Why Is My Dog Carrying a Toy in His Mouth and Whining?

Why Is My Dog Carrying a Toy in His Mouth and Whining?

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Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of "Brain Training for Dogs."

Why Do Some Dogs Whine While Carrying Toys?

A dog typically does one of two things with its favorite toy. It might carry it to his favorite spots to relax with and gnaw on or pace restlessly with the toys in his mouth, whining endlessly.

If your dog does that latter, you're probably wondering what gives. There are several explanations for such behavior, but he's definitively not just complaining for want of a better toy!

Possible Explanations

Because dogs cannot talk, we can ultimately only make assumptions for their behavior. The age, gender, and breed of the dog may be factors to keep in mind when looking at specific dog behaviors.

For instance, if the behavior is carried out by an unspayed female, it may be that she is exhibiting the first signs of a false pregnancy. A false pregnancy takes place after a dog has gone through heat, but she did not mate/her eggs were not fertilized. A female in false pregnancy may therefore engage in mothering behaviors such as carrying toys around as if they were her pups. Therefore, she may form an emotional attachment to her toys and whine as she carries them around looking for a place to nest.

However, males, spayed females, and females not actively undergoing a false pregnancy may also carry toys and whine, but for quite different behaviors.

More Reasons Why Dogs Whine

  • A perception of the toy as high-value:Some dogs, when given high-value items such as bones, will whine and walk around for some time, almost as if looking for a safe place to bury it. Then they eventually calm down and decide to chew on or play with it. Certain breeds, especially those bred to hunt, see squeaky toys as high-value items. Labs and Goldens for instance, were bred to retrieve waterfowl, so a squeaky toy making a sound that mimics a downed bird may cause excitement.
  • An instinct to bury the toy: If your dog does not normally hide stuff, it could be that he instinctively knows that there is something he is supposed to do with his treasured toy, but doesn't know what (especially if he has never seen another dog bury his treasures).
  • Excitement: Some dogs, on the other hand, seem to be so excited about having a new toy they do not know how to express themselves, and this generates whining sessions.
  • A desire to play: It could be the dog wants the owner to play with the toy with him, and whining is his way to express that desire. For example, if you've taught your dog to play fetch, he may come with his toy in his mouth requesting a session. If you do not pay attention, he may whine. If the whining gets your attention and you toss the ball, then the whining is reinforced and will likely be repeated every time the dog wants to play. However, this is different behavior than carrying a toy aimlessly around. The dog actively seeking a play session.

As long as your dog does not become protective of the toy, whining is quite an innocent behavior. But it can get annoying, especially if your dog notices it flags your attention. If it bothers you, you can try to invest in toys that are more interactive such as Kongs. You can fill Kongs with goodies, which encourages the dog to actively seek out its contents. This leads to the dog laying down and working on it, rather than carrying it around aimlessly. A win-win situation for all!

For Further Reading

  • Signs of False Pregnancy in Dogs
    How to recognize a false pregnancy and what steps to take.

Questions & Answers

Question: My dog keeps carrying a toy and whining, is she pregnant?

Answer: Not necessarily. Many dogs who carry out this behavior are spayed female and male dogs. On top of this, intact (not-spayed) dogs, carrying a toy and whining can also be seen when they are exhibiting signs of false pregnancy. Telling a false pregnancy from a real pregnancy in dogs can be challenging. To know whether your dog is pregnant or not, your best bet is to have your dog see a vet.

Question: Why does my dog cry after he eats?

Answer: This warrants investigation by a vet to rule out medical problems. If the whining happens right after eating there may be chances the dog may have painful swallowing or some type of issue in the esophagus (ulcer, structure, etc.). It may be helpful to record the behavior and then show it to a vet so the vet can see how long after eating it happens and whether your dog shows signs of pain after swallowing. Of course, this can also be just a behavior quirk, but it's always worthy ruling out medical issues.

