You see your dog crying in one corner of your house and was wondering why he cries for no reason and how you can help him?
First thing first, you need to be aware that there are certainly going to be some “hidden” reasons as to why your dog is crying.
Only by getting to know them would help you to overcome his crying, so the “no reason” clause doesn’t make sense!
Crying or whining is often the way that dogs communicate with humans that they are sick, scared or need our attention.
To better understand how to address this issue, knowing why your dog cries would be your first step.
There is always a reason as to why your dog is crying or whining. He may be feeling stress or anxiety in a new environment. It could also be his way to get your attention to settle his needs (hunger and potty), showing his excitement, or he is simply feeling bored. Health issues could also be a factor.
He Is Feeling Stress And Anxiety
He Is New To Your Home
It’s completely common for your dog to cry when he first joins your family.
You see, he is away from his pack members and is in a totally new environment with new sights, smells, persons and things. These drastic changes will inevitably make him feel nervous, stressed and anxious.
You would often find him crying more often during the night or when he is alone. The simple explanation for this behavior is that he is feeling lonely and fear starts to intensify when he finds himself alone in an unknown situation.
Just like a young kid gets lost in the supermarket with his parents, he will naturally feel a sense of fear and start crying. He will get comfort when someone comes over to him, holding his hand to look for his parents.
This also applies to your new dog. He just needs your company to help him adapt to his new environment.
What you need to do is to spend more time with him to help him build up his confidence, be more independent and provide security for him.
I would suggest starting him on crate training as once he is used to his crate, he will view it as his den and this will offer him a personal secure place that he will feel safe to be in.
And of course, if you find your dog crying all night, what you can do is to bring his crate in your bedroom and leave it in one corner where he can easily see you from his crate.
This will certainly help to ease his separation anxiety.
Make sure that you get a crate with open view design so that his view is not blocked. A wire dog crate will be an ideal choice.
You could also place some of your old clothing in the crate as the scent from these clothing will make your dog feel that you are just beside him and offer him comfort.
Lost Of His Playmate
Your dog could also be suffering from stress when he finds his playmate goes missing (playmate had passed on or left your family) or there is a change in his caregiver.
He will feel a sense of loss and crying is his way to relieve his sadness.
To work on this emotional issue, you would need to spend even more time with him to help him overcome his sadness and fear.
Another alternative is to get another dog to keep him company, preferably of the same breed.
He Wants To Get Your Attention
For His Needs (Hunger and Potty)
Your dog may also cry when he wants to get your attention because he is feeling hungry or needs to go for his potty. Usually for these cases, once his needs are fulfilled, his crying would stop.
So it would be rather easy to identify if this is the case for his crying behavior.
Again, I will refer this to your infant who will cry when his diaper is wet or when he is feeling hungry and once you attend to his needs, he will be an obedient lovely baby!
To Play With Him (Too Bored)
He could also be getting your attention to play with him as he is feeling bored or to let him out for a play.
This is often the case of the pent-up energy in his body that he needs to release.
What you should do is to plan for some physical games and mental simulation for your dog to engage in daily.
For physical games, you can opt for some interactive type of games such as Tug of War, Flirt Pole and Frisbee that not only helps your dog to let off his excessive energy but also build your bond with him while playing these games.
As for the mental simulation, you can go for some problem solving activities such as puzzle games or playing hide-and-seek.
I will usually give my dog a KONG toy stuffed with peanut butter for him to figure out a way to get his treat out from the toy. This will help to exercise his brain.
Apart from this, I will also incorporate some obedience training (as a form of mental simulation) for my dog as I believe that by making him listen and follow these commands, it helps to train his brain and get him tired easily.
He Is Not Feeling Well (Health Issue)
If you have addressed your dog’s needs (such as feeding and potty) and see that he is not suffering from any separate anxiety disorder, bring him to a veterinarian for a health checkup.
You see, when your dog is sick and is with some type of pain, he would likely be crying.
This is his way of telling you that he needs some treatment as he certainly wouldn’t be able to communicate with you in your language.
Be observant and see if your dog is having any obvious wounds on his body or if he starts feeling discomfort when you touch any parts of his body.
At times, it could be an infection in his mouth or other parts of the area where you can’t see it, so the best option is to bring him to a vet for a thorough assessment.
As your dog gets old, he will also likely be suffering from arthritis related discomfort leading to his crying.
He Whines Because Of Excitement
Not all cries are negative. Did you ever find yourself crying as the result of excitement or happiness?
I do find myself crying when I get to know that my wife is pregnant as we have been hoping for a kid for many years.
That crying is the joy of excitement and happiness.
This might happen to your dog when he sees you back home, and he jumps, licks and cries on you because of his excitement.
This is usually a short-lived behavior, and he should calm down after the “greeting” is over.
Also, the case when your dog sees you getting ready for his favorite park walk, and he starts whining to show his excitement.
For these cases, the whining is okay as long as it is going to be well controlled and for a short time.
You Have Reinforced His Crying
It is unfortunate that some dog owners have the perception that whenever their dogs cry on a whim, they should immediately give them their attention and affection.
This action couldn’t be more WRONG!
You see, when you give your dog YOUR instant attention whenever he cries, barks or whines, you are in fact telling him that what he needs to do to get your attention is simply performing this behavior again.
And guess what happened?
You would see his whining and crying behavior getting stronger and increasing in frequency as now he knows that is the way to get your attention.
What you should do is to WAIT till your dog stops crying, then you reach out to him to find out what is happening.
Remember – The goal is NEVER reward your dog for his crying and whining behavior with your attention and affection as this will make him associate this action with positive experience.