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
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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. Nora on December 15, 2011

    I have a three month old beagle Sheltie mix, she has been really good about using her crate. She sleeps in it at night and during the day for naps. She recently has stop using her crate, after we left her for an hour. she wont go in it even if her favorite toy or treats are in it. I don’t know how to get her back to using her crate.

  2. Charolotte on December 21, 2011

    I have a 3 month old pomeranian, hes been fine after we got him home for the first couple weeks, but now he starts to constantly whine during the night and day. I will definetly try these suggestions. I had a feeling it may be boredom.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on December 21, 2011

      Sticking to a consistent routine will help, as well as ignoring him when he cries. Step up his exercise when you can, as well as training so he gets a good mental workout, too. And make sure to leave him with some tempting goodies like Kong toys filled with peanut butter when you leave. Best of luck with your new puppy!

  3. Pam on January 19, 2012

    I have a 14 year old yellow lab who has been wonderful! We went away for 2 weeks last summer, and for the first time left her with a dog sitter. The dog sitter came 3 times a day. Even though I told the sitter to let her out for a minimum of 45 minutes, I don’t think that happened.

    She used to sleep all night in her bed in our family room. She now has to sleep right outside our bedroom door. She recently began to pace all night. No one is getting any sleep any more.

    We used to be able to leave her all day in our basement workshop. She was in this room during our 2 week vacation. We installed a camera to watch her, and the other day she really started to cry and whine. She paces almost the entire time we are gone.

    I recently brought up the crate and set it up in our family room, so we could retrain her. I only intend to put her in this at night so we could all get some sleep.

    Any suggestions on how to calm her down?

    Thanks,

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on January 19, 2012

      Since she is 14, I think you should talk to the vet to rule out any medical problems. Do you think it could be that? Possibly it is uncomfortable for her to lie down or something like that?

      I also want you to think about your own emotions when you left her last summer. Did you feel guilty? Did you treat her differently when you returned? I don’t think it’s likely the pet sitter did anything wrong. I am a pet sitter and dogs do just fine when I visit them three times per day. The go back to their normal routines very easily when their owners return. I do know, however, that if the owner is acting anxious, the dog acts accordingly.

      If you need to re-train her, I do think you have the right idea. Go back to the basics. If she is in a kennel, she is not going to be able to pace around and add to her own anxiety. Encourage her to lie down in the kennel with a yummy Kong toy filled with peanut butter or her other favorite goodies.

  4. Chyna on January 19, 2012

    First of all lindsay u can’t put a handful of treats in a dog kennel. That can make them sick. Best thing u can do is care 4 them everyday so they no u care.no one can under stand ur pet as much as u do. That’s life babe deal wit it

  5. mikayla on January 21, 2012

    Hi. I have a nearly 2 year old collie cross terrier, i rescued him a year ago but since i have moved into my new house last october my neighbours have done nothing but complain! I have tried create training, being the alpha dog, leaving treats and toys and he is walked twice a day anyway. He is well behaved while im home the problem is only when i am out at work , etc. I dont know what else to do and it seems my whole street has had enough of his howling.
    Please help? I really dont want to rehome him.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on January 22, 2012

      You need to slowly decrease his dependence on you by leaving him for short periods at a time and increasing that time. You definitely need to keep him in a crate. A dog that is anxious out of the crate will also be anxious in the crate, but with time he should learn to feel more secure in the crate. Try some anti-anxiety medication from your dog’s vet if you believe it is necessary. It’s not ideal and I normally don’t like to recommend this. But if you are facing getting rid of the dog, it could help you out while you work on conditioning him to being left alone. The goal would be to eventually take him off the meds.

      Increase the exercise. Double whatever he is getting. Try dog daycare once a week. Fill his Kong toys with extra good treats like real meat. Some people even fill them with chicken broth and freeze them. Find something that is really tempting to him and use three or four Kongs if needed to keep him occupied.

  6. Pam on January 21, 2012

    Thanks Lindsay. We will take her to the vet to be sure she is ok. I forgot to add that she did have a urinary tract infection when we got home. She may associate that room with pain.

    You are correct. I did feel VERY guilty about leaving her so long, so I’m sure I feel very anxious and guity around her now.

    Thanks for the advice.

  7. Jackie on January 23, 2012

    Hi Lindsay
    I have a 7 year old cockerspaniel that i adopted from a shelter.i work nights and usually get home by 12 midnight..he howls n cries everytime i leave.i even had to take him to work a couple of times because my neighborhs are complaining. I cant afford a kennel n i just want him to learn how to stay alone and not cry. i really love my dog n dont wanna take him back to the shelter please help

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on January 24, 2012

      Unfortunately these things take some time, like weeks or months. So only you know if you are able to work on this with the dog or not.

