Is It Bad To Let A Puppy Cry It Out?

Is it harmful to let your puppy cry it out? While it might seem like a practical approach to teach them independence or discourage attention-seeking behavior, it’s essential to understand the potential consequences. Puppies, much like human babies, thrive on companionship, comfort, and security. Ignoring their cries can lead to various detrimental effects on their well-being and your relationship with them.

Photo Credit: Berkay Gumustekin

Detrimental Effects of Crying It Out:

  • Increases Stress and Anxiety: Leaving a puppy to cry for extended periods induces stress and anxiety. Puppies rely on their human caregivers for security and reassurance. Ignoring their cries can disrupt their sense of safety, making it challenging to build trust and confidence.
  • Doesn’t Teach Potty Training: Contrary to popular belief, allowing a puppy to cry it out isn’t an effective method for potty training. Instead, it might lead to accidents as the puppy may eliminate in their crate out of desperation rather than learning to control their bladder.
  • Weakens Bond with You: Puppies who feel ignored or abandoned when they cry may develop feelings of insecurity and mistrust towards their owners. This can weaken the bond between you and your furry companion, hindering effective communication and training.

Positive Alternatives:

  • Comfort and Reassurance: Attend to your puppy’s needs promptly when they cry. This could involve taking them outside for a potty break, providing water, or simply offering soothing words and gentle petting to reassure them.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Encourage calm and quiet behavior by rewarding your puppy with praise and treats when they remain composed. This reinforces the idea that being calm earns them attention and affection, while crying does not.
  • Create a Safe Space: Ensure your puppy’s crate or sleeping area is a comfortable and secure environment. Utilize crate training methods that emphasize positive reinforcement, helping your puppy associate the crate with safety and relaxation.

Handling Nighttime Crying:

  • Gradual Approach: When crate training your puppy, start with short periods during the day and gradually increase the duration at night. This helps them acclimate to being alone gradually.
  • Potty Break Before Bed: Take your puppy outside for a bathroom break right before bedtime to minimize the chances of them crying due to the need to eliminate.
  • Soothe and Settle: Offer brief comfort to your puppy with calming words or gentle petting. However, avoid engaging in stimulating activities or play, as this can encourage further nighttime disturbances.


  • Be Patient: Training a puppy requires time, consistency, and patience. Avoid becoming frustrated and focus on positive reinforcement techniques to encourage desired behaviors.
  • Address Underlying Needs: Crying can indicate hunger, thirst, discomfort, or other underlying issues. Ensure your puppy’s basic needs are met before assuming they’re crying for attention.
  • Seek Professional Help: If you’re struggling with training or your puppy’s crying persists, consider seeking guidance from a certified dog trainer or animal behaviorist.


By prioritizing your puppy’s comfort, addressing their needs promptly, and using positive reinforcement techniques, you can foster a strong bond and promote healthy behavior development. Remember, a patient and understanding approach will lead to a happier, more well-adjusted furry companion.

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