Why does my dog throw a tantrum so often?

why does my dog throw a tantrum so often

Have you ever asked yourself: Why does my dog throw a tantrum so often?

He’s an adult dog, he gets everything he needs. And yet, he seems to love throwing a fit!

Super annoying, right?

Well, you’re not the only one.

Dog tantrums are actually quite frequent and normal, even for adult dogs. But the good news is that there are a few easy ways to curb that kind of behavior.

But first, it’s important that you understand why the behavior occurs in the first place.

So, here are a few answers to why your dog throws a tantrum so often.

What does a dog tantrum look like?

If you’ve never had to deal with your dog throwing a tantrum then consider yourself lucky.

It’s normal for dogs to act out and test the limits every so often. If you have a particularly mischievous or curious pup, then it may happen more often than you’d prefer!

But there’s a difference between that and a dog throwing a full-on tantrum. Tantrums can be extremely frustrating to deal with, especially if they’re happening frequently!

But what exactly does a tantrum look like? If your little guy is throwing a tantrum, then he might start barking or crying excessively. It’s also likely that he refuses to listen to commands and that he seems to forget all his manners.

Essentially, it’s very similar to a human child’s tantrum. Something isn’t going your dog’s way, and he’s dealing with it by acting out!

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Is it normal for dogs to throw tantrums?

If your dog is throwing a lot of tantrums, then you might be wondering if it’s normal for dog to throw tantrums in the first place.

What it all comes down to is your dog’s impulse control. This is a really important skill that your dog needs to learn as early as possible. In short, it’s your dog’s ability to reel himself in and keep him from showing undesirable behavior.

While your dog is a puppy, you may find him prone to tantrums. That’s because he hasn’t learned impulse control yet.

If you’re looking for more information on puppy tantrums, check out these articles:

Why does my dog throw a tantrum so often?

As your dog gets older, he should be less and less prone to tantrums. As long as you’ve taught him proper impulse control, he should be well-behaved and able to show good impulse control.

But what if he isn’t? What if your dog has grown into an adult and he’s still throwing frequent tantrums?

Here are a few reasons why that may be the case.

You’ve encouraged the behavior

A lot of the time, behavior like tantrums isn’t only about our dog. It’s often about us and the way we react to the behavior!

You may have been encouraging your dog’s tantrums even without meaning to. It’s possible that you’ve been unintentionally using positive reinforcement dog training to encourage the behavior.

Positive reinforcement means rewarding behavior you want to encourage and ignoring behavior you don’t. If you’ve been giving your dog attention during his tantrums, then you might have been unwittingly rewarding his tantrums!

Your dog has learned that throwing a fit gets him attention. In this state of mind, even negative attention is still good attention for your dog!

He’s frustrated about something

We’ve all had something not go our way. And we all know how frustrating that can be!

Your dog has thoughts and opinions just like we do. And, also like us, he might get pretty frustrated if things don’t work out the way he thinks they should.

But while you know that this is just the way life works sometimes, your dog doesn’t necessarily think the same way! And he’s throwing a tantrum because he thinks it just isn’t fair. This is the only way he knows to deal with his feelings!

This is why it’s so important to work on your dog’s impulse control, especially while he’s still a puppy. Good impulse control teaches him that even though life isn’t fair sometimes, there’s an appropriate way to react to that.

He’s trying to get rid of an uncomfortable feeling

If you’ve ever felt super uncomfortable, then you know how unpleasant that creepy-crawly feeling is. You’d do anything to get rid of it and feel comfortable again!

If your dog is feeling super uncomfortable about something, then you might find him acting out more than usual. This is especially true if he’s having a hard time getting rid of the feeling.

One really common situation where this happens is after bath time. If you’ve just given your dog a bath, then you may have noticed that he acts out more.

So why do dogs get hyper after baths?

For the same reason he might throw a tantrum! He’s trying to shake off an uncomfortable feeling that’s hard to get rid of.

What do you do when your dog throws a tantrum?

Sometimes dog tantrums happen. It’s normal for them to happen every so often even with adult dogs!

But the way you respond to your dog’s tantrum will determine everything. If your dog is prone to tantrums, here are a few things you can do to stop them and prevent future ones.

Don’t react to it

Have you ever watched a little kid throw a tantrum? Often, the main thing that they’re looking for is attention from the adults around them.

That means that providing them with attention, even if it’s to tell them to stop, is still giving them what they want.

The same thing is true for your dog! When he’s throwing a tantrum, he’s often looking to get a reaction from you. That means that the very last thing you should do is give him any sort of attention.

Instead, do your best to ignore the tantrum. It may not stop right away, but it will be especially helpful for preventing future tantrums from happening.

Give him a time out

If your dog is having a particularly bad tantrum, then a little time out might be in order.

There’s nothing wrong with sending your dog to the crate for a few minutes if he’s acting out. As long as the crate stays a positive space, it’s a good opportunity for your dog to settle down.

If you haven’t started crate training your dog yet, you’ll want to consider doing that! Here’s how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.  

Make sure he gets enough physical and mental stimulation

It’s really important to make sure that your dog gets the exercise he needs throughout the day. This is both for his sake and for yours!

If you’re looking for some advice for your dog’s exercise routine, make sure you check out these related articles:

Physical exercise will keep your dog in good shape. But you shouldn’t just be focusing on his physical health. You need to work his brain, too!

Brain games are a fantastic way to build up your bond as well as keep your dog’s mind sharp. They’re also super fun!

Need some inspiration? Here are 10 brain games for dogs to play at home.

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My dog is throwing a tantrum in the crate

If your dog is throwing a tantrum in his crate, there are a few reasons why that could be happening.

It’s possible that you need to slow down on crate training because you’re moving too fast for him. Always make sure to go at your dog’s own pace.

Your dog might also be experiencing some crate training regression. This is a totally normal thing that happens for most dogs and their owners.

For some more tips on your dog’s crate, take a look at these articles:

My dog is throwing a tantrum on a walk

Having a dog throwing a tantrum on a walk isn’t fun. If your dog is throwing a tantrum on a walk, then there could be a few issues.

Your dog might be feeling a little overstimulated on his walk, which is triggering a tantrum. If this is the case, you may want to work on desensitization and counterconditioning training.

Also, take a look at these articles:

My dog is throwing a tantrum on the couch

If your dog tends to throw tantrums when he’s on the couch, then it could be because being up there with you is just a little too stimulating for him.

You may want to avoid letting him up on the couch until you can help desensitize him to it a little bit.

If he does get up on the couch and throw a tantrum, then send him off of it and follow the rest of the above tips to calm him down.


Nobody likes a tantrum.

If your dog is throwing a tantrum, then that’s a super frustrating experience for you and him. Your dog isn’t happy with the way things are going, which is why he’s throwing the tantrum. And dealing with your dog acting out isn’t fun for you either!

If your dog throws tantrums frequently, it’s up to you to teach him good impulse control.

Make sure that he knows how to behave well, and make sure he’s getting what he needs throughout the day to stay calm and well-behaved.

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