Crate Training a Puppy at Night

One of the fastest and most effective ways to housebreak your puppy is to crate-train him, according to Perfect Paws. Crate training forces your puppy to restrain himself and eliminate in the right time and place, and it helps him strengthen his bladder and bowels so he can exercise intentional control. Be patient and consistent, and your puppy will learn what you want him to do.

Step 1

Purchase a sturdy crate for your puppy that is just big enough to allow him to stand and turn around. Cushion it with sturdy but soft towels or old sheets.

Step 2

Teach your puppy to love his crate. Give it a name like "place." During the day, teach him that when he goes inside his crate he gets a treat. Keep a safe chew toy inside.

Step 3

Take your puppy outside to relieve himself right before bedtime. Give him enough time to urinate and defecate---at least 10 minutes.

Step 4

Keep the crate near your bed or at least near your bedroom. Your puppy might need to go outside in the middle of the night---at least for the first few weeks. If the crate is nearby, you can hear him cry or rattle the door. If you have other dogs that sleep near you, the puppy should be nearby, too, so he does not feel socially isolated.

Step 5

Tell your puppy it's time for him to go to his "place." When he goes inside, give him a small treat and praise him for being a good boy. For the first few nights, your puppy might cry because he wants to be with you, but resist the temptation to give in. Allowing him to sleep outside the crate prolongs the training.

Step 6

Take him out early in the morning. Your puppy will probably wake up at sunrise and want to go outside. Be sensitive to your puppy's needs and forgo sleeping late for a while.

Step 7

Praise your puppy when he enters his crate, when he leaves it and when he relieves himself outside.


  • According to Perfect Paws, your puppy should only be crated when you are at home. When you are out, allow your puppy to stay in a puppy-safe, uncarpeted room with toys, water and a pad in case he has an accident. If you must work long hours, ask a friend to walk him and spend time with him or hire a pet sitter.

  • Puppies take a lot of time, money and effort. If you don't have all of these, consider adopting an older, housebroken dog.


  • Be patient. Crate training takes time and consistency.

  • Your puppy cannot truly control his bladder or bowels until he is at least 12 weeks old. It can take longer for toy or small breeds.

  • If your puppy urinates or defecates in his crate, do not scold him; just clean it up and hope he does better the next night. Dogs are loath to soil their own beds, so if this happens, your puppy couldn't help himself.

Items You Will Need

  • Crate
  • Clean towels or sheets
  • Safe chew toy



About the Author

Yvette Sajem has been a professional writer since 1995. Her work includes greeting cards and two children's books. A lifelong animal advocate, she is active in animal rescue and transport, and is particularly partial to senior and special needs animals.

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