Whining is a vocal expression that dogs and their owners share. Actually, dog whining is a learned behavior. Dogs learned to whine from you and your kids throughout history. They know it’s effective, and they use it to get what they want.
However, dogs do not whine just for that. It is more than just asking for attention.
Here are the reasons why your dog is whining and the steps to stop him from doing that.
Why Is Your Dog Whining?
Dogs learned to whine from human interaction. Therefore, they use it almost for the same reasons that we do.
For that, dog experts distinguish between 4 reasons for whining.
This is the most obvious reason for anyone to start whining. If your dog is laying down in a submissive posture and whining, he may be hurt. If he makes this vocal sound every time he moves his body around, that would be his way of telling you he feels pain.
It is necessary to keep your healthy at all times, but there are occasions where you can’t help it. Your dog will start whining to signal how much pain he is in. When you hear his painful whining, it’s time for an emergency visit to the vet.
Expressing Different Emotions
Like humans, dogs use their voice to communicate different emotions, most of which through whining.
Your dog may be just so excited to see you that his whole body starts shaking and he starts whining, barking, jumping, and all kinds of uncontrolled behavior. That’s because, sometimes, he actually can’t control it.
If your dog is in anxious, afraid, and stressed, whining will be only one symptom among others such as nervous pacing and constant looking around. This is a signal that your dog is not at all in his comfort zone and he’s having trouble adjusting.
The worst kind of whining is when it is accompanied by frustration. All signs of bad behaviorstart showing on your dog. He will be scratching the wall, nipping and tearing up everything he can reach.
Have you ever been so mad at your dog that he can back whining at your feet?
If yes, there’s good and bad news. Your dog understands that you are the pack leader and what you say goes without question. When he comes back whining, that’s his way of apologizing, and you have to accept the apology.
However, the bad news is your dog may be lacking confidence. This can be seen if he goes in the same submissive posture and whining when he meets new people and new dogs. This lack of self-confidence is why he may be a big whiner even at the house.
Check this article to see how you can boost your dog’s self-confidence when meeting strangers.
Trained to Whine
If you have adopted a dog that whines, or if you have trained your dog to whine, you can’t blame them later.
Again, there is a good side and bad side to this.
The good side is that trained whining may be an expression of a need to go out and potty. That means your dog is housebroken and there is a conflict between his need to do his thing and what you have trained him to do. Teaching him to ask for a minute to potty outside may be a good idea.
The bad side is that your dog may be whining for attention. This is seen more on puppies but can stay with the dog forever. Puppies have a need for attention, and at some point, your puppy will start whining to get yours. If you give up too easily (it’s so cute), you may have to deal with that forever.
Watch Tucker the dog whining to get back home after a swim in the lake. It’s hard to say no, but it has to be done!
How to Stop Your Dog from Whining?
Although this vocal way of expression is helpful at times, it is both annoying and a sign of bad training most of the times. Therefore, you should not allow your dog to whine whenever he wants something from you. That is exactly why you need him to stop doing so. Here is a 5 step guide to doing that.
Step 1: Why is your dog whining?
Before we go further, you need to understand why your dog is whining. Although the next steps would work in the same manner, it is a must to know the reason your dog whines. That way, when he does it again for the same reason, you can easily stop him.
However, if your dog is whining because of physical pain, skip to the last step.
Step 2: Ignore him until he stops
Sooner or later, your dog will get tired and calm down. If he whines because of excitement, just let him be and do not pay any attention to him. If he does it for attention from you, don’t give in until he stops.
NOTE: if your dog is whining to go potty, just open the door for him.
Step 3: Reward good behavior
When your dog calms down, it is then your time to step in and reward him for NOT whining. That means using a treat because he did calm down, but do not give him what he was whining for unless YOU want to.
You don’t have to give him anything except for a little attention as to say I heard you. Anything other than that may be just rewarding bad behavior and training him to be vocal more. Whining may develop to excessive barking very quickly.
Step 4: Is it your problem or is it the dog’s?
This question should be asked if your dog’s excessive whining continues. If it is because of you rewarding his bad behavior by given him attention, both positive and negative, you can still save the day. Following these steps and rewarding ONLY positive and good behavior will do the job.
However, if you are doing everything in the book and your dog still whines, it may be his problem. In that case, it is probably beyond your area of expertise, and step 5 is the solution.
Here are a few more tricks to stop dog whining.
Step 5: Ask a vet
If your dog is in pain, lacks self-confidence, and has excessive bad behavior, then consulting your vet is the best way to go about it. Following the vet’s instructions and advice will help you minimize bad behavior in your dog.
Does your dog whine? Do you know why? Let us know in the comment section down below.