German Shepherd Crying In A Crate: What Is The Problem?

German Shepherd Crying In A Crate: What Is The Problem?

For every pet owner, welcoming a new dog like the German Shepherd as part of the family is always a joyful experience.

However, dealing with a German shepherd who cannot stop crying in a crate can make anyone furious and have sleepless nights during the first few days.

German shepherd puppies who previously enjoyed the company of their mother or littermates will feel lonely and thus start the whining behavior.

Like every other dog behavior, such as excess whining and crying, has a remedy. And it all needs diligence and ultimate care to reverse such behavior without leaving a negative experience on the dog.

So if you have a German shepherd puppy who will whine and cry all night, here is how you can rectify such a behavior.

Why Is My German Puppy Crying?

It would be best to learn the root cause of the crying before checking on methods to resolve it.

From there, you will know the best direction or step to take.

While at that, it’s advisable for you to learn the categories of cries on a German shepherd dog.

Natural Crying

A natural cry is an instinctive reaction that occurs when the dog is scared or anxious about something. Often occurs in newly adopted puppies, as they cannot feel the warmth of their mother and littermate.

Learned To cry

Learned to cry is more of self-taught. For example, if you’ve let out a dog from its crate after whining, it will capture that well. With that, the dog knows anytime it lets out a cry, someone will have compassion and release it.

Your German Puppy Wants to Potty

German shepherd puppies have weak bowels and bladders that cannot hold for long. So, anytime they feel pressed, they will let out a cry to get a potty.

Potty training is one of the reasons that make most people reject the idea of crating a dog.

Wants Attention

German shepherds are not solitary animals, as they thrive on lots of attention. And love pleasing their human companions.

So leaving the dog for long without sighting anyone may make it cry at night.

Also, puppies cry a lot to attract their mothers’ attention. That adopted dog in your house will follow the same path as it seeks your attention.

Your German shepherd is Crying in a Crate Because He is Scared

A dog in an unfamiliar environment will not take it lightly. The dog will cry a lot. Such crying is an instinctive behavior that also happens in the wild when the puppies are scared or feel threatened.

Your Dog Has Lots of Energy

German shepherds, especially teenagers, have lots of energy that they have to exhaust. Lack of exercise during the day will come to haunt you during the night, as your dog won’t let you sleep.

Your German shepherd is Hungry

Puppies have vast growth during their first 18 months. And so, they need lots of calories to keep up with the development going on their body.

So your German shepherd may whine and cry as his tummy is almost empty.

You Have Been Enforcing Such Behavior

Puppy whining or excess crying could be more of an enforced behavior.

Your puppy may demand for treats at night as it knows anytime it cries, barks or whines, it gets something tasty.

Your Dog Is Bored

Boredom can common in German shepherds as it is to humans. Dogs like the German shepherd need to flex up their muscles to release excess energy.

Pent up energy can bring up boredom in your dog. In turn, the boredom may cause other unwanted behavioral issues in your dog.

Your German shepherd Is Sick

Perhaps you have not thought about it. You may be thinking that the excessive crying is the result of a behavioral issue, but what if a disease causes it?

Some diseases like arthritis or spinal injuries may cause your German shepherd to cry in a crate.

Guide on How to Stop a German shepherd crying in a Crate

It can be disturbing when your German shepherd won’t stop crying inside a crate, so what can you do, or which steps can you follow to cool off this behavior.

Make the Crate Comfortable (The Crate Should Be the Pace to Be)

Comfort is the number one way to help stop the whining and crying of your German shepherd puppy.

Let the puppy always yearn to be inside a crate. It should be the place to be, for a German shepherd puppy.

Use Treats

Use frozen Kong balls to keep your German shepherd puppy entertained and held up. You can also get treat dispensing toys that will help keep your puppy occupied.

Ensure the Crate Is Of the Perfect Size

A crate that is not of the right size will not go well with your puppy he will out rightly whine and cry as he cannot move around.

However, you can reverse such by acquiring an appropriate crate size for your puppy to relax and stretch without squeezing himself hard.

However, caution is necessary, don’t get a big spacious crate that will, in turn, entice your puppy to potty in one area and use the other as the sleeping bay.

