Why Does My French Bulldog Cry When Crated?


Any dog parent knows crate training is not as simple as stuffing your beloved pooch in the crate and closing the door. That’s just a disaster waiting to happen, and you are likely to have a panicked, upset Bully that is frantically scratching at the door and howling the house down.

However, any dog that is adequately crate-trained would settle down in minutes. What then, if your pooch starts whining, then escalating into crying and howling?

We love our dogs and cannot bear to see them upset, so often cave in and let them out in the hopes that they’ll stop crying. 

Newsflash. That’s the last thing you should do! 

Just like babies, crying is a way of communicating. Dogs don’t have the verbal prowess of language that we hoo-mans do, so they communicate through all sorts of other ways including body language and vocalization. 

Their vocalization can get pretty creative, encompassing barks, howls, growls, whines, and full-on screaming fests. 

In this blog post, we’ll examine why dogs, and Bullys in particular, cry when they are crate, or why they cry at all! 

Why Do French Bulldogs Cry?

Tear ducts are present in canine eyes, just as they are in humans, to aid regular eye function. Unlike us, however, dogs don’t tear up when they are upset, and cannot cry the way we sob and wail from emotional distress.

Their “crying” manifests through other ways of vocalization such as whimpering, howling, whining, and straight-up screeching! 

There is a multitude of reasons why a Frenchie would be crying. Some reasons include: 

They Are In A New Environment

They’re adjusting to a new environment or surroundings, and crying may last several weeks if not months.

New Puppies Might Cry

A new puppy might mewl and cry for its littermates. When puppies are born, they are born blind and deaf. Even when their vision develops, they continue to communicate verbally with their mother and siblings. 

They Are Lonely

Sleeping alone might cause loneliness in dogs or pups that are used to sleeping with their pack. Don’t forget, dogs are pack animals and seek constant companionship. It is rare to find dogs that love to be alone.

You can provide chew toys in their kennels to keep them occupied and distracted. Loneliness can be alleviated by listening to soft music.

They Need Something 

Just like babies, dogs also will holler for attention if they need something. Common causes would be food, water, attention, or a potty break. 

You’ll need to accommodate those needs to get your Frenchie to settle down, especially the potty break. Dogs will only soil their bed and home (their crate) as a last resort, so if your Frenchie is howling the house down, it may just be because he needs to get out and blast off. 

They Are Scared Or Anxious

Dogs that are scared or nervous might communicate their apprehension by whining that can escalate into howling. 

They Are Bored

Bored dogs can exhibit tons of undesirable behaviors like constantly pawing at their crates, chewing, and whining or barking constantly for attention. 

They Want Out 

In the process of crate-training, or before a dog is fully and happily crate-trained, many dogs will scream bloody murder when being crated. Which animal doesn’t want to be free?

Separation Anxiety And French Bulldogs 

This one is a tough one and extremely common in dogs. Separation anxiety is something that is common with the majority of dogs in various degrees. 

Mild separation anxiety may just mean your dog tries to get to you but failing which, will settle and get distracted with something else. 

Severe separation anxiety can mean that your dog freaks out whenever you are not in sight and cannot stand to be apart from you. While this is an extreme case, it still happens.

Most dogs fall within the middle of the spectrum. 

French Bulldogs are extremely bonded with their owners and when a dog with separation anxiety is left alone, they panic.

To help with this condition, dogs with moderate to severe separation anxiety will require long-term training, treatment, and even dog anxiety medication.

Symptoms Of Separation Anxiety

While some fussing is expected when your Frenchie is crated, some telltale signs of mild separation anxiety beginning include:

  • Digging, scratching, and pawing at the crate
  • Chewing at the bars
  • Trying excessively to get out 
  • Whining that can escalate into barking and howling
  • Lack of appetite and interest in food

Separation anxiety is one of the leading causes of dogs being given up for adoption. When your Frenchie starts to show signs of it, nip it in the bud immediately and go back to basic training to get your dog used to being apart from you.

French Bulldogs who experience separation anxiety don’t feel any better outside of the kennel. Your fur baby won’t drink, eat or unwind, and he may injure himself in the process of attempting to get back to you.

Left unchecked, this behavioral condition can escalate to the point that it is no longer viable for your dog to live with you. 

If you suspect your French Bulldog has separation anxiety and you feel you cannot cope with the impending disaster waiting to happen, consult a trainer or a canine behaviorist immediately. 

Do French Bulldogs Cry At Night?

Crying at night is common with many dogs, French Bulldogs included. Young puppies might cry because they are trying to communicate with their mother and littermates that aren’t there, or want attention and are feeling lonely.

While nocturnal loneliness affects French bulldogs of all ages, it is especially prevalent in their early years.

Adult Frenchies that are not fully crate-trained might cry because they want to be let out, or because they want to be kept close to you.