Silvia on August 18, 2020:

My Husky is 16 months and she began to be very over protective of a small colorful ball. She whines/cries if we take it away and when we give it back she goes to her bed crying and hides it. She doesn't want anyone to touch it. Her behavior isn't normal because she growls at who ever wants to get close to her when she has the ball and she never did that before. I agree about the false pregnancy because she was in heat about a month or more ago. I try to walk her and she refuses to go with me because she is caring for her ball.

Nadine on February 28, 2020:

Mine carries his treats around winning, then tries to bury in his bed under blankets,etc. He never seems satisfied as he keeps digging it out & trying to rebury over & over. He goes days without trying to eat it,sometimes never eating it. Is funny watching hid try to push something over the treat when there's nothing there but bare floor or carpet.

Chiquis on October 07, 2019:

I gave my 11 year old chihuahua a mint teeth cleaning bone and she loved it so much but started whimpering and crying. She looked sad but wanted to be where the bone was. She’s spayed. So why is she acting like this

Cristina Coronado on September 19, 2019:

My 3 year old poodle has Ben winning and carrying a toy in her mouth for the past 2/3 days . She won’t let go of it or leave it behind. She spends most of her time hidden and won’t come out to eat

Suzanne on September 14, 2019:

I'm so happy to have found out the many reasons my dog is carrying around her binky and whining with it!!

I have had her for 6 months now, and she has never done this before.

I heard her whining and became concerned, i then realised that it was only when carrying around her squeaky pacifiers. Thank you for this wonderful article!!!

Lindsey Martinez on June 24, 2019:

My dog has recently been doing this she is female but never mated , and she also has been carrying toys to bed (she doesn’t do this very often) , also if I would try to play with the toy she’ll take it back and continue to whine/ cry, please help or give an explanation for this behavior

granny on June 18, 2019:

My Chihuahua puppy is now a 11 month old neutered male. He has always hid his treats But would keep constantly moving them. & walking around with in mouth ,whining , looking for another hiding place. Is this a normal activity? My 13 yr old female hid hers in open spaces like behind a chair leg or somewhere in close site but never whined nor tried digging. But if she saw you looking she would move it somewhere else. Another male we did have always hid his in the couch. Funny watching the puppy trying to cover his treat by pushing on carpet or blanket with his nose. Even tries to dig into them

Amber Clarke on March 24, 2019:

My dog had puppies 2 days ago, when she leaves the pups to walk around our family home she will leave the puppies in their bed,but she carries around her squeaky toy In her mouth. Does anyone know why she’s doing this . If you can help me to understand x

Gary Harrington on November 26, 2018:

This site is great. The first time I used it. Thank you

Karen Irelan on November 24, 2018:

I bought my dog a stuffed toy right after she was spayed. She now carries it everywhere, runs in the room to get it as soon as she comes in from outside, and sometimes whines with it in her mouth.

Is this her mothering instinct and knowing that she cant have babies?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 22, 2018:

Ava, is she spayed?

Ava on April 18, 2018:

My one year old beagle is whining and carrying it around with it. I’m getting scared somethings wrong with her. Can you help?

Neelam chavda on March 30, 2018:

How can i stop my dog from whining as you have explained that female dogs do that when its a false pregnancy but my dog has not yet mated ... please help

Lux on March 10, 2018:

My dog was holding a bone in his mouth and crying while walking around with it. I was concerned that he was choking, however when I opened his mouth he apeared to be fine. Is it likely one of the four reasons? Or is it different because it is a treat?

Matthew on January 31, 2018:

I bought my dog a flappy toy and from the moment he got it he was walking around the house whining. He would not put it down or play with it and then finally he took it outside, left it and came back inside. He didn't try to bury or hide it. He has recently started doing this with a toy he loves and would play with, he no longer plays with it and just walks around the house whining with it in his mouth. Any idea what could be causing this?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 23, 2018:

Some dogs like grooming each other, so maybe your dog is trying to groom teddy?

