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Stop Your Dog From Crying All Day

How do you stop your dog from crying all day while you’re at work?

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 crying all day when you're not home

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

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.

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

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1. 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 with her (or at least walk fast) for a minimum of 45 minutes every single day, even if she is a small dog.

Tip: Use a hands-free bungee leash to make running more fun!

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.

2. 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.”

3. 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.

4. 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.

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.

See my post: How to stop a dog from whining for attention.

5. 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.

Stop a dog from crying

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.

6. 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?”

How to stop your dog from crying all day

7. 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.

8. Buy a dog Thundershirt.

There is a product called the Thundershirt that basically fits snugly 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.

9. 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.

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

Stop a dog from crying

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Just walking my dog, again

Sandy Weinstein

Sunday 11th of June 2017

i dont really mind that my dogs bark when i am not home. i live in the country and they bark when someone comes to the house. i think of it as a deterrent if someone wants to try to break in even though they are little dogs. i dont mind them barking when i am at home, if they are barking to let me know someone is coming down the road to the house. otherwise they know better. they do bark at the deer, which does not bother me, b/c i go out and chase the deer away to keep them from eating my flowers. my girls dont bark in public or when we are out.


Thursday 8th of June 2017

I know this is an old post, but I just got a puppy and having a hard time with her barking even if I'm only in another room. I do make sure she has lots of exercise and that she goes outside before I put her in her crate, but she she cries and whines without ever tiring. I've tried putting her in during the day so I can reward her when she finally does quiet down, but she never does quiet down! And the only way she'll go to sleep in her crate is if I put her in there when she's tired and then sit next to her until she's fast asleep. I'm not sure what to do!!


Monday 3rd of April 2017

I have a three month old golden retriever and German Shepard mix. He is very attached to me and follows me everywhere. He will be sleeping in the living room and I'll just walk to the kitchen(our apartment is very small) and he wakes up and follows me. We have to leave him alone some times to do stuff for our college. Other than that I am home with him all day. We are about to get kicked out of our apartment because of his excessive whining when we leave him. I don't know what to do. I do not want to get rid of him. He loves jos crate I leave the door open to it and he naps in it throughout the day. I do take him for exercise to the park. We love him very much, but we also need our home. I have tried the crate training. If he can not see me he howls barks and whines like crazy.

Stacey Woods

Tuesday 28th of March 2017

I have a 2 year old deaf female border collie I ahem had her since 10 weeks old she has always been left for 4 hours a day at the same time every day for me to work but for the last few days she has been barking and trying to escape about a hour after i leave. She has a 1 hour run in the morning and I leave her with 3 kongs all full with something different and frozen her favourite teddy bear, water and her bed I don't understand why she has started being like this? I have never had a problem before even as a pup she was fine being left as long as she had her teddys any suggestions would be greatly appreciated- stacey

H. Richards

Saturday 5th of November 2016

I have a 6wk old Rottweiler/bullmastiff mix. I've had her for a week and I'm not making any progress!!! She was removed from her mom/litermates wayyy to early, I know, she was already taken from mom when I got her. She breaks my heart cause she is still recovering from a severe round, hook, and tapeworm infestation. I cant stand to hear her howl, whine, and cry anymore. I want to comfort her. She doesn't stop while in the crate, and won't stop for hours at a time if I won't pick her up and snuggle, or allow her to sit/layy on the couch, or bed next to me atleast. After several hours she will curl up on top of my foot. She is already using dominant and aggressive try to force me to pick her up, what do I do? She has only had one set of shots, and isn't 100% healthy.... So long walks, are not possible.