Puppy crying can be annoying, especially when you don’t know the reason behind it. Whining is a way that dogs and puppies express themselves, similarly to when they bark or growl. When your puppy cries or whines, they’re probably trying to tell you something, so don’t scold them for it. Instead, try to find the root of the problem instead of simply encouraging or discouraging the behavior.
Why Do Puppies Cry?
In order to solve your puppy’s crying, it’s important to understand the reason behind it first. Puppy crying can occur for a variety of different reasons, so it’s important for you to take a look at their surroundings and other behaviors to help you determine a cause.
The most common reason puppies whine is because they’re bored and they want attention. For example, if you’re working on something that doesn’t involve them, they might sit by your side and whine until you give them the attention they want. It could also occur if you’re giving another person or animal attention instead of them.
When crate training your puppy, you might also notice them whining continuously. This is common for puppies who aren’t used to their crate, sleep in their crate, or are afraid of their crate.
Asking for Something
Since puppies can’t speak your language, they have to find other ways to make their wants and needs known. So, some puppies will whine to let you know they want something. In some cases, it could be something important like a bathroom break. But in other cases, they might just be whining because they want the food off your plate. Pay close attention to what they’re whining near, such as the door or the table.
Alerting You of Pain, Discomfort, or Fear
If your dog doesn’t seem to be directing their whining toward an object or your attention, it might be because of something they’re feeling inside. Pain, anxiety, stress, and fear could all cause your dog to whine, but these reasons might be harder to spot. Try to look for a pattern for your dog’s whining, such as when they apply pressure to a certain body part or when they’re faced with a certain situation.
Some dogs simply whine when they’re overly excited. This type of puppy crying is more obvious because it will likely happen after you come home from work or when they see another dog. It will also be accompanied by a wagging tail in most cases. If they’re expressing excitement, it’s likely that they’ll also want attention too.
How to Stop Puppy Crying
Not all types of puppy crying need to be corrected. After all, you want your dog to be able to tell you when something is wrong. However, you probably don’t want your dog whining for attention or food, so those are scenarios where you should try to stop this excessive whining. Make sure you always try to find the root of the crying before offering a solution.
Never Reward Crying
If your dog is whining over and over again simply for attention, do not give them what they want. As hard as it may be, you should try to ignore them to help show them that their whining will not get you to pay attention to them. Eventually, they should learn that crying is not the answer.
Reward Quiet Behaviors Instead
Instead of accidentally rewarding your dog for their bad behaviors, try to teach them good behaviors. If they’re whining for attention or for something else that they want, do not give them that until they clam down and be quiet. Some dog parents try to teach their pups a “quiet” command, but your puppy won’t understand what that word means right off the bat. So, if your dog is whining uncontrollably, redirect them with a different command and reward them when they’re finally quiet.
Only Give Your Dog What They Want in Certain Circumstances
In some circumstances, ignoring and training are not the best options. For example, if your dog is whining because they have to relieve themselves, ignoring their behaviors will only cause them to have an accident. So, if there is any chance that your puppy is crying to ask for a bathroom break, take them outside to give them a chance to relieve themselves. If your dog is crying because they’re anxious or in pain, those are other instances where redirecting their behavior or ignoring them won’t help. As mentioned earlier, you should want your dog to let you know if they’re not feeling their best.
Soothe Your Dog’s Anxiety
Many dogs whine every time they feel anxious or stressed. The best way to combat this is to try to remove those stress factors if possible. For example, if fireworks stress them out, make sure to stay inside and comfort them during big celebrations. If being around unfamiliar dogs is stressful for them, then the dog park probably isn’t a place you should spend time at.
However, not all stress factors can be avoided, so in some cases, you might have to teach your dog that the thing they’re afraid of isn’t so scary after all. A crate is the perfect example for this situation. Many puppies whine in the crate because it’s scary or unfamiliar. So, if you reward them for going in their crate and show them that it’s a safe space and never a punishment, they should eventually feel more comfortable in it. For other stressful situations, bring plenty of treats along and reward your dog for good behaviors so they can associate that unfamiliar place with something positive. In some cases, a vet might even be able to prescribe medications to help soothe your puppy’s anxiety.
Visit a Vet
If your puppy is crying because they’re in pain, you should see a vet right away. Some health concerns might not have visible symptoms, but your dog will likely cry and whine if they feel any type of pain or discomfort in their bodies. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s health, so having a checkup with the vet is your best option at that point.
Puppy whining can be annoying, but the solution isn’t always clear. It’s important for you to closely observe your puppy’s behaviors and surroundings before deciding how to react. It might seem cute when your puppy whines at first, but it will get old quickly if you don’t get it under control. So, don’t cut corners when it comes to training and caring for your furry friend.