Jane on January 20, 2018:

Hi just wondering if you have any idea why my dog cuddles his teddy with it in his mouth and rubs its back (this prolly sounds so weird)

Lindsey on November 19, 2017:

We recently got our dog (4 year old Boxer mix) a noisy chicken toy. At first he seemed to love it but as time goes on (still less than a week today), he keeps trying to hide the toy. He will carry it around and whine while searching for somewhere to drop it. I noticed that he engages in digging into the furniture and blankets or pillows to try and hide the toy. Once he does find somewhere to put the toy, he leaves it alone and doesn't come back to it. I thought he would play with the toy but all he seems to want to do is hide the chicken.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 09, 2017:

Isabella, is your dog not spayed? It could be a false pregnancy.

Isabella Block on October 02, 2017:

my Yorkshire terrier ( 3 years almost female ) has been carrying a small stuffed animal around sense yesturday morning and whimpering she had gone through this a while back and I called the vet but they thought I was crazy or something but it didn't seem as bad has it did this time.

Gillian on August 15, 2017:

My dog does it with bones, I know he is looking for somewhere to hide it and eventually he will though he will then refuse to leave his hiding place. He is protective and aggressive of bones and food that he can't at straight away. Working on giving him "higher value" goods for him to understand that I'm not there to steal his stuff but what I'm not sure is am I meant to give him the bone every day to be able to work with him? It stresses him out and I prefer to avoid but then it means he's not learning? Any advice please?

Leo on August 12, 2017:

Nice article!

joe on August 04, 2017:

My dog treats her stuffed animal like its her puppy. she never had puppies but gently carries a little stuffed giraffe in her mouth all day long and whines constantly while doing it.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 15, 2017:

Darren, it could be the instinct to hide the toy which creates conflict. It can also be mouth pain too at times (like in dogs with periodontal disease).

Kay on March 27, 2017:

My cockers (male littermates). One has two toys that he whines while he's playing. He doe not exhibit this behavior with his other toys. The other only plays with his ball. He is a fanatic when it comes to this ball (he will fight his brother - he knows it so he doesnt try him). After reading this article it doesn't seem he wants to bury it. He also takes one of them outside to play. My conclusion is that he loves it soooooo much

Jessie on March 07, 2017:

What do you do about it?

Chester122 on March 06, 2017:

I have a 10 year old Tibetan terrier. He is sick after an evening meal maybe twice a week. Within ten minutes of him eating he finds a toy & walks around the table whining for about 15/20 minutes and then throws up & then eats it up & settles down. He's been to the vet & had scans. I've put him on hyper allergic meals. I give him tiny meals throughout the day but nothing seems to reduce the times & the whining. One thing I think I've picked up on is that he is rarely sick over a weekend when my partner is home. Could it be stress or anxiety. If so what else can I do ???

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 27, 2016:

Amy B, Aww.. so cute, looks like you did what your dog was just hoping for, gotta love 'em!

Amy B. on September 12, 2016:

Thank so much for this post. My daughter`s new puppy chewy got a new squeaky toy from his bark box and was whining non stop with it in his mouth. We tried everything. I read this post and learned he wanted to bury it, so we put a large blanket in the floor and he instantly hid his new treasure in the blanket and is very happy now!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 24, 2016:

Bridget, please seek the help of a good trainer using positive training methods!

bridget on August 21, 2016:

my jack russell goes after people when they approach him . also when they try to leave the house he goes after them. he will bite them i dont no what to do.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 17, 2016:

Hello Kathy, it depends on why your dog is carrying a toy and whining in the first place. Is your dog spayed or not?

Kathy on June 15, 2016:

How long does this last my dog has been whining and carrying her toy puppy around with her

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 21, 2016:

It could be a false pregnancy or something else going on. A vet check could be helpful to rule out anything physical going on. Try to exercise her more and keep her mentally stimulated.