      I suggest leaving him in a bedroom or bathroom. Giving him lots of Kong toys filled with peanut butter. Leave a fan on and the TV and radio. Stick to a consistent routine. Increase his exercise as much as possible. And perhaps most importantly, stay calm and relaxed yourself. Try to picture a perfect scenario without feeling bad. Dogs respond to our own feelings so much.

      If you really have to get this under control immediately, you could look into a shock collar or anti-anxiety medication. This would be a good question to ask your vet.

  8. Jackie on January 26, 2012

    Thanks Lindsay ,
    I am going to try what you have suggested and I will let you know how it goes.

  9. Gabbi on January 30, 2012

    I have a 4 year old bichon frise. He used to sleep in a cage but after time grew to sleep without it. Recently he began crying all night long so we put him back to the crate but that hasn’t had any affect on his constant cries. We are finding it difficult to deal with now as I live with elderly grandparents and I am in my exam year at school. Please help, my grandparents are talking about getting rid of him :’(

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 6, 2012

      Where do you have his crate at night? Could you put it right by your bed? I realize this may not be ideal, but most dogs will be quiet if they are right by you. This won’t exactly decrease his dependence on you, but it might help him adjust to the crate and quiet down for the time being.

      I always suggest lots of exercise and general obedience training, working up to a long down/stay for up to a half-hour. This requires a lot of self-control from a dog, which will help build his confidence and lessen the dependence on his owner. Also buy Kong-type toys and fill them with peanut butter or extra yummy treats.

  10. Sophie O on February 1, 2012

    Hi, I have a 14 week old lab. He is lovely in the day but he cannot be left alone, i have to have him in my room at night as my neighbours complained to my landlord. I am going back to work now and need desperatly to find a way to leave him on his own without the constant crying. Every time he is left he crys non stop until he is let out. I also tried him with a crate from the begining but he would get his teeth and paws caught as he tried to escape so i have had to stop using it. Please help.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 6, 2012

      What kind of crate did you use? One of those wire ones? I highly suggest you continue with the crate training, and use one of the plastic ones. Those are sturdier and seem a bit safer for dogs that try to get out. Stick with it, and it will pay off.

      You may have to consider dog daycare for him since you have neighbors complaining.

  11. Lori on February 6, 2012

    From what I have read, I am beginning to think I am more worried than I needed to be.

    My boyfriend and I recently got a puppy. And luckily, my boyfriend works close enough to run home mid-day to let him out for a potty break and a quick run/play session.

    However, when he is put in his crate during the day (and sometimes we have to shove him in there or toss a treat then shut the door quickly), he cries and howls and whines so pitifully that it just breaks my heart. This only lasts at the most 15 minutes and some days as short as 4 minutes. (we recorded him) And when we crate him at night, he goes right to sleep.

    We have only been him for 4 weeks; he is 12 weeks now. I beginning to think that 15 minutes is not that long, but it sounds so sad. We do resist (if we are still at home) and ignore him. He is just too descructive to leave out yet. And the crating has worked for house training….2 weeks and counting since the last accident.

    Will he ever be content in the crate during the day? Should I worry about it? Is he doing ok? All our other dogs are great in crates… quiet and happy to be in there. But they are 14 and 7 years old and were adopted crate trained.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 6, 2012

      Oh my, you do not even have a problem! It’s normal for a pup to cry for a few minutes while getting used to a routine. Do not feel one bit bad for him. The crate will keep him safe and help him learn to calm down when alone. Once he’s older he will have earned the privilege to be loose when left alone. But don’t start with that until he is at least a year old.

  12. Rhian on February 6, 2012

    Hi, I am dog sitting for a friend and am concerned with leaving him all day while I work. where he has been passed to a few people in the past couple months due to his owners struggling with home situations, I think he may be worried about being left alone. I think he feels we’re not coming back. He is a 3 year old staffy and he is so kind and gentle but after his first day alone in the house my neighbours came around to say he sounded distressed. Pasing the house and howling and barking for 5 hours straight. I have walked him twice a day, he has treats and toys and plenty of attention ( when I’m here ) What can you suggest I do?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 6, 2012

      It would probably help to keep him confined to a small room. Make a comfy bed for him and leave a radio or TV on. Give him some Kong toys filled with peanut butter. Exercise him as much as possible.

      How long will you have this dog?