Make It the Feeding Area

As we want the dog to associate the crate with positive experiences, you can do all feeding schedules inside the crate.

In that way, the dog will always look up to be inside the crate.


As earlier discussed, the German shepherd will whine and cry out if not exercised. An energetic dog like the German shepherd will have lots of energy.

So, engage your dog in an exercise like playing fetch, or walks. With that, the dog will feel tired and won’t have anything left other than sleep inside the crate.

Take Your German shepherd To a Vet

If all seem not to work, it would be best to escalate the situation and take your dog for a checkup.

The vet will check and diagnose any underlying condition that’s causing excessive barking on your dog.

What You Should Not Do When Your German shepherd Is Crying in a Crate

Don’t Punish Your German Puppy by Hitting Them

Hitting your German shepherd who is whining and crying should never be a corrective measure. Consequently, hitting your dog will add more anxiousness and fear- rather than acting as a correction measure as you intend.

Don’t Leave Your German shepherd For Too Long in the Crate

Excessive locking up of your German shepherd in a crate is cruelty. As a maximum, a dog should not exceed 4 hours in a crate.

Doing over four hours will expose your dog to boredom.

Don’t Reprimand Your German shepherd

Dogs are not like humans that they will hear what you are saying. For example, you may shout at your dog, and the dog will perceive that as a call to encourage his barking and crying.

Shouting or reprimanding your dog will scare or even make your dog more fearful- or even develop other behavioral issues.

Don’t Comfort Your Crying German shepherd Puppy

Comforting your German shepherd who is crying inside a crate is one grave mistake that you can make.

Doing so, the dog will always know that anytime he lets out a cry- someone will come to its rescue. Comforting will be like rewarding the crying behavior. And we don’t want such a behavior issue to bud.

Don’t Disturb Your German shepherd While Asleep

The phrase let the sleeping dog’s sleep comes into play in this part. German shepherd puppies need lots of sleeping session as they grow. So waking them up unnecessarily may interrupt their usual sleeping cycles.

Don’t Let Your German shepherd Sleep on Your Bed

Some people prefer their dog sleeping on their bed, whereas some dislike this idea.

Nevertheless, it’s not appropriate for you to sleep in the same bed with your dog. Some people say sleeping with your dog may stop the crying behavior- it may arise with other behavioral issues.

Should I Crate My German shepherd Puppy?

The idea of creating a German shepherd depends on your dog’s behavior. If you have a naughty dog whose destructive, it would be best to put him in a crate.

Alternatively, if your dog is not prone to separation anxiety after you have left, or he has learned how to potty, no need of using a crate.

Pros of Crate Training:

Here is why it’s helpful to crate your German shepherd

Your Dog Will Have a Haven Where He Can Rest

Dogs love a secluded place where they are assured of their safety when they are sleeping. And a crate will be handy.

You Are Sure That Your Property Is Safe

For German shepherds who are destructive, a crate will come handy if you want to limit their movement.

  • It’s also at the safety of your dog when you crate him.
  • Helps in potty training
  • A crate will also help you introduce your dog to other pets in the house.

Cons of Crate Training:

Everything with advantages has its drawbacks. And so which are the disadvantages of crate training your German shepherds. Are these crates all good for your dog? Let’s have a look.

  • Crate can create a negative experience for your dog- often occurs in adult dogs who aren’t familiar with the crate.

The dog may assume the crate is there to punish him.

  • May lead to separation anxiety.
  • Don’t give a dog the right to roam

Dogs like the German shepherd require ample space to run and flex up their muscles. So limiting a dog in one area for a prolonged duration won’t work well for the shepherd.

Such is a reason that makes most people go against the idea of Crate training.

Crate Training and Having a Schedule

Lacking a schedule in your crating process can have negative repercussions. It could also be the reason your German shepherd is crying in a crate.

The reason being you have broken the normal routine you have been following.

Dogs love consistency. And lack of consistency will not work well for your dog. If the dog has adopted that it should potty first thing in the morning, don’t alter that.

