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“How to calm a puppy from crying” is probably one of the most common questions new puppy owners have.
And I have definitely been no exception here!
When I first brought my Mini Poodle Baloo home, he was extremely high-energy and had severe separation anxiety. So, he was basically crying or whining non-stop.
There were lots of reasons for his behavior that I didn’t understand at the time. In hindsight, I could have probably helped him calm down a lot quicker if only I new what he needed from me.
So, in hopes that you’ll be able to learn from my mistakes, here’s how to calm a puppy from crying. But first, we need to understand why puppies are crying in the first place.
Why Are Puppies Crying?
Whether it’s a human baby or a puppy, your little one’s crying can be frustrating. It might be especially confusing if this is your puppy’s first day at home. But babies can learn to speak and explain to you why they’re crying as they get older and start talking.
Puppies don’t speak at all—at least, not the way we do!
This can make it hard to tell why your puppy is crying. And if you don’t know why he’s whining, how are you supposed to help him?
Luckily, there are a few general causes. You can usually use context clues to figure out why your puppy is crying so much.
Here are some of the reasons why puppies are crying. If you’re looking for more detailed information, check out this article: why your puppy is whining and crying.
This Is How They Show Their Mom They Want Something
Just like human babies, puppies will cry to tell Mom that there’s something they want or need. When they were still with the rest of their litter, they would cry to get Mama to feed them or give them love.
Now that they’re with you, it’s up to you to give them what they need! Your puppy is bonding with you, and he sees you as his doggy parent.
So if your dog is hungry, needs to go outside, or wants something else, you’re the one he’s going to come crying to.
Puppies will cry when they want something. But if your puppy’s been fed, you’ve just taken him outside to do his business, then you might be wondering what on earth he could possibly want.
Well, if you’ve met all your dog’s needs, then he could just be crying for your attention. It’s a lot like human babies and kids crying or throwing tantrums to get their parents to pay attention to them.
Your puppy thinks you should be focusing on him more and isn’t shy about letting you know!
A tired dog is a happy dog. And a bored dog is an annoying dog!
If your puppy isn’t getting enough stimulus during the day, then he might let you know by crying.
You might remember how frustrating it was when you were bored as a kid. It felt like your brain was going to explode because you just had nothing to do!
Your puppy might feel the same way. He’s trying to tell you that he needs more stimulation.
If your puppy doesn’t feel like he’s getting what he wants, then he could become frustrated. And, if your puppy gets frustrated, he will let you know.
One of the most common reasons why puppies get frustrated is because they’re overtired. If you’re wondering how to tell if your puppy is overtired, here are 10 overtired puppy symptoms and what to do about it.
Many puppies struggle with separation anxiety when they come home for the first time. If you had spent your whole life up to that point with your mama and littermates, you’d be scared and anxious too!
It’s really important to work with your dog to curb his anxiety before it can grow into something more serious. If you’re not sure if your puppy has separation anxiety, here are 9 signs and symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs.
Pain or Discomfort
Puppies will cry if they feel any kind of pain. If it’s not immediately obvious why your puppy is crying, you may want to quickly check him over for any sign of injury.
Make sure that he doesn’t need to go outside and relieve himself, and that he’s had enough stimulus during the day.
If your puppy won’t stop crying or seems hurt or sick, then consider making an appointment with your vet to make sure nothing is wrong.
Speaking of vet: have you ever thought about getting pet insurance for your dog? No? Then check out my article on the question “is it worth getting pet insurance for dogs?“. Or go straight to PetAssure for a cheap alternative to get 25% off each vet visit!
How to Calm a Puppy from Crying
So you know why your puppy is crying. But how do you stop it? Here are a few tips and tricks.
Don’t Give in to the Crying
If your puppy is crying, then it might be tempting to get him to stop by comforting him or paying attention to him in other ways.
But doing that actually reinforces that behavior!
This is why you should ignore the crying. If your dog needs something, like food, or he wants to be let out of his crate, don’t give in while he’s crying.
