Stop Your Dog Whining
Does your dog have the annoying habit of whining? Dogs usually whine when they want something or when they’re trying to get attention from you
Whining can also be a sign that your dog is suffering or in pain although the whine emitted from a dog in pain is usually easily distinguishable from the garden variety, attention seeking whine. It’s important before you attempt to stop a dog from whining that you’re able to differentiate between a frivolous whine and a more serious whiney sound that may indicate pain or discomfort.
Most dog whining stems from attention seeking behavior. Dogs are social animals and they like to be acknowledged by their owner. If a dog feels he’s being ignored, he may call attention to the situation by emitting a cacophony of high pitched whines. Other times your dog may whine is when he sees you eating a cookie or other goodie or when he’s placed into a cage or otherwise separated from you. Some dogs develop the habit of whining when they’re put to bed at night.
One legitimate reason your dog may whine is when he needs to go outside. This is a form of whiney behavior you don’t want to discourage unless you want very wet carpeting. By observing your dog’s behavior you’ll come to understand when his whine means something more serious than just the need to have your undivided attention.
If your dog is whining to seek attention, how should you handle it? To stop a dog from whining, you first need to eliminate the urge to reprimand or otherwise punish your dog. Punishment usually doesn’t solve the problem and may lead to even more distress in your dog which can increase the degree of whining.
The first thing to do to stop a dog from whining is to determine what situations bring on the behavior. Does your dog whine when he’s placed in his sleeping area at night? If so, it’s important to make his area as appealing as possible to him. Make sure he has lots of soft pillows and fresh water. You can also consider adding some soft music next to his bed to help him relax. When you place him in his sleeping area at night, give him a small treat and praise before leaving to positively reinforce his behavior. If he starts to whine, ignore his whining. By ignoring the behavior and not responding to your dog’s demands, the behavior will likely eventually extinguish over time. Any attention you give your dog when he’s whining will further reinforce his unacceptable behavior.
If your dog whines when he’s in the room with you, the best response, again, is to ignore him until the whining stops. At this point, reinforce your dog’s silence by giving him praise and attention. Never acknowledge your dog when he’s whining except when you believe your dog is experiencing true discomfort.
If your dog is whining frequently, chances are he’s bored. To prevent boredom, be sure to spend time with him when he’s not whining by taking him for walks or playing with him for short periods of time. A dog that’s stimulated is less likely to spend time vocalizing. Be sure to also have bones and toys available to keep your dog occupied.
By being consistent with your positive and negative reinforcement, you can stop a dog from whining over time. Sometimes it takes a bit of patience but the problem can be solved to the satisfaction of both you and your dog.