Addison on February 27, 2016:

My Female husky was recently spayed at a year old. She had just finished her second heat, and we waited the recommended time after heat before getting her spayed. Now she is whining and restlessly carrying around a rubber lizard toy. She checks on it every few hours and seems really concerned about it and sometime she brings it to me. Could this be false pregnancy? even though she was recently spayed?

Edu on February 05, 2016:

My beagle (9 months) does that but in a more funny/diff way. He grabs his bone AND a toy and THEN he starts all this eternal crying and walking. In most times he is looking for a place to bury it (and it tends to be our couch with a couple of blankets so he thinks it's actually being buried).

Some other times he just keeps looking at me and crying with his mouth full of stuff (toy, bone... sometimes 2 toys). I guess he wants attention :)

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 07, 2015:

Well, we have domesticated our dogs and put them in an artificial environment in our homes, those instincts are always alive and our homes do not offer the same burying spots as nature intended to, so it's not surprising if dogs are often frustrated or in conflict. Thanks for sharing your story!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 15, 2014:

Good question! Generally, it's best to let it run its course. Taking the stuffed animal away will not solve the underlying problem. Your dog may resource guard it and may get defensive or may be looking for a "substitute." and if a substitute cannot be found, your dog may pace, whine etc. A better option may be to walk your dog or try engage her with some activities such as extracting food from a stuffed Kong./dogs/Understanding-Dog-Fals...

tom on July 15, 2014:

My chihuahua is experiencing a false pregnancy. It's kind of funny but is getting annoying. Should we take her you away or will it stress her out more?

Andrew on July 08, 2014:

We've had our adopted Cocker Spaniel mix for about a week and we've found that she whines when we give her a toy that squeaks or makes a crinkle noise. She'll take those toys to her "den" under a side table in our living room (a spot she picked out pretty quick as a 'safe' place). She doesn't really like playing with the noisy toys, just brings them to her den. She's about 5 years old but was only recently spayed. I wondered if some maternal instincts were making her treat them like puppies she may have had before we adopted her.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 16, 2014:

Hello Maegan, have you figured out a potential cause for your dog carrying a toy in her mouth and whining?

Meagan on June 16, 2014:

Thank you so much for this information. I was becoming increasingly concerned- as my dog has carried out this behavior for several days now.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 05, 2013:

Is she intact? If so, has she been in heat recently-like a month or two ago? this sounds like nesting behavior in a dog with a false pregnancy.

april on April 04, 2013:

my girl been cry for a week she only eats half her food ,cry for every small little thing and takes her toy ever this is the second time thing this happens but why?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 25, 2013:

Thanks for the thumbs up! My girl has to add the whining on top of it, but it's fortunately short-lived:)

Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on March 25, 2013:

Thumbs Up and Interesting. I have a boy that will not great me when I come home unless he has a toy in his mouth. If he sees me pulling up in the driveway, he runs to get a toy for the greeting. No whining though thank goodness!

Emily on August 14, 2012:

My doberman does this all the time

D. on August 12, 2012:

My German Shepherd does this. At least now we'll finally have a reasoning behind it.

C. on December 14, 2011:

Very interesting. Thank you for the information. My dog doesn't whine - he just wanders around until he finds a place to bury something. Haa. At times he tries to bury his food and he gets it all over the floor. If he wants to play, he goes and gets his ball and then stands and looks at me. It's my friends dog that wanders around with a toy and she whines. So, I will give her your information.

Tammy from USA on December 11, 2011:

My doesn't wine, but instead, drops her toy by our feet. If we ignore her, she will tap our leg with her paw. If this still doesn't bring the attention she wants, she will sneeze on our feet or place her paws on the arms of our computer chair. This is her way of showing us she is ready to play, eat, or go outside. I sometimes find the behavior annoying when I am busy, but most of the time laugh at how she is communicating. It would be nice if they could talk, I would love to hear what they were thinking.

