Stop your dog from crying all day

Most dogs or puppies will settle down and stop crying or barking within a half-hour after they are left alone.

However, some dogs simply cannot relax. They bark or cry for the entire eight hours their owner is at work.

Obviously, this can result in some angry neighbors or an apartment eviction. Some people are even faced with giving up their dogs because they feel like they can’t leave the dog alone barking all day. They feel like they have no choice but to find the dog a new home.

How to stop your dog from barking and crying all day when left alone

Stop dog's barking and crying ebook
Note: This post has been expanded into an ebook with more tips to stop your dog from crying and barking. The cost is $4Learn more here

Stop a dog from barking all day

There are ways to overcome this problem. Some people will call the problem separation anxiety. You can call it what you want, but in most cases what the dog really needs is more exercise and rules. “Separation anxiety” is an overused term by vets and trainers. Most dogs do not have anything wrong with them, but they are crying or barking because of pent-up energy and boredom.

Ace the black lab mix dog does not cry or bark when alone.

Here are some tips to help your dog feel more relaxed when left alone.

Run with the dog every single morning.

A lot of dogs are said to have “separation anxiety” when really they are not getting enough exercise. So, run with your dog for an hour in the morning before you go to work. Some people will laugh when I say this, but it’s not a joke. Run her (or at least walk fast) for a minimum of 45 minutes every single day, even if she is a small dog. How can you expect a dog or puppy to sleep all night and then go in her kennel all day while you are at work? Leaving her loose in the house is no different. To a dog, a house is just a big kennel. To stop your dog from crying all night or day, more exercise is a must.

If you are not a runner, then take your dog biking or rollerblading or to the dog park.

Buy a dog backpack.

A backpack for dogs will help drain even more energy during the dog’s morning run. A dog can carry a small amount of weight in the pack and it will make her physically more tired. It will challenge her mentally by giving her a job to do. This will make it easier for the dog to sleep when you are gone, and you will stop telling people, “My dog cries all the time.”

Buy a kennel.

If you don’t already have a kennel, get one. Don’t use it as a punishment for the dog. Give the dog a treat when she goes in the kennel, and tell her she’s a good dog. Leave her in the kennel for a few minutes at a time, maybe one minute at first, and only let her out if she is not crying. If the puppy will not stop crying for 20 minutes and is quiet for 30 seconds, let her out during those 30 seconds when she is actually quiet. Work with her until you can leave her in the kennel while you are away. The goal is for your dog to feel safe and secure in her “den” and know it is a place for her to rest quietly. Once you have a dog that can stay quietly in a kennel all day, you can begin to leave her loose in the house.

Ignore a dog that is crying or barking.

The worst thing you can do is return to a dog or let the dog out of her kennel when she cries or barks. Make sure she learns she can only come out if she is calm. If the barking or crying really escalates, then firmly tell her “No!” Yelling at her will not help. It will only increase her anxiousness. Just let her know that the behavior is unwanted. Putting a blanket over my dog Ace’s kennel helped when he was learning to stay quietly in his kennel.

Gradually leave the dog for longer periods.

Once the dog can stay in the kennel for 10 minutes quietly, increase that time to a half-hour. Try this while you are home with the dog. Once she is OK with that, you can act as though you are leaving by just stepping outside for a few seconds. Then leave for five minutes. Slowly increase the time until you can leave for a half-hour or an hour to go shopping. Eventually the dog will be able to be left while you are at work all day. Ideally, you could practice leaving her in the kennel on the weekend or days you are home with her so she is prepared to be left during the work week.

Don’t make a big deal about coming and going.

When you leave, just quietly exit like it is no big deal. Don’t tell your dog she is a good girl over and over. Don’t say “Goodbye, Honey! It’s OK! Mommy will be back soon!” This just gives her a reason to feel anxious because she will pick up on your excited, worried energy. Put your dog in her kennel a few minutes before you go to work, and then leave without saying anything. When you come home, wait a few minutes before you let her out. When you do, just calmly let her out and take her outside. Don’t throw a small party for her every time you come home for work or you will be encouraging your puppy to cry all day. You do not want to “reward” your dog when you return because then she will anticipate your return. You want to “reward” her when you leave so that she actually looks forward to getting a treat when you leave.

Exercise your dog again when you come home from work.

Another hour-walk or run would be ideal for a dog that has been left home all day. If this isn’t possible for you, then at least take your dog on a brisk 20-minute walk and then play with her in the backyard. If you are someone who says, “My puppy will not stop crying” what you should really be saying is “Why don’t I make more time to exercise my puppy?”

Use Kong toys to entertain your dog.

Buy three of four Kong toys and stuff them with different goodies like treats, peanut butter or squirt cheese. Then put them in the freezer overnight and give them to your dog before you leave for work. These should keep your dog entertained for at least a little while. The chewing will help her relax and getting the treats out will give her mind something to focus on. Also look for any kind of interactive toys that make the dog work to figure out how to get a treat.

Buy a dog Thundershirt.

There is a product called the Thundershirt that basically fits snuggly around the dog so she feels “swaddled.” I have not tried this with a dog yet, but many people swear the product helps dogs feel much calmer. It’s not going to cure the problem, but it might help.

Did your dog ever have crying/barking issues when left alone? How did you solve the problem?

Get my ebook with 10 extra tips to stop your dog from barking and crying when left alone – just $4 Get it here.