Instead, wait until he’s quiet for at least a few seconds before paying him any attention. That will teach him that the right way to get what he wants is by waiting patiently.
Reward Calm Behavior
Dogs learn best by positive reinforcement. There’s a lot to the process, but the gist is that you’re rewarding behavior you like and ignoring behavior you don’t.
Ignoring your puppy when he’s crying shows him you don’t like when he does that. But you also have to remember to show him what you do like.
If your puppy is lying down quietly or asking politely by sitting in front of you, then you should reward him for that to encourage that behavior.
Give Him a Break in the Crate
If your puppy has gotten everything he needs and still won’t stop crying, a time out may be in order.
It’s important to properly crate train your puppy to make sure it’s a positive space for him. Your puppy’s time out shouldn’t be considered a punishment. Instead, it should be considered a time for him to settle down.
If you’re not sure where to start with crate training, check out this good crate training schedule for a puppy.
Make Sure He Gets the Right Amount of Exercise
There’s no magic number of minutes of hours you should be exercising your puppy each day. But it’s important to make sure that he gets enough.
All puppies are different, so you may need to try different things to find the right amount of exercise for your puppy.
The most important thing is to make sure that his exercise isn’t too rough on his growth plates.
And don’t forget to exercise your puppy’s mind too! Here are 10 brain games for dogs to play at home.
To help you figure out the right amount of exercise for your pup, I’ve created a puppy schedule planner that you can download for free:
Make Sure His Physical Needs Are Met
It’s important to think about your pup’s physical needs when he’s crying. He’ll often cry simply for attention or because he’s bored. But you definitely want to make sure that he’s been feed and had a potty break recently.
If your puppy has had all his needs met, then he’s likely crying for another reason.
How to Stop a Puppy Crying When You Leave the Room
If your puppy is crying as soon as you step out of the room, then he might be experiencing some separation anxiety.
It’s crucial to work on this problem right away before it gets worse. The best way to work with a puppy who’s struggling with separation anxiety is to work in small steps.
This means that at first, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your puppy. Try leaving him alone in a room for short increments, increasing them the more comfortable he gets.
And remember to be patient! This might take a lot of work, so stay consistent and celebrate the small victories to keep yourself motivated.
- 9 signs and symptoms for separation anxiety in dogs
- How to crate train a dog with separation anxiety
- Why is my dog so needy?
- My dog is obsessed with me! Is it normal?
How to Calm a Crying Puppy at Night
A puppy that’s no sleeping at night can be extremely frustrating! If your puppy hasn’t been at home with you for long, then you might be experiencing a lot of crying.
In order to help your puppy calm down for bed, make sure he’s getting enough exercise during the day. Likewise, remember to use positive reinforcement while training him.
Ignore all his crying, as hard as it is, and only acknowledge him if he’s being quiet and calm.
How Long Does It Take for a Puppy to Stop Crying?
If only there was a specific number of minutes that you knew your dog was going to cry! Unfortunately, how long your puppy cries depends on your puppy, the situation, and, of course, you.
If you’ve been acknowledging your puppy every time he cries, then you’ve shown him that’s how he gets what he wants. And that means that he’ll cry longer!
Remember to use positive reinforcement and ignore your puppy’s crying. And don’t forget to reward him when he’s being calm and quiet!
If your puppy is crying a lot, that can be really frustrating. This is especially true since puppies can’t tell you in words why they’re crying!
Luckily, there are a few super common reasons why puppies cry. So all you need to do is use all your puppy’s clues to figure out the reason. And, once you know the reason, you can find the right ways to help your puppy.
Remember that you need to serve as a model for your puppy. Part of helping your puppy calm down and stop crying is by showing him behavior you like. Use positive reinforcement to train your puppy and you’ll find yourself with a quiet, well-behaved dog!
Don’t forget to get my free puppy schedule planner to find the best routine for you and your puppy.