If your dog cries when it sees other dogs you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of common causes and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog cry when it sees other dogs? Possible reasons why your dog cries when it sees other dogs are being fearful, mistreatment from other dogs, submissiveness, excitement or encouraging the behavior.

There are actually many possible reasons why it has been doing it and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Why your dog cries when it sees other dogs

Below are some possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make them more likely.

Fear

The reason why it does it might be that it is fearful of the other dogs. One reason why it might be fearful is that another dog snapped at it. This would be more likely to be the reason if you saw another dog snap at it and if it has been showing signs of submissive behavior around the other dogs. In this case, it would help to try to avoid having it around potentially violent dogs and to follow the other tips below.

Mistreatment

The cause could be that other dogs were aggressive towards it. This would be especially likely if you know that other dogs were aggressive towards it while it was still a puppy.

In this case, it would also help to socialize it with friendly dogs when possible and to give it positive reinforcement and desensitization training as well.

Submissiveness

It could also be the case that it does it because it is being submissive. It might be being submissive due to being fearful or it could be naturally submissive. This would be more likely if it shows other signs of submissive behavior such as hiding its tail, hiding behind you, lowering its head and lowering its ears.

Excitement

Often dogs will cry when they are actually excited and this might be the reason why yours has been crying around other dogs. This would be more likely if it shows other signs of excitement such as wagging its tail and wanting to approach the other dogs.

Encouraging the behavior

It could also be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention or treats when it starts crying, it might encourage it to do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not cry, to stop rewarding it when it starts crying and to wait for it to stop before rewarding it again.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider about it crying around other dogs.

The body language it shows

When trying to figure out why your dog has been doing crying around other dogs, it would help to consider the other body language that it shows.

Signs of being excited would include:

  • Wagging its tail or having it up in the air
  • Wide-open eyes
  • Mouth open with tongue out
  • Ears up

Whereas signs of being submissive would include:

  • Hiding its tail
  • Rolling onto its back
  • Ears back
  • Lowering its body
  • Brief eye contact

Source

The types of dogs it cries around

It would also help to consider the other types of dogs that it tends to cry around.

If it only cries around larger dogs, it would be more likely that it does it due to being fearful.

Whereas, if it does it around all types of dogs, it would be more likely to be due to excitement especially if it shows signs of excitement in its body language. If it does not, it could be the case that other dogs cause it to become anxious and it would help to get help from a dog behaviorist.

When your dog first started crying around other dogs

If it did not always cry around other dogs, it would also help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.

If it started doing it suddenly, it would make it more likely to be due to another dog mistreating it. But, it could also be because it got to play with another dog and it wants to be able to play again now.

What to do about your dog crying around other dogs

Below are some options you have when dealing with your dog crying around other dogs.

Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training is where you reinforce the behaviors that you want to see from your dog by rewarding it when it displays.

To use positive reinforcement training to get it to cry less around other dogs you would reward it when it sees other dogs and does not cry, reward it while it is near other dogs and it is not crying, reward it after positive interactions with other dogs and stop rewarding it when it starts to cry. When it does seem likely to start crying, it would also help to try to redirect its focus onto something else.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have slightly encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is does not cry, to reward it after it stops crying for a while and to try to redirect its focus before it starts crying.

Get help from a dog behaviorist

If it has been crying excessively or being very afraid, it would help to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see why your dog has been behaving that way and how to get it to stop effectively.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.