If you've got bags under your eyes because your puppy is giving concerts in the middle of the night, reassess your training methods. Scolding your puppy is ineffective and might increase his stress level and worsen his behavior. Separation from his littermates and getting accustomed to a new environment might trigger the noisemaking. Quiet down your puppy so you can get a good night's rest.
Ignore Your Puppy
Although picking him up and petting him might quiet him down, if your puppy starts barking, howling or whining at night, it's best to ignore him. If you pay attention to your pet companion, you're teaching him that his noisemaking is effective -- he'll keep repeating the unwanted behavior, because he knows he'll get your attention. Unless your furry friend has to go potty, be consistent and don't give in. Eventually he'll realize that his whining and barking isn't working and he'll give up the undesired behavior.
Startle Your Puppy
To stop your puppy's whimpering or barking at night, startle him. Arm yourself with an empty soda can filled with some pennies or small rocks. When your pet companion starts making noise, shake the can or throw it on the floor in front of your puppy's crate. The loud sound will startle your puppy and he'll stop being a nuisance. Don't use your voice to reprimand him, because he'll think you're just talking to him and will continue his noisemaking because he knows it gets your attention.
The Quiet Command
Using the "quiet" command can put a stop to sleepless nights. When taught correctly, you'll be able to quiet down your dog with a verbal command. To teach your pup to be quiet on command, hold a treat in front of his nose when he starts barking and say "quiet" with a firm tone. To sniff the treat, he has to stop barking. When he does, give him the treat. Gradually extend the duration that he's quiet before giving him the treat, and slowly start replacing the treats with verbal praise. Eventually he'll be quiet on command in anticipation of the possible treat and praise.
Comfort Your Puppy
Helping your puppy to gradually acclimate to his crate can help prevent nighttime noisemaking. Instead of simply locking him up, allow him to explore the crate. Lure him into the crate with treats and feed him his meals in the crate, but leave the door open so he can go in and out of it. Eventually you can close the crate door for short periods, and before you know it, he'll voluntarily stay in the crate. At night, cover the crate with a blanket so it resembles a den, and put it in your bedroom so he knows you're nearby. Placing a towel-wrapped clock or hot-water bottle in the crate can also offer comfort, because it resembles the heartbeat and warmth of his mother.
- I Just Got a Puppy, What Do I Do?; Mordecai Siegal
- VeterinaryPartner.com: Barking and Your New Puppy
- The Housebreaking Bible: What to do When Fido Barks in his Crate
- Everything Dog Book; Carlos DeVito
- Puppy Parenting; Jan Greye and Gail Jesse Smith
- The Humane Society of the United States: Crate Training
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.