Teaching Your Puppy to be Alone in the Crate

You finally have your new pup home! What a great time and experience. You have puppy proofed, booked your vet appointment and arrived home! As the sun goes down it is time for bedtime! You put your pup in the crate and expect a peaceful night’s sleep. For some this not a reality! Up until now your pup has never been alone or crate trained. The tips below will help you be successful in teaching your pup to accept his crate and to learn that alone time can be a wonderful experience!


1st Day Home:

  • Even though everyone is so excited to have a new pup it is important not to hold and coddle him all afternoon.
  • Begin in small increments of crate time. 5 minutes is a good start. Put him in his crate and when he fusses, one firm correction (Enough or NO).
  • Ignore him until he stops fussing.
  • As soon as he stops crying let him out and tell him he is a good boy.
  • Build up the time until he can successfully nap and sleep!

1St Night Home:

Consistency and routine are important when raising and training your pup! Remember much like toddlers, a well-played with pup will be very sleepy! Follow the routine below for a good night’s rest:

  • 3 hours before bed: No food, No water, No napping
  • 1 hour before bed: Play, Play, Play (30-40 minutes!)
  • 30 minutes before bed: 2-3 tiny sips of water to quench his thist!
  • 10-15 minutes before bed: Last potty break
  • Bedtime: in his crate. One firm correction (Enough or NO) and then ignore him! He will settle down within 20 minutes and sleep!

If your pup is still fussing 30 minutes later – repeat the 4th & 5th step. He most likely has not emptied his bladder completely!


Below are some tips to help your puppy adjust to being alone in his crate. However, I would not attempt to desensitize with these items UNLESS your pup is having an issue:

  1. Crate Location:
    1. Some pups do well by the bed and some pups do well away from the family. Each pup is different, so you may need to see what works best for your puppy!
  2. Something to Snuggle:
    1. Some pups are afraid to be alone. You can place a slightly larger stuffed animal in. They will cuddle up to it as if it is a litter mate (they even sell ones with heartbeats!)
  3. A Nightlight:
    1. Some pups do not do well in pitch black. A small nightlight may assist in helping to comfort him.
  4. A Crate Cover:
    1. Some pups do not do well in any light. A cover to make things black may assist in helping to comfort him.
  5. A Bully Stick/Chew Toy:
    1. A toy may keep him distracted, especially when you are leaving the house for a while! (NOT TO BE GIVEN AT BEDTIME!)
  6. Music:
    1. We play classical music all day and night to help self soothe pups and nursing moms. This may help if someone is particularly fussy!
  7. Playtime:
    1. A worn-out pup will always do better resting in the crate. Be sure to plan out at least 15-30 minutes (depending on your pups’ stamina) of playtime before putting him in his crate.

Ensuring your pup has a great beginning with crate training will set a wonderful experience for the future. You want your pups to like their crates and have a “safe spot” in the future! Remember, consistency and routine are key!

Royal Flush Havanese is ALWAYS here to assist and guide you through this heartwarming experience so do not hesitate to contact us for anything! For more step by step tips on this topic please read through our Crate Training Your New Puppy Blog!

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