How to stop your puppy from crying at night

There are few things more apt to pull at your heartstrings than a crying puppy.

Once that crying starts interfering with your sleep, it’s easy to get a bit fed up.

But it’s key to remember that this is very normal behaviour – they are babies, after all.

According to research by puppy training app Zigzag, for puppies aged three to six months, over a quarter of the 2,000 respondents (27%) mistakenly identified ‘crying all night’ as an issue.

This is particularly worrying given that 27% of dog owners would consider giving up their puppy if they displayed behaviour that was mistakenly identified as ‘problematic’ for their age. 

So, with this key information in mind, here are some tips from Lorna Winter, director of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter and co-founder and head of training at Zigzag, on how to stop your little pal from whining through the night.

Don’t just leave them to it

While you might think they won’t benefit from the attention, Lorna says you shouldn’t just let them cry.

‘Never leave your pup to just cry all night,’ she explains, ‘as there is new research that shows puppies who are left to cry it out all night are more likely to have behavioural issues in the future.

‘Don’t be afraid to comfort your puppy, you will be giving them reassurance not rewarding the crying.’

Make sure they don’t need to go outside

Lorna says your first port of call should be checking whether your pup needs a trip to the loo.

While they’re young, they’ll likely need toilet breaks during the night.

Keep your puppy close

Keep their bed close to yours, so they know they’re not alone.

‘Have your pup as close to you as possible, ideally by your bed in the early weeks/months,’ says Lorna.

‘If you don’t want them upstairs, be prepared to sleep downstairs until they are comfortable being left alone.’

Give them something of yours

Got an old jumper or t-shirt lying around? Pass it on to your little pal so they can keep your scent close by.

‘Give your pup something of yours to lie on,’ says Lorna. ‘A jumper or dressing gown can help soothe them.’

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