Shasta Matova from USA on December 11, 2011:

While I have figured out the basic language of my dog - when he wants to go out, when he wants to eat what is on m plate - but the more complex things are harder for me to figure out. I'm glad he doesn't whine with a toy in his mouth. Toys calm him down.

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on December 10, 2011:

This was very interesting. Many times my beagle will try to "bury" the last piece of a bone. She literally will hide it behind cushions and sweep her nose across the couch as if she is covering it up the bone with dirt. Before she finally finds the perfect burying spot though, she will run around with it in her mouth whining. Sometimes she is absolutely frantic, but it has always seemed like instinctual burying behavior to me. Sometimes she not only has the bone in her mouth, but a small toy as well and then "buries" the two together. Thanks for sharing all this information and possible explanations. If only the dogs could tell us themselves.

Schnauzer puppy carries toy and cries - why?

Our 5-month-old Schnauzer puppy has begun picking up one of her soft toys and running around the house crying.
Her tail is wagging as she does this, but she won't come to us.
This often happens after a meal or when we return home and she first comes out of her kennel, but sometimes it just happens out of the blue. It is not always the same toy.
I have wondered if it is excitement or if her teeth are hurting. My vet and a trainer have never heard of this.
Any ideas?

Comments for Schnauzer puppy carries toy and cries - why?

I've read with interest about the Schnauzer and his after eating habits and also report that our Bischon Frise does exactly the same, always after eating, he finds his toy skunk, gently folds it and starts his ritual, goes to the French windows cries, if the weather is warm he goes outside with it , brings it back and we have to hide whilst he stares at it, if he's happy with his choice of hiding that's fine, if not he will continue to walk around the house crying, Skunk comes to bed with him.

I have a 15 month old intact male schnauzer. He too brings out a fuzzy toy out of his crate and then whines and cries and rumbles etc. It doesn't last very long and then he carries on normally.
I simply ignore it. He isn't in pain or distress of any kind.He's just telling me how things are with him and that he is glad to be out and about.

Occasionally when he's been corrected he'll go get the toy and groom it or play at dominating it then he'll carry it around for a bit or play with it.

Our schnauzer puppy does some funny things too, but she doesn't quite do this. It sounds like your dog is trying to please you and bring you a treat.
Our Schnauzer puppy does cry sometimes and follow us around - sometimes with something in her mouth. We don't think it is a distressed cry, it is more like excitement. we think she is doing it for attention and so we do not ignore her. Shr doesn't seem to do it so much when she is tired.

I know this might sound a bit harsh, but if your schnauzer puppy isn't distressed, have you tried ignoring her and seeing if that stops it?

Why Do Dogs Cry At Squeaky Toys


Squeaky toys, those cute, little playthings we use to entertain babies, have become objects of delight and a distraction for dogs. However, a squeaky toy is exactly how it sounds, squeaky! Sometimes the toy is very annoying, depending on the level of the squeak, and often can be a cause of some stress for certain dogs. Many dogs associate the high-pitched squeaker with other sounds on the same level. A small animal noise alerting the dogs prey drive, the cry of a puppy, or just a reminder that this toy is the best toy in the basket and must be protected at all costs. Whatever the reason behind the crying, this behavior has its roots in your dog’s ancestral dynamics geared towards hunting small squeaky animals or birds. The squeaky sound may just alert a desire to protect the squeaking toy from anyone else. When you are at home with your dog, the annoying squeaky sound will be twice as irritating if your dog is crying at the same time. You will want to get to the bottom of this behavior or perhaps just destroy the squeaker! Remember don’t take your frustration out on your dog, after all, who bought the toy in the first place?