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  1. Vicky on July 5, 2012

    I have a 6 month old labradoodle I have recently moved however when I leave he barks and yelps , he goes for a long walk before I leave about 45 minutes and then again when we get back , I’ve tried leaving without a fuss but still he barks something awful he did tire himself out but with living in a 4 in the block I’m worried the neighbours will get angry , I also leave the radio on

  2. brandy on July 13, 2012

    We just got a pit bull mix looks like with lab. Boy about 4 months old. First days were OK. Noticed he’d follow me to restroom, shower, kitchen, and if Im sitting Indian style he has to be in my lap (clearly too big to be a lap dog), if I lay on my stomach he has to lay between my legs or right next to me half way over my leg. When laying on back he has to be right next to me. If I sit up and my lap is blocked he lays around my butt. Has to always be touching. Pees on blankets, even right next to them if they are on Me. Potty training is a nightmare. Goes all over house then when we take him out he goes then as soon as we come back in e uses bathroom inside. We have 12 yr old and 14 yr old daughters in the home too. So Not sure how bored he can be. An always plays with kitten

  3. brandy on July 13, 2012

    Plus he crystal and barks entire time we are away from the house. We leave him free inside cuz all tile floors in Livingston kitchen and my fiancee will shut our bedroom door for alone time and dog will cry, bark and scratch at the door the entire time. When we open the door he curls up next to one of us. AGAIN has to b touching us always.

  4. Heather on July 13, 2012

    Please help us!, We just adopted a 5 year old minature daschund Nala, at first she was very quiet but than she started crying when she saw her reflection. I gave her some stuff animals not thinking anything of it but now she has become almost obsessed, she cries if she can not have them and I have been trying to limit her access to them but she cries, non stop and she will also cry if we try to leave the room. We were in bed wanting alone time and she cried and scratched outside our bedroom door non stop she kept getting louder and louder, we tried to ignore her but she just started barking. She also is not house broken and decided to piss and poop inside while she was left alone, we are trying to teach her to only go outside but she has yet to go outside. We have only had her for less than a week and we want to train her so badly, we love this dog but we need her behavior to change …please help us, how do we stop her crying and how can we train her to go to the bathroom outside, if she only goes when we are not at home.

    • ferx on July 19, 2012

      Just a passer-by, but my advice is: crate train your dog!

      I had similar problems with my rescue border collie/sheltie/dachshund type mix. When I brought her home from the shelter she wasn’t house-trained, barked when alone, barked when accompanied, barked in the crate, and generally was a needy wreck. At first I deeply regretted my decision to adopt her. However, things can get better! What worked for me was making “house rules”, making/sticking to a general routine for her day, and giving her time to adjust. Two months later, my little dog sleeps quietly at night, is housebroken, and is just generally much, much, much more peaceful. We are still working on some stuff, but that is to be expected with rescue dogs.

      I used crate-training advice from, which is a great resource, though you should be careful with some of their training opinions since some of their methods might be too harsh for a very sensitive rescue dog. Their advice on bringing a new dog into the home and teaching pack structure for pets was useful to me. Also, since my dog was nervous and unsure, obedience and trick training (I did clicker training) helped, since it gave her something to do and helped her understand how her new life was set up (e.g. “good things happen (treats! praise! attention!) if I pay attention to this person and figure out what they want me to do!”). I think anxious, unsure dogs generally benefit from positive training and having a normal routine for their day.

      Crates are great for housebreaking and for providing your dog a place just for them, where they can relax and nap and hunker down when things get stressful. They aren’t abusive so long as you do not keep your dog crated all day and deprive it of attention and other needs.

      When I first brought my dog home, if I wasn’t with her, she was either crated near me, in the house on a leash, or loose in the yard. The first two or three weeks were rough (whining, anxious, scared, barking 24/7), but she came around. One thing that helped was: when I wanted to chill out quietly in the evenings (tv, nap, computer, etc) and my dog was being a barky nuisance, I’d move the crate in near me and put my dog in it. We’d chill out together, with her in her crate. I also moved the crate into my bedroom at night so she could sleep in the same room and know she wasn’t alone. I think it helped her understand that the crate is just her place for chilling out and sleeping. My dog now goes happily into the crate at night with an attitude of “Finally, let’s go to bed!

      One note about barking: if your dog is constantly barking, it’s best to IGNORE IT, not holler at it to shut up. I think when you do that your dog just thinks you’re barking too. She’ll get tired of barking, eventually, so long as it doesn’t pay off for her. If none of this helps, it might be a good idea to talk to a professional animal behaviorist or a dog trainer who’s training philosophy matches yours.

      Give it time, and best of luck to you and your new dog!

  5. Yamiley on July 21, 2012

    I have a 2 years old minpin who used to be fine in her crate. I could left her there and she will go to sleep during the day while I was at work. After I was in a car accident, I was home a lot and that’s when the problems started. Now, when I leave her in her crate alone she cries and started barking (which she never did before). I still walk her like I used to, the only change is that she doesn’t stay in her crate that much during the day since I’m home. I guess she lost the habit of staying in her crate while I’m not home. Should I crate train her again? The neighbors started to complain and I’m going back to work soon. What should I do?

    Thank you

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 16, 2012

      Yes. Crate train her again. Go back to the basics if you need to.

  6. Mike on July 29, 2012

    For everyone here with this issue.

    There is a Kong type toy, a ball, orange. You throw a handfull of treats in it. I use my dogs dog food, she still seems to think it is a treat.
    When rolled, it occasionally drops treats. This should offer a bit of mental stimulation as well as play.
    Maybe try only giving it to your dog when left alone. With maybe strong smelling treats.