  13. Heidi on February 6, 2012

    Hi. I have a 5 (almost) month old miniature pincher. This dog makes me want to pull my hair out. I have tried the king but it doesn’t seem to work. He has finally stopped crying through the night and is becoming better at using the bathroom outside. The real problem is whining. The most annoying high pitched whine that has my ears ringing the rest of the day. I get up to use the bathroom he has to come with me else he sits outside the door and whines. He always has to be in someone’s lap else he sits at your feet and whines while staring at you. He jumps on everybodys lap. I know he knows the simple commands “no” and such but it literally takes up 12 times before he listens. But the big problem is the constant need to be by me or my fiance 24/7. When we leave he barks for 20 minutes, which doesn’t bother me because I’m not home to hear it- when people come over we have to keep him in his crate because the company doesn’t like it when he jumps in their lap (it hurts because he is so energetic) and he’s barking his butt off. I could probably get him more exercise so he’s not so hyper… But my big question is why is he so needy? I need my space… In my eyes he is a big baby who needs to learn to be alone sometimes. I don’t want to resort to a shock collar but if I have to I will. My fiancee is at work all the time so he doesn’t understand why I always have a headache. Please help I can’t get rid of him its my fiancés dog and I don’t want to make him unhappy and I want the dog to have a good home!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 7, 2012

      Basically you need to ignore him. A lot. He whines for attention. So as long as he is getting some companionship, training and exercise every day, he does not need to be touching one of you 24/7. Somewhere along the line he because way to dependent on you and your fiance. So slowly decrease that dependence. Totally ignore him when he whines or acts excited in general (hard for a minpin, I know!). Tether him to a doorknob so he can’t follow you everywhere. Ignore the whining. Return when he is quiet for even a few seconds. This will take time, but you should slowly see improvements. And definitely increase his exercise. Take him running every day if you can. Also be very firm with him when you tell him “off” when you don’t want him in your lap or on the couch. I would actually enforce a no dogs on the furniture rule right now and keep it that way. Teach him that he will be just fine sitting on the floor. That alone will be a challenge for this dog. Tie him to a chair across the room if you need to to keep him off your lap. He will whine, but don’t even look at him. You could try squirting him with a water bottle when he whines, but make sure he doesn’t see that as a reward because he has your attention.

  14. Laurelie on February 8, 2012

    Hi,

    I have a 7 year old dog, who’s pretty well behaved. He’s been starting to cry recently–for no physical or internal reason that I can discern. He gets lots of exercise and play time, plenty of water in his bowl at all times, fed his regular food and lots of treats, hugs and pettings–but I am away from home for 8 hrs a day… He’s always been a very emotionally needy dog–very cuddly and loving (to humans only–he’s not a big fan of other dogs). We had another dog, but he passed away 6 months ago–but my other dog never really cared much for him and didn’t mourn his passing because he wanted all human attention on him and he was jealous of the dog that passed away. I am afraid he might be depressed. What can I do to help him? It hurts me to see him this way and to hear his cries :(

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 17, 2012

      Does he cry when you leave him alone? Or does he cry in general?

      It’s hard to know what is causing him to cry, but I have a strong feeling that it’s because he is so in tune with you. Obviously you were grieving over your other dog and probably still are. All of that change can be a lot for a dog – losing the other dog and picking up on the deep sadness from his owner.

      I would do your best to look at your own feelings. Try not to feel bad for your dog when you leave him home alone. He will pick up on this nervousness/guilt and act accordingly. Instead, think positive thoughts – what a lucky dog he is to be able to lounge around in this nice, climate-controlled environment with a bed and treats while I slave away at my job!

  15. manon on February 14, 2012

    Hey… i have a hound puppy that i do take for walks like 6. times a day she is 6 months and never been alone since i had purchased her until now… i live in a small apartment and u can hear everything threw the walls and she crys everytime i leave, she is quit for about 5 minutes then she starts whining and a loud whine. i leave her for a few more minutes but then she. doesnt stop i dont no what to do including that im expecting in 2 weeks but if i leave her in the car she doesnt cry why is that…. she just sits calm and doesnt have a care in the world but i hate leaving her in the cars for hours while im at my friends its not good for her… thanks

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 17, 2012

      She doesn’t cry in the car because she associates the car with being with you and going somewhere fun. She associated being left at home with just that – being left alone. You will have to slowly get her conditioned to being left home alone.

  16. Rachel on February 16, 2012

    Hi, i just want to say thank you to everyone who has commented.. I thought I was the only person out there with a puppy that cried all night. The first 2 nights were ok, he did wake when my husband got up for work at 5am and went into the bathroom where he sleeps in his bed to fill his bowl with puppy milk, he did cry after he left.. But last night we were woken at about 1am with him crying, he cried all night and we had the worst sleep. So i know now to ignore it, iv filled his bed today with lots of warm things(even though it is summer here) and to give it some time.. I hope this works.. but thanks for the reassurance.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 17, 2012

      Yep, just ignore, ignore, ignore! He should get better once he adjusts to your schedule.