The Root of the Behavior

The best of intentions with 'doggie' toys can end up causing more stress in the home than you bargained for. Understanding why some dogs cry at squeaky toys can help the situation. Many dogs have a very strong prey drive that kicks in when they hear that little helpless squeak. The hunters and retrievers of the dog world could just imagine a squeaky toy as one of the little creatures they were bred to hunt. Many squeaky toys are soft and furry and resemble small animals. When your dog is introduced to the toy and you give it an enticing squeak, your dog's instinctive prey drive is immediately alerted. It tells your dog there is a small squeaky animal that could be just the thing to chase. The whining or crying thereafter could arise from the need to tell you this little animal is on the menu today. Perhaps your dog becomes frustrated as this hunt never seems to end!

Another possible reason for crying when your dog has a squeaky toy is based on a possessive response to the ownership of the toy. Your dog wants to keep this toy. The squeaky toy you bought is the best toy ever until you buy another one, and Fifi just wants everyone to know this is her toy. She may run around carrying it in her mouth and crying while she finds somewhere to hide this precious toy from view. She may just be happy to hide her special toys in her bed if she feels that is safe. Guarding toys and being possessive over them is an action to be aware of, especially if you have young children who may also enjoy playing with your dog and her toys. If you feel that Fifi is guarding her toys and baring her teeth or growling at the toys she has decided are hers alone, seek some help from a behaviorist to see how to manage an unwanted behavior. Generally speaking the crying behavior could be a way of attracting your attention and asking you to please come and play with the toy too.

Encouraging the Behavior

Holding soft, squeaky toys and crying may also be one of the signs of a pregnancy. A real one if your little lady has not been spayed. It could be a false pregnancy in the case of a spayed bitch who just lost out on the opportunity to have her own puppies. The maternal instinct is a strong, natural urge to nest and be a mother. The sight and sound of a fluffy, squeaky toy brings out the natural behavior of protection and urgency to find a place to nurture the toy. There is an emotional attachment to the toy and your dog may feel very concerned about looking after this helpless creature that keeps on squeaking. Be patient and kind in this situation because maternal hormones have probably caused the false pregnancy and your dog is very sure this is for real.

You can see your vet for some hormone therapy if the behavior continues and if there are other signs of a false pregnancy. If your bitch is not spayed, perhaps she really is having puppies! Crying and walking around with a squeaky toy very often is just the best way to attract your attention. This is an opportunity to examine your conscience – are you spending enough time with your dog? A squeaky toy is probably the best attention seeking device around. If you give chase every time that squeaker goes off, your dog will soon have realized this is a great way to initiate a game of tag! However, the toy must remain a fun object and a play item everyone enjoys. The combination of a squeaky toy and a crying dog could play havoc with anyone’s nerves.

Other Solutions and Considerations

Caring for a loved dog usually involves toys and treats. If you must leave your dog at home while you are at work, then the guilt may drive you to buy lots of toys. Dog trainers are not in favor of the squeaky variety because they fear that the squeak tends to bring out the unwanted prey drive in a family pet. It would be wise to get advice if you feel your dog is anxious or crying excessively over the toys you have brought home, all with good intentions. There are many breeds of dog that are just wanting to have a feel-good play time with the family and so look at your dog’s body language and the circumstances surrounding the crying and squeaky toy interaction. Many dog owners remove the squeaker as it can be dangerous if your dog should swallow the squeaking device. Sometimes what is perceived as harmless, cute, and fluffy when you bought it from the pet shop, can have some underlying effects that you would not want to encourage.


Crying is always a sound that is bound to get your attention. You never want your favorite pooch to be unhappy. In fact, the reason you bought the toy was for happy play experiences. Try not to turn on the tears with your dog but simply assess the situation. You can play "happy dog/sad dog" and decide if the squeaky toy is a winner or not. See if Fifi gives a paw up on this one and if you think it is down with squeakers then you will know what to do to keep on smiling.