    Never had this issue myself, but thought it might help.

  7. Toni on July 29, 2012

    Please can you help us, we rescued a 18 month old staffi cross 3 weeks ago from the cats and dogs home. She is a lovely natured dog and brilliant with our3 boys. She was a nightmare the first couple nights but we ignored her and now night times she settles lovely but we are still struggling with leaving day times, our neighbours complained to the council after three days even though we put a letter through explaining we were training her and to call us if they had any problems.

    So we now feel we are living with a ticking time bomb and are desperate to sort her barking out.

    We always walk her before we leave and when we come back we leave calmly with a stuft Kong and hidden treats around the room, the radio is on and she is shut in our dining room. we set our phones to record her, this will record the first hour only.

    I know its early days but im terrified that we will have to take her back as we are in rented accommodation and the land lord only agreed to us having her as long as the neighbours were ok, the other side said she is no bother and listening to the recording she isn’t always for example we left her yesterday for a good few hours and in the hour recording she didn’t bark once but tonight we left her for 18 mins and she pretty much barked on and off for most of it.

    I really need to sort this out as my neighbours have way too much time on these hands and have been recording and documenting every movement. They have said they are prepared to give us a couple months to sort it or they will take complaint further. Please held x

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 16, 2012

      Hope things have been going better. I would leave the dog confined to a single room and keep using longs. Just be as relaxed as possible and give her time to adjust.

  8. Esti on July 31, 2012

    My partner had 2 dogs when I met him, and we found out from neighbours that both dogs howled and barked all day, one dog has since died but we now find out the remaining dog is still barking and howling all day, also some days / nights she goes crazy in the room she is in jumping on furniture and knocking things off shelves, (we leave the back door open all day so she is not confined) I am not really a dog lover and this behaviour has not endeared me to dogs ! she is approx 11 years old. As she behaves so badly I ban her to the conservatory, HELP , what can we do, we are about to try a collar that zaps her a bit if she barks, and bless my neighbour as she is home all day she has offered to have her to see if that helps, but I feel she is like a very naughty child and is getting her way of being with someone all day, I can see us not going out at all as we will be to afraid to leave her and then the neighbours will be upset.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 16, 2012

      Has the collar helped? How much exercise is the dog getting?

  9. Kylie Go on August 2, 2012

    Hi, i just got my 8 week old puppy a week ago.
    whenever i leave the room, he starts crying and barking slightly. now he’s starting to get even LOUDER. is there any quicker way to get him used to being alone?
    im really worried too because our neighbor has a baby and im worried that my puppy would make too much noise for them :\

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 16, 2012

      You just have to ignore it so the pup learns barking does not equal attention.

  10. Laura Lee on August 7, 2012

    Hello, I have a 4 month old yorkie poo named Oscar. He is a momma’s boy for sure! I can’t leave the room without him following me or whining. I can’t even take a shower without him crying. It’s not like he’s alone either, my fiance will be in the room and he still cries for me. We tried the kennel, that didn’t work. He hates it. We tried leaving him in the bathroom, that didn’t work either. He pooped all in my bathroom and got it all over my apartment when we let him out. We have resulted in leaving him to roam free so he would feel more comfortable when we leave but he cries the entire time and scratches up our door. I take him for long walks everyday and play with him when we are here but since he’s a puppy he sleeps like 5-6 times a day. I give him treats before we leave and don’t say anything when I walk out, but he continues to cry. We live in an apartment complex and don’t want to get a noise complaint about him. We really have run out of options with him.
    We found a device that puts out a high pitched sound only dogs can hear when they bark or cry but it’s kind of expensive. Plus he’s a puppy and I don’t want it to harm him. Should we try the device and see if it works or do you have any other ideas that we could try on him? Please help! thanks :)

  11. Joyce Arnold on August 12, 2012

    I have a female dog almost 3 years old. I was told she was a yorkie chi mix but she was a rescue dog and they didn’t know it seems. The vet said she was too big for either of them. She is believed to have some terrier in her. I’ve been told she had some Jack Russell in her, and I’ve been told she had some schnauszer in her, and I don’t know. She weighs about 12 lbs. I have complaints that she barks the whole time I’m gone. I can go to my neighbors very nearby and she doesn’t bark hardly at all, some times none at all. She’s never been a whiner or cry. She doesn’t follow me around in the house but she used to act happy when I would hang up the phone or leave the computer. She would sit at my feet if I was on very long. She wanted my attention.She’s ok with that now. She used to want to sit in my lap most of the time and sleep with me every night and went to bed when I did, she doesn’t do that now either. She doesn’t seem to need my attention much anymore. She seems to be growing up and away from me a bit. Is it that she is just growing up? She is stubborn and is too hyper to listen. She jumps up on people at the door and only slows down when they are inside. I have never been able to get her to stop this. She also is so hyper that it’s hard to play with her and can’t be still long enough to be taught anything. She is full of life when trying to play and yet sleeps all day in peace. She doesn’t whine or cry when I leave yet I’m told she barks the whole time I’m gone. I don’t hear her bark when I’m leaving or when I’m coming home. When I take her with me she may bark a couple of times then she sleeps until I come back. She does bark at people outside especially if they stand around talking. She is so excited to see people come to the door that it’s hard for me to hold her, and the only way I can is to hold onto her collar. If she can she will even slip out of her collar. She is very strong for her size and it’s very hard for me to hold her and she moves so fast. She loves to run outside but will not come back until she is ready, no matter what I do. No one can catch her and if you reach out to get hold of her she’s gone. When you reach down to her she backs away, she does this inside and then wants to play, or she doesn’t want to be picked up or petted. She also gets hyper when being petted. She has been known to be mouthy especially when she was a puppy. She plays so out of control that she scratches me a lot. Since I don’t know what breed she is I don’t know anything about her traits. She was 9 weeks old when I got her and she was very much loved and babied. Now I think I’ve done this to her. I have a neighbor who complains but the neighbor before her didn’t. I live in an apartment. Any suggestions. I’m thinking I may have to give her up and it breaks my heart. I’ve never given up a dog before. Please, please help.

