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Dealing with a Dog Crying When You Leave the Room or Home | Pupford

August 21st, 2023

Filed under Pet Parenting

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Nobody likes leaving their dog. But when they’re looking at you with sad eyes, crying as if they’re begging you to stay, it’s next to impossible! And it can be really tough worrying if your dog crying when left alone is going to bother neighbors.

Not only does it make us feel terrible, but it also makes us worry. Is something wrong? Are we doing something wrong? Is my dog going to do something destructive while I’m gone?

A lot of people in our community have been asking these kinds of questions and stressing about how to leave their crying dogs home alone. So that’s what we’re going to be talking about today!

Check out the table of contents below for the FAQs we’ll be answering:

My dog cries when I leave. What’s going on?

Will my dog destroy stuff while I’m gone?

Will my dog have a potty accident when I’m gone?

How to soothe your dog and prevent separation anxiety

Along the way, we’ll be giving tips and tricks that all pup parents could benefit from.

So let’s start by getting down to the bottom of it:


Dealing with Leaving my Crying Dog for the Day Sad Dog | Pupford

Dogs have a few different ways of communicating, and one of them is crying, whining, howling, or "screaming" (at least that's what it sounds like).

So if they’re crying as they see you getting ready to leave, they’re trying to tell you something.

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Here are some of the things that could be causing your dog to cry or whine once they realize you’ll be leaving soon:

  • They’re afraid. If your dog cries in a submissive position (head and tail down), it may be a sign of fear. If something negative happened when someone left the house, it might make your dog feel fear when you leave. If you adopted or rescued your dog and this happens, it might even be something that happened before they came into your home.
  • They’re seeking attention. Much like a little kid, your dog will sometimes whine or cry when they can’t get something they want. Maybe they want to play, maybe they want you to give them a treat, or maybe they just want you to stay and pet them. Either way, your dog knows that when you leave, whatever it is they want, they can’t get it.
  • A response to pain or illness. Sometimes crying is a sign of pain or discomfort. If the crying comes on suddenly or happens when your dog does a certain part of your “leaving” routine (like walking into their crate), you might want to consult your veterinarian to make sure there isn’t a medical condition at play.
  • Separation anxiety. Crying could be a stress response. So if your dog has separation anxiety, it can cause them to cry when you’re leaving. Separation anxiety is likely the culprit if the crying is often accompanied by destructive behaviors or potty accidents. If you think separation anxiety is affecting your dog, check out our Separation Anxiety Course here.


If stress or separation anxiety is what’s causing the crying, there might be other behaviors going on. Unfortunately, that’s usually at the expense of your shoes, furniture, or favorite pillow.

🐶 Don't miss out, get extra training help with the 100% free online class 30 Day Perfect Pup. Sign up here! 🐶

But don’t give yourself the pup parent guilt trip just yet - - it doesn’t mean your dog hates you. If your dog is destroying stuff when you’re gone, it’s likely because of one of the following reasons:

So don’t jump to the conclusion that your dog’s destructive behavior is out of spite because you left. Just take a closer look at the destructive behavior that accompanies crying and try the tips we just mentioned to get to the bottom of it.

For more info on why your dog might be destroying things and how to stop it, check out our article How to Stop Dog from Destroying Things When I’m Gone.


puppy in kennel about to have a potty accident | Pupford

Another main concern pup parents have when leaving their dogs alone is if they’ll have an accident. Potty accidents can happen because of either separation anxiety or from being left alone too long without getting a bathroom break.

To figure out which one is at the root of the problem, keep your dog on a strict potty schedule. And when you do need to be out of the house and leave your dog alone for an extended period of time, have a friend, family member, or dog walker take your dog out. This will help you determine if your dog just needs more frequent potty breaks.

But if this isn’t helping, or you find your dog still has accidents after only a short amount of time alone, they may be suffering from separation anxiety. If you notice they have accidents immediately after excessive crying, that’s more than most likely what’s going on.

🐶 Don't miss out, get extra training help with the 100% free online class 30 Day Perfect Pup. Sign up here! 🐶


The good news is there are steps you can take to ease separation anxiety and stop your dog from crying when you leave.

To help your dog relax and create an enjoyable environment for them to be alone in, try the following tips:

  • Make sure the area your dog is kept in while alone is not too big or allows too much freedom. If using a crate, make sure it’s the proper size. For proper crate training practices, try our Crate Training Course.
  • Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical and mental exercise throughout the day when they’re not alone.
  • Give your dog comforting items, like a plush toy or blanket, to keep with them when they’re alone.
  • Provide your dog with engaging toys like dog chews so they have a productive way to keep themselves busy during alone time.

You can take it even one step further by providing your dog with a specific training plan geared towards easing separation anxiety. We partnered with Amber Aquart CPDT-KA to create a Dog Separation Anxiety Training Course to help your dog be able to stay alone with no problem.

Overall, dogs & puppies crying when left alone is common but can be reduced by ensuring your dog's main needs are met before you leave.

Related Reading: How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone?


a dog and puppy crying after being left alone | Pupford

Your dog crying isn’t just a way to make you feel bad or just an annoying noise. It means that your dog is going through something.

Getting to the bottom of it and taking steps to fix it won’t just stop your dog from crying, it will lead to a happier pup and a stronger bond between you two!

As a reminder, here are some steps to take to help stop your dog from crying when you leave the room or home:

  • Provide your dog with proper mental and physical exercise before you leave
  • Give your dog comforting items, even something that smells like you
  • Provide engaging toys and games while you're gone
  • Work on separation anxiety training if they're exhibiting signs of separation anxiety

Training takes time and practice, and every pup needs it!

If you're looking for more help with important behaviors be sure to sign up for the 100% free online class 30 Day Perfect Pup, taught by Zak George. Sign up for free here!

What has helped your dog to cry less when left alone? Tell us in the comments!

🐶 Don't miss out, get extra training help with the 100% free online class 30 Day Perfect Pup. Sign up here! 🐶


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