Written by a Rhodesian Ridgeback lover Christina Wither

Why Do Dogs Cry Over A Toy


Lately, your otherwise happy puppy has been with his toy all day and whining. She whimpers and cries and it sounds pitiful. She doesn’t know what to do and you’re not sure, either. You pick up the toy and play with him for a few minutes. But after you’re done playing, she goes back to her puppy sobs. Your dog has a big yard to run in, endless toys, an expensive and tasty brand of dog food, and you and she go for daily walks in the park. You assumed she’s a happy dog, but her crying is worrisome. Should you try to cheer her up? Does she need to see a doggie therapist?

The Root of the Behavior

Your dog might cry because she’s sad, but there’s a lot more to it than that. If she is toting around her favorite toy and whining, she could be trying to tell you a few things. She might be experiencing a false pregnancy, she might see the toy as valuable, want to play with you, or want to hide it but can’t find a good spot. A dog who was recently spayed might see herself as a surrogate mother to her toy or think she is pregnant. A dog who experiences changes in hormones might feel the need to take care of something or nest. The toy becomes her puppy and she takes care of it. She’ll lay next to it and cry. It’s not real, but that maternal instinct to be with and protect her puppy still comes through. Non-hormonal responses might include the dog valuing her toy. This might be the best toy ever and she has great memories of you two playing. You throw, she catches. No matter how many wacky places your dog leaves it, you always find it for her.

The toy might squeak, which makes your dog spin in circles out of joy. There’s never one reason why a dog prefers one toy over another, but the bond she has with the toy is important. Maybe the toy was part of a special moment. Whatever the reason, your dog thinking this toy is awesome could be why she is crying. Your dog might also be bored and want to play. Her whining is an attempt to get your attention. She might cry with the toy in her mouth or drop the toy at your feet and cry. Either way, try playing with her to stop her crying. It might be all that is needed. Your dog also has an instinct to hide stuff. She knows that she needs to bury bones, among other things, for survival and that might include this toy. But your house is lacking dirt for digging, and every time she hides this toy under the bed, you seem to find it. Your dog might be whining because she knows she should do something with it, but doesn’t know what. Simply put, she’s confused.

Encouraging the Behavior

Crying over a toy may seem silly, but your dog is communicating something to you, and it’s important to decipher what it is. If you think your dog is being a surrogate mother or having a false pregnancy, take her to the vet as she may be in more emotional distress than she is letting on. It’s easy to take the toy away, but this may not solve the problem because your dog thinks this is real and she might feel worse without her toy. The vet can guide you on how to handle the situation. If you’ve picked an awesome toy, you’re an awesome owner. To stop your dog from crying over this toy, you probably need to replace it. But what’s to say she won’t cry over how awesome the next one is? It’s a cycle of crying that can be stopped with some training, but it’s up to you if that is necessary or not.

When your dog is bored, she might cry, and boredom can escalate to destructive behavior. If you think she is telling you she wants to play, add some more playtime to her routine. She might want to spend more time with you and more time with her favorite toy. Then again, if she is trying to hide it, maybe you could give her a hand (paw). Your dog’s instinct to bury stuff comes from years of surviving in the wild, but it’s no longer necessary. Some dogs turn to making a game out of hiding their toys because they’re bored while others bury them in the backyard. If your dog has a bed or crate, you can add blankets or pillows to create a den and encourage her to hide the toy there. Burying a toy in the backyard poses problems: there may be chemicals in the lawn and dirt will get absorbed by the toy, which goes into your dog’s mouth.

Other Solutions and Considerations

If your dog is crying over a toy and demonstrating odd physical behavior as well, take her to a vet. A dog who cries might have a physical problem. Odd behavior could include lack of appetite indicating digestive problems scratching at the door to be let outside, indicating a need to go to the bathroom or lying down in a submissive position but not interacting with you, indicating she is sick. You probably know what your dog does when she is not well, but if you’re not sure, call the vet. One time to be concerned is if your dog starts object guarding, which is growling, nipping, or biting when an object like a toy is threatened. For this, you want to contact a trainer because this behavior can escalate to other objects or even people. In general, your dog crying might be nothing to worry about, but it could become annoying. Try giving her an interactive toy that stimulates her mind. She’ll be busy figuring out the toy and will forget to whine.


