Puppies and new dogs will often cry and howl the first time that they are left alone. The puppy is afraid to be abandoned, and as such they howl, cry and whine. They do this so that they can be rescued from being alone.
This is most common when the puppy is confined to a small space such as a laundry, or to a crate. This is perfectly normal dog behavior when you first get your pet, but the experience can be harrowing and we often wonder if we’re doing the right thing! So what should you do in this situation?
While this seems like a helpless situation, there is actually a lot that we can do to alleviate your puppy’s stress (and yours in the meantime).
It’s important to be pro-active in your puppy’s training to make it accept isolation and privacy. In the next following steps, we’re going to make sure the puppy gets more accustomed to being left by itself – even if you are at home.
Stopping Separation Anxiety In Its Tracks
Instead of placing your puppy in it’s confined area (laundry or crate for example) for long periods of time (like at night), start off by placing them in their area for very short periods of time.
If they start crying or whining, do not immediately rush back in to let them out or reassure them. If you do this, your new puppy will start learning how to control you by their howling and whining. This is turn will make them howl and whine every time to put them in their confined area.
However, if they are crying, howling and barking in their confined area continually, then they probably are not accustomed to their new area yet. Try spending a little more time with them there.
Then when you leave, and they start howling or crying then give them a stern “NO!”. After they have been quiet for a few moments, return and then praise them affectionately.
Practice this for a few times over and over again, until they become accustomed to the fact you’re not abandoning them forever, but only giving them some privacy and rest time.
Try extending the periods for longer that you see them, and keep praising them when you return if they don’t get restless. After a while, your puppy will soon realise that there’s nothing to worry about, and if you place a treat or chew toy in their pen your puppy will soon realise that their own special area is actually a fun and relaxing place to be.
Puppy Crying Do’s & Don’ts
- If your puppy has been confined to their space for quite some time and they start crying, it’s important to always try and give them the benefits of the doubt, and in breaks of their crying, pick them up and immediately take them to the toilet area for a potty break. Praise them profusely if they go to the bathroom, because they are displaying positive behavior!
- Check your puppy’s conditions to make sure that they are comfortable. Is the area that they’re in too hot or too cold? Are they hungry or thirsty?
- Is your puppy whining because there is some discomfort? Is it in pain or needs medical treatment? Make sure you give your puppy the benefit of the doubt, and if you think something may be wrong then go to your local veterinarian immediately and seek medical advice.
- Do not give in and let your puppy start unnecessary whining and reward them.
- Do not let your puppy feel abandoned. If you followed the above steps, there’s no way that this can happen.
- Do not let your puppy soil their confinement area. Again, if you followed the above steps, then this should be no problem.
How To Stop Excessive “On Demand” Barking And Whining
Sometimes if your puppy will learn that they can bark, cry and whine and get whatever they want. If you followed the above steps then this shouldn’t be a problem. However, sometimes this problem can develop.
The best way to counteract this issue is to spend some time each day playing with your puppy and giving them extra special one on one time. Tire out your puppy each day with sessions of play, exercise and training. Often these special one on one times with your dog will keep them satisfied and quiet for the rest of the day.
It’s also again important to note here that you should only give your puppy attention for these sessions when they’re quiet, and not to reward them with attention when they’re whining or barking to get attention from you.
Once they have become attached to you, and you’ve provided them the proper training and play time, they will automatically come to respect and honor you.
Your dog will start becoming the most loyal of companions you’ve ever owned if you follow the above steps and everything outlined in this guide, and this simply provides the groundwork for building a fantastic relationship with your dog for the length of it’s entire life.
Further Reading On Stopping Puppy Whining And Crying: