Dogs are known as man’s best friend, but they can also be quite a hassle. These adorable, four-legged companions can be a lot of work, especially during their puppy stages. While puppies are arguably the cutest stage you can get a dog at, they are also a lot of work especially for young ones like a 4-month-old puppy.
Many new puppy owners are surprised by the amount of effort and time it takes to get your new little puppy more independent. Like children, puppies need a little time and patience to mature into the dogs that will stay with you for the rest of their lives.
Why Do Puppies Cry So Much?
Like we said – puppies are like children. They are baby dogs, and like human babies, they like to cry to get what they want. Especially if they were just taken from a shelter or pet shop, they likely just left a busy home where they were always surrounded by companions.
Now, they likely face the realization that they are a little more alone than they used to be. Puppies admire and look up to you for everything in their lives. To them, you are like a parent. Much like a young child who wants to crawl in bed with their parents, your puppy likely just wants to grab your attention.
Am I Rewarding Bad Behavior for My 4-month-old Puppy?
The ultimate goal of their crying is to grab your attention. If you give it to them, then you’re ultimately just rewarding them for their behavior. It may not seem like you are giving them what they want, but for many organisms, any attention is good attention.
Whether you are rushing up and petting them to comfort them or running over and trying to reprimand them, giving them any attention at all means they’ve already won. Unless you want to raise your pet to be completely dependent on you rushing over to them, you should consider training your puppy to stop crying at night while they are still young.
How Can I Get a 4-Month-Old Puppy to Stop Crying?
There are many different techniques for getting your puppy to stop crying at night. While they will probably not work immediately, you need to do your best in order to stick to your plan and establish habits in your dog – even if it is annoying. Consider following these helpful tips to get you (and your four-legged friend) on the road to a full night of sleep.
Leave them alone
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is *nothing.* Ignoring a crying pet a night is a great way to show them that you are not going to come running to them whenever they want in the middle of the night. It will take some time and patience, but try to just let them “cry themselves out” in the beginning.
4-month-old puppy crate train
Instead of hoping they don’t run to your door or wreak havoc out of frustration in your home, consider crate training your dog. Crates don’t have to be a punishment and are a great way to establish a “sleeping spot.” After some time of associating this “safe place” as a location for sleep and relaxation, it should be easy to convince them to sleep through the night in their home.
Make a sleep-worthy environment
Try to put the crate in an area that is perfect for fostering a restful environment. This environment should not be loud, brightly lit, or uncomfortable. Try to consider how hot (or cold) a particular location can get. Keep it away from places that would have people talking or a TV running.
If you love in a more populated area, consider keeping the crate away from areas where the puppy would easily hear people outside or cars. If the room is not dark enough, consider investing in blackout curtains or simply put a blanket over the crate to keep it dark.
Follow a schedule
Everyone likes a routine. Consider keeping your pet on a strict one. Go every night around the same time if possible. Also, consider keeping their feeding schedules and bathroom breaks as consistent as possible.
Keep toilet breaks in mind
Puppies can’t hold it in forever, so try to keep this in mind when establishing a bedtime. Some dogs are able to hold it in better than others. Unless you want to be stuck cleaning up accidents every morning, make sure your puppy is not forced to use their crate because their bedtime is too long.
If you need to take them out for breaks in the middle of the night to avoid an accident, make sure everything is strictly a visit to the bathroom. You don’t have to be cold, but try not to be overly friendly with your puppy and get them excited. Try to teach them this is strictly bathroom time, and you are here to do your business and go back to sleep. As they age, they’ll be able to hold it for longer.
Tire them out
Playtime should take place during reasonable hours. Puppies have a lot of energy, so it’s a smart idea to expend it during the day for a number of reasons. Aside from the fact it will tire them out, so they sleep all night, it also keeps them stimulated, so they don’t act out. Many dogs that do not receive adequate attention take out their frustrations by destroying stuff in the home like shoes, walls, and furniture.
Consider a trainer for your 4-month-old puppy
If all else fails, consider hiring a professional trainer. A professional trainer may make the process significantly easier. They can identify troubling behaviors in your pets and offer advice on where to improve. Signing them up for something like puppy school may create solid lessons for your pet.
When Should I Contact a Vet?
In some cases, excessive crying may mean something is wrong. If you are ever concerned about the health of your pet, contact the vet immediately. While crying is normal for puppies and is often nothing to be worried about, it can be a troubling symptom when combined with other problems,
Do you have any hacks on how to get your puppy sleeping? Just want to share your favorite nighttime dog story? We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment below!