Your dog might just love her toy, or she might have more going on. Play with her regularly and have fun knowing she is enjoying time with her human best friend. The world is ruff, so having someone and something that you love is important to everyone, even your four-legged friend.

Written by a Miniature Yorkie lover Stephanie Molkentin

5 Reasons Your Dog Is Whining

They may not be able to talk, but dogs can use many other methods of communication to interact with us. Sometimes, whining is one of those methods. Whining can be cute, but if it goes on for long periods, or becomes a regular habit, it can get aggravating. If you want to stop your dog from whining, you first have to understand why he is whining. Let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons.

1. He Needs/Wants Something

The most obvious reason your dog may be whining is that he needs or wants something from you, like food, water, or a walk. Maybe his favorite toy is stuck underneath the couch, or the cat is sleeping in his bed. The whining should stop once you identify the problem and fix it.

However, if your dog is whining for more food after you just fed him, this is a problem that needs to be corrected. Make sure no one in the family is giving your furry companion extra helpings, and never feed your dog from the table. If you give your dog more food in response to his whining, the behavior will only get worse.

Additionally, if your dog is whining for another walk after you just took him out, this could indicate a bladder problem or a digestive problem. If your dog has to go again as soon as you come back inside, you should take him to the vet.

2. He’s Whining for Attention

Sometimes dogs whine just because no one is paying attention to them. This is similar to how little kids whine when they’re bored with the grownup talk at the dinner table. Your dog wants someone to play with or something to occupy him.

Make sure you’re giving your dog enough exercise and mental stimulation each day. Boredom doesn’t just lead to whining it can also lead to destructive behaviors, such as chewing on the furniture and digging up the flower beds.

3. He’s Scared or Stressed

Whining can be your dog’s way of saying that he is scared or anxious. If your dog is also pacing, trembling, or panting while whining, he is likely fearful or anxious about something. Perhaps there is a new guest or resident in the house making your dog nervous, or perhaps he is worried because someone is missing.

If your dog is whining anxiously right before you leave the house, this could indicate separation anxiety. Dogs with separation anxiety often engage in destructive behaviors while you are gone. You can treat your dog’s separation anxiety by using these desensitization and counterconditioning techniques.

4. He’s in Pain

Whining could be an indication that your dog is in some kind of physical distress. If he whines every time he tries to go up the stairs or jump on the couch, he may have joint pain because of arthritis.

If there is no obvious reason why your dog is whining, (all his needs are met and there is nothing to make him anxious) you should take your dog to the vet to get him checked out.

5. He’s Saying He’s Sorry

Whining can be a submissive behavior — a way of saying “You’re the boss.” When you scold your dog for chewing your shoes or tipping over the trash can, he might whine as part of his apology.

This behavior comes from dogs’ ancestors, wolves. Wolves can be shunned from the pack when they break the pack rules, like biting too hard during play. To be accepted back in, a wolf will bow his head and put his tail between his legs. This is the same posture our dogs display when they look guilty.

If your dog is whining to apologize to you, simply acknowledge his apology, and walk away. This sends a signal to your dog that he has been welcomed back.

In most cases, there is nothing to worry about if your dog has an obsession with a stuffed animal. It doesn’t necessarily reflect any negative concerns on your dog’s mental health. The one concern might be how dirty the stuffed animal will become as the dog will be spending a lot of time carrying it around in his mouth.

For this reason, you may want to wash the toy frequently so that it doesn’t become laced with dirt and bacteria. The only other time when you might need help would be if the dog is overly protective of the stuffed animal. This might point to behavioral issues that need to be rectified over time.

Watch the video: Cat carries toy and crying