  17. Natalie on February 19, 2012

    Hi,
    Im really glad to find out I am not alone in this. We got a 2 month old puppy two days ago. She was with us the whole first day and we closed the kicthen and put her bed in ther for her to sleep at night. Sh whined for about 10 minutes and went to sleep. Yesterday, i did the same only to find her in bed because she had jumped out of the kitchen. I decided to put her on her crate but she cried for a good 25 minutes and I was scared my neighbors would complain so i took her out to my bedroom. I know i am doing the wrong thing but her crying makes me so sad as well as fearful of my neighbors complaints. Should i bring the crate tonight to my bed ? I panicked and called the person that gave her to me telling her i might have to give her back. My husband tells me I need to be stronger but it is so hard to ignore the crying. Also on Tuesday I will leave her for the first time alone for 8 hours do you reccomend me leaving her in the kitchen outside her crate or inside?
    Thank you so much!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 24, 2012

      I recommend the crate when you are gone. It is not such a big deal if she is crying for a half-hour. That is normal puppy behavior and she should get over that if you ignore her. You are not doing her any good by going to her every time she cries. You are teaching her she gets attention for crying.

      At night, I think it would be just fine to have her kennel in your bedroom. That way she’ll learn to accept the kennel but she will also be right next to you. Most dogs don’t cry in their kennels if they can see their owners.

  18. Scott on February 22, 2012

    Hi, My partner and I have just bought home a 9 week Labrador pup and would just like some advice that we are doing the right thing…

    Our main concern is the barking during the day when I leave, although I have taken time off work to house train him and try and avoid this issue as our neighbours are likely to get upset but when I go back to work I want to make sure he isn’t disturbing everyone.

    What are the best things I can do to ensure my pup is going to be well trained and fairly quiet?

    So far he has a kong filled with peanut butter, is getting quality and play time, a tray of water, stuffed chew toys, a ball, liver treats when he sits down and is booked in to puppy pre school in 2 weeks from now. We are trying to restrict him to the backyard as he kept weeing on his bed inside the house and preferably we would like him to be an outside dog. He plays fine when we are with him and he is still sleeping a lot and will flop down anywhere. Is he just too young still? It has only been about 4 days that he has been with us…

    Any tips?

  19. Melissa on February 22, 2012

    Hi Lindsay,

    I have a 9 week old Cockapoo puppy that is having a very tough time adjusting to her crate. I’m really conflicted about night time. Most of what I read says to ignore the crying but she’s so little and I know she has to pee. I’m certain it’s the main reason she’s yelping at night because once I started letting her out to pee she only cries out twice a night as opposed to all night. I’m worried though. Since she’s yelping to pee and I go let her out am I creating an expectation that I’ll come when she calls? Should I just let her soil her crate and buy good ear plugs? This seems cruel.

    The day time is another story. I took a week off from work to try and get her used to spending her days in the crate. I’ve made it really comfortable. She has lots of toy options, hidden treats and a Kong Filled with peanut butter and I praise her constantly. Yet whenever I put her in she tries to quickly rush back out and if I lock it she screams and it’s non-stop screaming. I tried to encourage her to go in on her own with treats but she tries to stretch her whole little body the length of the crate to grab the treat so she’s not taking the chance of getting locked in. The only thing that works is to put her in and let her scream but then lay there with her until she calms down enough to sleep. I’m home right now but as of next week I’ll be out of the house all day. I have someone coming in mid-day to let her outside but then it’s right back in until I’m home. I know she isn’t going to accept this and will probably scream the whole time. She’s perfectly content to sleep her day away as long as she isn’t in the crate.

    Can you offer any suggestions. I’m just sick with worry about leaving her next week. She spent the first 8 weeks of her life in a kennel at the breeders house so I wasn’t expecting such an aversion to her crate. Thank you so much!!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 24, 2012

      The trick is to go to her before she starts crying. If you know she has to pee once in the middle of the night, then set your alarm and let her out before she cries. That way you are not rewarding her for crying.

      As for during the day, since you are in a house and not an apartment, I would just let her bark and carry on. She will eventually overcome this if you keep working with her. Don’t worry so much. Worrying will only increase her anxiety. I do like the idea of someone visiting her midday to let her out and break up her time alone.

