Have you noticed this pattern: your puppy sleeps in their crate, harmoniously, at night, but during the day. Not a chance.
They just won’t sleep.
They may not even settle!
But why is your puppy doing this?
Should they be sleeping in the day?
Is there anything you can do to encourage them to do so?
That’s exactly what we will be covering here today…
Why Does My Puppy Sleep In A Crate At Night But Not During The Day?
Your puppy may sleep in a crate at night but not during the day due to various factors such as darkness triggering sleep, daytime stimulation, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and incomplete crate training.
Darkness Cues Sleep
Just like humans, puppies have an inherent sleep-wake cycle regulated by the presence and absence of light.
At night, the darkness acts as a natural cue for them to wind down and sleep, even if it’s in a crate.
Conversely, during the day, the natural light can make your puppy more alert, which can make it difficult for them to settle down and sleep in the crate.
Even when inside, puppies can sense the time of day based on the light filtering in through windows or changes in the household routine.
This can make them more or less inclined to want to be in a crate.
Daytime Is Too Stimulating
During the day, your home may be bustling with activity.
Children might be playing, other pets may be active, and there could be numerous noises and distractions that keep your puppy engaged and stimulated.
With so much to explore and play with, your puppy may resist being cooped up in a crate.
Remember, puppies are curious.
They learn about their environment through play and exploration, so it’s only natural that they may prefer to be out and about during the day when everyone else is active.
Puppy Fears Missing Out
Puppies, like many dogs, are social animals.
They often want to be part of whatever’s happening around them.
This “Fear of Missing Out” can make it tough for them to settle in a crate during the day, especially if there are interesting sights, sounds, or smells that they want to investigate.
Whether it’s the tantalizing smell of cooking food, the sight of children playing, or simply the sounds of day-to-day life, these stimuli might draw your puppy’s attention away from the crate.
In their view, there’s too much fun to be had outside the crate!
Not Yet Sufficiently Crate-Trained
Finally, your puppy may simply not be fully accustomed to the crate yet.
Crate training is a process, and it takes time for a puppy to learn that the crate is a safe and comfortable place to be, day or night.
If your puppy is comfortable sleeping in the crate at night but resists during the day, it might simply mean that they need more practice and positive associations with the crate during daylight hours.
Remember, patience and consistency are key when it comes to crate training.
Always make sure your puppy associates the crate with positive experiences to foster a sense of safety and security, regardless of the time of day.
Should A Puppy Sleep In A Crate During The Day?
It is perfectly okay for a puppy to sleep in a crate during the day. In fact, daytime crate training can help establish a regular routine and provide a safe, secure space for your puppy. However, remember that crate time should be balanced with plenty of playtime, exercise, and social interaction.
Why You May Want Your Puppy To Sleep In A Crate During The Day
Crate training during the day can offer several benefits.
For starters, it can help your puppy get used to the crate, making it easier for them to be comfortable in it at night.
Daytime crate training can also be beneficial if you need to leave your puppy alone for short periods of time, as it provides them with a familiar and secure place to rest.
Furthermore, crates can provide puppies with a den-like space where they can retreat to when they’re tired or need some alone time.
This can be particularly helpful in households with young children or other pets, where a puppy might sometimes feel overwhelmed.
Why You Need To Limit The Time Your Puppy Is In A Crate During The Day
However, it’s important to remember that a crate is not a full-time solution.
Puppies are active, social animals who need plenty of time to play, explore, and interact with their families.
Overuse of a crate can lead to problems such as anxiety, depression, and destructive behavior.
As a general rule, a puppy should not be left in a crate for longer than they can hold their bladder – typically, this is equal to their age in months plus one, in hours.
Finally, remember that crate training is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Some puppies take to a crate easily, while others might need a little more time and patience.
Always listen to your puppy and adjust your approach based on their comfort level and individual needs.
How To Encourage A Puppy To Sleep In A Crate During The Day
Encouraging a puppy to sleep in a crate during the day can be achieved through positive reinforcement, consistency, and making the crate a comfortable and inviting place.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help your puppy feel more at ease in their crate during daylight hours.
Make The Crate Comfortable & Inviting
Place a soft blanket or a cozy bed inside, and consider adding one or two safe, chewable toys for your puppy to play with.
You could also add an item of your clothing that carries your scent to offer comfort and familiarity.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Whenever your puppy enters the crate willingly, shower them with praise, pats, and treats.
This helps associate the crate with positive experiences and rewards, encouraging your puppy to spend more time there.
Short, Consistent Intervals
Start with short intervals of crate time during the day and gradually increase the duration.
Don’t rush the process.
It’s essential for your puppy to feel comfortable and not view the crate as a form of punishment.
Pair Crate Time with Quiet Time
Try to associate crate time with calm, quiet periods during the day.
After a play session or a walk when your puppy is likely to be tired, gently guide them to the crate.
This can help them associate the crate with relaxation and rest.
Feed Meals in the Crate
Another effective method is to feed your puppy their meals in the crate.
This creates a positive association with the crate and encourages your puppy to spend more time inside.
Never Use The Crate as Punishment
The crate should always be a safe, comfortable space for your puppy.
Never use it as a place for time-outs or punishment, as this can create fear and anxiety around the crate.
It can be strange to discover that a puppy is willing to sleep in their crate at night, only to reject the idea during the day.
But it actually makes sense.
Puppies are naturally much more tired at night, it’s a quiet, comforting environment.
During the day, there’s a lot more going on. They are more energetic, and the crate exposes a lot more of their inner anxieties and fears.
But all is not lost.
With some more consistent crate training, exposure and positive associations, you can get your puppy much more comfortable in their crate during the day, and much more likely to sleep and settle there.
It’s a process that takes a little time.
But you’ll get there.
Related puppy sleeping content you may want to read:
- Puppy Wants To Sleep On Floor Not Crate
- Puppy Won’t Sleep Unless Next To Me [5 Main Reasons & Solutions]
- Why Is My Puppy Sleeping So Much? [Should You Be Concerned?]
- Why Is My Puppy Suddenly Crying At Night?
- Why Does My Puppy Breathe So Fast While Sleeping?
- Why Does My Puppy Pee In Her Sleep? [And How To Respond]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.