The Top 3 Reasons Your Dog is Whining
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.
The 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!
#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!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.