If your dog cries at the front door a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible reasons and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog cry at the front door? Possible reasons why your dog cries at the front door are that it wants exercise, you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior, it hears things outside, illness or injury or that it has separation anxiety.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become a lot easier to figure out what to do about it.
Why your dog cries at the front door
Below are common reasons why dogs do it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
Encouraging the behavior
It could be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged it to cry at the door by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it starts crying at the front door, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not cry, to wait for it to stop crying before rewarding it and to encourage it not to do it as shown below.
The cause could be that it is bored and looking for ways to stimulate itself. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when it has not been able to get any exercise. If it is healthy, it would help to ensure that it is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
Illness or injury
The cause could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has not only been crying outside the front door, if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured and if it has started doing it suddenly. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
The reason why it has been doing it could be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at times when it might be fearful such as when there are noises, such as sirens, outside.
It wants to go outside
The cause could be that it wants to go outside. The reason why it might want to go outside could be that it wants to pee, it hears other people or dogs or wanting exercise.
The reason why it does it could be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it tends to cry at the door when you arrive back home and if it becomes anxious when you are leaving.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started crying at the front door
If your dog did not always cry at the front door, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as suddenly getting less exercise, illness or injury, being left alone for longer periods or learning that it gets rewards for doing it.
When it cries outside the front door
It would also help to consider what is different when it tends to cry outside the front door. For example, if it does it when it has not been able to get any exercise, it might be the case that it needs more exercise. Whereas, if it does it more when you are arriving home, it would be more likely to be due to separation anxiety.
What to do about your dog crying at the front door
Below are some things you can do in order to get your dog to stop doing it.
Reduce reasons why it might be anxious
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it does it due to having some separation anxiety. It would help to reduce the reasons why it might become anxious by feeding it and letting it pee before leaving it for a long time. It would also help to give it exercise and to give it another comfortable place to stay so that it can rest more easily when you are not around.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by rewarding it. Instead, it would help to give it rewards when it does not cry and to wait for it to stop crying before rewarding it.
Give it attention throughout the day
It could also help to give it attention throughout the day so that it is less likely to feel the need to get it from you. Ways to give it attention would be to train it, exercise it and to play with it.
If your dog has been doing it excessively and you cannot get it to stop, consider getting help from a dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to see how to get it to stop.