Great Debate: Is the advice to ‘let puppies cry it out’ outdated?


For decades, almost everyone bringing home a new puppy has been given the same advice: if the puppy cries at night, it should be ignored until they settle, so that they don’t learn that crying gets them attention. This, it is thought, will teach them to be more independent and used to being on their own. Many owners followed this advice and, they argue, it worked well.

However, a growing number of dog behaviourists and trainers dispute the notion, arguing that being left alone to cry in a crate or pet – let alone in an unfamiliar new home – causes a lot of stress to a puppy, and may actually lead them build a negative association to being left alone, leading to long-term negative effects on their behaviour and health. In short, it is needlessly stressful and may affect the puppies negatively.

What do you think – is the advice to ‘let puppies cry it out’ outdated? Tell us what you think in the comments, in the Facebook post below, or writing to

Take part to this month's Great Debate – is the advice to let puppies 'cry it out' outdated?For decades, almost…

Posted by Dogs Today Magazine on Monday, 19 October 2020


  1. I always advise new puppy owners to take the puppy to their bedroom at night. Not only does it reduce stress in both puppy and owner as there’s nothing worse than trying to sleep with a puppy howling and crying, but it will also speed up house training as the owner will be able to respond immediately to the puppy when it wakes up and needs to go outside.


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