Whining is a very natural behavior for a puppy. A young puppy will whine when she is feeling uncomfortable, hungry, cold or tired. The pup will do this without thinking of it. The pup’s mother will respond by giving the pup milk, affection and a warm place to sleep. With time the puppy will make the connection between the two and from then on she will begin whining on purpose every time she wants or needs something.
When you adopt your new puppy this is what you need to teach her right away. During the first time in your house with her new parents she will learn that whining does not work or she will learn to use it to manipulate you into giving her what she wants. This is why a you need to leave your new puppy alone the first night when she gets there. If you respond to her whining by coming and fetching her and then giving you lots of warmth and affection she will of course continue to whine whenever she feels lonely or when she wants attention.
If your puppy is really in panic, then of course it might be necessary to give her some attention and affection. She is most probably scared by her new unfamiliar surroundings and it might be needed to distract here from that. If possible, wait until she takes a break from the whining before interfering. The thing is to avoid making the connection with her whining and your attention. If she makes this connection then of course she will start whining when ever she wants something and this can create lots of trouble further on.
It is important to use good judgement here. Sometimes a puppy will go on whining and crying for hours without stopping and if this is the case you do not have leave her like that. Get ready and if she stops whining even for a few seconds then go and get her. This might not be ideal but sometimes you don’t have much of a choice.
How to stop adult dog from whining
If everything goes like it should then your dog will stop whining somewhere around the age of six months. If it continues to whine after that it is either a bad habit or the fact that it has learned to use it for manipulation in order to get what it wants. If she goes on whining then it is time to take mesures.
For an adult dog there may be different reasons to why she is whining. Here are a few.
- She is in pain
- Bored or lonely
- Afraid or anxious
- Needs to go out
How you respond to the whining of an adult dog depends on the cause of it. If she needs to go out of course then you need to take her out. If she is afraid or nervous because a new or stressing situation you might need to calm her down. However if she is whining because she wants you to give her something then you should not respond. She must never learn that whining is the way to get what she wants.
Below there are a few common reasons for whining and how you should react to them
If your dog is whining because of pain
If your dog suddenly starts whining and then keeps going on then the cause might be that she is in pain. This is true to older dogs just as well as puppies.
If you think that pain is the cause then give her a check over to see if you can find anything wroning. The first thing is to check obvious signs like if she is holding a paw of the ground or close to the body. Then check the face and head for scratches or bruises. You then go on checking the limbs and joints for inflammation and possible injuries Be very careful not to make it worse. Carefully run your hands down her legs and give the joints a very gentle squeeze. Then continue with the tail, check for lumps and bumps. If you can’t find anything serious and you still think that she is whining out of pain, then have her checked out by a veterinarian.
If your dog is whining out of boredom and/or loneliness
This is pretty easy to spot. A dog who is bored and/or lonely will be wandering around the house and probably following you around, going back and forth and not being able to settle down at the same time as she is whining and complaining. The cure to this is quite simple. A quick walk, run or playing a game will get her in better spirits. When a dog is tired she is hardly ever lonely or bored. If your dog is often whining out of boredom and loneliness then you need to spend more time with her. Try to activate her with exercises, and games giving her both mental and physical stimulation.
When she’s whining out of fear/anxiety
It is usually fairly easy to figure out if your dog is whining out of fear. There is usually a clear reason for why she is afraid. It could be a thunderstorm or rifles firing during hunting season, other animals, unknown people or anything else. Usually you will learn quickly what your dog is really afraid off. If she is whining out of fear then of course you should simply comfort her by caressing her and talking calmly with her.
A dog who is anxious about something will usually react the same way but she might at the same time be restless and keep on pacing while constantly whining. Anxiety could be the cause of many things. For example a change of routine (she did not get her normal morning walk) or simply because the people around her are stressed and nervous. A dog will feel your energy and if you are anxious or nervous the dog will feel the same way. A new environment can also make a dog nervous and anxious.
If your dog is anxious you must stay calm and not give her a lot of attention. The reason for this is that if you give her lots of cuddles and affection it will make her even more worried because you are validating her fear. Remember a dog will take after you, she will look to you to see how you react and what mood you are in. If you stay calm and in control your dog will do the same and she will become less anxious.
One thing you could do is to distract her. Play a game for example. This will make her think of something else and the anxiety might dissapear altogether.
One final thing, never punish a dog who is anxious or nervous as this will only make things worse.
If your dog needs to go outside
Now this is not troublesome at all this is really a good thing. If your dog is whining because she needs to go outside it means that you have trained her well. She knows she must not go inside and she is letting you know that she needs to go. The reason why she is whining is that she badly needs to go and therefore she is trying to get your attention.
So you simply take take the leash, you pat your dog so she knows she is doing the right thing and you take her outside.
If you have any questions or any comments please leave them below.