Dog Howling: Why Do Dogs Howl, Cry, Whimper And Whine?

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Dog Crying

Do Dogs Cry?

Just like you and I, dogs are also very capable of showing their emotions and making themselves heard loud and clear, both when they’re happy or when they’re feeling down.

They’re just like us and are looking to communicate their feelings to someone who can understand them and help make them feel better when they’re sad.

However, you may be wondering to yourself if you’ve ever seen your dog cry and shed tears.

Dogs are notorious for showing their emotions, especially when they’re grieving over the loss of another dog that was a real close friend or the loss of a human companion, but do dogs cry tears?

The answer to this question is, while dogs do indeed get watery eyes and tear up a little, they don’t cry in the same sense as we human beings do.

Dogs can indeed shed tears, but it’s generally not because of an emotional response or situation they’re going through (which is what happens with us humans), it’s almost always due to a certain health condition they have.

Why Do Dogs Cry?

As we said above, dogs do indeed cry and shed tears, however it’s not because they’re emotional, it’s rather because of a health or medical issue they have.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons that dogs cry:

  • Allergies: Allergies will make your dog’s eyes all teared up and watery, just like an allergy to something like pollen could do to you and I.
  • Blocked Tear Ducts: Your dog’s eyes (just like the eyes of human beings) regularly produce tears that are dried off when they blink their eyes. However, if your dog is suffering from blocked tear ducts, the drying off process of tears doesn’t quite function well in that case, and it would appear that your dog is crying you a river!
  • Eye Infections
  • Dirt In The Eye
  • Cornea Scratch

Dogs don’t express their grief in shedding tears like we do, they express their grief in other forms which we will be talking about in a bit, such as whining, howling and whimpering.

When Should You Be Concerned About Your Dog Crying?

There are some symptoms that you have to look out for which almost always signal that your dog has a medical issue:

  • If your dog secretes tears with colors other than clear, transparent white
  • If you notice that your dog’s eyes are frequently watery and tearing up, and it’s not just happening once in a long while
  • Swelling around your dog’s eyes
  • Irritation around your dog’s eyes
  • If there are bloody, yellow, or musky discharges coming out from your dog’s eyes

If you see any of the aforementioned symptoms in your dog, you have to immediately contact your veterinarian about it so that they inform you if there’s anything seriously wrong with your dog’s health and the proper course of treatment that the case requires.

What Do I Do If My Dog Is Crying?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with what you need to do to stop your dog from crying.

But, first of all, here’s some things you DO NOT want to do:

  • DO NOT attempt to clean your dog’s eyes with a tissue.
  • DO NOT make physical contact with your dog’s eyelashes, try to avoid this area as much as possible

What you want to do instead is:

  • Get a clean washcloth and gently wipe your dog’s tears and make sure the area becomes dry.
  • Make sure you also clean up the area around your dog’s eyes, as you don’t want any dirt to stick there and infections to happen.
  • Always be gentle during this whole process for the sake of your dog and so they don’t panic.
  • Reward your dog with something they love when the process is done and if they’ve been a good boy/girl, as this will teach them to not give you a hard time when you’re wiping their tears.

These are just ways that allow you to temporary deal with your dog’s crying and tears. To solve the root of the problem, which is almost always a medical or health issue with your dog, you should have them checked by a professional.

Dogs Whining

Why Do Dogs Whine?

Who here hasn’t heard their dog whine at least one time before? Yeah, thought so! 🙂

Whining is just another one of their ways that dogs choose to communicate something to us by.

Generally speaking, the stronger the whining becomes, the more serious what they’re trying to communicate to us is.

In this section, we’ll be talking about some of the most common reasons that cause dogs to whine:

  • Attention: What better way to get someone’s attention than with whining?
  • Excitement: This will generally be accompanies by your dog jumping, running around in circles and obvious excessive energy that your dog tries to release
  • Anxiousness: Whining is just one way that many dogs try to cope with something that’s making them anxious and stressed out. One of the most common forms of anxiety that cause excessive whining is separation anxiety in dogs.
  • Fear: Something like a loud noise that startled your dog or someone your dog might be afraid of can most certainly cause your dog to start excessively whining
  • Appeasement: Many dogs start to whine during interactions with people or other dogs as a sign of concession to whatever the other party wants and giving up on what they themselves wanted out of despair. This is also most commonly combined with body language signs such as ears, tail and head down and your dog going into a squatting position and putting their whole body low to the ground.
  • Greeting: Many dogs like to whine when greeting people or other dogs.
  • Pain: If your dog is feeling pain due to an injury or a certain ilness, you can bet that they will excessively whine to make it loud and clear that they need help.

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Whining?

You might go all “awww, look at this little beautiful doggy whining, it’s so cute with these voices it’s making!” and then go ahead and give it all the attention, love and care in the world, but that’s never the right thing to do.

If you do that, you’ll be spoiling your dog so bad and only be teaching them that whenever they want our attention, love and care, they can manipulate us by whining.

