Why a Puppy Barks at Night and How to Stop It

Put the crate in an ideal location. Puppies are more likely to be upset if they’re shut away in an isolated area; if they’re close to people, they’ll often calm down. Putting your puppy’s crate in a part of your house that you and your family frequent, such as a quiet corner of the living room or bedroom, may help with nighttime barking (and initially, the crate should be within earshot so you can let your dog out to potty as she needs it). As your puppy gets comfortable with her crate, you can move it to another part of the house if needed. When you do this, move the crate slowly — a few inches each night, rather than one big move to a different room — to give your puppy time to adjust.

Establish a regular potty schedule — and stick to it. Most puppies can hold their bladder for one hour for every month of age, plus one. So an 8- to 11-week-old puppy can usually hold it for up to three hours, while a 12-to 15-week-old pup may be able to hold it up to four hours. Keep in mind that this rule of thumb doesn’t account for the size of the dog or other events that may trigger the pup to go more often, like waking from a nap, playing, eating or drinking. Make a written schedule of times when the pup needs to be taken out and follow it. This may require you (or someone in your house) to get up in the middle of the night to take the puppy out, but when the alternative is a potty accident or a crying pup, being proactive is a far better choice.

Teach your puppy an alternative behavior to replace the barking. Once you’re on a consistent potty schedule, you can start to work on teaching your puppy to wait quietly to be let out. Never use punishment to get a crying puppy to be quiet. Instead, when it’s time for your puppy to go out, ignore vocalizations and wait for several seconds of quiet before letting her out of her crate. Reinforce the desired behavior with praise and treats.

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