Dogs may not be able to talk, but they do communicate with humans through other methods. Whining is one form of canine communication.
Whining is a common behavior; and, many pet owners just let it pass without understanding why dogs whine. Dogs often whine when they are seeking attention, feeling anxious or trying to appease you.
For some people, whining may look cute. But, it can be annoying if it becomes a habit or goes on for long periods.
Five Likely Reasons Why Dogs Whine
If you want your pet to stop whining, you must first identify the reason why dogs whine. Here are five of the most common causes of whining.
1. Your dog wants something.
The most obvious reason why dogs whine is that they want something. This could be food, water or playtime. It might be that their favorite ball rolled under the couch or another dog has invaded their bed. If you are able to identify and fix the problem, then the whining should stop.
Sometimes, dogs whine to ask for more food even after you have fed them. You could trace this problem to a family member giving your dog extra helpings from under the table. If you do not correct this, the whining behavior will only get worse.
Is your dog whining to go outside right after you just had a walk? If he is not whining to go for another walk, then pay attention to his elimination habits while outside. This could indicate a digestion or bladder problem. Contact your vet to discuss this behavior with him.
2. Your dog is seeking attention.
Some dogs are attention seekers. Just like toddlers, they tend to whine when no one is paying attention to them. If they are constantly whining, they probably want someone to play with them.
Whining can also mean that your dog is bored. They will whine to get rewards, desired objects or another activity to occupy them.
You’re lucky if boredom only leads to whining. Some dogs chew on the furniture or destroy flower beds when they have nothing else to do. To prevent these behaviors, make sure that your dog has enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day.
Some dogs also whine when they get overly excited in greeting people or other dogs. You can downplay greetings by keeping your movements slow and calm. Do not pet your dogs until they take the excitement level down a notch. You can also teach them to sit or other polite behaviors when greeting people.
3. Your dog is stressed or scared.
Another reason why dogs whine is that they may be scared or stressed. If your dog is panting and pacing while whining, then he may be afraid or anxious. Perhaps a house guest is making him nervous or he is worried that someone is in danger. Try to identify the source so that you can assist in alleviating his anxiety.
If your dog whines excessively when you leave the house, then he may be suffering from separation anxiety. Symptoms of this disorder include:
- Excessive drooling
- Peeing and pooping indoors
- Destroying furniture
- Scratching doors and windows
You can treat these problematic behaviors with positive reinforcement techniques. If you suspect your dog has separation anxiety, contact a professional trainer who has experience with this issue.
4. Your dog is in pain.
Whining is one of the most common distress signals for dogs. They often whine when they are in pain or some kind of physical malady. If your dog whines when he goes up the stairs, his joints might be hurting.
If your dog whines for no obvious reason, visit the vet to rule out any medical issues.
5. Your dog is trying to say sorry.
Whining can be an appeasement behavior – it’s their way of saying they are sorry. When you scold them for chewing your shoes or the couch, they might whine to apologize.
This behavior can be traced back to the wolves who are the original ancestors of dogs. Wolves are often rejected by the pack when they break the rules. And to be accepted back in, the shunned wolf will bow his head and tuck his tail. This same posture can be seen in dogs when they look guilty. They crouch, hold their head down, hold their ears back, tuck their tail and avoid eye contact.
Is your dog whining to appease you after you reprimanded him for undesirable behavior? Acknowledge his apology so that he knows you are welcoming him back.
Appeasement whining is normal canine behavior that you can correct by building his confidence. Take him to a class that trains dogs with reward-based techniques. You can also try trick-training classes, dog agility sports and musical freestyle. Play fun, interactive games with your dog such as tug and fetch, while avoiding physical and verbal punishment. Intimidating your dog will only hurt his confidence and reinforce appeasement whining.
Is Your Dog Constantly Whining? Let Positive Paws Help You Address That.
Positive Paws provides personalized training for dogs of all ages. Your pet can benefit from positive learning techniques that reward and encourage instead of rebuke and punish. These motivational techniques will also enable your family to enjoy the training process.
Contact us at 636 352 3104 or email email@example.com for inquiries.