Why Does a Dog Cry in a Crate at Night?

What's keeping your dog up at night?
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Pet owners are often discouraged by the constant whining of their crated dog. If you're trying to sleep, this behavior can be even more frustrating. The good news is that most instances aren't a cause for alarm, especially if the dog is new to your home. In most cases the dog is simply trying to tell you something. Whether he's expressing emotion or needs something from you, there could be a number of things making your dog whine in his crate at night.


Dogs who have never been housed in a crate before may whine out of fear. New situations, especially a situation that confines the dog, can be scary for her. You can help prevent this fear by creating a comfortable crate that has one of her favorite toys and one of your old T-shirts. If the dog has been housed in a crate before, there may be something else frightening her, such as an upcoming storm.

Needs to Potty

Your dog may have to use the potty. If you have had the dog for a while and it's not common for him to whine, take him back outside. Even if he just went out, he may need to go again. As dogs get older, they need to potty more often. If your dog has eaten something that didn't sit well with him, he may also have diarrhea that needs immediate attention.

Wants Attention

A dog may also whine because she wants attention. If you've gone to bed before she's ready, she may whine to be let out to play or just be around you. Either way, this is something you can prevent by winding the dog down before bedtime. A toy in her cage will also give her something to play with until she's sleepy. This behavior is very common with puppies, but learning to ignore the behavior lets your dog know that it won't work.


A dog may also injure himself in the crate. It might be a toenail that gets caught in the bedding or you may have accidentally closed up his tail in the door. An insistent whining and yelping needs immediate attention to make sure the dog is OK. Let the dog out and check for any injuries. If he appears OK, check the crate to make sure nothing is hurting him when he lies down. He may have taken something into the crate that is uncomfortable to lie on.