If your Labrador is always crying you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about it.
So, why is my Labrador always crying? Possible causes are illness or injury, wanting more attention, a problem with its diet, boredom, separation anxiety, excitement or being fearful.
Your Labrador might be crying a lot for a number of different reasons and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are also a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Labrador is always crying
Each of the different causes might come with some clues. Below are some possible causes and what would make them more likely.
It is ill or injured
The cause could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started crying a lot suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as fatigue or limping. If it does seem like illness or injury could be the cause, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it could be that it is trying to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by training it, playing with it and exercising it. But, it would also help to avoid rewarding it with extra attention when it cries unless it seems to be doing it for another reason.
It has learned that crying gets it what it wants
It could also be the case that it cries in order to get things that it wants. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it cries then it will likely do it more in order to get the rewards.
If it also tends to cry at around the same time that you would normally give it something such as food or a walk, it could be the case that it is trying to remind you to give it to it.
It is bored
Labradors are meant to get exercise on a daily basis in order to be fully stimulated. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally. If your Labrador tends to cry when it has not gotten much exercise, it could be the case that it is doing it because it wants more exercise.
Generally, it is recommended for adult healthy Labradors to get at least an hour of exercise per day.
It might be the case that something is causing it to be stressed that is causing it to cry. This would be more likely if it started doing it a lot suddenly and if something happened recently that might cause it to be stressed. Examples could be if it recently moved homes, an owner left or another pet died.
The reason that it cries could be that it is fearful of something. This would be more likely if it does it at times where it might be frightened of something such as when there are fireworks or construction works.
The cause could also be that it is excited which would be more likely to be the reason if it tends to do it in situations such as when you arrive home.
Ways to get your Labrador to stop crying
Below are some options you have when getting it to stop doing it.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why your Labrador has been doing it or it has been showing signs of being ill or injured, the best option would be to take it to a vet for a checkup. By doing so you will be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador.
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your Labrador is able to get daily exercise if it is healthy. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you get your Labrador to behave the way that you want by rewarding it when it displays the behaviors that you want.
To use it to get it to stop crying you would reward it when it does not cry and it normally would and stop rewarding it when it does cry.
Avoiding reinforcing the behavior
It would also help to avoid reinforcing the crying by avoiding giving it things that it wants when it cries. Instead, it would help to encourage it when it does not cry and to try to redirect its behavior when it seems like it is about to start crying.
Give it attention
It would also help to give it attention throughout the day so that it does not feel the need to get it from you as much. Ways to give it attention would be to train it, play with it and to give it exercise.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted by. Things you could give it could include toys, bones or puzzle games.
Things to consider about your Labrador crying
Below are some things to consider when trying to figure out the exact cause.
When it started
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 crying.
If it started crying a lot suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as getting ill or injured, a sudden change in its diet, getting less attention, a sudden change in its daily routine or someone mistreating it.
When and where it does it
It would also help to consider the timing of when it cries since the timing could also have something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to cry when you are leaving home, it would be a sign that it has some separation anxiety.
How old it is
It would also help to consider its age. If it is a puppy then it would be likely that it will calm down as it gets older but it would still help to avoid inadvertently training it to cry a lot and to give it lots of training now. If it is older then it could be crying for any of the reasons mentioned above.