  20. Matt on February 22, 2012

    Hi Lindsay,

    I just rescued a 2-3 year old German Shepard this last thursday. We introduced her to the crate properly and she loves it, so far no negative feelings with the crate she will go in there just to lay down. we exercise her twice a day for a min 45 mins each. She is on a strict potty schedule\feeding schedule\Exercise schedule. So far so good ! With the wonders of modern technology I have been able to monitor her on my phone through my at home web cam. The first time leaving her in her crate (6hrs) she was fine for the first 5 mins then whined for a while, then gave up. I came home everything was okay. that went on for a couple days except for today ! Today i set up the web came like normal and left, she was okay for a couple mins then whined and gave out a very quiet bark lol. and then bit the cage and started to move some of the bedding around. we have always had a blanket over the back half of the crate, and she was pulling the blanket through the cage and biting it. It seems like we have had backwards progress today ! Also when my wife got home our dog was acting out, very combative and non obedient ( which is unusual she learned all her tricks in like 20 mins and loves repeating them ). Unfortunately my phone had a hic-up and i couldn’t view her after the whining and chewing so i dont know what transpired past that point. Is there anything I can do to prevent that initial Whining and Destructiveness because it seems like every time i leave to work there is a period of time where she is okay and then she starts to act out for about 5-10 mins….then gives up.

    • Matt on February 22, 2012

      OH also, i do leave a kong with some peanut butter …she licks it till i go out the door and then stares at the door.

      • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 24, 2012

        She sounds a bit bored. The problem doesn’t sound too bad as of now. I know quite a few dogs who will pull on their bedding or yip a bit. Sounds like you are doing all the right things.

        A few things you could try:

        Don’t feed her in a bowl at all. Make her eat all her food from puzzle-type toys to make her think and burn some of that mental energy. She’s very intelligent. There are all kinds of treat-dispensing toys out there you can fill with kibble.

        Try using a dog backpack on all of her walks. Fill it with a small amount of weight. This will burn more physical energy and give her a job, burning more mental energy :)

        Congrats on the new dog! I think you are handling everything correctly.

        • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 24, 2012

          Also make sure to freeze the peanut-butter filled Kong. It will last longer that way.

  21. Mick on March 2, 2012

    Hi i have a 3yr old staffie, i had him from a loving home 3weeks ago, the problem is if i go out of the house he cries and barks constant, but if i take him to work i can leave him in the cab of my van and he just sits there quiet, i have left him for over 30mins and not a peep, do you think if i get him a cage it would stop him been so anxious in the house when left, any help would be greatly recieved. Mick

    • Pete on July 17, 2012

      I have the same issue. My doggy is fine in the back of my car for any amount of time whereas in the house she barks constantly when left alone in the house. Even when she is with someone else (that she likes) she still whines until I return. I’ve done everything bar getting her a Kennel. I guess I’ll have to get her one.

  22. Mick on March 2, 2012

    ps just to add to the above he has loads of excersise morning and night

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 4, 2012

      He is likely quiet in the car because he associates the vehicle with you. I’m sure his past owners brought him in the car too, and he associates the car with being with people and going somewhere fun. A lot of dogs are this way.

      So, unfortunately a crate at home will not be a quick fix. I would still get one to keep him safe and out of trouble. Plus, a lot of dogs are a bit calmer if they are in a kennel because there is less pressure for them about what to do. Instead, they just take a nap.

  23. Courtney on March 31, 2012

    I have a 4 month old yorkie chihuahua mix. She’s about 4lbs. She’s a very intelligent puppy. However I cannot get her to stop crying when I leave the room, take a shower, or leave the house. I have a kennel for her. I give her treats and a kong when I leave. I also have lots of her toys, and a shirt that has my scent on it in the kennel. However, As soon as she hears the house door open she starts whining. Also when I get home, all of her treats are still in the kennel untouched. I let her out of the kennel once she she stops crying, then give her a treat. She also runs around crying for about 10 min after I let her out of the kennel. I only leave her 4 hours max in the kennel. Not everyday either. Only every couple days she will be put in there. She will walk in and out of the kennel while Im home. I try and take her for walks as much as I can but she seems to just shake because it seems to cold for her. She also spends a lot of her time playing with our other dog for hours. I also try and teach her new things as long as she can pay attention. She catches on fast. However, this kennel thing just isn’t working for her. Once it gets nicer outside she will be going on very long walks so I’m sure that will help her.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 18, 2012

      What does she do if you leave her loose in a bedroom with access to her kennel?

