“Why does my dog cry when carrying toys” would probably be something you’d ask if you noticed this strange behavior in your dog. Being a dog owner certainly has its ups and down. As much as we love our furry friends, their behaviors can be mysterious to us at times—especially since they can’t communicate as humans do.
Many of these behaviors have us asking many questions, such as our focus for today: why does my dog cry when carrying toys? You’re not alone if you’ve noticed your dog cries while carrying a toy. This common behavior can have several causes. Identifying the possible reason for the behavior can help you better understand your puppy and offer help, if necessary.
Before you scroll further down this guide, “Why Does My Dog Cry When Carrying Toys,” you can check out these other dog-related questions from our team at We Love Doodles: Why Does My Dog Sleep By The Door and Why Does My Dog Kick His Legs Back Randomly?
Why Does My Dog Cry When It’s Holding a Toy?
Are you wondering, “why does my dog whine when playing with toys?” You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a quick glimpse at the reasons why Fido cries with a toy in his mouth:
- False Pregnancy
Whining while carrying a toy is common for both male and female dogs. Let’s take a closer look at these reasons.
1. Your Dog Could Be Showing Excitement
There’s a good chance your dog whines when they have a toy in its mouth simply because it’s exciting. The excitement in dogs can often lead to unwanted behaviors like jumping, barking, and chewing.
Thankfully, these habits aren’t harmful. Whether it’s a brand-new toy or an old favorite, your dog might be expressing happiness at having the toy in its possession. In this case, there’s nothing to worry about regarding a happy puppy.
Related: Ways to Make Your Chihuahua Happy.
2. Your Dog Might Be Feeling Anxious
Anxiety has become a more talked-about issue in the human world, but did you know dogs can suffer from it too? For canines, most anxious feelings come from fear, separation, or age. There are many signs a dog can display to indicate an anxiety problem, one of the most noticeable being compulsive behavior and whining. You may notice your pooch cries during crate training or when you leave the house.
Sometimes, an anxious dog may try to self-soothe by grabbing their favorite toy. Unfortunately, the toy won’t always quell their feelings, leading to the action of crying with a toy in their mouth. Other signs include shaking, pacing, excessive licking, and barking. If you’re concerned about your dog experiencing anxiety, talk to your vet about what you can do.
3. You Might Have Encouraged Your Dog’s Behavior
Any trainer, professional or otherwise, will tell you that dogs learn best from reward systems. One of the key goals of proper training is to reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior. Doing so encourages your puppy to keep up with the good stuff.
If your pet constantly cries with a toy in its mouth, you may have inadvertently turned this into learned behavior. For instance, if your dog whines with their toy and you give in by giving them extra attention, playing with them, or giving some treats to settle the whining, your furry friend might have learned that this behavior gets rewarded.
Just like sitting earns a treat, so does crying with a toy. As we mentioned earlier, crying with a toy isn’t necessarily bad behavior, but it can be concerning. Avoid accidentally rewarding this action by not acknowledging it and only rewarding your pet when they don’t whine with a toy.
Related: Why Does My Dog Act Like a Cat?
4. Your Dog Could Be Experiencing a False Pregnancy
If you’re the owner of a female dog, your specific question might be, “why is my female dog whining and carrying a toy?” As it turns out, carrying toys and crying are two surprising signs of a false pregnancy. A false pregnancy, also known as pseudopregnancy, happens in some female dogs after their estrus cycle when their ovaries can start producing hormones.
These hormones work to prepare the dog’s uterus for pregnancy. If your puppy is not pregnant, it can take four to six weeks for these hormones to return to normal. In the meantime, your pet’s body may display typical signs of pregnancy, such as mammary gland enlargement, fluid retention, and decreased appetite.
But another sign of false pregnancy is the desire to mother. Driven by this, your dog may start treating inanimate objects as her puppies. Most times, these objects are her toys. These feelings of protectiveness and nesting can lead to the behavior of crying with toys.
5. Your Dog Could Be Displaying Possessiveness
One of the most common answers to the question, “why does my dog cry when carrying toys” is possessiveness. A possessive dog does not care to share its things. Dogs can be possessive over toys, food, and even people. Most associated behaviors are harmless but can sometimes escalate aggression if not properly monitored and corrected.
It’s not uncommon for Fido to vocalize its possessiveness, which is why you may hear your dog whine or cry while carrying a toy. Your pet may occasionally growl if someone gets too close to the item.
If your puppy also hoards their toys, storing them in one spot together, or ignores you when you tell them to drop the toy, you can be sure that your puppy is possessive. Training your dog to respond to commands like “drop,” “leave it,” or “no” can help curb possessive behaviors and prevent aggressive outbursts against people and other dogs.
