Note: Pet Educate is reader supported. If you make a purchase through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission - at no extra cost to you. This includes links to Amazon.

Puppy Wants To Sleep On Floor Not Crate [Why & What To Do]

That crate you bought for your puppy to sleep in. Only they prefer the floor!

Seems strange right, since you’ve probably made that crate as comfortable as you can (or at least I hope). That’s something to try, but more on that later.

So why would a puppy decide to sleep on such a hard surface. Willingly.

Should you let them?

Is there anything you can do to entice them back to their crate?

Well, let’s delve into it, shall we?

Why Does My Puppy Sleep On The Floor But Not Their Crate?

Puppies may opt for the floor over a crate for comfort, change, acclimatization issues, unsuitable crate position, or floor temperature. They may also prefer the floor’s firmness if experiencing sore muscles or joints.

The Floor is Comfier Than You Think

Despite our human perspective that soft, cushioned surfaces like dog beds or crates lined with padding are more comfortable, our puppies may think differently.

The hard floor can provide a firm, stable surface that offers better support for your puppy’s developing musculoskeletal system.

This firmness might feel more secure and comforting to them than the comparatively unstable, soft surfaces.

Your Puppy Enjoys a Change of Resting Place

Much like humans, puppies also appreciate a change of scenery.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they dislike their crate; they might just want a different resting spot from time to time.

Puppies are curious by nature and trying out different sleeping spots could be a part of their exploratory behavior.

The Crate is Not Comfortable Enough

If your puppy constantly avoids sleeping in their crate, it might be an indication that the crate isn’t comfortable enough.

It could be too small or too large, or not equipped with enough padding.

Remember, the crate should be a safe, cozy space where your puppy feels secure and relaxed.

Your Puppy is Not Used to Their Crate Yet

Crate training is a process and it takes time for your puppy to fully acclimate to their crate.

If they’ve only recently been introduced to the crate, it’s natural for them to prefer familiar places like the floor.

Gradual, positive reinforcement-based training can help them get used to their crate over time.

It Could Be Where The Crate Is Positioned

Puppies are social animals who don’t want to feel isolated.

If the crate is positioned in a distant corner, they might avoid it as they’d prefer to sleep closer to their human family.

Similarly, if you’ve recently moved the crate, your puppy might be disoriented and need time to adjust.

The Temperature of The Floor

During hot months, a cool tile or hardwood floor can provide relief from the heat.

On the other hand, a warm carpet might be more appealing during the colder season.

Your Puppy Has Sore Joints/Muscles from Growing/Exercise

Puppies grow rapidly, and sometimes their joints and muscles may feel sore from this growth or from vigorous exercise.

The hard surface of the floor could provide relief to these aches, which a soft crate might not offer.

Is It Ok To Let My Puppy Sleep On The Floor?

In short, it’s generally okay to let your puppy sleep on the floor if that’s where they seem to be most comfortable. However, it’s important to make sure the floor is safe, clean, and not too cold or hot for them to lay on.

While it’s perfectly fine for your puppy to enjoy a nap on the floor, we must remember to provide them with a safe and comfortable environment.

This includes making sure that the floor is free of small objects they might chew on or swallow, and ensuring that the floor’s temperature is suitable.

The floor can provide a cool and firm surface that your puppy may find comfortable, especially during warm weather or after exercise.

However, during colder months, the floor can become too cold and could potentially lead to your puppy getting sick.

For this reason, it’s important to provide them with options.

A comfortable, well-placed crate and a suitable dog bed can give your puppy the choice of where they wish to rest.

Moreover, while it’s okay to allow your puppy to sleep on the floor, remember that this shouldn’t replace crate training.

A crate provides a secure, safe space for your puppy, which is especially important when you’re not home or unable to supervise them.

How To Encourage A Puppy To Sleep In A Crate And Not The Floor

Increase The Cushioning/Padding

The first step to encourage your puppy to sleep in their crate is to make it as comfortable as possible.

Invest in a high-quality crate pad that fits well within the crate, and consider adding a blanket or a piece of your clothing that carries your scent.

This can make the crate feel like a safe and comforting environment for your puppy.

Comfort goes beyond just padding.

The size of the crate matters too.

Ensure it’s big enough for your puppy to stand, turn around, and stretch out in.

Yet, it should not be so large that they may feel overwhelmed or be tempted to designate a corner as their bathroom area.

Consider A New Crate

It could very well be that your puppy is/has outgrown their existing crate, or that their current crate is not welcoming/sufficient for them.

It could just be the design.

I am a huge advocate of Impact Dog crates and would strongly recommend that you take a look at them.

Available in a range of sizes/colors, they are designed to overcome the problems inherent with many other crates.

For instance, they even have a specific crate for dogs who suffer with high anxiety.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Whenever your puppy chooses to go into their crate, reward them with a treat or affectionate praise.

By doing this, you’re creating positive associations with the crate, which can encourage them to spend more time there.

Additionally, you can feed your puppy their meals in the crate or use special toys that are only available when they’re in the crate.

This can reinforce the idea that the crate is a positive and enjoyable space.

Establish a Routine

Establishing a consistent routine can help your puppy get used to their crate.

Make it a point to encourage them to sleep in the crate at the same time.

Over time, your puppy will start to understand that it’s their designated sleeping spot.

Also, remember to ensure your puppy has had plenty of exercise and bathroom breaks before crate time.

This way, they are tired and comfortable, making the crate a more inviting place to rest.

Get Them Used To It Slowly

Gradually introduce your puppy to the crate rather than forcing them in.

Start with short periods of crate time while you’re present, gradually increasing the duration and eventually moving on to periods when you’re out of sight.

This slow introduction helps build confidence and reduces any anxiety they may have about being left alone in the crate.

Consider Create Relocation

Place the crate in a location where your puppy still feels part of the family activities but also away from too much noise or distractions.

Many puppies prefer to sleep in their crate at night in a room where their human family sleeps.

It provides them with a sense of security and belonging.


Why does my puppy want to sleep on hard floor?

Your puppy may prefer to sleep on the hard floor because it provides relief from either temperature extreme, or the firm surface provides relief from any soreness from growing or exercising. It can also offer more space for stretching out or keep them closer to you and the family.

Related guides: