Why Do Rottweilers Cry?

Why Do Rottweilers Cry

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Nobody likes to hear their baby crying, even if that baby walks on four paws and comes covered in fur!

Rottweilers have quite the unique assortment of personality quirks—but this probably isn’t news to you! You’ve likely already fallen for your Rottie’s adorable eyebrow furrows, their goofy grin, and even their stubborn persistence to be stuck to your side 24/7. 

However, when your Rottie cries, it can be unsettling. 

You may be wondering if they’re okay or if it’s normal.

So, why do Rottweiler’s cry?

When your Rottweiler cries, it isn’t always something to send your big baby to the vet over. However, a Rottweiler that’s crying could be trying to communicate any one of the following things: pain or illness, a need for attention, boredom, anxiety or fear, or simply a need to go to the bathroom.

Let’s dive deeper into each possible reason and discover why it is your Rottie may be crying!

Reason 1: Because of Pain or Illness

It’s no surprise that a Rottie in pain is going to make some noise, especially if they know help isn’t far away!

If your Rottweiler has been crying consistently or even at random intervals, take time to do a thorough pat down of your pup. Keep an eye out for any obvious signs of injury like bleeding, swelling, or extreme tenderness when touched accompanied by your dog flinching or trying to keep you away from the injured area.

Big dogs can suffer from an assortment of maladies related to their hips and legs, so you’ll want to watch them when walking around, running, or making jumps of any kind. If you notice a limp or that your dog is favoring one leg/paw, it may be time to consult your vet.

It’s not always that easy to find the problem spot, however, and that’s why you should always consult your veterinarian if you’re ever unsure. 

On top of that, dogs are very good at concealing signs of pain. Though it doesn’t always make sense to us because we know we just want to help them, a dog’s instinct for concealing pain runs deep. In the wild and for survival, it was once imperative for your dog to hide any signs of weakness that could attract potential predators.

So, why does your Rottie cry if they’re so good at hiding their pain?

Well, just because a dog can effectively hide their pain doesn’t mean they’re going to. Your Rottweiler could be intentionally conveying their trust in you by telling you something’s wrong

Illnesses can be tricky, though. When something is internally wrong with your Rottie, you may not notice at first beyond their occasional cries. 

Our dogs may not speak English, but crying is a language we all speak. 

It’s just a matter of getting down to the exact reason for why- that’s where your veterinarian can help. 

Reason 2: Because Your Rottie Wants Attention!

Rottweilers are lovingly dubbed “Velcro dogs” for a reason—notorious clinginess, in particular. Many of the ways Rottweilers like to show affection to their owners involve maintaining physical touch like leaning against you, laying their head in your lap, and putting their nose in your hand. 

This constant need to show and receive affection means that Rottweilers want a lot of attention—and they’ll let you know if they feel they aren’t receiving it! If your Rottweiler is crying and you’ve already established that they’re perfectly healthy, you may have a needy Rottie on your hands.

Check out Nala the Needy Rottweiler and the ways she gets her human’s attention! 

Rottweilers have long been raised to be close to people. This ancient dog breed worked hand in hand with humans on the farm as herders and drovers of livestock, meaning that their closest relationship was often with their owners. 

While your Rottie may not be circling sheep in the backyard, they have likely still bonded pretty closely with you. If you’re away from home for long portions of the day consistently, or if you’re otherwise distracted while home, your Rottweiler may be crying to tell you they want attention.

Once you know this is what your Rottie has been trying to say through their crying, I bet you can’t resist those precious eyebrows for long!

Reason 3: Because of Boredom

A bored kid is a troublesome kid, it’s no secret.

Even if your kid happens to be an otherwise angelic Rottie.

Rottweilers require a good deal of physical activity to maintain a healthy physique, but they also need mental stimulation. Playing games with your Rottie is a fantastic way to encourage both! You could also teach your Rottie a few tr

However, if your Rottie isn’t getting enough physical activity or mental stimulus, they may cry to indicate that they are bored. 

There are many ways you can work on entertaining your Rottweiler, though!

Sometimes, depending on your particular dog, daily walks and even a light jog may be enough to give your Rottie the exercise and quality time they are wanting. For others, you may try something more involved like puzzle toys or even some agility work (yep, bulky Rotties can do agility). 

There are also plenty of great toys out there for Rotties even though these dogs are exceptional at shredding and de-squeaking toys!

If your Rottweiler is healthy and otherwise happy but crying, a few games may be in order to entertain your bored pup!

Reason 4: Because of Anxiety or Fear

Your otherwise-healthy Rottweiler could also be crying because of separation anxiety.

