Welcome to the our Learning Library. Today we’ll talk about puppy whining, why they do it and what you can do to help minimize this behavior when it is unwanted. Whining is just how some puppys communicate or express their excitement or anxiety.
If you’re able to remove the stress, the dog will usually stop the behavior. Try to determine why the dog might be whining. Some of the likely causes include:
We want the whining to stop, but always be sure to not inadvertently reward the whining. For example, If the dog whines while making his meal, wait for him to stop whining before you put his bowl down. If he starts to whine as you are putting the bowl down, then pick it up again. Most dogs quickly make the association that whining does NOT bring their food to them.
Some dogs will respond to a calm “shhhh”. But then you usually have to redirect their attention to something else or the whining may start up again.
Playing self control games with your dog like Sit and Stay can help the dog learn to be more patient. Have the dog sit or down before going out the door, or stay on a mat while you make lunch or watch a TV show. As the dog begins to be more patient while waiting for something they want, the whining may diminish.
Because whining is an expression of some form of stress, you will probably find that the more you exercise your dog the more relaxed he will be. Give the something constructive to do to pass the time, and be aware of your dog’s needs. Make sure you take your dog out and bring him in at appropriate intervals.
If your dog is bored or missing his parents try keeping his mind occupied. Play a boredom buster game with him. Take him for a walk or give him some other kind of exercise. Give him an appropriate chew toy to occupy his mind. Yelling or threatening a puppy whining doesn’t work. It may only increase the dog’s anxiety, and yours too! If you have a guest dog that has a severe whining problem, ask the owners what they do to help the behavior and as always be and be patient the dog.