If your dog cries when you arrive home, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you six common reasons why dogs do it and what you can do to get yours to stop.
Possible reasons why your dog cries when you arrive home are excitement, separation anxiety, hunger, needing to pee, or having learned that the behavior is rewarded.
It is actually possible that there is a combination of causes at play. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.
Why your dog cries when you arrive home
Below are six common reasons why your dog might be crying when you arrive home and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
The cause could be that it is excited. This would be more likely if it shows other signs of excitement when it cries such as wagging its tail, jumping up at you, licking you or wide-open eyes. The reason why it might be excited is that it does not like being left alone and it is excited about the rewards you might have for it.
Another possible reason why it cries when you get home is that it has separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely to be the cause if it tends to show signs of being anxious when you are leaving.
It would help to try to reduce how anxious it becomes by letting it pee, giving it exercise and feeding it before leaving. It would also help to try to come back periodically so that it does not have to be alone for too long.
It wants something from you
It might be the case that it does it because it wants something from you. This would be more likely if it does it more when it has not been able to get things such as food or exercise already. In this case, it might help to give it food and exercise before leaving it so that it does not have to wait a long time to get those things.
Encouraging the behavior
It might also be the case that it has learned that it gets things that it wants when it starts crying. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it cries when you get home, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not cry and to wait for it to stop crying before giving it things that it might want.
Needing to pee
The reason why it does it might be that it needs to pee or poop. This would be more likely if it tends to want to go outside as soon as you get home and if it has to wait a long time to pee when you are away. It would help to try to let it pee just before you leave and to come back periodically to let it out to pee so that it does not have to wait too long.
An issue with the room it stays in
Crying when you arrive home could also be a sign that there is an issue with the room it stays in. This would be more likely if it has started crying since making it stay in a different room. The problem could be that it is too loud, hot or there might not be space for it to lay down.
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 it first started doing it
If it did not always cry, when you arrived home, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. This is because there might have been an event that caused it to start.
Things that might have changed could include:
- Leaving it for longer periods
- Giving it exercise after arriving home instead of before leaving
- Feeding it when arriving home instead of before leaving
- Not letting it out to pee before leaving
What is different when it does not do it
If it does not always cry when you arrive home, it would also help to consider if anything else is different when it does not cry.
For example, if it does not cry when it has already been given food, it might be crying because of hunger.
The age of your dog
If your dog is a puppy, it would be more likely that your dog either needs to pee or poop, has separation anxiety or naturally gets very excited when it sees you.
If your dog is an elderly dog, it would be more likely that your dog does it due to needing to pee or poop.
If your dog is an adult, it would be more likely to be due to separation anxiety, hunger, an issue with the room it stays in or having learned that the behavior is rewarded.
How to get my dog to stop crying when I arrive home?
Below are a number of options you have when getting your dog to cry less when you arrive home.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for doing it. It would help to avoid giving it things that it might want when it is crying. Instead, it would help to wait for it to stop crying and to stop rewarding it when it starts crying.
Reduce reasons why it might be anxious
It would also help to take measures to reduce how anxious it becomes while you are not home. It would likely help to let it pee and eat before you leave home so that it does not have to wait so long before being able to pee or eat.
It would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the right amount of daily exercise for its age and breed. It might also help to give it exercise before leaving because it should help to get it to sleep more and to be less energetic when you are away.
Give it a more comfortable area to stay
If it does not currently have a comfortable area to stay in, when you are not around, it would likely help to give it one. One option would be to give it crate training which is where you give it a place to go to where it can feel safe. Doing so, should help to reduce how anxious it becomes while you are away.
Do dogs cry when they are happy?
It is not uncommon for dogs to whine when they are happy. It would be more likely that your dog is doing it due to being happy if it also does things such as wag its tail and lick you at the same time.
Should you ignore a crying dog?
Whether or not you should ignore a crying dog depends a lot on what the most likely cause is. If your dog seems to be doing it due to needing to pee or poop, it would be best to give your dog the chance to go outside. Whereas, if your dog seems to be doing it due to having learned that crying results in it getting extra attention, then it would be worth trying to ignore the behavior and to reward your dog when it does not cry.