From Perfect Puppy to Dog Who Whines in Her Crate in 3 Easy Steps

Golden Retriever Puppy Sleeping

See, I can sleep just fine on my pillow.

The day we brought Honey home, she whined for less than a minute before falling asleep in her crate by the bed. At 3 months old she was already sleeping through the night! She was a perfect puppy.

What happened? Here are the steps:

1. Puppy swallows squeaker.

2. Puppy goes to hospital for squeaker removal. Her recovery schedule includes being woken at 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. to eat.

3. Puppy comes home with a disrupted sleep schedule and a bad habit.

Or at least that’s all I can think of.

Ever since Honey has come home from the hospital, she’s been more likely to whine in her crate. Loudly! And no, we don’t ever let her out of the crate while she’s whining. She’ll stop for a day or two and then start up again.

And I’m beginning to wonder if she should be crated at night at all.

I never crated my previous dogs. In the first case, I should have. It would have saved me a $1000 couch, $300 worth of cookbooks, several stained floors, and a couple of dog fights.

When we brought Shadow home as an older dog, she was so calm there was no need.

So now that Honey is a teenager, should the crate go in the attic? She goes to her crate easily without much fuss. She sleeps in her crate at my office. But Honey doesn’t seek out a crate as a refuge. Like most dogs, she’s perfectly happy on the floor, or on the couch, or on somebody’s lap.

And we’ve had to reorganize the bedroom furniture in a funky way that House Beautiful would never approve just to fit the crate at all.

Is it time to banish the crate? What do you think? Do you have a crate permanently for your dog? Or did you stop using it after housebreaking? Does your dog prefer the crate? Or do you prefer it? Any and all advice will be considered.

Or else we’ll just banish the crate to stop the whining.

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  1. I think it all entirely depends on the dog. We’ve been back and forth about keeping Shiva out of her crate at night. About six months ago we tried leaving her out and for a few days it was fine, but on the fourth she decided she was bored of just sleeping. I came upstairs in the morning to find the garbage can knocked over with half-chewed trash every where. Back into the crate she went.

    We’ve thought of trying it again, now that she’s a bit older. But I don’t know if I want to tempt fate. Shiva has zero problems with her crate and sleeps soundly through the night while inside. It’s only my misplaced feelings of guilt that induce me to want to try again.

    • Kristine–

      I thought Shiva was supposed to be a meditative god, not a destructive one. I guess your Shiva didn’t read her Hindu scriptures before shredding the garbage.

      Good point about the misplaced feelings of guilt. There’s something about cages that just seem to make humans feel incredibly guilty.

      Of course, I have a selfish desire to regain that 4 feet in my cramped bedroom. Sounds like it’s time for me to dig deep and figure out what’s best for Honey instead of what’s best for me.

  2. I have always crated my pups but ditched the crate after the dog has proven he/she can be trusted in the house alone. A friend crates her dogs every time she leaves the house and to travel in her car (small dogs). Guess it is a preference thing. :) Happy to have found your blog.

    Fellow dog lover,

    • Thanks for stopping by Amy and for offering the advice.

      I think Honey is trustworthy but wonder if I should keep the crate around so she remains used to it if I need to rely on it in the future (like when traveling). Hmmm!


  1. […] does that have to do with puppies? Well, I blogged about Honey suddenly becoming whiney in her crate. Since then, she hasn’t whined once. Problem […]