When you first bring your Chihuahua puppy home, the excitement can quickly turn to concern when they start crying at night from the crate. If you’re new to owning a dog it can be really disconcerting; the howling and whining isn’t for the feint-hearted, and they can even let out what sound like little screams.
Now, please don’t worry. You should eventually be able to stop your Chihuahua puppy crying in his crate.
But you will need a degree of patience and large amount of determination. You will need to leave them at times… this might seem cruel, but it’s an essential part of your Chihuahua puppy growing up to be a well-adjusted adult dog.
The reason it’s happening is due to the Chihuahua puppy being taken away from the mother and other puppy siblings. It’s harsh, but it’s true. Your puppy will no longer have that security and familiarity, so will cry in the crate for prolonged periods of time.
It’s kind of like having a baby; you will need to accept that you might miss out on some sleep for a while and keep going until you get night-time training mastered!
In this easy to follow guide, I will explain the steps you can take to cope with your Chihuahua crying and whining at night. It will help you get them settled and used to sleeping in crate without having to be constantly by your side.
Before those crate trainings steps, here’s a little background to why your Chihuahua’s crying.
Why do Chihuahuas cry?
Chihuahuas will and do cry, and Chihuahua puppies are particularly known as big criers. Whimpering and crying will happen when they want your attention, to be fed, or to be let out for a pee or poop.
Chihuahua puppies also cry due to separation anxiety when they are left alone; much of this plays into their night crying habits – it’s need to be cracked otherwise problems will develop.
Chihuahuas puppies can also cry due to health reasons
- Blocked tear ducts: Whilst this might sound odd, blocked tear ducts mean your Chihuahua’s eyes will water more, with obvious tear staining down their face. It can sometimes look like a red or brown color, seeping from their eyes.
- Eye allergies: An allergic reaction can also lead to watery discharge from their eyes, which can look like tears and crying.
Chihuahua puppies will always cry, and in the first month you have them home with you, it’s to be expected, and possibly won’t let up until they get a bit older.
But the main reason that Chihuahua puppies will cry, will be when you have them starting to sleep in their crate at night. If you skip crate training, it can lead to bigger issues in later life, so it’s important that you do this.
Do Chihuahuas cry tears?
All dogs, including Chihuahuas, have tear ducts. Chihuahua tear ducts don’t work the same as ours do though.
Instead of their tears running down from their eyes, they will instead drain back into the dog’s nasal cavity… which is why blocked tear ducts result in what look like Chihuahua tears.
Chihuahua crying in crate
If your Chihuahua puppy won’t stop crying when in a crate, here’s what you need to do in order to fix things… for you, and the puppy’s sake.
The reason why your Chihuahua puppy is crying in the crate are relatively simple…
- Loneliness: The Chihuahua puppy won’t be used to being without siblings and not by your side at night.
- Bored: If the Chihuahua puppy hasn’t been stimulated during the day, it could be bored at night and want to come out of the crate.
- Fear: Older or rescue dogs can have negative connotations connected to the crate.
- Toilet: It might just be that the Chihuahua needs a pee or poop.
How to stop Chihuahua crate crying behavior
If your adult or Chihuahua puppy won’t stop crying when in their crate, here are some steps you can take.
Please Note: Chihuahua puppies will cry in their crate for at least the first few days you have them. You won’t be able to stop this, as it’s their natural reaction to being in a new home. The steps below are best applied when the crying is problematic and longer term.
1. Make the crate apositive experience and comfortable
One of the simplest ways to stop your Chihuahua puppy crying at night is to make them as comfortable and happy as possible. That’s obvious of course, but it simply boils down to making them want to be in the crate.
You can encourage this by putting toys in there, warm blankets, and some hidden treats. If the crate is cosy and welcoming, it will have more positive connotations rather than negative ones.
To help with that positive association, place an item of clothing of yours in the crate. This will help the Chihuahua puppy’s separation anxiety at night due to the familiar scent.
