If your dog cries when you leave it alone, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you seven common reasons why they do it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog cry when I leave it alone? Possible reasons why your dog cries when you leave it alone are separation anxiety, hunger, needing to pee, an issue with the room it stays in, wanting attention, 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 leave it alone
Below are seven common reasons why dogs do it and what you can do to get it to stop.
The reason why it does it could be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it also tends to become anxious when you are leaving, if it also does it when you are leaving home and if it does it more at times when you tend to leave it for longer periods.
It wants something from you
The cause could also be that it wants something from you such as food or exercise. This would be more likely if it does not always cry and it tends to cry more at around the same time that you would normally give it food or exercise. In this case, it is likely trying to remind you to give it those things.
The reason why it does it could also be that it is bored or under-stimulated. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when it has not been able to get exercise and if it tends to do it less after getting exercise. It would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
Encouraging the behavior
It might also be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior 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, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.
It wants attention
The cause could also be that it wants attention from you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you have not given it much attention for a while and if you tend to give it more attention when it cries.
Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, training it and exercising it. But, it would also help to avoid rewarding it with attention until it stops crying.
It wants to pee
The reason why it does it might also be that it wants to pee. This would be more likely if it does it more when it has not been able to pee for a while.
Illness or injury
The reason why it has been doing it might also be that it is trying to let you know that it has an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly, if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured and if it has been behaving unusually in other ways as well.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out what has been causing your dog to cry when you leave it alone.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If it did not always cry when you used to leave it alone, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as learning that it gets rewards for doing it, suddenly getting walked or fed at different times, a sudden change in its daily routine or injury or illness.
What is different when your dog does not cry
If it does not always cry, when you leave it alone, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not do it. For example, if it only does it when it has not been able to get exercise, it might be trying to remind you to give it exercise.
Whereas, if it always cries when you leave it alone, it would be more likely that it gets rewarded for doing it, but it could also be due to one of the other reasons mentioned above.
What to do about your dog crying when you leave it alone
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop crying when you leave it alone.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it learned that it gets rewards for crying when you are leaving it alone. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not cry and to wait for it to stop crying before rewarding it.
Reduce reasons why it might be anxious
It would also help to try to limit possible reasons why it might become anxious. Ways to do so would be to give it food, exercise and to let it pee before leaving it for long time periods.
Give it a comfortable area to sleep
It could also help to give it a comfortable spot where it can lay down so that it can rest more easily when you are not around.
Give it exercise
It would also help to ensure that it is able to get the daily amount of exercise recommended for its age and breed so that it is calmer for the rest of the day.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted with, when you are leaving it, so that it is less focused on what you are doing it.
If your dog has been crying excessively or you cannot get it to stop, consider getting help from a vet or dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.
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