Should You Ignore a Crying Puppy

Puppy dogs are adorable, but they can also be noisy. Barking, crying, and whining are common behaviors. You are bound to hear them all when you get your new puppy home.

What should you do if your puppy is crying? Should you ignore him, or should you try to calm him down by pampering him?

Check out this post to learn how you should react to it.

Never Ignore Your Crying Puppy During His First Night

You should never ignore your puppy when he is crying during his first night at your house. The idea of being ignored at night will only make him more scared.

It is natural for your puppy to feel a sense of fear and anxiety when he is in an unfamiliar place that is filled with uncertainty. 

It is your job to make sure that your puppy is able to settle down and cope with his anxiety.

1. Prepare a safe place for him (make use of a crate), so that he can feel secure and comfortable in the house.

A crate can be thought of as the dog’s den, a safe and intimate place where he feels safe and secure when he needs to relax.

Make the base of the crate warm and cozy by covering it with blankets, followed by another blanket over the top to give it a more secure feel.

Have your puppy sleep in a dog crate next to your bed on the very first night so that he can still see you from there.

2. Give your puppy a stuffed toy that bears its littermates’ scent, and it will certainly help to calm him down and make him feel more relaxed.

3. Involve him in some physical and mental exercise during the day so that his pent-up energy gets to be released, and he will feel tired in the night for a good sleep.

4. Playing soft music for your puppy to listen to may calm and comfort him during his first night. Music is well known to have a calming effect in easing your puppy’s stress levels and even induce him to sleep.

To help him settle down in a new environment, you will need to establish a routine for your puppy. 

As soon as you bring him home, make sure you have a fixed schedule for feeding, playing, sleeping, and other activities for him.

If you are not consistent with the schedule, your puppy will feel anxious and insecure.

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Have You “Settled” His Basic Needs Before Sleep?

A puppy in need of basic needs (food, water and shelter) should never be left alone to cry in the night.

And if you have fulfilled these needs, you should just ignore his crying assuming that he’s gotten used to the new environment.

This is probably the case because he simply just wants to get your attention.

A puppy that cries or demands attention at a time when his needs have been met should be ignored. 

As soon as he has quieted down, you can then give him the attention that he is seeking.

Make sure your attention is rewarded for his appropriate behavior (that is, he is in a calm state), and not for his bad behavior (when he is crying).

What are the needs of your dog that you should consider?

1. Ensure that your puppy gets a well-balanced diet to keep him from hunger. A puppy should eat three meals per day (from weaning until he is 6 months old). After that, twice-daily feedings are acceptable.

Adding vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots and broccoli to your puppy’s meal will increase his fiber content and make him feel fuller without adding a lot of calories.

2. Avoid feeding your puppy 3 hours prior to his bedtime, as well as restrict his water intake an hour before sleep. This should allow him to sleep through the night peacefully.  

3. Make sure that he goes for his last round of potty break right before sleep.

4. Help him to release any energy left in his body by taking him for a walk after his dinner before his sleep. 

5. Place the crate in a place that your puppy can easily see you when he sleeps in it and leave some of your old clothing in the crate as well, so that your pup gets to “smell” your presence.

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How To Make Your Puppy Stop Crying?

Assuming that he has all his needs met, separation anxiety is likely to be the cause of his crying, and you will need to address it.

Keep in mind that separating a puppy from his mother before he is eight weeks old is not recommended. 

He depends largely on his mother during his early weeks of life and is going to learn social skills from his mother and his littermates for the next 8 weeks.

It is possible to cure separation anxiety if the source of the problem is found and the success is highly dependent on the owner, the dog, and the cause.

What can be done to prevent separation anxiety in puppies?

It’s important to recognize that separation anxiety is part of a puppy’s personality. It’s normal for your puppy to feel anxious when you first bring him home. 

If you want to help your puppy develop his confidence and independence, it’s important to teach him how to be alone.

The first step is to create a safe enclosure for your puppy to be alone in. You can use a crate, a playpen, or use a baby gate to create a small enclosure space. Make sure your puppy can’t escape from the enclosure while you’re away.

Keep some chewing toys in the enclosure to keep your puppy occupied during your absence. You don’t want to give your puppy too many toys right away. He should have only one or two toys at a time, and they should be of a size that he can manage.

Once you’ve created a safe enclosure, you can start practicing separations. Start by leaving your puppy alone in his enclosure for about 5 minutes, before coming back to him.

If he remains calm and relaxed, give him a small treat as a reward. If he is crying, wait till he stops crying and offer him the reward.

Keep doing this training until your puppy is comfortable being alone for an extended period of time (30 minutes) with you out of his sight.

Remember, it takes time for puppies to learn how to be alone. Some puppies need several weeks or months to become comfortable being alone.

Keep going with the training and remember to reward your puppy for his good behavior as you will want to reinforce it.

What are the signs that your puppy has separation anxiety?

  • There is shivering and whining occurring.
  • You will notice him drooling and panting excessively.
  • There will be a lot of urinating in the house.
  • You will hear his persistent howling and barking.
  • Showing destructive behaviors such as chewing on furniture, scratching at doors and digging in the garden as an attempt to escape.
  • Refusing to eat food or treats.

Separation anxiety in dogs: which breeds are at risk?

Breeds such as Labrador Retriever, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, and German Shepherds are more susceptible to separation anxiety than others. Breeds like Vizsla and Bichon Frise were on the list as well.

Additionally, separation anxiety in male dogs is more pronounced than in females, and this often leads to the sterilization of male animals.

Consider the traditional dog breeds Greyhound, Basset Hound, French Bulldog or Maltese if you are looking for dogs with low separation anxiety.

Dogs of these breeds are less prone to experiencing separation anxiety, but there are no dogs who are entirely free from this disorder.

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