Dogs whine for a number of reasons. By understanding the root cause of dog whining you can take some simple steps to control unwanted whining by your dog.
Why Do Dogs Whine?
When your dog whines, she is talking to you. She wants you to know that there is something that she needs for a variety of reasons. Your dog may not be feeling well. Your dog may feel lonely and want your companionship. Your dog may be afraid and is calling out for help.
How to Control or Stop Dog Whining
If your dog is whining because you are not home, she may be suffering from separation anxiety. This is a relatively easy dog behavior to correct. You should start conditioning your dog to your leaving the house and coming back after a short period of time, say 5 minutes.
Don’t make a big deal out of your departure. No excited good byes and good girl farewells. When you return, don’t pay attention to your dog when you walk in. Act as if you were just in the next room for a few minutes and that your re entry to where your dog is doesn’t merit any fanfare.
If you do make a fuss upon departing or returning, you are in fact, telling you dog that what you are about to do or the fact that you have returned is very momentous. This will instill an even greater sense of urgency in your dog to whine as she now “knows” that your absence is something that causes you to get excited, therefore she needs to tell you that she noticed it and wants you there.
Start extending the periods of your absence to 15 minutes, then 30 minutes then an hour, then 3 hours, until your dog pays no attention to your departure or return. When you have accomplished this you will have defeated separation anxiety in your dog and the whining will have stopped.
Your dog may also display a whining behavior if she simply wants your attention. If she whines and you respond by giving her treats, playing with her or petting her, your dog will have been very successful in training you ! She just became the master and the dominant member of the dog pack.
This is exactly the opposite of the appropriate pack pecking order. You have to reassert yourself as the leader of the dog pack
One way to control this type of dog whining is to simply ignore your dog. If she doesn’t get the desired reaction, your immediate attention, when she whines, then she will soon get tired of this approach and you will have established control over your whining dog.
If your dog persists in whining, you should give her a firm command such as “No!”. Let her know with your voice and never by physical punishment, that dog whining is unacceptable and must stop. Another approach is to rattle a can full of rocks that make a loud and unpleasant noise. This auditory interruption is very unpleasant; Your dog will associate her whining with the unpleasant noise and the whining will stop..
Dogs also whine if they want to come inside or go outside. If your dog whines to go outside to the doggy outhouse, this is O.K. In this instance your dog is telling you she needs to relieve herself. When this from of dog whining occurs, you should say “good dog” to let your dog know that you appreciate her alerting you to her need. Always use the exact same words and in the same tone. Your dog can’t understand your human language, but she will associate the sound of your voice and the words you speak in a way that reinforces what in this case is a desired action.
Another approach to control whining in your dog is to divert her attention from the cause of the whining to something more appropriate. Is she whines, you could ask her to “come” to you or to “stay.” If she responds to your command you could then giver her a reward.
Dogs as well as puppies whine if they are hungry or bored. Puppies want food as do adult dogs and both need and want exercise. Be certain to give your dog ample exercise daily before any whining has the opportunity to start. Your dog may be tired and happy and the prospect of kicking up a fuss with dog whining will lose its appeal.
As we mentioned above, never, never , never strike or physically punish your dog at anytime. Physical abuse of dogs is not only inhumane and punishable by law but is counterproductive. An abused dog will have accelerated and more intense displays of undesirable behavior than a dog who is worked with in a calm, loving, and appropriate training environment.
Finally, dogs that whine for no apparent reason may be signaling you that they are sick or hurt. Don’t ignore dog whining that is unexplainable. Take your dog to a veterinarian right away to determine if there is an injury or illness that needs treatment.