      • Megan on March 6, 2013

        I have this same exact problem. He doesn’t care about the treats I give him he just cries and barks. If the door is open on the crate he goes in and takes a nap or plays on his own. But the second you shut the door he flips out

  24. gemma dingley on May 12, 2012

    i have a 4 year old male sharpei, and all he does is cry to go for a walk he looks at the front door crying he goes in the back garden and even before doing his buisness his crying! myself or my husband takes him for a good run up the local fields and as soon as were back he starts to cry again! i dont know whats up with him its getting worse and very stressfull? please help i need this crying to stop.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 12, 2012

      I think you should work on obedience training with him. Sit. Stay. Down. Heel. That type of thing. Give him a mental workout. I suggest taking him to obedience classes where you can get some help from an instructor. Also make sure you take him outside when he is quiet. Have him sit or lie down first and wait until he is quiet for a few seconds. Then slowly increase the time he is expected to be quiet before you take him out.

  25. gemma dingley on May 12, 2012

    hi thier, thanks for our repley i do all these things with being strict with him he is a well behaved dog other than the crying! he sits lies down sits at roads i havnt practised heal with him though! but on a whole he is a very very good dog! its just this crying even when his nakerd from a walk he will have a drink then start crying again to go back out? this is the only problem we have with him! would him bein neatured help??? im running out of things i can do for him and i dont want to have to give him away beacuse he is depressed and we cant take much more of it! if its easily solved. gem

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 18, 2012

      Teach him a solid down/stay command. Work to the point where he will lie down and stay for up to a half-hour. That is a good challenge for all dogs, and nearly every dog is capable. Start with a few seconds and slowly increase the time he is expected to stay. First with minimal distractions and you right there in the room. Then more distractions and distance. Reward him for being calm and quiet.

      How much physical exercise is he getting? I would suggest a good 60-minute walk or run at a minimum. Get a dog backpack for him to wear for extra mental and physical exercise.

  26. Erudito on May 15, 2012

    I do have an eight-week old golden labrador mix, and she has already picked up the concept that I am only around her when she is silent, so instead of whining to receive any attention she uses silence. To do that, I did ignore her whines on a two-day weekend break while sitting at my computer, then rewarded her when she was quiet. It was a short time period at first, but now I can leave her at home. Our neighbor who has just sneezed is actually LOUDER than Sasha right now.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 15, 2012

      Awesome! I hope she continues to do so well! Keep up the good work!

  27. johanna hilsbeck on May 16, 2012

    Hi,
    We leave several stuffed kongs and toys for our puppy and he starts crying and barking once he has finished all of them. And he’s very fast at it, so he’ll finish each one in under 4 minutes. He gets tons of exercise and likes to lie down in his kennel. Sometimes I think the kongs actually get him more revved up. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 16, 2012

      Probably just ignore the crying completely. Go to him when he’s quiet. Maybe he’s crying for more Kong goodies! Also, do you freeze the Kongs? That makes them last longer.

  28. becca beeson on May 17, 2012

    i have a 10 month old staffy cross pitbull. the past few days she has started to cry all day and night i dont work but have to children so am in all day most days. she started crying a few days ago…. jumping on my settee when she knows she isnt alond taking my childrens toys, i dont know what i can do, she gets walked maybe not as much as she should but am willing to improve that, she always gets a walk at night for 20mins when my partner gets back from work, she has one of them treat toys but only give her that if i go out for the day, i would be so greatfull if you could help….

  29. Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 18, 2012

    She needs more than a 20 minute walk. I suggest a 60-minute daily walk at a minimum. Also work on basic obedience commands like sit, stay, down for a good 10 minutes daily. She sounds bored and full of energy.

  30. Nikki on May 20, 2012

    We have a 5 month old husky/beagle mix. She barks for at least an hour and a half every time we leave. This has been the case since we got her at 10 weeks. We originally thought it to be a crating issue, but even left in a room, she exhibits the same behaviors. We know this because we have been videotaping her. Our upstairs neighbor (unfortunately we live in an apartment) has complained to management and we are nearing a point where we may have to let our little pup live with my sister until we can move to a house.

    We give her a kong (if it’s frozen, she will just ignore it) and she finishes it within minutes. She has a beating heart…makes no difference; same with a thundershirt. I walk her for at least a half hour before I leave each morning and my husband comes home within 1.5 hours (2 at the very most). She gets plenty of exercise throughout the day. We do other training with her as well, such as sit, lay down, wait, recalls, leave it, etc…My routine is the same every day. We have tried desensitizing, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. She is on clomapramine, it doesn’t seem to be helping. The vet even gave us a sedative and she barked, bit, dug at her crate, right through it (even though it was obvious that it had kicked in…she was so sleepy when we left her).

    We left her at my sister’s the other day and they left the house, putting her in a crate with their husky. They waited around and never heard her make a peep. Getting another dog isn’t an option for us right now (only allowed one in the apt.) What does this mean?? What can we do?? Will the desensitizing eventually work?? We can’t do anything anymore because our neighbor is ALWAYS home, so we can never leave our poor little puppy.