You don’t want to get your dog to stop whining forever, because whining is a form of communication that dogs use to tell us things. You only want to teach your dog that whining for no reason won’t get them anywhere or anything, and that they should only whine when there’s something truly wrong.

  • Training: Take your dog to an obedience, reward-based training class that will have all the necessary means to modify your dog’s behavior, stop uncalled for whining and teach your dog to only whine when necessary.
  • Exercise: Give your dog the physical and mental exercise they need and take part in it with them, as the more busy you keep your dog throughout the day and the more tired they are, the less they will feel the urge to whine for uncalled for reasons.
  • Refrain From Giving Attention: Because many dogs simply whine for the sake of attention, sometimes you just have to make it clear to your dog that that won’t work on you. Refrain from making eye contact, touching or talking to your dog until they stop whining, because if you do any of the aforementioned, you’ll only be giving your dog the attention they were looking for. Then, when your dog get back to the good doggy they were before all the unnecessary whining, reward them to let them know that they get rewarded by not whining excessively for no reason.
  • Consult With Your Veterinarian: As they can best determine if there’s a medical condition behind your dog’s whining, whether any medication or treatment is needed or whether they just need behavior modification training.
  • Build Confidence: Consider enrolling your dog in a confidence-builder class, as this will go a long way in helping your dog gain the self esteem they so desperately lack and not show unwanted submissive behavior anymore.
  • Work On Your Hello’s: If you always greet your dog with the highest tone and most excited facial expressions out there, you’re teaching your dog to always be as excited as you are when they see you. And what do dogs so when sometimes overly excited? Yup, they whine! So, try to work on your hello’s to your dog by staying calm and not getting overly-excited, and chances are your dog will act just like you and not whine as a result.

Dog Howling

Why Do Dogs Howl?

Have you ever heard your dog howling before?

If you’d like to see how that sounds and haven’t had the chance to do that yet, let your dog hear the sound of a siren.

As soon as your dog hears the sound of a siren, they become alert. And as the sound of the siren gets closer and becomes louder and louder, your dog becomes more and more alert, as if they’re just waiting for something to happen.

When the siren sound reaches its peak and your dog hears it as loud and clear as can be, just watch them let out a big howl that’ll make you think you have a wolf instead of a dog!

Dog howling because of the sound of a siren is, however, just one of many causes that lead your dog to howl.

But, what exactly is dog howling and why do dogs howl?

  • Attracting Attention: A dog that howls for your attention and you give it to them will do it every single time, because you fell victim to their trick
  • Communication: Some dogs howl in order to make contact with other dogs
  • Announcing Presence: Just like you and I might have a certain entrance move to announce our presence that’s special and unique to only us, some dogs like to howl to announce their presence.
  • High-Pitched Sounds: Just like we talked about a few lines above when we discussed the siren examples, some dogs react to high-pitched sounds like sirens by howling.
  • Separation Anxiety And Loneliness: If your dog is excessively howling when you leave them alone for some period of time, then there’s a big chance that they’re suffering from separation anxiety. A dog howling when you’re not there is hoping that you’ll hear them wherever you are and understand that they want you back there with them! This is especially true if your dog howls with a low-pitch vocalization. If your dog howls in your presence, then you can rule that issue out.
  • Health: Dogs can howl excessively if they’re sick
  • Pain: Dogs can howl excessively if they’re physically injured and are in pain
  • Genetics: The DNA of dogs is found to be very close to that of wolfs, so dogs howling is only them returning to their biological roots
  • Space And Boundaries: Dogs often howl to let other dogs or people know that they’re getting too close to them and are trespassing on “their space” or “their area”, and that they should stay away.
  • Danger: If your dog has sensed or caught something that they think poses danger to them or you, they might howl excessively in an attempt to tell you to come where they are so they can show you what they found

How To Stop Dogs Howling

  • Desensitization And Counterconditioning: Where you desensitize your dog to whatever is stimulating them to howl excessively, and turn around the situation so they start to associate that stimulus with good things happening, such as a reward. This is best done by hiring a certified animal behaviorist or dog trainer that has previous experience with excessive howlers.
  • Reward Based Training: When your dog is howling and you know for a fact that they’re doing it for no important reason (meaning they’re not warning you of anything wrong), use reward based training. Ignore your dog for as long as they’re howling, no talking to them, no eye contact with them, no attention, nothing. Then, immediately after your dog stops howling, reward them with something like their favorite treat, attention, affection, etc .. This will teach them that they won’t benefit from anything if they howl for no reason, and that will just drive you away, while if they don’t howl for no reason you’ll love them for it.
  • Quality Time: Since one of the most common reasons dogs howl excessively is loneliness, don’t let your dog go through something like that, it’s heartbreaking. Dogs, just like us, are social beings that need to interact with other people or dogs to stay happy. Spend more quality time with your dog, play games with them, exercise together or just take them to the park and let them have fun with other dogs if you don’t really feel like being in on the action too much!

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