  12. Jason on August 13, 2012

    I have a 2 year old lab. She is a good pup but when we put her outside she wines and wines and wines. When we have her in the car she wines ESP when we put on the indicator, she gets exercised a lot, not sure why she is doing this but it’s really annoying and the neighbours don’t like it I’m sure :-( any suggestions? Thanks

  13. jodie on August 15, 2012

    Puppy is 9 weeks old & had a very bad start in life, the vet has told me she has severe anxiety because of how she was treated. I can’t leave him alone at all or he will cry & howl. He follows me & my children contantly & will only eat if someone is with him. He is very underweight as he was starved so I need him to eat. His still not able to have his injections as his still too weak. Please help me as I have to go back to work soon & my neighbour are complaining already.,plus I don’t want him to be in upset or scared.

  14. Samantha on September 12, 2012

    I have a seven month old jackabee. We adopted her at six weeks from a foster family, there was no mother and since then we have had to deal with aggression and dominance issues. We have those under control for the most part but when we leave she howls and cries like she’s dying. We have a kennel for her but we leave her baby gated in a dark kitchen which is 6 by 3 1/2. So it’s not a huge space. Are we giving her to much room? How do we stop the crying?!

  15. Kristen on September 13, 2012

    I have a four month old Mini Schnauzer. I’ve had him for about four days,and he has become attached at my hip. When he’s walking with me, or laying on me, he’s perfectly happy and snuggly. But if I am even out of his view point, he starts howling at the top of his lungs. He’s not left alone a good portion of the time, because my mother is there, but he’ll still whine. I take him out to go “potty” in the morning before I leave, usually for 15-20 minutes, and he NEVER uses the bathroom. But when I leave in the morning–he poops and pees ALL over the room he is in. I want to keep him, but I can’t if he continues this…PLEASE HELP!

  16. Shawn on September 19, 2012

    I just adopted a five year old shepherd/collie cross, very well mannered, very low maintenance (i.e. laid back in the house) I take her out for long runs until she’s tuckered out before I go out to work, when I leave for work she cries very loudly for a couple hours. I was reading about kennel training and that seems to be the most effective strategy you’ve mentioned to alot of other people. I was just wondering if putting her bed in the bathroom and closing the door would have the same effect?

    When I adopted her she was so fragile and scared of everything, her previous owner must’ve been abusive, I just want to go about this delicately, but effectively.

    She is now not so fragile and trusts me, will play/cuddle etc. any advice will help, thanks.

  17. Joyce Arnold on September 20, 2012

    I have a 3 year old female (Schnauszer, Jack Russell mix) so I’ve been told, and she acts like it. She is so hyper, when she gets excited she will not listen to me. When people come to the door shes all over them. I don’t have much company maybe thats the reason. She loves people and when they get inside she wants all attention on her. She wants them to roll or throw her ball so she can fetch it. She plays rough, she paws at them and me and leaves scratches. When I have company I usually have a fly swatter either in my hand or theirs, to protect them from scratches. We don’t hit but she thinks we will. She doesn’t mean to hurt but she plays too rough. She is very strong for her size and when I try to hold her when people come to the door she wrestles and she either jumps out of my arms and if she can’t, she will slip down through my arms and gets down. Every chance she gets if she sees a chance to run out the door while I or others go out, she’s gone and will not listen to my calls. It’s as if she don’t hear me. She only comes in when she gets ready. You can’t catch her, she is so fast and if you try to the farther she gets away from home. I know it’s dangerous but I just had to leave her out until she comes to the door. While she’s out she barks at people, and she has a big voice. Most people around here know she won’t bite but she has scared a couple of people. She doesn’t lunge at them, she just keeps in her place and barks. If they scold her it just makes her bark more but she still doesn’t try to bite. I don’t think she will bite but I wish I had more control over her. She barks like a bully. She barks if she’s inside and sees someone out, but isn’t this normal, and when she hears someone talking outside she barks, is that normal too? I had complaints about her barking while I’m gone but only from one neighbor only, the one that don’t like me. Haven’t had any complaints in a good while now. What I do is, if I’m at my neighbors close to me and she starts to bark or when she barks when I go out the door I go to the door and bang on it hard and that works immediately. She hasn’t been played with rough, it’s just me here, no kids. She is very smart but is stubburn. Hard to teach tricks, though I have got her to crawl on her belly and sit and stay for a very short time, when she gets a treat, except she will crawl without a bribe for a very short period of time. She gets up by hopping like a rabbit, then she’s up and all over me to play. She hurts when she plays. I’m an older lady and I get marks and bleed easy. She doesn’t mean to hurt but gets too excited and jumps around and paws at me. For all her strength, her being so hyper and her speed, I’d say she had a lot of Jack Russell in her and it’s hard for me but I love her and she is a beautiful dog. I’ve had her since 9 weeks old. I think I may have caused some of her behavorial problems because I had to have my 13 yr. old poodle put down and it hurt so bad that I ran out in a few days and adopted her. Because of this I petted her and loved on her like she was a baby. Please people don’t make that mistake. I think I have that under control now. Oh, and also she sheds a lot, any advice on this or anything else? Thank you.

