There’s nothing quite as bad as the sound of a puppy crying. You can’t exactly talk them through it and explain to them that you’re just going to sleep in another room.
For a puppy as small as a Chihuahua, being alone in the dark in this big world can be scary and overwhelming. What do you do when you’re scared? You cry.
It might seem like there’s only one cure to stop your Chihuahua from crying at night – letting them sleep in your bed with you – but this isn’t always the case.
Training your puppy to sleep by themselves is a tough but rewarding task, but there are ways to make this training easier for you and your dog.
After all, you want to have some sort of boundary with your dog, and the best time to train them to sleep alone is as a puppy.
If you’ve been struggling with your Chihuahua crying in their puppy crate, you’ve come to the right place. Here is the ultimate guide on how to stop your Chihuahua crying at night!
Why Do Puppies Cry?
This is going to sound ridiculously harsh, but it’s the truth. If you’ve just bought your Chihuahua puppy home, and you’re concerned about why they have profusely cried during their first few nights in the crate, you need to remember that the puppy has just been taken away from its mom and siblings.
It’s a horrible thought, but the reality is that your puppy is now feeling incredibly alone and scared without the physical and emotional support of its parents and litter.
Chihuahuas are notoriously noisy dogs who will make sounds when they want something. These noises are made when they want attention, when they want to pee or poop, when they’re feeling anxious, and when they want food.
Chihuahuas are also prone to separation anxiety, which means they will cry during the day as well as the night if they are left alone for extended periods of time.
Nobody ever said that owning a puppy is easy. Like a human baby, the nights are the hardest part to deal with a Chihuahua puppy.
You will need to be committed to training your puppy to be okay with sleeping alone in their crate, and you must be consistent with your training, too. It’ll be tough, but it’ll be worth it!
When people talk about how their dog was crying all night, it’s mostly referring to the whimpering and yelping noises that their dog makes. However, did you know that Chihuahuas actually cry real tears? In fact, Chihuahuas are one of the teariest dog breeds in the world.
Chihuahuas have tear ducts, but they don’t work like a human’s tear ducts. Instead of building up tears that fall down their cheeks, the tears drain into the nasal cavity, resulting in blocked tear ducts.
Blocked tear ducts will eventually build-up and pour out of the dog’s eyes, which is why some dogs have tear stains on their cheeks. The color of this is often red or brown.
Dogs will also cry if they have allergies, and particularly if they’ve been in an outdoor area with exposure to pollen and grass. You’ll have to wipe their eyes and keep an eye out for eye infections, which can be treated with veterinarian supervision.
Chihuahua Crying In Crate
It’s important to remember that Chihuahuas have separation anxiety, so when you have taken a Chihuahua from its original home, it’ll be going through a range of emotions.
At first, they will be excited to explore new people and a new environment. However, when you put them in a crate at night and suddenly leave them alone, they’re going to be confused.
The crate is an entirely new environment for the dog, which is why they react by whining and yelping.
There are several reasons why your Chihuahua is crying in its crate. The dog might be feeling lonely and missing its mom and siblings (or humans), it might be wanting to eat food or go to the bathroom, or it might simply be bored.
Lack of stimulation, especially with a young puppy, can lead to destructive and chaotic behaviors such as crying.
One of the main reasons why your Chihuahua is crying in its crate is probably because it is afraid.
For puppies and older dogs alike, they have just been plunged into darkness inside a new and small environment that might not look that comfortable to sleep in.
Rescue dogs in particular are afraid of crates because they might have previous negative connotations with it.
How To Stop Your Chihuahua Crying In Its Crate
So, it’s the part you’ve all been waiting for! Regardless of whether you have a puppy or senior Chihuahua, we understand the pain of dealing with a crying dog.
It feels harsh to leave them in a crate at night, but you often have to be cruel to be kind to teach them to be independent. Problem is, you don’t want to force them into a crate that they will develop negative connotations with, because then they will never sleep in it quietly.
Here are our top tips on how to stop your Chihuahua crying in its crate!
Choose The Right Crate Size
First things first, you’ve got to pick the right crate for your dog. While you might assume that a small dog will need a small crate, it’s important to provide your dog with a crate big enough for them to comfortably walk around in.
It’s normal to think that your Chihuahua might feel overwhelmed in a huge crate, but in reality, they would feel far more claustrophobic and afraid in a small crate.
