5 Reasons Why Do Chihuahuas Cry So Much?

Why Do Chihuahuas Cry? Photo of a chihuahua crying.

Have an issue where your Chihuahua is crying a lot and wondering why do Chihuahuas cry? Below, we’ve gone over the reasons and what you should know about this annoying and heartbreaking habit!

Chihuahuas will cry to get your attention about a need or a want. It could be a physical want such as being hungry, thirsty, or needing to go to the bathroom. It could be an emotional need, such as needing comfort during a fearful moment. Chihuahuas will also cry as an alert system.

They could be letting you know that they have spotted an intruder and that they are right there alongside you to defend your territory. They could also be trying to alert you that they are in pain or distress.

Understanding a cry as what it is — and isn’t — is important, and we’ve got over it in-depth for you below!

Why is my Chihuahua crying?

Chihuahuas are excellent choices for family dogs, and there are a lot of positives to their role in your family. However, they are known for crying — a lot.

There could be many things going on with this behavior, and understanding its root will help you see it as a personality trait rather than an annoying habit!

  1. They are hungry, thirsty, or need to go out
  2. They are anxious, fearful, or emotional
  3. They’re alerting you to an intruder
  4. They’re offering support to you in the face of a perceived threat
  5. They’re in pain or distressed

1. They are hungry, thirsty, or need to go out

This is similar to how babies cry when they need anything. From birth, Chihuahuas learn to cry when they need their mom, and then you, to fix something. This is normal pet behavior.

You’ll start to learn what different cries mean, much like babies! A specific bark means they’re hungry or thirsty. Another one means, “I have to go out NOW.” 

2. They are anxious, fearful, or emotional

Chihuahuas are prone to anxiety and fear. They are tiny and have to act much braver and stronger than they feel a lot of the time. This can lead to them feeling anxious very easily, and it will have them calling out to you for comfort.

Comforting your dog’s fears, anxieties, and emotional concerns will be validating and soothing to your dog. You can do that without worrying it’ll worsen the behavior. 

If you want to do this from a distance, that’s okay, too. You can use your tone of voice to calm them. Then comfort them once they’ve self-soothed. This is great if you want to help make your dog “braver,” too. It’s all about personal preference!

3. They’re alerting you to an intruder

They will pair this kind of crying with “alert” behavior, including a stand-up tail, a focused gaze, and possibly grumbling and growling. Whether they determine this intruder to be positive or negative, this is a common reaction when they first bring your attention to it.

Your dog’s crying might be persistent here, paired with poking at you and trying to get your attention physically. They’re trying to be a helping hand, so be careful to use commands that tell them it’s okay (to make them stop) versus chastising them!

4. They’re offering support to you in the face of a perceived threat

Since they’re pack animals, your determined Chihuahua is going to be at your side to take on whatever danger is waiting for them.

If they see you going to face the “threat,” they’ll cry at your ide to let you know that they’ve got your back and will face it with you. It’s sweet, if not a little bit funny, when you focus on their small size.

5. They’re in pain or distressed

If crying is constant and paired with lethargy and refusal to eat, and more, it could be a sign that your dog is in pain and/or distressed. This will be persistent crying that won’t be something they can control.

Keep in mind that dogs only cry if in pain when that pain is severe that they need to alert their human. It won’t be for something small or insignificant, such as complaining.

This will often sound different to attentive pet parents than their other crying. If you suspect that your dog is in pain, or distressed, bring them to the vet just to be safe.

Dogs don’t always show pain as humans do, so pay close attention to their body language and always have a professional’s opinion to be sure.

Vocal crying versus crying tears

Before we go further, let’s take a moment to distinguish between a crying dog vocally and in the actual form of tears. In humans, crying implies emotional issues, for the most part. In dogs, it is very different, though.

Chihuahuas crying tears doesn’t have any kind of mental or emotional connection at all — it’s an involuntary behavior for protecting their eyes

Crying is normal for many dogs, and it’s especially common in dogs with large eyes — like Chihuahuas!

Do Chihuahuas cry real tears?

No, Chihuahuas aren’t crying real tears. They are incapable of it. If you notice streams of tears coming out of their eyes, a vet visit is a good idea. Having a lot of lubrication around their eyes could be a warning sign of an infection or some sort of eye health issue.

If you notice the tears with the vocal crying and even picking at their eyes with their paws, it could give you a stronger sense that they are alerting you to pain or discomfort. 

What does it mean when a dog cries tears?

In most cases, it means that your dog’s eyes are dry! Perhaps they were playing outside, and their eyes are cleaning off dust, pollen, and so on. Or they’re tired, and lubrication is needed to refresh their eyes. 

