Why Is My Dog Whining?

Whether it’s at the dinner table, door or in the middle of the night, a whiney dog is not what you want to hear. Your first reaction may be to comfort a whining dog, but giving in teaches him that whining wins!

What Your Dog Is Telling You

Whining can mean many things, but it almost always means your dog wants something:

• When your family sits down to eat dinner, your dog is probably saying, ‘Give me your food.’
• Your dog whining at the door is probably saying, ‘I want to come in.’
• Your dog whining in his kennel or crate at night is probably saying, ‘I want out now!’
• A housetrained dog whining while inside may be saying, ‘I need to go outside!'

Whiners Never Win

Teach your dog that the only time it’s acceptable to whine is when he needs to be taken out or something is wrong. Otherwise, stay strong, don’t give in and teach him that whiners never win!

• Teach your dog that whining to go out and outdoor playtime are two different things. Let him take care of business, then take him in without play.

• When your dog whines, give him something productive to do like ‘sit’ or ‘down’ - have him do several commands in a row and then praise him calmly.

• Praise the sweet sounds of silence. It is best to ignore undesirable whining and then give your dog attention for being quiet, and he should start weaning off the whining.

• Make your dog’s crate a place he likes to stay with comfy blankets and his favorite toys. Crate him for short periods, often, so he learns to like it. When first introducing your dog to his crate you may want to feed him in his crate to make it a positive experience.

• Avoid giving in after holding out for a long time because your dog will view this as the best way to get what he wants.

• If your dog suddenly starts whining “out of the blue,” take him to the vet. He may be in pain.

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