Why Do Dogs Cry When Happy



It is six in the morning and you decide to go and make yourself a cup of coffee and when you walk into the kitchen, your dog is sitting there and she just looks at you. When you look at her to greet her, she begins to wag her tail. The more attention you give your dog, the faster her tail begins to wag. In fact, she begins to whine and shake her body when you pet and speak to her. Sometimes, dogs will cry and make noises when they have happy emotions. It is their way of expressing their feelings.

The Root of the Behavior

Canines interact with the world they live in differently than humans do. Their bodies are made to be in the wild and the way they fulfill and express their needs happens quite differently. In fact, dogs will communicate their needs and emotions in a wide variety of ways. Your dog may use pawing, barking, whining, and many other forms of body language for expression. When our dogs are happy, it would seem like they would just wag their tail and spend time with us. You may even think they would lick our face and push their head into our lap. Although those behaviors may occur, dogs will also express their happiness in other ways such as crying. This seems like a peculiar way for dogs to express positive emotion but when your dog is happy, you will notice that your dog does not have another way to express their heightened emotion. 

When your dog cries, they may whine but will not have tears coming from their eyes because they do not cry like people do. Although many people do cry when they are happy or excited too. It is the way canines are built, so if you don’t see tears coming out of your dog’s eyes, no need to worry. That is completely normal. In fact, if your dog does have tears coming from her eyes, that may be something to worry about because this may be an eye infection or irritation. Dogs do not have a way of expressing their feeling through words. Therefore, crying and body language is your dog’s way of expressing what they are feeling to you. Dogs will use their body to communicate all of their feelings and every bit of movement is important for your dog. When your dog has emotion, they will not repress it. It is why dogs whine when they are happy, excited, or even upset and sad. When your dog whines, you will be able to see their happiness through the rest of their body language. Your dog may whine with their tail wagging and they may even lick you. With that, you will know that your dog is expressing their happiness to you.

Encouraging the Behavior

If your dog is happy, there is no reason not to encourage their emotional expression. It is completely normal for your dog to cry when they are happy. They are expressing their emotion and letting their happiness come through. If you feel like your dog is crying for other reasons, you may want to take your dog to the veterinarian or you may want to watch over their behavior. Other body languages that your dog displays will give you clues to what emotion they are trying to express. It is the canine nature to cry and whine when they are having emotions of happiness, joy, and excitement and it is absolutely normal. When your dog expresses their happiness, they usually want a response from their owner and it is suggested to respond to your dog when they are expressing their emotion towards you, whether that is while you are greeting them, handing them food, or when you are taking them out for a walk. If you feel like your dog is whining every time they are happy and is using this expression to get attention, you may want to set boundaries with your dog. This way, your dog will know that whining should only be used for expressing emotions instead of a way to receive attention. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

When your dog is expressing happiness, you want to respond to them in the best way that you can so that your dog will know that you are acknowledging their feelings. If your dog continuously whines when they are happy, you want to continue to acknowledge their emotion and also watch how they behave. If you feel like your dog is continuously crying, you may want to see if they need something. Sometimes dogs will express their emotion by whining or they may be trying to express a need that they have, whether that be food, attention, or something else that they need.


Dogs are typically happy animals. In fact, they are known to be animals that are empathetic and loving to all humans in their life. If you have a dog who cries when they are happy, feel free to let them express their happiness in any way that they need so you can be attuned to their emotions. This will build a stronger bond between you two.