4 min read


Why Do Dogs Cry When They Greet You



4 min read


Why Do Dogs Cry When They Greet You




After a long and exhausting day at work, you finally make it home and as you begin to unlock your front door, you hear your dog behind your front door, whimpering and barking. You know she is excited that you are home. When you walk in the door, you notice that your dog’s whimpering gets louder and you wonder why she is crying. You know she seems excited, but to you, it does not seem normal that your dog has this reaction when she sees you. Some dogs just cry when they greet their owners, and there is usually a good reason for it. 

The Root of the Behavior

Canines are different than humans in many ways. They will express their emotions through their body, just as humans do, but their bodies are made differently. Therefore, if you notice your dog crying when she greets you, know that it is completely normal. Your dog's tears will secrete in a different way and she will whine when she is crying, but it is still just a form of expression. You may be wondering why your dog cries when she sees you, and it is probably because she is so happy and excited to be in your presence. You are your dog’s pack leader and she will always want to submit to you. She knows that you provide her all the love in the world as well as all the food and needs that she may have. It is safe to say that your dog views you as her idol. Therefore, when your dog sees you, know that she is extremely excited to be with you. She cries because it is her way of expressing her excitement. 

Just as we cry, laugh, and express using our voices, our dogs will whine and cry to communicate their emotions to us. Your dog may also cry when you greet her because of other reasons. Dogs will whine when they are in pain, when they need something, and if they are just feeling sad. You want to pay attention to the noises your dog makes when you greet them. From here, you will be able to love your dog, provide them with the food and necessities they need, or help them when they are in pain. Yet, for the most part, your dog is crying when you greet her because it is the highlight of her day. Dogs perceive their owners through the scents they smell, the familiarity, and the past experiences they have had with their owner. If your relationship with your dog is blossoming, expect the tears of your dog to be happy tears of excitement.

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Encouraging the Behavior

If you find that your dog whines when you greet her, then you should honor her emotions. Most times, your dog’s tears represent happiness and excitement in their life. Most dogs spend all day alone while their owners are going about their day or at work, so any time and energy spent around their owners are going to be the highlight of their day. Due to this, it is highly suggested to allow your dog to greet you with excitement and tears. It is just love, and your dog’s expressiveness should be viewed as a compliment. If you feel like your dog is whining when you greet her for other reasons, such as negative emotions or pain, you want to pay attention to that. It is suggested to watch your dog and give her with what she needs up to a point. If you feel like something else may be wrong and you are unsure, it is suggested to take your dog to the veterinarian. Yet, you only have to do this if your dog’s whining comes across as a call for help. If your dog does not whine when you greet her, that is perfectly fine. Not all dogs will cry when you greet them and that does not mean that they don’t love and care for you. Every dog's personality is different. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

When you greet your dog and she cries, it is suggested to return the love to her. Make sure your dog knows that you know she is greeting you, and show her that you love her just as much. This can help develop a stronger bond with your pet. Yet, make sure you do not overdo it. You want to make sure that your dog does not develop a habit of whining and coming to you whenever she needs something such as attention. You do not want to be bombarded by your dog’s needs all of the time when you are with her. 


Dogs love their owners more than anything in this world. In fact, your interaction with your dog can arouse tears and happy emotions in your pet. Whether you are spending the day together or just saying hello to your dog, your dog will be thankful for who you are and the time you have devoted to them. 

By a Golden Retriever lover Erika Seidel

Published: 03/14/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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