The Top 3 Reasons Your Dog is Whining

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dog whining, puppy training

A dog that whines is one of my pet peeves!

I can handle full out barking a lot better than whining.

There is just something about the pitch that sounds like fingernails down a chalk board.

Thankfully, my dogs don’t whine! 😉

But There are Three Main Reasons That Dogs Do Whine:

#3.  Your Dog is in Pain

Dogs often whine when they are in pain.

After all, whining is a means of communications.

Heck, I whine when I have a migraine or am in pain, too!

And, honestly this is one of the only times I find this behavior acceptable.

It allows me to know that he is sore or that something hurts so that I can relieve his pain.

#2.  Your Dog is Stressed or Afraid

Many dogs whine in response to fear or stress.

dog whining, puppy trainingThe problem with this is that directly after his whining, many owners reward the dog by cooing and petting him, or by taking away the stress altogether.

Again, I understand that this is a form of communication, but I, personally, would rather increase my dog’s confidence in certain situations than risk rewarding his fear and the behaviors that follow!

I refuse to coo by telling him “it’s okay”, petting him, or picking him up so that he can totally avoid it.

Instead, I would prefer that he overcome his fear so that he can learn to deal with later fears.

After all, as children, we deal with all kinds of unrealistic fears and we learn coping mechanisms.

It is unrealistic to think that you can shelter your child from anything or everything that he finds scary.

Instead, parents teach their children to be confident and tackle their fears!

The same should be done with your dog!

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#1.  You Taught Your Dog To Whine!

I know what people are thinking…

“I HAVE NEVER TAUGHT MY DOG TO WHINE!!!!”

“I hate whining!!” (because most people hate it as much as I do!)

However, most people have rewarded or reinforced this behavior at some point during the process of training their puppy, or throughout the dog’s life.

Just like petting your dog when he whines teaches him to whine when he is stressed, most people also inadvertently reward and reinforce the whine from an early age.

For many it is when the puppy is crate training.

You don’t know how many of my clients will admit to letting their puppy outside when he whines.

After all, you don’t want him to have an accident in the middle of the night, right?

Often times, the very same people who refuse to let the dog out of his crate for barking are the very ones who are letting the puppy out for whining.

This is still rewarding the behavior!

By letting the puppy out when he whines, you are basically telling him if he wants something he should whine to get it!

And, the whining begins to bleed out to all kinds of other behaviors and in all kinds of other places.

Because if it works so well in the crate, it will probably work when you want to get on the bed but can’t reach, or you want your ball that has rolled under the bed.

By giving the dog what he wants when he whines, you are actually teaching him to whine more often!

ic-for-whining

There are 17 Comments

  1. Helen says:

    We rescued Prince last year. He’s about 8 and he can whine like no dog we have ever had. Any suggestions?

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  2. Lorraine says:

    Well said chet

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  3. Christine says:

    Yeah every morning after everyone leaves for work my golden who is blocked off whines for me to wake up. Whenever he is blocked off and can’t get to us and cant see us he whines nonstop. Its crazy because he is great now in his cage no whining and has been great for a year. Its like if he knows we are here he is missing out on something.

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    Minette Reply:

    my guess is because you get up or reward when he whines.

    I would use his crate then.

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  4. hello there, Maybe you can help me with my whining problem. I adopted my dog when he was 7 and he whines when we watch TV. he whines at wildlife programs and in action films whenever a human gets hurt or falls down.
    Sadly now every time he whines I yell at him that it’s only a movie and he ought to ” shut up” I know, that is no way to handle it, but it really goes on my nerves and the only other way would be to exclude him by putting him into another room which isn’t fair.

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  5. Jacki says:

    You forgot #4- Your dog is a German Shepherd.

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    Minette Reply:

    Actually I would disagree. I know and have had several that never whined. They would bark on command but never, ever whined.

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  6. Paula says:

    My Doodle taught my Wheaten to whine to get her way, not me. The Golden Doodle is 2 and the SCWT is 10 months and both are females. The Golden always gives in to the little one, especially when she whines.

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  7. Patricia says:

    Good article, my Aussie whines like a toddler in the grocery aisle at check out where the candy bars are. Or even worse when I’m on the phone.

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  8. Mickey says:

    My year and a half Shepherd has recently started whining. She is ball obsessed so tends towards compulsive behavior…but this whining is really getting on my nerves. I tend to ignore her. Or give her a command to go lie down. It’s only in the house…and only when I am not paying attention to her. OMG!!! She’s driving me NUTS ! I know she’s whining to go play ball…but that’s really too bad, I have a life too. We have short training sessions at least 3 times a day…She gets TONS of playtime with her BALLY…and I remove them when we are finished. Now what??

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  9. Fran says:

    Thank you i have a dog that whines when the ball is stuck somewhere and he wants it now

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  10. Cindy says:

    Is there a way to correct the whining or is it ever too late?

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  11. I recentley adopted a australian/german shepherd mix from the dog pound, he’s 2 yrs old. He cries when he is left alone. It breaks my heart to hear him. He keeps going to tge window looking for his previous owner. I can’t be mean to him about that, I know how much our animals get attached to us.

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  12. Frances Bailey says:

    I see a lot of references to “crate training” in these articles. What does this mean? I would only have a crate for a cat for travelling in the car, but a dog would be in a car harness. If a dog is injured and his movements need restriction I would use a crate, but don’t understand why so many dogs need to be in a crate at all. Maybe the word is used differently in US?

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    Minette Reply:

    Because dogs eat things that they shouldn’t that require surgery to remove and they destroy expensive things and end up dropped off for euthanasia in shelters.

    Not only do crates save lives, dogs and den animals and when used correctly dogs love their crates.

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  13. Jayne says:

    Hi
    I’ve had Ger. shep for over 30 yrs. they r extremely verbal! I keep a big toy box filled with toys in our family room. My dogs are constantly picking out toys to play with. When they are occupied, they don’t whine! A GS is an extremely intelligent dog that requires physical as well as mental stimulation. Taking away all play items except for 3 times a day will seem like punishment to your dog. The dog thinks: I was performing for you, doing what you want – now you take away my favorite thing? . My dogs have inside & outside toys. They almost always have a toy in their mouth. When they come in, they drop the outside toy outside the door, then they grab an insite toy, same thing going out – dropping the inside toy, picking up an outside toy. I seldom hear whining!

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  14. Donna Villers says:

    Do use your method on ignoring Ty whining and has worked very well for me..Thank you

    [Reply]

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