We’ve already talked about how Rotties need to feel close to their people, so it comes as no surprise that they can get a little too attached sometimes and suffer anxiety when you’re gone. This may cause them to cry right before you leave or when you return home.

Additional symptoms of separation anxiety include excessive chewing, accidents in the house, and escaping when separated from their owner. If your Rottie is a puppy, you may simply be leaving them alone for too many consecutive hours and might find it to be a worthwhile cost to take your puppy to a doggy daycare during the workday. 

One of our Rottweilers, 3 years old when we adopted him, suffered from separation anxiety as an adult because he had been abused by previous owners and was an overly anxious dog in general. It’s important to note the specific context of your dog’s behavior and any history that could be contributing to their crying.

In other words, some Rotties do better with alone time than others.

Further, your Rottie could be crying from fear.

There are many reasons why a dog can be scared. For example, thunder, gunshots, and fireworks are all common doggy fear factors. Others include being scared of other dogs or strangers.

This is another instance where you’ll need to take note when your Rottweiler’s crying begins and ends. Do they cry when a stranger comes into the house? Do they stop crying when the stranger leaves?

If you think your Rottweiler is crying out of fear, try to reassure them by separating them from whatever it is that’s scaring them. Remember to be patient and do not immediately punish the behavior. Punishing an already scared dog can make the behavior, and fear, worse, so it is much more effective for both you and your Rottie if you use positive reinforcement to train them

Rotties often just want you to clue them in on what to do, so if you don’t want them to cry, work with them to find a more acceptable solution. As their owner and protector, it’s your responsibility to make sure your Rottweiler feels safe and comforted.

Listen in when your Rottweiler is crying. Just because they aren’t physically hurting doesn’t mean that something else isn’t bothering your Rottie!

Reason 5: Because They Need A Potty Break!

Picture it.

There you were with your Rottie puppy. 

As a responsible dog owner, you made sure to provide excellent training as your puppy got bigger. This included teaching them a universal sign for “I need to pee!” because you were bound and determined that there would be no more indoor accidents as they got older and grew into a much bigger dog with bigger accidents. 

However, incessant yapping every time your Rottie needed to potty wasn’t your favorite thing in the world, either. 

There had to be some middle ground you and your pup could find, surely.

So, why did we just walk through this scenario? 

You might have accidentally, or intentionally, taught your Rottweiler puppy to cry as a potty alert system. Their cries may be saying, “Let me out now!”.

If you discover that this is why your Rottweiler is crying, you may decide it’s a worthwhile trade, crying versus potty accidents in the house. If, on the other hand, you are unhappy with this developed behavior, there are a few training techniques you can use to gradually change the behavior:

  • Don’t punish them. If your Rottie has been using crying as the code for a potty break, they won’t understand if you suddenly start fussing at them, especially since you might have once encouraged the crying over other, unpreferred behaviors like barking
  • Make it a routine. You could condition your Rottweiler to know that they will be going outside to potty when your alarm goes off in the morning or a half hour after each meal. This needs to be consistent or your Rottie may get uncertain and cry because they don’t know when their next break will be
  • Condition them. Some have gone so far as to teach their dog to ring a bell when it needs to go out!

Regardless of whether or not you decide to keep or dispose of crying as the potty signal, I’d consider it a blessing that your Rottweiler wants to give you any warning at all! Remember, any dog can only hold their bladder for so long so don’t blame your pup for letting you know!

Crying Or Whining?

When looking up resources on training your Rottweiler to stop crying, you may see the word “whining” pretty often. 

Is there a difference?

In most conversations, crying and whining are equally interchangeable. 

Dogs come with a wide range of noises. Here are six different types of noises you may hear from your Rottweiler:

  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Growling
  • Howling
  • Sighing
  • Groaning

As you can see, based on what each of these sound like, the term “crying” would best fit with whining. Another word you may see in the place of cry or whine is whimper. Ultimately, these sound the way you would expect: often higher pitched than normal, crying/whining sounds are pretty pitiful and notably non-aggressive, unlike some barks and growls. 

Whatever name you use, whether cry or whine, these Rottweiler noises are great attention-getters!

Final Thoughts

Rottweilers are very loyal dogs and it’s likely that your big pal just wants things to return to a happy normal as much as you do, even if that takes a little crying in the meantime.

While there are several reasons why a Rottweiler may be crying, it’s important to take time to figure out what the exact reason is for your Rottie’s crying. This will probably involve studying your Rottweiler’s habits for any behavioral changes, environmental stressors, or other signs of distress.

If it turns out that your Rottie needs medical attention, or you suspect as much, be sure to notify your vet immediately. 

If, however, your Rottie’s crying can be solved with a little extra quality time, enjoy hearing those whines possibly turn into those Rottie rumbles!