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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Ask An Expert > Answered Questions > We Just Got A 10 Wk Bichon Cockapoo We Are Crate Training H

How to handle a puppy crying in the crate at night


We just got a 10-wk bichon-cockapoo. We are crate training her at the moment. During the day, it is already difficult to get her to eliminate in the designated paper area. But at night, she cries a lot however, we do not want to take her out at night because it will reinforce her crying. As a result, she has peed and poop in her crate. What should we do? If she does not eliminate when we take her out, should we still feed her? I was told if she does not eliminate, then put her back in her crate and only feed her when she has eliminated.

I understand why you are hesitant to take her out of the crate at night when she cries. We don't want to reinforce the crying, but at her age she will need to eliminate during the night. I would make sure she has eliminated before putting her in the crate and make sure she is tired. If she sleeps for a few hours and then wakes up crying, definitely take her out to potty. When you put her back in the crate, if she cries, just ignore her since you know she does not need to potty. At her age (2-1/2 months), you could assume she could hold her bladder about 2-1/2 or 3 hours, so you may need to get up once (or possibly twice) during the night. I would not withhold food from her for not eliminating. Feed her at your regularly scheduled times (2 or 3 times per day).


12 Apr 2011 7:59 am

SugarBichon said:

I have a Bichon Frise who is 13 weeks and we just brought her home this Wednesday. I crate her at night as well, but in my and my husband's bedroom. Before I put her in the crate, I have a treat ready and tell her "crate" as I put the treat in. I also put her favorite quiet chew rope and a kong with a dog cookie in it. She seems to like to have those to keep herself occupied as we get ready to go to bed. We also installed a night light near her crate as well. She seems to do really good and at first, we had to take our out at 1am and 4:30am for a wake up time at 7pm. Now that she has adjusted, she may ask to go out once at 5am and will sleep in until 7:30am or 8am. Once she gets older, we are going to move the crate our of our bedroom.

I think because we treat her to go in and she knows when night time is over she will come out, she has come to think of the crate as a safe place. Bichon's are a type of dog that enjoy having the comfort of people around so maybe if you are up to crating your dog in your room for a little bit (until she gets used to the crate), then she may stop crying.

21 Mar 2011 4:12 pm

mik1of3 said:

I can understand why you wouldn't want her in the bed with you unless she was housebroken, but I hardly think a 3 month old puppy will put together crying + being picked up.
I would think she would need more love and reassurance right now, esp since you just got her. She's missing her mom and her littermates, and she's in an unfamiliar place with strange people who stick her in a box all night long.
But then, that's just me. I'm not an expert or anything..just big softy.
I had a Sheltie that was the same age as your bichon cockapoo when I adopted him. He was the same way. By the time he was a year old, he wasn't sleeping with me through the night.
But I know all dogs are different. I just had to throw in my 2 cents worth. Good luck!

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