    By the way, this is NOT a bored bark. She is clearly very distressed, with excessive drooling, yawning, biting, digging, and plenty of noise. She is absolutely fine at all other times-very obedient and sweet. Leaving her is the only problem! Forgot to mention-she exhibits anxious behaviors when only one of leaves as well. She will run around whining for quite some time. We ignore this behavior and pay attention to her when she has calmed again. Please help!!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 22, 2012

      I normally don’t like anti-anxiety meds but this may be a case where you should discuss further options with the vet. Maybe there is a different kind that could work better or a different dosage.

      The fact that she was quiet at your sister’s is not necessarily because there was another dog. It could’ve just been the different environment. She very well might start barking and crying at your sister’s as well if she were to stay there for a few days. Did she bark the very first day you left her alone when you first got her or did this develop over a few days or weeks?

      Separation anxiety does generally get better, but it does take a lot of time. Could you take two weeks off from work to help desensitize her more? Could your husband then take a week or two off after you?

      You could also take her to dog daycare once or twice per week, not necessarily to help with her anxiety but to give yourself a break from the stress of worrying about her. It could also help tire her out mentally. With the Kongs, I would try having one or two fozen and one or two not frozen. If she can calm down enough to chew on the non-frozen ones, maybe she would then start in on one of the frozen ones. Experiment with different fillings. Frozen beef broth works well for some dogs. Or fill them with actual chicken or ground beef.

      Another option could be to hire a dog walker/pet sitter to break up her time alone.

  31. lisa on May 21, 2012

    I just adopted a 8month old yorkie due to a PCS. For some reason she can’t be away from me and she just cries and barks even if she is in the presence of other family members. She doesn’t even get tired when she’s alone. why is this happening. She has a Kong and it keeps her occupied only while the treats last. What can i do to stop this?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 22, 2012

      This is very common with small dogs. The dog was probably carried around and never separated from her previous owner. You can help her by building her confidence and lessening her dependence on you. Don’t hold her all the time. Make her sit on the floor, not on the couch with you. Completely ignore her when she cries, barks or paws at you. Reward her when she is calm and quiet.

  32. Nicola Burnham on May 22, 2012

    Hi, Last week I adopted a retired greyhound from the greyhound trust. He is 3 and a half and has only finished racing in March. He has never been a house dog before and apart from the howling and barking when left alone has taken to his new lifestyle really well.

    Even when i’m at home but in another room he howls and barks, i think to get attention. He has toys and one of my partners t-shirts. When we go out he has the run of the conservatory and garden, and has at least an hrs walk per day.

    Do you think it is still early days for him?neighbours have mentioned his howling and I feel bad leaving him some days seemingly not happy.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 22, 2012

      He might feel more comfortable if you leave him in a dog crate/kennel. That might be how he was left alone in the past during his racing career.

  33. Joannie on May 29, 2012

    Hi! I came accross your post while searching for something to help with my two year old pug who has some issues being left alone. She is a female, and since she was a puppy we have never been able to leave her alone(or with other dogs) without her crying and digging and pawing at the door. It has gotten so bad now that I have to work, that the landlord has had to talk to us about her constant crying that goes right up to one in the morning until we come home. I’ve tried the crate, the kennel, the treats, the leaving her with our items of clothing, we have also tried leaving her with another dog, but she still cries and screams.

    I tried to ease her into staying by herself for months. I started by leaving her for a couple of minutes, and eventually worked up to ten minutes. Which is when I started working so I thought it would be fine to leave her for longer periods of time, but this morning my landlord told me she does not stop crying. I don’t know what else to do, and am seriously considering medicine because I am afraid she is going to hurt herself one of these days. What would you advice me to do?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 16, 2012

      Have you had any progress since your comment? When neighbors and landlords are upset, I think it’s ok to start considering medication. The goal should still be to eventually get the dog used to being alone so the meds are no longer necessary.

  34. Cammie on June 1, 2012

    I have a 3 month old Yorkie bichon mix. I have 2 roommates and usually when I leave for work, its a lot earlier than the other girls. I take Lucy my puppy out 2 -3 times just go to potty and she plays sometimes in the morning with the old dog ( 12 1/2 year old yellow lab/golden retriever mix. My one roommate then puts Lucy in her crate when she leaves, which gives her 1 hr of play time. Lately, Lucy has not been able to play with the older dog due to her having a cold. She barks the entire time while my roommates are home. How do I get her to not bark in her crate in the morning.

    Also note, I have her in a larger crate due to her being so little and in case she needs to go potty.

