How To Stop Your Dog From Whining

Your dog communicates with you in many different ways in their actions and their vocalizations.  Barking, growing, and whining are all signs from your dog that they want or need something.

It is important to figure out why your pet is whining.  Although whining is not a problem behavior initially, it can become an issue if you do not respond appropriately. It may hinder keeping your pet happy and healthy. 

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Why is my Dog Whining?  

Just like babies, puppies often whine as a way of expressing what they need and want.  When pups are with their mom in the litter, it helps them get the milk they need to survive. 

However, there are many different reasons your pup may be whining at any age. Deciphering your dog’s whine will help you to curb the behavior and care well for your furry friend. 

One reason for your dog’s whine is they are simply asking for something.  They may be asking to go outside, use the bathroom, or begging for a scrap of food from your meal.  Notice your pup’s eyes as they whine. If they seem to be shifting from you to the door, or your food or another, they may be wanting that thing.  

Another reason your dog may be whining is seeking attention.  This has similar signs to your dog wanting something but tends to occur when you are preoccupied.  If your pup is whining when you are on the phone, focused on another task, or giving attention to another person or animal, their whine may be attention-seeking. 

The third reason for your pup’s whine may be excitement.  Although this type of whining is also attention-seeking, you may discover your pup is only whining when something very exciting is about to occur.  Your dog may also be jumping up and down or running around while they whine when they are eager for what’s to come. 

The opposite of excitement, boredom may also be a cause of your dog’s whining.  If this is the reason for the noise, it often sounds like a sigh-whine combination.  Similar to the attention-seeking whine, your pup is trying to tell you they need to play.

Pain and discomfort could be another reason your dog is whining.  If your pup is sick or hurting, they may be trying to express their pain to you.  Whining is also a way your pet may be trying to self-soothe their discomfort. You must contact your vet if it appears the whining is out of discomfort. 

One final reason you may hear your dog whine is stress.  When your pup is anxious or afraid, they will attempt to calm themselves down by yawning, licking, shifting their eyes, and also whining.  If this is the reason for your pup’s whining, it is accompanied by cowering behind you or other same signs.  

How can I stop my Dog from Whining? 

Whining may not be as much of a challenge as barking or jumping, or chewing up shoes.  However, if you find this behavior annoying, it is possible to train your pup to whine less

It is important to first try and identify the cause of the whining to rule out any illness or injury.  Once you begin to pay close attention to your pup’s whines, you will likely hear a difference between a painful whine and a boredom sound.  

To start, be sure to approach your dog carefully and do not punish or yell at them.  This will only cause your pet to react more aggressively and become fearful. It is also important to look at the situation objectively to help solve the problem.  

It may be okay to give your dog what they want in some instances.  If your puppy is young, they may be whining to go outside and potty. It is a good idea to take them outside than letting them have an accident.  However, if your pup wants a bite of your hamburger during dinner, slipping them a piece when they whine only reinforces the behavior.  

If your dog is whining, ignoring the behavior is a good idea once you have eliminated a medical need.  Then, you can respond selectively to the whining. This means that you will wait for a break and reward your pup with a treat and some praise.  

Most likely, these few simple tips will help to lessen or eliminate the behavior.  Ensure that your dog is also getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. This can help your pup become less bored and also gives them the attention time they desire. 

If your dog does not respond to your training and the whining is not tolerable, you may want to consider bringing in a professional trainer or behaviorist to work with them.   

Helpful Tools

If your dog is whining out of anxiety, there are some items you can buy that may help to calm their nerves a bit and lessen the whining.  There are a variety of treats, gear, tools, and toys that you could try before considering anxiety medication for your pup.  

PREMIUM CARE Calming Treats for Dogs - Made in USA - Helps with Dog Anxiety, Separation, Barking, Stress Relief, Thunderstorms and More - Natural Calming Relaxer for Aggressive Behavior - 120 Chews

Premium Care Calming Chews are small flavored treats that contain kelp and valerian root that can help ease some of your pup’s stress.  They come in a duck flavor that your dog will love.  

ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket |Vet Recommended Calming Solution Vest for Fireworks, Thunder, Travel, Separation | Platinum, Large

Calming vests, such as the ones designed by Thundershirt, may also be a great option to help ease your pup’s anxiety. When they are not anxious, it may lessen their whining behavior.  This vest will help your pup feel safe and is comfortable for them to wear during high anxiety times.  This may be especially helpful if your dog is whining during loud events such as storms or fireworks.  

You may also want to try a calming collar. This product help puppies and pet owners correct behavioral issues. It also calms our furry companions and improves social behaviors.

For milder whining issues, you may first try with a dog toy like this SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy. It provides security and comfort with its “real-feel” pulsing heartbeat feature to eliminate separation anxiety and limit whining.

Summary 

Whining may seem like a natural dog behavior, but you want to make sure they are not in pain or ill.  Although you may not eliminate whining from your pup, with a little training, you can lessen its intensity.

Once you have decided the cause of their whining is something else, try to ensure your pup is happy and well-exercised.  Then, you can work to provide them with enough attention, entertainment, and comfort in stressful times.