How to Deal With a Whining Dog
Depending on the age of your dog, there are several different reasons why you have a whining dog. The following will give you some ideas on what to look for if your dog seems to whine for no apparent reason.
Young puppies whine naturally when they are tired, cold, or hungry. They soon associate whining with getting what they want, causing them to whine deliberately. After being adopted, your puppy needs to learn that a whining dog doesn’t get her own way.
She will probably continue to whine when you get her home, but you must teach her that it isn’t tolerated in your house. You’ll need to use good judgment. If your puppy is really anxious and is panicking, she probably will need your affection and attention until she gets used to her new surroundings. If she is whining periodically, try to give her your attention between whines. If she is whining continuously, wait for her to stop even if it’s for a couple of seconds. Try to be fast so she doesn’t think that it’s her whining that’s getting your attention. By not responding to her whining, it will prevent her from making a connection between the two. It’s generally a good idea to leave your puppy alone on the first night. Unless you feel it necessary, by responding to her whining with your attention (hugging, patting, cuddling), she will continue whining to get what she wants.
Adults usually grow out of the whining dog stage by the time they are 6 months old. If your dog is still whining after this age, it usually means that she has learned that it gets her what she wants, or it could be that she doesn’t even realize she is doing it.
Needing to go outside: This will be easy to pick up. If she’s waiting by the door or has that ‘look’ on her face, you’ll know immediately what she wants. This is the time when whining can be helpful.
Pain: If your dog suddenly starts whining and continues steadily, it may be that she’s in pain. Dogs can be in pain at any age. Older dogs may have age-related ailments and puppies can get growing pains. Check your dog all over to see if there is anything obviously wrong. Press gently at the joints. Watch out for any bumps or lumps. If there is nothing apparent, a visit to the vet may be necessary.
Loneliness or boredom: If she is walking through the house, following you or pacing around, boredom or loneliness is probably the cause of her whining. You may want to take her out for a good walk. Most bored dogs aren’t tired enough and may need more regular exercise. The problem of a dog whining out of boredom can easily be solved. She needs more interaction with you so try to spend more quality time with her.
Fear: This kind of whining needs to be immediately discouraged. No punishment or disciplinary action should be used or you will stress your dog out even more, which in turn will increase the whining. Pay no attention to her; ignore her. This won’t be easy but it’s necessary to stop the whining. If you give her attention and affection when she is nervous, this will only confirm her fears and she will become more stressed. Distracting her is also a solution, if she is afraid.
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