How To Stop Dog Whining

 In order to stop dog whining you need to know that some dogs, like people, whine more than others.  That is usually in large part due to the fact that some dogs – and people – have been taught to think that if they whine they will get what they want.  While some whining in a puppy is normal, that doesn’t mean that you should reinforce the behavior. 

Dogs whine for many different reasons.  Here are just a few.

  • They want food or a treat
  • They do not want to be separated from you
  • They want to go outside
  • They want to be let out of their crate
  • They are in pain
  • They are frightened

Obviously, how owners should respond to the whining depends on the reason for it.  Below are some tips for how to stop dog whining as well as some general things to keep in mind about the whining.

Ignore It

If your dog whines and then you bend down and rub him while talking in a baby voice, “What’s wrong with my little guy?” then you are totally reinforcing the behavior.   The dog learns that if he whines, he gets attention from his owner.  Since attention from you is likely one of his favorite things, he’ll probably increase the frequency of his whining.

Instead, pay no attention to the whining.  Do not even acknowledge that you hear it. This is one of the most effective ways to stop dog whining.

Reward Silence

Once the dog has been silent for a few minutes after whining, then go and pay attention to him and offer other positive reinforcements.   For example, if the dog is whining because he wants to be let in to the room where you are, do NOT open the door until he is silent.  This will teach him that silence, rather than whining is the key to getting what he wants. 

The exception to that rule is if your dog is whining to be let outside.  While whining may not be the preferred method, at least he is letting you know rather than using the bathroom in the house.

Because whining can sometimes be a sign that the dog is in pain or distress, there are some times when whining should not be ignored.

During or Right After Eating

If your dog whines while he is eating or right after he has eaten, that could be a sign that he is having problems in his digestive system.  If this persists for more than a day, you should pay a visit to the vet.

Whining in a Dog That Doesn’t Usually Whine

If a dog who does not usually whine begins the behavior, there is a good chance that there is a medical reason behind it.  Again, if it persists for more than a day or two, you should schedule an appointment with your vet. 

Whining Accompanied by Other Unusual Behavior

If the whining is accompanied by another other strange behavior such as lethargy, lack of appetite or limping you should assume that there is a medical problem. 

If it is a medical condition that is causing the behavior, it is likely causing a good amount of pain to your dog as they don’t typically whine (in pain) unless the pain is quite severe.   That is why this should not be ignored.  Instead, an appointment to see the vet should be made as soon as possible. Dog health is something that should not be taken lightly. 

Learning how to stop dog whining is simple, but it takes discipline on the owner’s part to ignore whining and only reward silence.  Once you do that, however, it’s likely the whining will stop.

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