometimes, the puppy sleeps in a crate at night but not during the day – it all depends on his mood and wants. I would suggest sometimes using a crate at night for peaceful sleep.
Tips: How to Get a Puppy to Sleep without a Crate
1. Bedtime routine for dogs
A puppy starts changing his behavior after 8 months when he starts becoming a juvenile and slowly an adult. He starts changing his behavior, his choice of food changes, his playing activities change and he develops slowly.
After he is emotionally mature you should slowly consider teaching him to sleep out of the crate and teach him to sleep on an appropriate dog bed. Never force him or scold him rather start following a routine and slowly within months he will get trained.
2. Peaceful environment for dogs
For months you have trained the puppy to sleep in a crate and now it’s time to train him to sleep out of it. Your dog is a creature of habits and initial days won’t be easy either for you or your dog. In this circumstance, a peaceful environment is very important.
Puppy bites when excited, therefore to make her calm you should provide them with a comfortable bed, with his chewing toys, his old towels, and a blanket. This will make him less anxious about new habits.
3. Give time to new habits –
It needs time for your dog to learn new habits. So, here is the way you can train him.
- Keep the new dog bed beside the crate so that he feels less alien to the new thing
- Can a puppy sleep in a crate overnight? Depends. So, keep the door of the crate open. See how he reacts.
- Use his old blankets over the new bed making him more familiar with the new thing.
- Teach him the basic “sit” and “stand” commands so that you can teach him during crate out.
- Give him his chewing toys and his other toys; when he gets anxious he has some familiar object around him.
- Time and patience is the way; your dog will take time to learn how to sleep without a crate
How to Get a Puppy to Sleep in a Crate?
The crate is a puppy’s safe place. And, proper crate training combined with health training and socialization a puppy will get habituated with the crate. He will learn that he should rest in his crate during the night. Remember that you should never crate a dog for 15-16 hours on a stretch. Smart and gentle crate training will keep your puppy in a crate at night. Therefore, it is not cruel to crate a dog at night.
Should a Puppy Crate Be in the Bedroom?
Yes, it is good to crate your puppy in your bedroom. After all, you love him and even he loves you and when he sees you at dark hours he feels safe and secure. It depends on you whether you crate him outside or not. If he whines at night and gets anxious then it is a good idea to keep him close to you. Never punish him for whining.
When is the puppy ready to sleep out of the crate? The whole transition from crate to life outside the crate depends on your consistency and training. It’s not rocket science; hence don’t expect him to learn it within a few days. It takes months and sometimes years to learn new habits. You need to guide them and not scold them during the transition process.
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1. How often should I crate my puppy during the day?
A: A two month old puppy should be taken out of the crate after every 2 hours. Similarly, a four-month-old puppy should be taken out of the crate after every 4 hours.
2. Should you close a puppy crate at night?
A: Yes, at night keep the crate gate close and if you are worried about him keep the crate inside your bedroom.
3. When should you change a dog’s crate?
A: Once the dog is emotionally mature and is over his destructive chewing behavior you can change a dog’s crate. Ideally, it takes 17-24 months.
4. Do dogs get sad when you put them in their crate?
A: It depends. If he is accustomed to the crate then he won’t feel sad but that will be his happy place. A new puppy can get anxious seeing the crate, therefore, proper crate training is important.