Is your puppy crying every time you place him in a room and turn your back to leave? Does his whining continue when he is alone in his crate? Has it reached a state where you are wondering if this is ever going to stop?
Worry not! We will help you understand why your puppy is behaving this way and how you can help him deal with the issue, teaching him to remain quiet and calm even in your absence.
Why Puppies Cry?
Descended from wolves, dogs are natural pack animals. As puppies, they spend the first six to eight weeks of their lives in the constant company of their littermates and mother. When they move into their forever homes, their human family assumes the role of their pack.
Over generations, living with humans, dogs have developed this pack relationship with their families and have evolved their social behaviors to adapt. But not all dogs are able to learn this valuable skill and continue to feel isolated or lost in the absence of their pack, which in this case is their human family.
It is this feeling of anxiety at the loss of their pack that causes dogs to exhibit unwanted behavior like crying.
If your puppy cries each time you attempt to leave the room, he is most likely trying to vocalize his discomfort at being separated from you. Despite it making you go “aww” thinking that your puppy loves you so much that he doesn’t want to be separated from you, you must deal with the problem as soon as possible. Over time, this constant whining and crying are likely to drive you and your neighbors insane.
In order for your little pupper to learn to be silent and calm in your absence, you will have to teach him how. It is important to instill in your puppy the habit of staying quiet while waiting peacefully for you to return when you leave him alone. If the crying or whining behavior is not addressed properly, it has the potential to result in separation anxiety as he grows.
How to Stop a Puppy Crying
The good news is, with a few simple techniques your puppy can learn that being alone is not such a bad thing. The key is to begin early, as early as when you first get your puppy home.
Begin with Positive Reinforcement
For your puppy, the sudden change from leaving his only known pack can cause him to whine and cry. As soon you as you get your puppy home you must begin the ritual of separation.
Settle him in a comfortable place, his
Repeat the process regularly, slowly increasing the distance and time, eventually leaving him unattended for short periods. Vets advise that by the age of thirteen weeks, your puppy should be comfortable being left up to ten minutes at a time.
Encourage your puppy’s quiet and settled behavior and reward with treats only when they are in that state of mind. It is important to ignore any undesired behavior, like whining or crying, and wait until he is calm and quiet before giving him any affection or reward.
Crate Train Your Puppy
Your puppy is bound to be eager to explore his new home and surroundings. You must allow this only under supervision. For times when you are busy or away, it is important to teach your pup to remain in his crate. This will keep both your pup and your belongings safe.
Crate training must begin the day your puppy arrives home. Start by placing him in the crate and quietly leaving the room for short periods of time, gradually increasing the time he spends in it. Allow him to have his favorite toy or bone with him as a stress reliever.
Check out the following video to learn how to effectively crate train your puppy:
Minimize the Fanfare
Many people feel the need to say goodbye or give verbal reassurances to their dogs before leaving them. Instead, every time you attempt to leave your puppy alone in a room, ensure that you do so quietly. Do not provide him with any cues about your leaving.
Dogs are extremely receptive to any signs from you when you are about to leave them alone. These signals can get them into an excited state of mind, making it harder for them to settle down and remain quiet once you are gone.
Remember to make your return a quiet affair as well. Like wolves in the wild greet separated members with enthusiasm and excitement, your puppy too is bound to be ecstatic to be reunited with you.
But no matter how happy and proud you are of your little pupper for managing to stay alone, do not show excitement or affection immediately after walking in. Let him become calm and settle down before showing him any form of affection, praise or reward.
Your aim is to make sure your puppy views being left all alone as a normal thing, and not a significant event.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
A puppy’s routine usually revolves between sleeping, eating and playing. While awake, they are full of pent up energy and can be seen running and playing around the house or yard. As soon as the energy is spent, they find it extremely hard to stay awake.
But if your puppy is left alone and does not have the opportunity to play and run, he is likely to resort to expending his excessive energy whining or crying.
Before you attempt to leave him alone in a room, exercise and play with your puppy. Play games with him, walk him or have a training session. Once he is tired and has no excess energy left, he will just go to his bed and sleep to recharge for his next zoomies session.
Never show any attention or affection when your little pup is whining or crying, even if it’s breaking your heart. Doing so will only negate all the hard work you both have put in and will lead him to believe that his whining is being rewarded by your return.
Reinforce the calm and quiet behavior you want in your puppy. Stay strong and ensure every member of your family follows sticks to the rules. And voila, in no time you will be able to leave a quiet, calm and happy pup on his own without worrying about him screaming the house down.
P.S. Know someone else with a dog that cries? Please share or pin this article! Thanks! 🙂