If you notice the tears in combination with pus or a strange odor, you’ll want to get your dog to the vet to make sure that there is no bacterial infection brewing! You can use dog eye wipes in the meantime.

Do Chihuahuas cry when sad?

Chihuahuas will cry when they are sad, as talked about above. Chihuahuas will cry for a variety of reasons, of course. Still, sadness is something to think about if you’ve exhausted your other options.

Are they lonely? Are they missing a pet or family member that has disappeared for no reason (from their perspective)? Are they grieving a loss? Dogs can be prone to depression, too, so you’ll need to consider this seriously.

Often, understanding dog sadness is about the process of elimination. If your dog is sad, give them some more time, play, and bonding. They are social creatures that are happiest in their pack!

How does your Chihuahua show sadness?

Do you think your Chihuahua is sad? You can watch for other signs in their actions to help you get a sense of what they’re feeling. Some of the top indicators include:

  • Quiet crying (like whimpering)
  • Looking at you with sad eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Dejected body language (no tail wagging, ears bent back)
  • Won’t make eye contact

These are all signs that you have an unhappy Chihuahua on your hands. You’ll want to do what you can to cheer up your dog by snuggling, playing, and more.

It’s important not to chastise your dog for crying if they’re sad, as it can make it much worse. Dogs communicate through crying like we do through talking.

Photo of two Chihuahuas crying.

Why do Chihuahuas cry at night?

There are several reasons for Chihuahuas to cry at night. They differ depending on how long you’ve had the dog, where they sleep, and any possible changes to that sleeping situation. What does that actually mean, you ask?

If you’ve just brought home a Chihuahua, nighttime fears and worries sneak in for the first few days or the first week. Once they settle in and adjust, this will stop.

Their sleeping location could be a probe, too. Perhaps the space is too small. Or maybe there aren’t enough blankets, and your dog is uncomfortable. Maybe they’re used to sleeping in bed with you or with other pets, and they are suddenly on their own with no pack nearby.

Changes to that sleeping location could be especially unsettling for your anxiety-prone Chihuahua. A new bed could make them nervous. A new sleeping cage could as well. Even changing the angle of that sleeping place could make them nervous. 

Nightime crying is common in many Chihuahuas, and understanding why they’re crying will help change this habit!

Why is my Chihuahua crying in their crate?

The main reason for Chihuahuas to cry in their crate is discontent! Or they’re complaining. Even though Chihuahuas like to burrow and enjoy those smaller spaces, they don’t want to be there overnight! They want to be snuggled up with you.

Crate training is a precise process that you’ll need to take at the right pace so that your Chihuahua can learn to see their crate as a safe little space rather than a punishment or a hated place. Take a careful approach to this, and it’ll go much better.

The other thing to note is that even in a situation where you crate train them properly, they may still dislike sleeping in their crate! They want to be with you, after all. Take their needs and preferences into consideration as much as possible!

Why does my Chihuahua cry so much?

It’s okay if you’re asking this out of frustration! Chihuahuas do cry a lot, and it’s a grating sound! They have a lot of things that they learn to communicate through crying, so it means that they will cry a lot.

In many cases, you can retrain this behavior so that the crying will only be for those times and situations where they need to get your attention. Many pet parents find that this helps deal with especially vocal Chihuahuas in the long-term!

How to stop my Chihuahua from crying

As with a lot of behavioral changes, you’ll need to follow basic steps to help your dog understand their behavior when it’s appropriate and what you want them to do instead:

  • Understand the cause of the crying and solve it (if applicable);
  • Teach your Chihuahua a command such as “no” or “stop”;
  • Use the command when your dog cries for no apparent reason;
  • Stay consistent in using the command.

This last point is crucial with Chihuahuas. If you give in during the training process and give them a “reward” when they don’t obey the command, they’ll continue to do it.

This will mean that you’ll need to start over again, and it can often be harder! Consistency in helping your dog understand when they can cry and when they shouldn’t is integral to helping you enjoying a quieter home!

All in all

Chihuahuas are noisy animals, compared to other breeds, and will cry for many reasons. The top ones include physical and emotional needs and expressing anxiety, fear, or uncertainty.

Territorial, Chihuahuas will also cry to alert you to an intruder and to offer you support as you” face-off” with an intruder. Of course, they will also cry if they are in pain or unhappy.

Understanding the different kinds of cries and how to deal with them and retraining the behavior is essential for everyone’s peace of mind and safety.

Chihuahuas cry a lot, and it often is a frustrating mystery to us when trying to sort this behavior out.

The tips above will help you get a better appreciation for the behavior so that you can get to the bottom of it for your sake and your dog’s sake!

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