  18. Tracy on February 23, 2013

    We rescued a cocker spaniel 3 years ago – she’s now estimated to be around 10 years old. She has NEVER cried once when we’re in the house (even if I separate her) but I found out by way of a neighbor that she does cry when we’re out and eventually came to hear it myself when coming home. We’re in a very typical NYC brownstone apt situation which is to say downstairs neighbors hear everything and I don’t know how to handle the situation. I’ve created a “crate” like situation in the hallway with our baby gate (we have an 18 month old) and have just started putting her in this space when we leave. The bedroom doors lead off from this space so I close them so that she only has the hallway space and the bathroom that adjoins. I came home today and she had her nose in the crack of our bedroom and was shaking nervously. How do I adjust her to the space and encourage not crying if she doesn’t actually cry when we’re home?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 24, 2013

      Hi Tracy! Sorry to hear of your troubles! You might find my ebook helpful for your situation. Best of luck to you! The key is to keep leaving for short periods and help your dog learn that good things happen when you leave (yummy! A treat!) and nothing happens when you return (boring).

  19. Isis Allen on February 25, 2013

    I’m having trouble with my new Yorkie puppy. Both my husband and I are in the military and we work late hours from 10 pm-7 am. We try to get Titus into a routine where we let him out of his kennel/cage to relieve himself outside at 7:30 (b/c of distance between the military base and our condo), feed and give him water right after, wait an hr and let him out to relief himself, we put him in his exercise pen with all his toys so we can do errands around the house before we go to bed (my husband likes to stay up after work sometimes until noon so he feeds and relieves the dog for lunch), and we put an alarm to feed/relieve at 4 pm for dinner. Titus is not doing so well with the exercise pen. He starts yelping/barking/screaming you name it he does it. His exercise pen (is octagon shaped) is in the living room where all the action is happening. I would be doing stuff in the kitchen and he can see me from his cage. I try to follow advice and ignore him when he’s barking but I feel bad for my neighbors. His exercise pen is filled with toys and I’m hoping he would get distracted by them but instead he whines and barks and this can go for minutes to hours. I only go to him when he stops crying and after I finish my house chores I play with him until I’m ready for bed. Once my husband and I get ready for bed and start to leave the room, Titus starts crying again. He also does this when we are getting ready to leave for work when he is put into his kennel for bed. I’m not sure what to do. I want him to be able to entertain himself if we are gone, busy with errands, or in bed instead of crying. Please help me.

    * I do play with him when I get home from work, after he goes to relieve himself, and before I go to bed in the morning.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 25, 2013

      Ignore, ignore, ignore. The first time, it might take hours. The second time, 45 minutes. The next, 30. If you ignore the crying, he should eventually stop.

      Try filling Kong-type toys with the absolutely, most smelly treats you can think of, and freeze them. Try canned dog food, fish flavored or possibly chicken broth with kibble in it and frozen.

      I have written an ebook with detailed suggestions:

  20. Joe on March 8, 2013

    Hi, I have a Labrador 9 week old puppy, I live in a shared house and have had my puppy for 2 weeks now, he is good at learning and picks up fast, only problem is he crys when I leave, I have only left him 2 hours max and he just crys very loud, I leave him in my living-room and kitchen with an open crate, he starts to cry after about 5 min of me leaving him (after his kong toys) and recently started messing things up like chewing wires and knocking over the bin/chairs, also my main problem is that I will soon have to start leaving him 5 and a half hours! Mon – Friday on alternative shifts, and the next week will be 4 hours! Please help because if I can’t do this I may have to leave my job!
    Thank you

  21. Joe on March 8, 2013

    Hi, I have a Labrador 9 week old puppy, I live in a shared house and have had my puppy for 2 weeks now, he is good at learning and picks up fast, only problem is he crys when I leave, I have only left him 2 hours max and he just crys very loud, I leave him in my living-room and kitchen with an open crate, he starts to cry after about 5 min of me leaving him (after his kong toys) and recently started messing things up like chewing wires and knocking over the bin/chairs, also my main problem is that I will soon have to start leaving him 5 and a half hours! Mon – Friday on alternative shifts, and the next week will be 4 hours! Please help because if I can’t do this I may have to leave my job!
    Thank you.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 9, 2013

      Leave him in his crate with the door closed and ignore him when he cries. Keep giving him Kongs to chew when you leave him. You can freeze them so they last longer, and you can fill two or three Kongs for him. Put the crate in a central room of the house so he won’t be quite as bothersome to everyone around you. Apologize and explain you are working on the problem. He should get better in a week or so once he adjusts to your routine.

      I know it’s hard and stressful. Best of luck!

  22. Trevor on March 8, 2013

    What about if its an 11 week old puppy?
    I am trying to crate train him. Today I went back at lunch for a quick walk. The neighbour told me he s been crying all day. I understand that he is probably missing his mom and brothers, but I have to disagree with your exercise theory, as I take him for a very long puppy walk every morning, and night, and play with him constantly.
    I feel bad when he is whining and it breaks my heart.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 8, 2013

      I know it’s hard, but ignore the whining. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

  23. Joe on March 9, 2013

    Thank you for reply, what about the hours I will be leaveing him, what is the best thing to do? And am I been nasty by leaving him?

