Does your dog cry when you see them after being away for a while? Maybe at the end of a long day at work or when you have been away for a few days?
Does it sound like your pet dog is upset and crying with sadness, whimpering, and whining when they see you after a break?
The first thing to say is this behavior is nothing to worry about, but let’s look at why dogs act like this and then look at their deeper nature so you can understand them better.
Related Post: Why Do Dogs Look Away When You Look at Them?
Why Do Dogs Cry When You Get Home?
The reason why dogs cry when they see you is they are excited to see you because they love you! Dogs are social animals.
As their owner, you are the most important member of their pack, so they love being around you and dislike being away from you.
Therefore, they are crying with happiness, not sadness.
While it may seem like your dog is upset because they are crying. Actually, they are so happy and overwhelmed with emotions that they cry with joy.
The chances are that you have felt so happy you had tears in your eyes at some point in your life.
If not, you will have seen people cry at weddings, pop concerts, or at the arrival of a newborn baby.
This is the same thing. Humans sometimes cry when they are happy and so do some dogs!
NOTE – You might also be interested in this post looking at why dogs cry in the car.
The Nature of Dogs Helps Explain Why They Cry
When we talk about pet dogs, we are talking about domestic dogs instead of related canine species such as wild dogs or wolves.
You will have heard that dogs evolved from wolves which is true but not the species of wolves around today.
Domestic dogs evolved from an ancient and now extinct wolf species, most likely the Late Pleistocene wolf.
Yes, your pet pooch evolved from a pre-historic but now extinct wolf species, which is really cool to know and also really useful when thinking about how they behave.
Buried deep into the DNA and genes of your domestic dog is the pack animal instinct that helped keep its wolf ancestors alive thousands of years ago in the wild.
Your dog is built to live in a pack. So, in your home, you, any other people you live with, and any other dogs you have become the pack.
The pack is everything to your dog, so this is why your dog cries when they see you. They are happy because the pack is reunited.
Note – You might also find this video interesting.
It lists six reasons why dogs cry:
Why Do Dogs Whine and Cry When They Are Happy?
Dogs cry and whine when they are happy to express emotion and release energy. It is a perfectly natural and normal canine behavior pattern.
Unless there are signs of genuine distress, it’s nothing to worry about.
Your dog cries when they see you to express and release the emotions of happiness and excitement they are feeling due to being back in your company.
NOTE – Click here to read our post looking at: why cant dogs talk like humans?
Should You Worry About Your Dog Crying When They See You?
In most cases, there is nothing to worry about if your dog cries when you get home.
They are just happy to see you and will calm down within a few minutes or so.
However, if your dog is crying due to being in pain or being sick, then of course, you should take them to the vet for a check-up.
And if your dog is crying because you have left them at home for too long, you should try to avoid doing again in the future.
Sadly, sometimes we all may have to leave our dogs on their own for long periods of time, but ideally, this would be a very rare occurrence (if at all).
NOTE – You may also enjoy this post looking at the question: why do dogs howl at the moon?
What About if You Are Worried About Vet Bills?
If you are in financial difficulty and are worried about vet bills, this site lists helpful resources for charities to help you pay your bills.
(If you don’t live in the US, you can use Google to find similar help in your country, there is a lot of support out there for dog owners who are in difficulty).
NOTE – You might also be interested to read this post asking – why are dogs so nice?
Final Notes on Dogs Crying When They See Their Owners
The reason dogs cry when they see their owners after separation is straightforward.
They miss you and are so happy to see you that they are consumed with emotion.
They don’t like it when you are gone and are happy when they see you again because they are pack animals and are most comfortable when surrounded by their pack.
So when they get to see you again, the emotion is overwhelming for them. They are happy, excited, and full of powerful feelings.
These feelings can be expressed in various ways, including crying, whining, howling, barking, jumping up and down, and running around like crazy.
As long as your dog is not in any pain or showing any signs of severe distress, this reaction is nothing to worry about, and you should take it as a clear sign that your dog loves you and is happy to see you.
If you notice your dog is in pain, appears to be sick, or is suffering from higher-than-usual stress levels, please take them to the vet for a checkup.
If you are in financial difficulty and are worried about vet bills, this website has helpful resources for charities to help you pay your bills.
(If you don’t live in the US, you can use Google to find similar help in your country).
That’s the end of this post. We hope it helped you to answer the question – why do dogs cry when they see you?
If you have any more questions about your dog’s crying, please leave a comment below.
NOTE – You might want to take a look at this post answering the question: why does my dog not get excited to see me anymore?
Tim is a proud, vetted, and experienced dog foster carer for a charity helping dog owners escape domestic abuse.
He has years of experience training and caring for dogs, both his own and other people’s.
He is an expert in canine behavior and is highly skilled in dealing with all dogs but specializes in the difficult ones that other people may struggle with.
When he isn’t fostering dogs, he is making friends with other people’s pups!