2. Position the crate strategically
Where you place your Chihuahua’s crate will have a large influence on their behavior, and possibly even the crying. For example, with a really young puppy, having them in a crate in a faraway room from you might help your sleep, but it won’t help them.
You should be taking baby steps here to help their insecurity and loneliness, so in the first few weeks at least have it and them withing sight of your room – so you can see them and vice versa.
Having them closer to you like this, will also mean you can help their potty training, getting them out when they need to pee.
Handy Hint: You might find my guide to potty training a Chihuahua helpful in cases like this.
Over time you can start to move the crate gradually, until they are in the crate, in a room, and with no whining and crying.
3. Use the right-sized crate
Part of the comfort mentioned earlier, will be making sure your Chihuahua has the right crate for their stature. They need enough to room to walk from side to side, move about, stand up, and turn fully without feeling caged.
Crates don’t need to be expensive, with Amazon selling a perfectly good one.
4. Make sure your Chihuahua goes for a pee and poop first
Your Chihuahua is crying in the crate possibly because their bladder is full. They should be allowed outdoors or onto a puppy pad before bedtime.
However, with puppies, they will need the toilet constantly. You might have to take them out of the crate every hour… but there is an alternative; puppy training pads.
You can still expect some accidents, which is why puppy pads are so essential for lining the crate at night. Again, you can buy puppy pads on Amazon – they are cheap when bought in bulk.
5. Tire your Chihuahua puppy out before crate time
The more tired your Chihuahua puppy is, the more he or she will sleep, meaning the less crying in the crate. That’s the theory anyway.
Try to make sure that your Chihuahua has no energy still left to burn at night. They need exercise, even for a small breed, and that’s whether they are adults or puppies.
With a Chihuahua puppy, just a walk and run about for 20 minutes could be enough to make them tired before bed and crate time.
6. Ignore your Chihuahua’s crying and whining
It might sound cruel, but sometimes you just have to ignore your Chihuahua crying, unless they need to go outdoors and pee. It’s a simple reason too; if you go to the crate and get them out each time they cry, they will learn to use crying to get what they want.
By taking them out of the crate at night when the Chihuahua cries, you have reinforced the behavior… and will then find it hard to stop as the weeks and months progress.
To get this part of the training working, don’t take the Chihuahua puppy out of the crate unless the crying has stopped for a few minutes.
7. Understanding the difference between a cry for a pee and a cry for attention
But how do you know which cry is which?
To be honest, you don’t… so what I recommend is that you take your Chihuahua out of the crate the first few times he cries and immediately take him to the potty area.
You might end up taking your puppy out of the crate during their early months… it’s too tempting not too!
If he doesn’t pee or poop, put him straight back in the crate without any attention or play. Over a week or so, your puppy should learn that crying gives him the toilet and nothing else.
8. Never punish or scold your crying Chihuahua
Chihuahuas (or any dog for that matter) do not respond well to loud shouting and hitting. Whilst it might be extremely frustrating when your Chihuahua cries at night from the crate, if you tell them it will often make it worse.
If your Chihuahua is crying due to being scared, shouting more will not help. Yes, he might stop crying in the short-term, but only because he is in fear of you.
Handy Hint: You should never punish a Chihuahua with physical action. Instead use some of these ideas I’ve listed to help with puppy discipline.
When training to stop your Chihuahua crying at night, you should always remain consistent. That way, mixed messages won’t be sent.
If you can’t quite figure out why your Chihuahua cries and have eliminated the topics I’ve discussed then please do seek professional help.
You might also like…
Here are some related guides to help you and your Chihuahua puppy, with crying, night-time sleep, and other issues.
- This is why your Chihuahua might have a runny nose
- Keeping an anxious puppy calm at night
- How to stop your Chihuahua from biting you and other people
Image in header via https://pixabay.com/photos/background-eye-iris-pupil-close-up-4513734/