Why Does My Dog Leave When I Cry?

We all know that we have a special connection with our dogs, a kind of an emotional connection that we don’t have with any other species on this planet.

Do owners also know that their dogs can tell what they’re felling, even though our dogs may not react in the way we expect them to. For example, I was surprised when I noticed one of my dogs always leaves the room when I cry.

This kind of shocked me, so I did my research to understand why, and here is what I found;

So, why does my dog leave when I cry? Your dogs may leave when you cry because they are confused, they feel intimidated, feeling stressed out, they think they are in trouble, or they are anxious, whether your dog comforts you or leaves you when you cry, there is no doubt that they love you and hate to see you cry.

There are many reasons why your dog doesn’t stay when you cry if you want to know what is the reason exactly, just keep on reading.

Do Dogs Understand When You Cry? 

golden retriever to illustrate why does my dog leave when I cry

No, dogs do not understand when you cry, they are sensitive to emotional contagion, which means that they respond to our emotions without understanding what we are feeling.

Adult dogs have a mind similar to the mind of a toddler so even if they are not sure what you are feeling they will comfort you.

Let me explain further and in a more scientific way, in the University of London, the researchers looked at 18 dogs’ reactions towards someone crying and another one just humming.

Each experiment happened in the dogs’ homes, 15 of the 18 dogs showed submissive body language, they went to the person who was crying.

Why Your Dog Leaves When You Cry 

There are multiple reasons why your dog leaves when you cry such as they think they are in trouble, they are anxious, confused, they think you are fine, they feel intimidated, or they are giving you some space, also, they may feel that something is off but they do not know how to act so they just leave

  • They think they are in trouble 
  • Anxious 
  • Confused 
  • They think you are fine
  • They feel intimidated 

They think they are in trouble 

It could be that they feel that something is wrong and they got it confused with the same feeling they have when they do something wrong so they think they are in trouble when you cry and that’s why they leave you when you cry.


Many dogs become anxious when their owner cries, it’s more likely the reason if they look sad, depressed, or even ill when you and they might pace or cry as well.


It might also be that they are confused, they do not understand what is going on, or not sure what they are supposed to do in this situation especially if it’s the first time you cry in front of them.

If they do pay attention to you when you cry but they also show some signs of confusion such as looking around them then they are just confused.

They think you are fine 

Another possible cause is that they think that you are fine, it’s more likely if you cry a lot around them that they got used to this so if your dog doesn’t behave any differently when you cry then they just think that you are fine.

They feel intimidated 

The cause might be that your dog feels intimidated and here is how you can know if that’s the reason why.

  • They will try to avoid you when you cry
  • They will try to hide 
  • Pacing 
  • Shaking 
  • Panting
  • Salivation 
  • Trembling 
  • Inability to settle

They may feel intimidated because you showed any signs of aggression or getting mad at them while crying.

Your dog could react to your crying in a lot of different ways. I have made separate posts for why some dogs avoid you when you cry here and why other dogs come to you when you cry.

Why Does My Dog Leave The Room When I cry? 

Your dog may leave the room when you cry because they think that they are the reason you are crying, they may also leave the room because they expect you to follow them outside as a way to distract you from being sad, or they can’t take seeing you this way.

What Dogs Normally Do When You’re Sad 

Just like humans, Each dog acts differently around sad people, there are the awkward ones that don’t know what to do and the best friend that will try anything to make you smile, so here are the most common dog behaviors when their owner is sad or crying.

  • Distraction method 
  • Physical touch 
  • Giving you space 

Distraction method 

This one is the “best friend” kind of dog, he will try anything to distract you and make you laugh, they may give you a ball to encourage you to go outside with them, try to pull your clothes to go with them, or they will do the same things they do when they wanna go for a walk.

Physical touch 

If you have a friendly dog then they will probably be the kind that handles sadness with their physical touch just like how the people who are closest to you will do when they see you crying such as giving you a hug.

They will show comfort by outstretching their paw on your hand and unlike people, they will lick your hand as a way of comfort, or putting their head on their owner’s lap.

Giving you space

Finally, my favorite type of people and dogs, I will give some space type, some dogs sense that their owner is experiencing some kind of emotions that they do not understand completely so they leave the room until they think that you are ready for them to be around you.

Related Questions 

Is it bad to cry in front of your dog? 

No, it’s not bad to cry in front of your dog but it’s not the best thing either, crying in front of your dog might make them confused, think they are the reason you are crying and sad, and they might get sad because you are sad or even cry as well.

Why Does My Dog Bite Me When I cry? 

Your dog bites you when you cry because they try to distract you from crying, they are telling you to stop, or they want to redirect your attention and it’s more likely if your dog communicates with you or with anyone through their tail and mouth.

Do Dogs Comfort Their Owners When They Cry? 

Yes, they do, most dog’s comfort their owners when they cry, they will try to show comfort by placing their head on your lap, stretching their paw on your hand, licking your hand or your face, or trying to hug you, or just petting their paw on your back as a way to tell you that everything will be okay.

Helpful Resources

How your dog senses your mood

Helping a Scared Dog


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind Retrievershub.com. With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting Retrievershub.com and being part of our vibrant community.

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