Why do dogs cry at their toys?


Have you ever seen your furry friend cry over a toy? As surprising as it may be, dogs have a tendency to cry when they are playing with their toys. While some people may think that it is a sign of sadness or pain, others believe it to be an innate behavior. So what is the reason behind it? In this article, we will explore why dogs cry at their toys.

Understanding Dog Behavior

Before we delve into the reasons behind a dog’s crying, it is important to understand their behavior. Dogs, being descendants of wolves, exhibit a range of behaviors that are similar to their wild ancestors. While dogs have been domesticated for centuries, they still retain some of their innate behaviors.

A dog’s primal instincts dictate that they are pack animals who thrive in social groups. In their pack, each dog has a role to play - some are hunters, while others protect the territory. As a result, dogs often mark their territory with their scent, which helps them recognize each other. This same behavior is readily seen in dogs who love to play with their toys. They mark their toys with their scent, as a way for them to identify it as their own.

Why Do Dogs Cry?

There are a few reasons why dogs cry when they’re playing with their toys. Here are some of the most common causes:

1. It’s a Call for Playtime

One of the reasons why dogs cry at their toys is that they want to play. Dogs are social creatures who need to interact with their surroundings. When they cry while playing with their favorite toy, it could be a way for them to get attention from their owner and let them know that it's time for some playtime.

2. Expressing the Joy of Play

Dogs also cry because they are often happy while playing. Dog play is often a ritualized form of aggression, and crying can be a way for them to show that they’re just playing and not actually aggressive. The cries are a way for them to express the joy of playing without causing fear to their owners.

3. Acting as a Distraction

Sometimes, a dog’s crying could be a form of distraction. This is especially true when they’re playing fetch or tug-of-war. Dogs cry to distract their opponents while they try to win the game.

4. Separation Anxiety

In some cases, a dog’s crying could be a sign of separation anxiety. This often occurs when they are left alone for an extended period. They may cry at their toys as a way to comfort themselves and feel less lonely. In this case, it’s important to ensure your dog has proper stimulation and attention throughout the day to help alleviate any anxiety.

5. A Medical Condition

Another reason why a dog may cry at their toys is that they are experiencing a medical condition. Some dogs suffering from dental problems or gum issues may cry while they chew on their toys. If your dog cries every time they’re playing with their toys, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to ensure their crying isn’t a symptom of a larger issue.

How to Help If Your Dog Is Crying at Their Toys

If you notice your dog crying at their toys, there are a few things you can do to help:

- Encourage playtime: Dogs thrive on interaction, so playing with your furry friend can help alleviate any feelings of loneliness and encourage happier play.

- Regular dental checkups: Ensure your dog receives regular dental checkups as dental problems can be a significant cause of crying in dogs.

- Provide adequate stimulation: Keep your dog mentally stimulated with puzzles, toys and activities that engage their attention.

- Investing in wholesome toys: Ensure your dog has a range of toys to play with to stimulate their minds and help prevent boredom.

- Keep an eye on behavior: Monitor your dog’s behavior and contact your veterinarian if you suspect there could be an underlying medical issue.


In summary, dogs cry at their toys for a variety of reasons. From expressing joy to indicating playtime, crying while playing with toys is a way for dogs to communicate with their humans. Understanding why your furry friend is crying can help you ensure they receive the proper stimulation and attention they need. By observing their behavior and meeting their needs, you can help facilitate better playtime and create a stronger bond with your furry friend.


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