This loneliness is amplified at night when there aren’t that many distractions around, particularly if your French Bulldog wants to be around you constantly, or any other person. 

Is It Normal For French Bulldogs To Cry?

Though we often think of them as being tough and stoic, dogs are actually very emotional creatures. They experience a full range of emotions, including happiness, sadness, fear, and anger. 

And just like us, they sometimes need to express those emotions through crying. While it can be upsetting to see our dogs crying, it’s important to remember that it’s perfectly normal behavior, especially if you’ve just gotten a new dog and he or she is adjusting to their surroundings. 

In addition, Frenchies can also cry because they need something specific, like when they need to be fed or go potty. When left alone for long periods, crying can also indicate the onset of separation anxiety. 

Medical Conditions 

While a little whimpering now and then could be nothing to worry about, incessant crying can be a sign that something is wrong. 

Many medical conditions can cause dogs to cry, so it’s important to be aware of the potential causes. One common condition is allergies, which can cause irritation and discomfort. Another possibility is an ear infection, which can cause pain and inflammation. 

In addition, joint problems like arthritis or hip dysplasia can be uncomfortable or downright painful. 

If your dog is crying excessively, it’s important to take them to the vet so they can rule out any underlying medical issues.

Senior French Bulldogs

Adult Frenchies that are about eight years and up should have it down pat by now. They’ve seen it all! However, old age is starting to set in.

They may be affected by dementia, confusion, and physical discomfort from conditions like dysplasia or arthritis. Check with your veterinarian if your happy, stable-tempered Frenchie is crying excessively. 

Why Do French Bulldog Puppies Scream?

Some French bulldog pups produce a wailing and howling sound that resembles a human scream or, in some circumstances, a newborn screaming. 

Puppies are born blind and deaf, so they depend completely on their mother for survival. When they are first born, they spend most of their time sleeping and eating. As they grow older, they begin to explore their surroundings and form bonds with their littermates. 

Around the age of 8 weeks, puppies are ready to leave their mother and go to their forever home. This can be a stressful time for them, as they are leaving the only place they have ever known. 

When you first bring your Frenchie home, there’s a good chance he’ll make a few screams, especially if he isn’t fully crate-trained.

They may be feeling scared, anxious, or homesick. However, with a little patience and love, most puppies quickly learn to adjust to their new surroundings and become happy, healthy members of the family.

How To Stop My Frenchie From Crying? (Tips)

We love our dogs and to see them in distress is understandably upsetting. When they are crated and start crying, our instinct is to reassure them and give them some lovin’. Worse still, some of us let them out! 

That’s the last thing you should do. It basically tells your pooch “oh, I scream and cry and I get what I want”. So although oh-so-tempting, don’t cave in to your screaming dog’s demands! 

Here are a few ways to help ease your Frenchy’s fussiness and sadness. 

Make The Crate A Superhome 

Stuff the crate with toys, treats, and all kinds of good stuff to make it as comfortable as possible. Include bedding, plenty of toys, and an old t-shirt that smells of you.

Ensure that the crate is the appropriate size. Crates should be just enough for a dog to stand up in, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

YOU MIGHT LIKE TO READ: Crate Training Your French Bulldog

Place The Crate Well

For a start, you might want to have the crate where you can see it and your French Bulldog can see his people. Because they’re lonely, many dogs whimper in their crate. 

Put the kennel in your bedroom near the bed at night with your Frenchie in the line of sight and close to you. Suppose your Frenchie’s sleeping quarters are in the living room or another room.

In that case, you’ll have to work your way up to that, and not have your new dog sleeping immediately apart from you and out of sight. 

Feed Near The Crate 

The goal here is to make your Frenchie feel that the crate is a good thing. Feeding near the crate will give him a more positive outlook on his home and is a simple approach to begin forming a positive relationship between the crate and your canine companion!

What NOT To Do When Your French Bulldog Cries

As mentioned above, we cannot reiterate this enough. The start of separation anxiety comes with many owners not knowing how to deal with their dog’s whinging. 

The goal is to make your dog capable of spending loads of time alone and without your presence. Start by spending short periods apart in separate rooms and then work your way up to longer durations. 

What you should NOT do when your Frenchie cries is:

  • Fuss over him and give loads of attention
  • Give treats! Urgh.
  • Give a toy to distract him 
  • Pick him up and console him
  • Let him out of the crate 

Basically, when a dog cries for attention, the last thing you want to do is give a reward. 

However, be very certain that your dog is crying for attention and not because of another underlying reason like needing to go potty or feeling physically under the weather. 

Final Thoughts 

Dogs, like human babies, will cry occasionally. It is their way of communicating to us and showing their displeasure or needs. 

And just like human babies that are wailing their heads off, it is difficult to ignore them when we see someone we love in distress. However, one of the last things you should do is coddle your French Bulldog when he is fussing.

Thanks for reading and good luck! 

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