6. Your Dog Might Be Looking For a Hiding Spot
Once upon a time, dogs were wild animals who followed nothing but their instincts. One of these instincts involved hiding their food and possessions. After all, in the wild, it’s every puppy for itself. So, if your dog is whining while playing with a toy, it may be because they’re following that instinct to hide a prized possession.
Your dog might feel a little anxious because they’re having difficulty finding the ideal hiding spot—hence the crying. You may be tempted to lump this behavior in with possessiveness, but it’s an instinctual survival strategy.
And because it’s instinctual, your dog may not realize it’s unnecessary. After all, Fido doesn’t grasp that you will not steal his food or toys. This behavior may be even more likely if you have more than one dog in the house, in which case, the other puppy could steal the other’s food or toys.
7. Your Dog Probably Wants To Play
Excitement, anxiety, and begging for attention can collide when your dog wants you to play with them. Unlike humans, dogs can’t politely ask us if we’d like to play a quick game of fetch or tug-o-war. Instead, they have to use other methods.
Some dogs might bring you a toy to indicate that they feel playful, while others will use vocal cues like crying or barking. Your dog is much more likely to use vocal cues when you aren’t giving them the attention they want.
In particular, you may not have noticed that Fido silently placed a ball at your feet, or perhaps you were in the middle of something and couldn’t respond immediately. So, if your pet wants to get your attention and coerce you into playing with them, they may cry with a toy in their mouth.
Remember, when considering something like “why is my male dog whining and carrying a toy,” this behavior mustn’t be encouraged. However, we also don’t want to ignore a playful puppy.
FAQ: Why Does My Dog Cry When Carrying Toys?
If you’re still wondering, “why does my dog whine when playing with toys,” you may want to look through our frequently asked questions. These FAQs address some more details about dogs and their behavior with toys.
Why Does My Dog Cry With Squeaky Toys?
Your dog may cry with squeaky toys for the same reason a dog might cry with any toy. Likewise, if your dog whines while playing with a toy, it could suggest they’re looking for attention, playtime, or a hiding spot. But squeaky toys can cause extra excitement for dogs because the sound resembles a small animal.
Since dogs are natural hunters, this sound can set off instincts that prompt them to respond in kind. These instincts are also the culprit behind your dog ripping apart squeaky toys. As dark as it may seem for your adorable, lovable puppy, your furball wants to tear out the squeaker because they think that kills their prey.
How Can I Stop My Dog From Hiding its Toys?
A dog hiding its toys isn’t necessarily harmful or destructive behavior, but it can be frustrating. Often, when a dog hides their toy, they forget about them. When your dog gets playful and looks for its toys again, it can be hard to find them all. One way to stop your dog from hiding its toys is to have a designated spot for them.
Try putting a small bin or basket in an accessible part of your home to make your puppy’s belongings more accessible. When playtime is over, put the toys back in the basket. This tactic, combined with commands like ”drop,” “leave it,” and “bring it here,” can help keep dog toys in the same spot. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can try to train your dog to put their toys in the basket on command.
Related: Best Plush Dog Toys.
Why Doesn’t My Dog Like Certain Toys?
The main reason why your dog may pass up on certain toys is that they don’t find them interesting or motivating enough. Dogs like toys that make noise, contain treats, or allow for fetch or a good chase. If a toy doesn’t satisfy one of these needs, your pet may ignore it.
Some dogs, especially rescues, don’t understand how to play with toys and might require a bit of encouragement. You may need to teach them how to play with certain toys. Besides these difficulties, your puppy might also be dealing with fear and anxiety, which can deter a dog from playing.
Conclusion For “Why Does My Dog Cry When Carrying Toys”
Every dog has a unique set of behaviors, personality traits, and needs. The best way to care for your dog is to learn more about them. Some dogs whine for attention, while others cry due to anxiety. Figuring out which one your dog is doing can help you address the issue.
If you’ve been wondering, “why does my dog cry when carrying toys” there could be several reasons. It might signify anxiety, false pregnancy, or evidence of possessiveness or playfulness. This list will determine if these reasons match your dog’s behavior. When all else fails, contact your vet with any concerns you might have.
If you find this guide, “Why Does My Dog Cry When Carrying Toys,” informative, you can check out these other dog-related questions answered by our team at We Love Doodles:
- Why Does My Dog Roll Around After Eating?
- Why Does My Dog Scratch the Carpet?
- Why Does My Dog Lick My Underwear?
Since your dog is crying while carrying its toy around, you can learn more about controlling your companion by watching “How to Get Your Puppy to Stop Crying and Whining” down below: