Your puppy is crying, and you can’t calm him down? Find answers to your questions and, above all, concrete actions to understand and soothe your puppy when he is in an unstable emotional state.
Puppy crying: why?
A crying puppy is never pleasant. And just like for an infant, it is sometimes difficult to understand the reason for crying when you don’t have the decoder yet.
A puppy can cry for many reasons, but here are the four main ones, the most common and observed:
My puppy cries because he misses his siblings.
When your puppy arrives at your home, unless you have adopted several at the same time or if you already have dogs at home, he goes from a family social group, made up of several dogs, puppies, etc. to an unknown social group, sometimes made up of animals you have never met (cats, rabbits), of children you have never met, etc.
This change is often quite significant and requires a period of adaptation during which it is pretty standard for your puppy to vocalize to express his discomfort and apprehension.
You’ll notice the crying more at night when he was used to being surrounded by all his brothers and sisters. At home, he is alone in an environment that he does not know and in which he is not yet very comfortable.
My puppy cries because he’s alone.
Your puppy may also cry when you are away. Indeed, when you adopt a puppy, you become a fundamental reference point for him, a person of attachment: it is therefore challenging for him to see you leave and to stay alone (once again in an environment that is still foreign to him).
In this, learning to be alone is more than necessary to allow your puppy to live more and more serenely in your departures and his periods of solitude in general (whether you are completely gone from the house or simply in another room).
Also read: My dog doesn’t want to be alone
My puppy cries for attention
The smart ones quickly figure out how to get their owner’s attention. If even once, you’ve given your puppy your undivided attention when he starts crying/vocalizing, then you’ve won the prize for the master who quickly gets overwhelmed.
Indeed, puppies learn very quickly, both good and bad habits: one wrong move on your part, and there goes a bad habit!
Not that you have to be perfect, far from it, but it is true that consistency is the keyword to obtain good results. It is very often that the problems encountered with puppies (and even with adult dogs) can be explained by a lack of consistency in the attitude of the owners:
My puppy won’t stop jumping on me, but sometimes I indeed find it so cute that I pet him.
My puppy won’t stop barking, crying, vocalizing, but, indeed, I always come running to make sure he’s okay.
My puppy chews me, but, indeed, I often play with him just with my hands.
My puppy still pees at home, but, indeed, I don’t have time to take him outside regularly.
I can still find a good dozen examples like the ones mentioned here. But in itself, these are not severe inconsistencies if you become aware of them quickly and if your attitude changes and evolves in the right direction.
My puppy cries because he’s in pain.
Finally, it’s also possible that your puppy is crying because of a physical problem. If you think you can rule out any of the above three causes for your puppy’s crying, then make an appointment with your veterinarian to have your puppy examined.
Crying puppy: how to calm him down?
I suggest that you go over the leading causes mentioned above and find concrete solutions for each of them to limit (or even eliminate) your puppy’s crying.
But first of all, you should know that a puppy’s crying does not necessarily mean that he is in great emotional pain. It can be, and we have seen it, to express frustration due to a lack of attention. It is essential to be aware of this sometimes to take the guilt off and step back from the actual well-being of your puppy.
Calming a puppy who cries because he misses his siblings
Even before picking up your puppy from his breeder, don’t hesitate to bring him an item of clothing that smells like you so that your puppy can get used to you in an olfactory way.
Also, when you pick him up at the kennel, don’t hesitate to ask if it’s possible to bring a cloth in the sibling’s diaper so that your puppy can make a smooth olfactory transition.
Equip your puppy with a soothing pheromone collar to help calm him in his new environment.
The first night in your home can be very traumatic for your puppy, so in exceptional cases (even if you’re thinking of forbidding it later), you can allow your puppy to sleep in your room so that he’s not entirely alone.
Of course, provide a comfortable bed, if possible, with edges and not too large, so that he can snuggle up as he would with his brothers and sisters.
Calming a puppy who cries because he’s lonely
Teach your puppy to be alone as soon as possible so that he can live through these periods more and more serenely.
Don’t hesitate to forbid your puppy to access a room in the house so that he gets used to being alone even when you are there.
Leave a toy for your puppy to play with, so he’ll see your departure as a positive thing.
Leave your home as if you were going to get the mail from the mailbox. Don’t make your departures unbelievable.
Reduce your puppy’s space when you leave.
Please don’t make him go away for too long; start with 5 or 10 minutes and work your way up.
Calming a puppy that cries for your attention
Always initiate contact with your puppy. If he understands that by crying for interaction, he’s getting it, you’re entering a never-ending cycle.
When he cries, ignore him (don’t talk to him, don’t look at him, don’t talk to him) and as soon as he calms down, call him for contact.
Make sure you give him occupations, stimulating games, etc., so that he develops independence and doesn’t feel like he has to be constantly in contact with you to pass the time.
Respond to his needs, walk him regularly, play with him, teach him little tricks, initiate the first essential learning: this helps to tire your puppy. And a tired puppy doesn’t cry; he sleeps!