  24. Joe on March 9, 2013

    I may consider doing that.
    I would like to know if leaveing him for 5 hours daily is a bad idia? As This will be something I will have to do, I want the best for him

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 9, 2013

      He will be just fine. Plenty of people work full time and have dogs. The only issue you may have right now since he is still pretty little is he may physically have to go to the bathroom before you get home. He may only be able to hold it for four hours. If you have someone who could let him out once while you are gone, that might be best. If not, then don’t worry too much. Many people run home to let their puppies home during a lunch break, which means the dogs/puppies will still end up being home for 4-6 hours in a stretch. You’ll make it work. Don’t stress out too much. Dogs adapt.

  25. jake on March 12, 2013

    This is great advice, I will be sending some of my new puppy parents here.

  26. Amber on March 13, 2013

    Hello, i’m 15 and I have a 1 year old cockapoo named Paisley, I got her the spring of last year. She was very quiet when i got her, but not at night. As time went on she got better and didn’t cry at night anymore. She has done pretty well with potty training, but now she’ll just go when and wherever she wants. She cries all day when she’s in her crate and out of the crate, even when i hold her or talk to her. her stomack area is pink, is that normal? She constanly chases her tail, bites her bottom, bites her hind legs somtimes and licks her area, especially at night when i’m trying to sleep. She barks at every person or dog she sees or hears and tries to bite them being over protective. She barks at every little sound she hears, even floor creeking. She’s a very loving puppy though, her favorite person is my mom, she gets so excited when she talks to her that she’ll pee whenevere and wherever. She jumps very high and cries whille jumping, braks while jumping, or even triens to bite while jumping too. The last time she’s been around a male dog was around thanksgiving last year. I try giving her treats when shes good or does cry, or when I leave but nothing works. Some days her nose is dry, and others it very wet. Sometimes she’ll eat A LOT and others she’ll eat little or no food. When I’m eat or my family is, she jumps and tries to get food. She beggs A LOT and if you’re not looking, she’ll swipe her had across the table and knock the food and other things on tnhe table onto the floor. Sometimes she’ll try to stick her paw in our food too. But the most annoying thing is her constant criying. I’m beggining to think this is hopeless and that I’m a bad owner. I love her alot and tell her that all of the time. Ieven give her kisses. And I let her kiss me once in a while. My parents are threatening to give her away but I LOVE HER SO MUCH AND WOULD CRY FOREVER TO SEE HER GO! I need help, SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 14, 2013

      Wow, that’s a lot of different problems rolled into one. Here are some suggestions you can start with:

      1. Take your dog for a long walk every single day. At least 30 minutes. Keep her at your side rather than out in front. You can do this by not giving her a lot of slack in the leash.

      2. Work on some solid obedience skills. That may mean you need to sign up for a dog obedience class in your community, which will likely be once per week.

      Providing both exercise and training to your dog in general will help her feel a bit calmer mentally and physically. She needs some overall structure in her life and she needs to see you as a consistent leader.

      Try to ignore her when she’s jumping and crying. Try to give her attention when she is calm. In her kennel, you can give her toys called Kongs that you can stuff with goodies like peanut butter or canned dog food. Hopefully that will help keep her quieter for at least part of the day/night.

      • Amber on March 14, 2013

        Thank you so much Lindsay! This is alot of help. I forgot to include on her that she shivers alot and make sounds in her sleep and her belly is pink. Are those normal things.

        • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 15, 2013

          The shivering is probably anxiety and pent-up energy, along with any whining she does. Some dogs have pink bellies, especially lighter-colored dogs. If you are concerned, that would be a good question for her vet.

  27. Robin on March 24, 2013

    I adopted a two year old Beagle/Basset mix three weeks ago. Her previous owner would just put her in the backyard every morning and then leave her there all day until late at night when they returned home. As soon as I met her she become instantly attached to me. She follows me around every where and always wants to be by my side. She is a great dog minds well but when I leave the house she is completely distraught. She begins whining and then starts howling like crazy. Now it has turned into her whining when anyone leaves my house and she is just left alone with my roommates. I got her a crate and it stays in my room. She has her own bed but always ends up in mine. Ill put her in her crate when I leave for work and she is usually fine until I return. But when Im at work and my roommates come home she will immediately start whining to be let out and then when they put her back in the crate and leave she starts howling. They will have her out while Im working and she will be calm for a minute and then beginning whining until I return. My roommates are getting frustrated with this. What do I do??!

  28. harriet on March 25, 2013

    hi i would like to know how to stop my dog crying when i am not giving him any attention. i have a cross lab and newfoundland he is 11 months please some advice please

  29. Joyce A. on March 25, 2013

    I am Joyce A. and I posted about needing help with my dog. She is a problem that needs fixing if she can be but she doesn’t listen when she’s excited. My posts dates are Aug. 12 and Sept. after that. Why didn’t you respond to my post to give me some much needed advice? That’s why I signed up for this and why I posted. Thank you.

  30. Joyce A. on March 25, 2013

    Last name is Arnold. I put Joyce A.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 25, 2013


      I am sorry you are having trouble with your dog. How frustrating. Is her main issue still the barking when you are gone? Have you purchased my ebook? There are many tips in it you may find helpful for establishing a consistent routine for a dog. I’m assuming your dog needs a consistent schedule, some solid exercise and some solid obedience skills. Let me know if you need some suggestions for those things.