Crate Training Schedule for a German shepherd Puppy

Time Duty
7 am wake up and go to potty
7:10 am Playtime
7:30 am Feeding
8 am Out for potty
8:15 am Playtime
9:00 am Inside crate
11:00 am Potty time
11:15 am Playtime
11:30 am Feeding
12:00 am Potty time
12:15 am Go out to play
12:30 am Crate
2:30 Potty time
2:45 Playtime
3:00 Feeding
3:30 Potty
4:00 Inside the crate
6:00 pm Potty
6:15 Go out
6:30 Food and water
7 pm Potty
7:15 Go out and play
7:30 Crate
9: 30 Potty
9:45 Play
10 pm Feeding
10:30 pm Potty
10:45 pm Play
11: pm Into the crate (sleeping time)

The above table shows a crate training schedule. If you can follow it diligently, you are bound to see the results in a few weeks.

However, some variables may change because of some unprecedented factors this table will act as a guide for you.

Summary and Highlight

  • Start crate training when you litters are still young- so they can adapt to this process when they grow up.
  • Never force your German shepherd to be in a crate- always let the dog associates a crate with positive feelings.
  • Never use a crate as a form of punishment for your dog.

Various factors can make your German shepherd cry in a crate –

  • Separation anxiety
  • Hunger
  • Boredom
  • It’s a learned behavior.

Crate training has its pros and cons.

Recap of how to crate train a German shepherd –

  • Placed the crate in a place where the puppy loves or where it can sight family members.
  • Open the crate and let your puppy explore it.
  • You can throw some treats inside to entice the puppy.
  • Feeding near the crate.
  • Place a bowl of food near the crate (stay close to it as your dog eats).
  • Next, put the feeding bowl near the entrance of the crate and watch how your puppy behaves.
  • If the puppy is reluctant to get near the crate, don’t become pushy.
  • Push the feeding bowl near the center of the crate and watch how your dog reacts.
  • If the puppy accepts to feed inside the crate, close the door momentarily and wait beside the crate.
  • For let’s say 5 minutes and the open.
  • Gradually do so, but now keep on adding the time.
  • Next, you can introduce your command of choice, let’s say get in. If the puppy obliges, reward her.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Normal For A Puppy To Cry When You Leave?

It’s normal for a German shepherd to whine and cry the moment you leave. You know dogs are social animals that thrive on the attention of people and other animals.

In short, they don’t know no how to deal with the concept of being left alone.

Point to note: Never make your departures or arrivals emotional for your dog. That way your dog is less likely to feel emotional the moment you are leaving the house.

Also, don’t crate your German shepherd puppy the moment you are leaving the door. Do it 10 minutes earlier.

Also, you can take them for exercise where their pent up energy will get exhausted. Also, exercise will help in the release of happy hormones.

Thus your dog will be less sad when you leave your house.

You can also switch on audio or television for them- such noises will disrupt the puppy.

Should I Ignore a German Shepherd Puppy Whining or Crying in the Crate?

Consider checking the root cause of the cry before deciding on whether to ignore your German shepherd crying in a crate.

If the cry is behavioral, don’t oblige to the cries of your puppy. Also consider when you took your puppy out to potty. If it’s not past 10 minutes, just ignore.

Remember, some puppies cry to get your attention. And if you oblige to their cries, they will know anytime they whine someone will check them up.

Should I Let My German shepherd Puppy Sleep with Me?

It’s recommended for a German shepherd puppy to sleep in your bedroom for the first few nights. However, don’t make it habitual for the puppy.

Also, desist from letting your puppy sleep on your bed.

Always endeavor to have your German shepherd become independent. Also, some dogs may become territorial.

Let it not reach such a level.

Does Putting A Blanket Over The Crate Help?

Such an idea may help in some scenarios, whereas it may fail in other instances. Some dogs prefer a darkened place where they can relax.

Overall, it’s not you to decide- it is the dog. Check how your dog reacts the moment you introduce that cover the blanket.

Does he become aggressive or hostile? Then using a blanket wouldn’t help in this scenario. Consider other options.

The Exit

There you go, that all about crates in German shepherds. It’s always a hot topic -with many people siding with it whereas others are against it.

It’s all you to decide by checking your dog’s behavior.

It’s also imperative to know why your German shepherd is crying in a crate. Now from there, you can structure ways of stopping the whining and crying.

Now, with the big question, what’s your view regarding the entire process of putting a German shepherd in a crate?

Share it in the comment box.

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