Health and Grooming | Dog Training

Why a Puppy Cries When Held and How to Stop It from Crying

puppy cries when held
Reasons why a puppy cries when held an vary. Identify the correct reason and keep your puppy happy!

There is nothing more heartbreaking then picking up your puppy and having it whine or cry. Is your puppy scared of you? Why is the puppy crying?

It’s perfectly natural for puppies to cry or whine. It’s their way of communicating their issues to the world. Puppy whines can be a way to deliver many different messages.

But what exactly is a crying puppy trying to say?

It’s essential to recognize what the reasons are each time your puppy cries when held. This way, you can address the need or resolve the problem for your precious fur baby. Let’s now discuss some of the reasons why puppies may cry.

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The puppy is fighting the restriction

The puppy might be feeling restrained in your hug. The puppy may want to be let down to explore, especially if the pup squirms in your hold.

Let the puppy down. Try again at another time, when the pup’s tired and done with its playing and wandering around.

The puppy is protesting its uncomfortable position in your hold

You may be wrongly holding or cuddling the puppy. Check your hold when the pup cries and correct it. And remember always to be gentle when holding a puppy. Be aware of how you handle your puppy.

Here are some suggestions to nicely hold your furry friend.

  • To correctly pick a puppy, slip a hand to its side.
  • Next, slide the hand underneath to place on the chest area.
  • Then, place your other hand on the pup’s back end to act as a support as you lift the dog.
  • As you pull the pup closer to your body, one arm should be under the puppy acting as support for its rear legs and romp.
  • Your other arm should be around its torso.
  • Lastly, keep your hold gentle but firm so the pup would be comfortable and not fall in your grasp.

The puppy has suffered past trauma and acts accordingly

Another reason why it could be crying is that it’s scared. The puppy could have had a bad experience from being held in the past or dislikes being way up high.

Pick a good time and in a safe environment to familiarize the pup with being held up.

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The puppy is crying for attention

Dogs, like you and me, are social beings.

Now, that doesn’t mean they’re huge party animals. It just means that dogs need company the same way people do.

We seek out interaction with others by hanging out with friends and family, or silently chilling on the couch with a loved one. 

Pups will need attention more so, especially since they’re young. Simply letting them hang out wherever you are can solve that. Playtime and walks for exercise together with you can also help with that. And if you’re too busy to engage your puppy in play, invest in toys. The pup can play near you as you do your thing.

Also, before you go on your puppy’s first walk outdoors, make sure to acquaint your dog with the feeling of a leash around its neck. Leash your puppy and walk with it indoors. Do this many days in advance before your first outdoor walk.

When looking for a leash, the size of your pup is something to consider first. You have to make sure it’s light enough for your puppy. But it should be sturdy sufficient to keep the dog at bay when you need to. For the pup’s first walks, you should keep the leash length short.

A double dog leash would be suitable for those with more than one puppy. A leash with thick material would be ideal for a puppy who loves to chew.

You should probably forgo chains, perhaps forever. They tend to be heavier, and the noise of their clang may scare your young pup. The regular leashes people buy are made of nylon. They’re not expensive, and they’re quite durable.

The puppy is bored and wants you to notice

Some puppies easily tire of their surroundings. If your pup has this problem, it’s best to switch up your time indoors and outdoors with the dog. If you need to work, spend some hours inside. Then when you’re done or on a break, move to the backyard.

The puppy is lonely and wants other puppies around

If you’re a big animal lover, this one won’t be such a hindrance to solving. Some puppies are meant to live with a pack. Adopting another puppy or two may greatly help resolve this issue. 

Dogs are social animals and want to be in a pack. This is why Labradoodles can’t really live outside. We are the pack for our dogs – but sometimes we can’t be there enough. Adopting two dogs can work really well as they can keep each other entertained and out of mischief.

If your puppy is rather lonely and if you can’t always be there to play games, then amuse your pup. Your puppy’s pack doesn’t even have to be just dogs. You could adopt a kitten or some other kind of baby animal instead. (See how to get dogs like Cockapoos to get along with cats).

The puppy desperately needs to relieve itself

Chances are, those cries are warnings for a toilet break, especially if your puppy is house trained. If not, then you seriously need to start on your pup’s house training because it’s advantageous and would be a big help in keeping your house dog-poop clean.

Consider installing a doggy door OR making a DIY porch potty to allow your dog to control its own toilet time.

The puppy is still not used to its new home

Newly adopted puppies may be wary of their new surroundings. It’s advisable just to put the pup’s things in one place. And keep the pup’s introduction to only a few rooms if the puppy is anxious. (ASPCA)

Start with one room first. Show your pup where it will be sleeping with its toys and food. Let the puppy adjust to the place, and help it feel comfortable at home. Keep yourself nearby, and don’t leave the puppy alone.

The puppy is hungry and would like to eat soon

Feed the pup. And next time, don’t wait for the puppy to whine before feeding. Have a fixed feeding schedule, so the puppy knows when to expect food.

Have some extra treats around for snacks if the puppy gets hungry later. Just don’t spoil your furry friend too much, or its weight will be your next problem.

The puppy is sensing or hearing something and wishes you to be more aware

Is the puppy feeling uneasy or scared? Check for any intruders, animals, or critters nearby that may pose a danger. The whine may be a warning.

If there’s nothing to check, it might be something with the neighbors. Just be patient and calm your puppy until the sounds or whatever caused the distress stops.

The puppy is sick or injured and requires human aid

These are urgent matters that you need to figure out so that you may immediately know what to do about it, especially when the puppy keeps crying while being held.

Check your puppy’s body for any signs of injuries it could have sustained. It could be a simple limp, or the puppy’s bones could have suffered a fracture during roughhousing or play.

At times, your puppy may be suffering from a sickness. The pup could have eaten or ingested something that didn’t go well with its stomach. Or the pup could have caught something bad from another sick dog.

If you can’t diagnose nor resolve the problem at home, take your puppy straight to the vet. Have your pet looked at and treated.

Here are some tips on how to spot injuries on your puppy:

  • limping or crying while walking
  • fast heart rate
  • swelling or inflammation in certain body areas like legs and paws
  • rapid and shallow pants; altered breathing
  • loss of mobility; reluctance to move
  • shakiness in limbs and body; muscle tremors
  • sudden yelps or other indications of pain when you touch some (likely injured) body part
  • licking or grooming excessively on specific areas of the body
  • willingly not eating; decrease in diet
  • shying away; quietly hiding under and behind furniture, and
  • agitated behavior and flares of temper
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Should you discipline your puppy for whining?

Probably not. When you’ve addressed and dealt with the problem, the puppy will cease its cries. If your puppy continues to cry and whine, then maybe there’s something else at play here. 

Seek professional help if you can’t solve the problem. Take your puppy to dog therapists and dog trainers. 

Ask for advice and sit in on their meetings with your dog to better understand. These experts can give behavior therapy, obedience classes, and other training exercises to help your dog develop good behavior.

Sometimes simple dog socialization can help with your puppy’s disposition and temperament. It’s best to first introduce your puppy with other dogs one at a time so your puppy won’t be overwhelmed.

Try checking out your local community for any activities for dogs and animals. Or look for other local areas like a dog park or a dog beach. You could also organize a doggy play date if you know someone who adopted a dog or two.

Final Thoughts on Why Puppy Cries When Held

There’s a specific reason whenever a puppy cries. That’s why it’s essential to know the cause. More importantly, you should know how to properly hold a puppy before you attempt to pick up one. This is important for avoiding pet injuries.