      Are you walking her every day? If she is as active as she sounds, I would try walking her with a dog backpack on for two 30-minute walks per day. During these walks, you could practice some obedience skills – sit, down, stay, heel, come. Also, taking her to some obedience classes might help.

      Is your dog kennel trained? Often, leaving a dog in a kennel when alone helps them stay relaxed. It sounds like your dog might be barking because she hears people outside and just wants to see them or scare them away. Some dogs become more protective of the house when the owners are away. If she stays in a kennel (with some goodies like Kong toys) she might be more likely to be calm and quiet. Otherwise, you may want to consider a citronella spray collar.

      Here is a link to my ebook:

  31. Joyce Arnold on March 25, 2013

    The barking while I’m gone has corrected itself apparently. I ask my landlord the other day if he had any more complaints and he said no. At that time the neighbor that moved in next to me doesn’t like people and doesn’t get along with almost no one. My landlord at the time said the neighbor may be making noise to get her to bark. The reason she may have done this is because when she first moved in, about a week, my dog ran out the door while a friend was leaving. She said my dog attacked her cat but I went out immediately and I didn’t hear any sign that she did. She probably went up to the cat out of curiousity. She ran her back in my yard and that should have been enough, but as soon as I got out she was hiding behind her brick wall and jumped out at me, jumped on me and cursed me out. She was so bad that I got very upset. She was moving around like she wanted to fight. I had not even met her before this. I’ve been here over 12 years and never had any problem with anyone or caused any trouble. Until she had been here just one week. It was about 6 months after that that she conplaimed about her barking. Why didn’t she complain before that if my dog had been barking that much. The neighbor before her liked my dog and I didn’t get one complaint about her barking, and no one else complained at that time she was complaining.

    I also started listening for her to bark when I left and when I came back. I would stop on the parking lot and listen and she wasn’t barking. When I went to a friends house just across the yard in front of my apartment. I stayed for hours most times and she didn’t bark. We sat on her porch and she didn’t bark so I think she just wanted me to lose my dog. She doesn’t like dogs, just cats. After that it was a big problem with her for about 4 or 5 months. She even called the police out while I was gone. I went and got the police report and the officer said he didn’t hear a dog bark.

    Now my main problem is she loves company so much that she jumps on them when they get through the door and she is very strong for her size and I couldn’t hold her. She wants to be the center of attention while they are here. I finally put her ball up that she wanted them to play with her. That stopped that but she still wanted to be center of attention. I finally told my visitors to ignore her and when she was ignored she would chew on her bone laying still and quietly on the floor, but she still jumps and if they pay attention to her they didn’t get any peace. So far no one has cared that she did that but when she was still they liked that better. I cared but she either ignores me or is too excited to hear me. Ignoring works, but at the door if I can’t hold her while the door is open she will run out and she don’t come back until she got ready. I can’t catch her and no one else can. She is fast. This is why I think she has a lot of Jack Russel in her. She has a will and mind of her own.

    She is very smart. She has learned how to sit and now she comes to me when I call her when we are inside. She has learned how to lay down and crawl on her belly. I leave a pad on the bathroom floor in case she needs to go when I’m gone or I don’t get her out in time. She has learned to show me that she has used the paper when I asked does she have something to show me and she does for a treat. If she messes up and doesn’t get a treat though a few times because she had used the bathroom floor, then she messes up a lot. Get her back on treats and she does fine again. She doesn’t go any where but the bathroom though. The main trouble is her jumping on people and she can jump almost up to a womans face. I don’t know what to do about this except close her up in another room and I don’t think that will train her. She is strong but kind of small but she puts her front paws on you when she jumps and she can make you really feel it. She could make a weak person fall backwards. Jack Russel I think again.

    A man that worked on our apartments raises them and he said she was a lot Jack Russell but she has a beard and eye brows like a snauswer, so I think she is a mix there but they are both Terriers and I hear they do have a lot of energy and are very hyper. She plays rough and scratches me when I play with her. One more thing she used to do when she got canned dog food once in a while. I would put the can on the floor and she would pick it up and bring it to me when I told her to. That was cute but she doesn’t do that any more. I need help with this jumping on people and if company plays with her I need her to learn not to worry people so much wanting them to play with her. She has to have all the attention then unless I put her ball up and she is ignored. Please.

    I’ve considered having her put on something to slow and calm her down. When we’re here alone she sleeps a lot and is very quiet.

    Sorry about the length of my post. Any advice please and thanks for the reply.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 25, 2013

      With the jumping at the door, keep a leash on her. Step on the leash so if she jumps, she self corrects herself. Once people are inside, put her on her bed or a specific place and teach “stay” or “place” as a command. At first, I’m sure this will be too much of a challenge, so keep her on a leash and keep have her stay lying down at your feet. You can step on the leash close to her collar so she does not have enough room to walk around. Or, you can tether her leash to a chair across the room. Ignore her when she cries and acts excited. When she is calm, quiet and has all four paws on the ground, by all means, give her attention.

      This will require lots of practice without distractions at first. As I said in my previous comment, work on some solid obedience skills. Work up to the point where she will stay no matter what with minimal distractions and then add mild distractions and increase the length of time. Practice every day in short sessions and in different environments.

  32. Robin on March 26, 2013

    What is a citronella spray collar?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 26, 2013

      It sprays citronella when the dog barks. It doesn’t hurt the dog, but most dogs don’t like the smell and they learn not to bark. I would only use one when the dog is kenneled.