As long as they can walk around, stand up comfortably, and turn around completely, then they shouldn’t feel like they’re in a claustrophobic cage.
Find The Right Location For The Crate
Once you’ve chosen the right crate size, next you’ll need to find the best place to put the crate. It might seem odd that the position of the crate will affect your dog’s behavior, but it’s true.
Unfortunately for you, you’re going to have to come to terms with a few nights of restless sleep, because it’s not wise to put the crate in a room far away from your own. This will only make the crying worse, which will cause even more anxiety in the dog.
The best place to put a crate is actually in your bedroom for the first few weeks. Training is all about taking each step slowly and gradually.
Putting the crate in your bedroom will help your dog to familiarize itself with your smells, plus it means they can see you – which, in theory, should prevent them from feeling lonely.
It also means you can easily get out of bed and check on them during the night to let them out to pee.
Eventually, you can start to move the crate further from your bedroom. This will be a matter of trial and error, because while some dogs might have established a good relationship with their crate at this point, others might not feel ready to leave the comfort of your room just yet.
Make The Crate Cozy
How would you feel if you were forced to sleep in a black and uncomfortable crate? Possibly one of the best ways to stop your Chihuahua crying in their crate is to make it as cozy as possible.
This means you should cover the bottom of the crate with a comfortable pillow, blankets, toys, and possibly even hidden treats.
Our best advice is to bring a cutting from a blanket that was used by the litter and the puppy’s mom, as this will provide them with a familiar scent. Likewise, put a piece of your clothing in their crate to help them to familiarize themselves with your scent.
Also, make sure to put a shallow water dish in one of the corners. We recommend covering the bottom of the crate with newspaper or puppy training pads underneath the blankets and dog bed, too.
Tire Your Dog Out
If your Chihuahua isn’t sleepy, they won’t sleep. This means that before you put them in the crate, it’s best to tire them out so they will want to fall asleep.
Even if this means they’re only asleep for an hour or two before they start crying, it’s a positive step in the right direction, because they will associate the crate with bedtime.
The best way to tire your Chihuahua out is to take them on a quick 20-minute walk.
You can try playing with toys and playing games with your dog, but this might hype them up a bit too much. A walk will tire them out enough to feel like they want to sleep.
Understand The Types Of Crying
This will come with practice, but try to understand the types of crying. Is your dog crying because they’re afraid, or do they want attention? Or do they need to pee?
The best way to help your understanding of the dog’s crying is to immediately take your dog out to pee.
This will answer your question about whether they need the toilet or not. It will also help them get into a bedtime routine of having a pee or poop before they sleep, which we will explain in the next top tip.
If your puppy doesn’t pee or poop, then put them back in the crate with no affection or playtime.
This isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it’s the equivalent of disciplining your child – just with actions, not words. This should teach them that they can only cry to be let out of the crate to pee or poop.
Take Your Dog To The Bathroom
Get into the habit of taking your dog out into the backyard to poop or pee before they go to sleep. Alternatively, get them to do their business on a puppy pad.
Not only will this empty their bowels (which will in theory prevent you from waking up to a whole load of mess in the morning), but it will also let you know that their crying isn’t because they need to pee or poop.
Plus, over time this will help your dog get into a sense of routine before they go to sleep.
Don’t Shout At Your Dog
While it might seem like you need to be firm and shout at your dog when it’s crying to tell it off, this is one of the worst things you can do.
If your Chihuahua is crying in its crate, it’s probably afraid enough as it is without a booming voice coming from a large human. You don’t want your dog to be as afraid of you as it is afraid of the crate.
Plus, Chihuahuas are notoriously timid dogs, so scolding them will only add to their anxiety.
This is the worst part. The best way to teach your dog to stop crying in its crate is to ignore them.
If you keep going to let them out of their crate when the crying gets too loud, then they will expect to be let out. Chihuahuas are smart, so they will learn to cry to get something they want.
Likewise, you’ve got to be strong and not allow them to sleep with you. Unless you don’t mind having your dog sleeping with you, you’ve got to commit to keeping them in their crate. Breaking this routine will set them back in their training.
Don’t Be Excitable
When the morning comes, don’t open the crate and greet them with an excitable nature.
As much as you want to praise them for spending the night in the crate, this will only encourage them to cry even louder when the sun rises because they know they will get cuddles and a treat.
Instead, let them out to pee and poop, and then treat them as you normally would. This is the best way to normalize the crate!