Can Dogs Fake Cry?

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Introduction

Dogs are very sensitive creatures that are in tune with their surroundings, their environment, and their humans. It may be easy to look at a pup with tears in its eyes and assume that it's crying, or at least feeling some sort of sad emotion. 

We know that dogs are capable of feeling sadness, grief, and a range of other emotions that may lead to tears. But are dogs capable of fake crying? Read on to find out!

Signs Your Dog is Faking It

Similarly to humans, our doggos have tear ducts in their eyes that help keep their eyes clear and functioning properly. However, unlike humans, dog tear ducts drain the liquid back towards the throat and nose area instead of spilling out and down their faces. So if your pooch looks like they are crying, there might be a problem and you should consider getting the eyes examined by a veterinarian.

It may also be difficult to tell if your dog is actually in pain and injured or is possibly just faking emotions. Dogs are smart cookies and they know how to fake injuries in order to gain sympathy. However, there are a few simple ways you can spot body language or behaviors that indicate your dog may be faking pain, and really just craving some lovin'. 

One thing to consider is whether your pup is whining or crying for no apparent reason. If this behavior is followed by completely normal behavior soon thereafter, it is possible that your pooch is faking it.

Body Language

Here are some signs you may notice if your dog's tears are not a true sign of pain:
  • Staring
  • Whining
  • Pacing
  • Averting eyes

Other Signs

Some other signs you may notice include:
  • Crying that begins when you are near
  • Being "on" when you are looking
  • Crying for no real reason
  • Sad eyes
  • Mimicking other dog or human behavior

The History of Dogs Fake Crying

Dogs are very intelligent creatures. They connect strongly with their humans, are capable of learning and copying human behavior, and can be wonderful manipulators when they know what gets them attention, a treat, or extra cuddles. The number one reason a dog will fake an injury is for a bit of love and attention. 

Your pup may not fully understand what he or she is doing, but they do know that when they fake "cry" or fake being injured, a good pet owner will run to their rescue. 

Therefore, it is not too far-fetched for you to conclude your dog can fake cry in order to gain sympathy and a couple of extra treats.

The Science of Dogs Crying

There has been little to no research on why dogs fake pain or tears or how dogs can effectively use it to their advantage. 

However, most of the time, a dog that is showing signs of illness, pain, or injury, is a dog that is experiencing real feelings and should be taken very seriously. Taking your pooch to the veterinarian is the best way to confirm that there are not any serious problems that are affecting your dog's pain and emotions. 

If your dog is cleared by a professional, yet you continue to notice on-and-off symptoms that correlate with certain situations, you can eventually determine their behavior may not be genuine. Monitoring your pup closely is very important to understanding behaviors and whether a real problem needs to be addressed.

If you do, in fact, witness doggo tears, consider some of the possibilities that commonly cause tears in our furry friends:

  • Allergies: allergies can easily cause a dog's eyes to water. Dogs can be allergic to everything from pollen, dander, and smoke, to food ingredients. If you are worried, bring your pup to a veterinarian for allergy testing.
  • Blocked Tear Ducts: tears are also created when the tear ducts are blocked. If it goes untreated, your dog may develop skin irritation or have brown or reddish fur around their eyes. Seek veterinary attention when you first notice symptoms.
  • Infection: if you notice teary eyes in addition to yellow, mucusy, or bloody liquids on the inside of your pup's ears, it may be a sign that your dog has an infection. Other signs of an infection can include swollen-ness around the eye area. Definitely take your dog to a veterinarian if these symptoms are apparent.
  • Scratched Cornea: sometimes, tearful eyes may indicate a scratched cornea. Take your dog to the vet if you believe your pup has a scratched cornea.
  • Debris: simply enough, there may just be some dirt caught in your pup's eye. If this is the case, the tears should stop soon. Make sure you keep an eye on your pup, however, to make sure a more serious problem is not the culprit.

Training Your Dog to Stop Faking It

We don't mean to over-comfort our dogs (we mean, they're just so cute!), but it is possible that as loving and caring humans, we have trained our pups to fake being hurt. This may happen when we over-compensate with treats and cuddles, and our dogs learn certain behaviors will result in even more treats and cuddles. If you find that your pup is faking injuries or being sad to bargain for your attention, there are a few steps you can take to undo these behaviors.

First off, if your dog is faking these sorts of emotions, consider why. Does your pup actually get more attention when they act out? Do you give your other dogs, who might be actually suffering, extra attention? Dogs are smarter than we give them credit for. 

The best way to stop fake behaviors is to simply ignore them. It may be hard, but a little bit of tough lovin' will retrain your pup to understand that they will not receive any additional affection for bad behaviors. Remember, this will take a bit of patience and some serious willpower, but breaking this bad cycle of behavior is the best way to encourage a healthy, loving relationship with your canine companion.

How to React to Your Dog Faking It:

  • When in doubt, take your pup to the vet to make sure there really is nothing wrong.
  • Do not punish your pup for fake crying.
  • Simply ignore the bad behavior.
  • Seek medical treatment if it looks like something serious.

We Want to Hear About Your Dog Fake Crying!