  33. Robin on March 26, 2013

    Oh ok! Thank you! Ill try that! I got the Thundershirt and that doesnt seem to make much of a difference

  34. Louise on May 2, 2013

    I have had my puppy almost a week now and trying crate training he goes in and out crate freely all day and sleeps too but at night it’s a total nightmare my partner has to put the crate in the room this calms him a little but now he’s howling all nite my partner keeps giving in and bringing him in the bed!!! Causing fraustration as I have told my partner it’s worst move he could make! Any tips anyone as I’d prefer the crate downstairs as I don’t want dog too dependant on our company as we have a 6 month old son too

  35. Joyce Arnold on May 12, 2013

    I have a 3 1/2 snaswer (not spelled corr.) Jack Russel mix dog. My problem is when I take her out on a leash she slips out of her collar, harness, or body harnass. I can’t tighten her collar more. I don’t understand how she does this but I’ve never found anything to hold her. After she gets loose I have to wait until she gets tired, hot or cold before she comes to the door wanting in. Noone can catch her, she runs when I get close to her and she is very fast. I can’t bribe her with food or treats even human food. What can I do. I know the body harness is tight, the other one is very tight behind her front legs and her stomach. Also can you tell me a breed of small dog that does not shed and needs very little grooming? Please help!
    Joyce A.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 13, 2013

      Try putting two types of collars on her, such as a harness and a collar and either using two leashes or clipping the two together. Or, try a choke/slip collar, which will tighten when she tries to slip out.

      Don’t pretty much all dogs shed or need grooming? Maybe try an Italian greyhound or a Mexican hairless-type dog.

  36. KCory on May 13, 2013

    Would a weighted vest be appropriate for a puppy for walks? I’m nervous about running a puppy from what I’ve read about hip dysplasia risks, but I think the little guy would benefit from higher intensity exercise.

    I’ve been using a frozen kong in the crate (with peanut butter, dog food pieces, and greek yogurt), but it seems like once he realizes I’m really gone and has finished his kong, begins crying for longer periods of time. Do I just need more busy time tasks?

  37. Po on June 8, 2013

    I’m about ready to kill my piece of shit dog.

  38. Micayla on June 12, 2013

    I have been reading your blog and it has a lot of really helpful information!

    So, I have (my family has) a 6 year old Jack Russell Terrier named Charlie. We have never had a problem leaving him home alone until about a year ago. We were always able to leave home home for long days and he wouldn’t have accidents and he did not destroy anything. About a year ago, my last sister left home, and he has since been home with my parents. However, about a year ago, something happened to him while he was off by himself in our woods. (We live out in the country and he has always stayed in the yard so he has never been tied up). He was attacked by something, we are not sure if it was a neighbor dog or a wild animal, but since then, he gets very nervous when left alone. The first incident was him jumping on our desk and knocking everything off and he also dug at the door. Shortly after that, we bought a kennel and started kenneling him when we leave because he wasn’t trusted enough to be left out. He has since then almost destroyed the kennel, he moves the kennel across the room, and his latest thing is peeing out the door of the kennel… He is very well behaved when we are home, and has not gotten to the point of following us room to room. He even sleeps in his own bed on a different level of the house.
    I am really concerned about this behavior and even more so because I am taking him with me now that I am done with college. However, I will be moving into an apartment and I am concerned mostly about the barking when I am gone at work. Do you have any suggestions to help with this? I would really like to be able to take him, because I think in the long run he will be more happy because I will have more time with him than my parents. But, I need help getting over the anxiety!
    Thank you!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on June 13, 2013

      How frustrating. I address those issues in my ebook here:

      I’m wondering if the dog will be OK once you move to your apartment. Maybe it is something about your parents house that triggers the anxiety due to the incident you described. Let’s hope!

      Sticking to a consistent routine and remaining calm yourself will be a big help.

  39. tracy on June 24, 2013

    i have a staffordshire bull terrier cross. i got her at 11 months old and she had already had 11 owners. i was unemployed when i got her, 6 months later i moved house, i got a job full time, 2 months after that. that was 15 months ago, and my dog still cries. we didnt know until 4 months ago, we now put her in the largest crate we could find. she is given a kong with cheese in every morning, when she is in her cage. she is walked before i go to work. i have recently started leaving the tv on to see if the background noise helps. she is still crying. we have had a noise recording of her, and nothing instigates the crying. there is no pattern or routine. it could be anything from 10 minutes after we leave, to 4 hours. but it is every day. please help.

  40. Kate on July 7, 2013

    I have a 9 week old golden mix who crys and howls everytime we leave him alone outside when he is in his crate at night and during the day he crys a little after we go to bed but settles down and when we leave he crys a little too but seems to calm down no problem my problem is when i put him outside either on a long leash or in his pen the moment i leave to go Inside he howls and crys all he wants to do is be outside but unless one of us is outside and our attention is on him then he crys and whines we got him from a refuge over a week ago im not sure what to do we live in town and my fiance dosent want any complaints from our Neighbors any advice would be great

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on July 8, 2013

      At this stage it’s probably best to just keep on ignoring the puppy and keep looking for ways to build his confidence. Leave him alone for short periods even while you are home. For example, tie the end of his leash to a chair, walk across the room and return to him the second he is quiet. Or, walk into another room, close the door behind you and don’t let your puppy in until he’s quiet.