    Please help me with suggestions.

    Thanks!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 16, 2012

      How are things going now? I think you should take your dog for an hour-long walk in the morning for exercise before you leave the house.

  35. Johanna on June 4, 2012

    Hi.
    We just adopted a 2 year old lab x (unknown) from a shelter. His only known history is that previous owner couldn’t keep him due to landlord rules, he has been at the shelter for 6 months, had a 3 weeks trial with another family but was returned as they had another dog who was dominating him. He is a very gentle dog, can sit, stay, be directed to his kennel or mat and walks well on a lead. He has major seperation anxiety. If he is outside but can still see me inside, he cries. If he is in the back yard and i’m in the front gardening (with a see through fence) he cries. He cries if he is inside sitting on his mat and he can’t see me in the kitchen. He is sleeping outside in a kennel, cries for maybe only and hour or so now, still needs to be told off twice, but then sleeps fine. When we go to work we are feeing him and leaving a treat in his kennel, but he won’t touch them. He isn’t interested in toys outside unless you are there with him. If i’ve been sitting outside with him, pop inside to make a cuppa, he paces the back door and cries. He gets a 45min walk first thing in the morning and another one before bedtime. Suggestions??

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 16, 2012

      Just ignore his whining completely. Don’t even tell him no. Simply ignore until he is quiet.

  36. TERESA on June 8, 2012

    HELP. 1 yr old Bishon crying ALL night. She was trained in the kennel,l but outgrew it , so now she sleeps on her “bed” in the utility room. She scratches at the door all night and cries. We are loosing so much sleep, not sure what to do. She is at times having to stay in the room during day when I work part-time 2-4 days a week. Her interaction is during evening w/ kids.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 16, 2012

      Try getting her a new kennel that is just big enough for her to stand in and turn around. Either keep her kenneled in another room or if you don’t mind, possibly in your bedroom. Increase her exercise, too. Walk her for at least 30 mins every evening.

  37. Chris on June 9, 2012

    Hi, I have a 14month old beagle. She is quiet when I leave for work but once I come home and go out again she starts barking and does’nt stop.

    She used to bark in the beginning when I left for work but she stopped doing that for awhile. She is usually left alone for about 6-8 hours.

    Only problem now is that I can’t go out after I come home from work since we get complaints from our neighbors.

    I’m just confused why she is quiet when I go to work for a longer period of time but she barks crazy when I leave to run some errands…..for like 10-15 minute or few hours sometimes.

    thanks

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 16, 2012

      It might be related to your own energy. When you leave for work you are probably tired and relaxed, spending less time getting your dog excited. But then when you come home from work I imagine there is a lot of excitement from you both. Then when you go out again, the dog is still in that state of mind. Try being calmer when you are reunited after work, and also take the dog for a walk before you leave again if you aren’t already doing so.

  38. M on June 21, 2012

    I got rid of each and everyone. If they dnt fit in the family n adapt well then they r out. Its to stressful with a special need child and a bipolar schizo father inlaw to have to hear dog cries because its too attached or anxiets.

  39. Shannon Kelly on June 22, 2012

    Hi I will try all that you suggest. As far as the exercise goes, I have an Australian/Silky Terrier, weighs 10 lbs. I do a very strenuous walk up a steep hill, then the path is flat and i go down and up 2 big flights of stairs. There is time for recovery in between, but I am wondering if that is too much exercise for a small dog. It takes about 45 minutes total. Thanks for your help.
    Actually, I should clarify, I meant that there is time for cardiovascular recovery between the hill and the 2 flights of stairs (totaling about 500 stairs). And I have only had the dog a short time so haven’t brought him along for this, though he loves long walks.

  40. Jen on June 24, 2012

    Help! I adopted a St. Bernard/ possible pointer mix from the local shelter yesterday. He is about the size of a big lab and he’s around 4 years old. In the shelter, he was the most mild tempered, relaxed dog there, not saying a peep. I visited him every day for 5 days before bringing him home. It has been 16 hours and although I love him, hes driving me crazy. He was a good boy his first 4 hours alone. I came home, took him for an hour walk, and slept in the same room as him…. For about 3 hours. He cries and cries all night and I pet him and reassured him and took him out and got up early to walk him again. But he’s just whining and whining unless I’m comforting him every moment. His past is a mystery and I feel terribly guilty for leaving him alone… Even for a nap because the crying never stops!!! Heeelllppp! So tired :(

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 16, 2012

      You have to ignore him when he whines. Do not feel sorry for him. Just ignore it. If he whines for two hours the first night and you ignore him, he will whine for an hour the next night. Then less the next. Just keep ignoring it.

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