Dog whining means dog insecurity

I had someone email me the other day with this question. “My dog whines all the time, everyday, everywhere, but she will not cry when she needs to go outside to potty so she pottys inside.” Further comments in the email revealed the dog whines on walks, the dog whines when she sees her owner, the dog sits at the door and whines. And she proceeded to go on and on. It was quite evident she was frustrated and becoming resentful of the dog.

My response to her was very simple. Her dog was insecure. Dogs that are very insecure in their “sense of place” in your home will mark territory to feel more secure and they will whine because they have no other way of dealing with their anxiety that is produced by no leadership on your part.

Here’s what I told her to do:

  • require your dog to earn everything that she wants from you i.e. food, toys, love and affection by giving you a sit.
  • require her to sit before getting on beds, sofas, etc.
  • require her to sit before walks
  • do daily regimens of 2 minute training session to give her a sense of working (because you as her leader requested the behavior)instead of feeling responsbile for it herself.

90% of what goes on between us and our puppies and dogs is emotional.  Very little is intellectual.  Keep your own emotion in-check by following these guidelines:

  • don’t involve your dog in excited departures or arrivals.  This tends to cause her to have emotional highs at important, critical times of the day which in turn can lead to disorders such as separation anxiety.
  • ignore your dog for 5 minutes before departing your home and 5 minutes after arriving at home.
  • don’t “BARK” (yell and scream) at your dog with anger or frustration when correcting a behavior
  • do decide what you would prefer your dog to do instead of what you are correcting her for and then train her to perform the good behavior.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children.  And remember—-”Opportunity Barks”

About Jim Burwell

Jim Burwell is one of Houston’s most established and thriving dog trainers. His at home dog training process constitutes the culmination of 30 years of experience teaching canines of virtually all breeds — and educating their owners.

Comments

  1. We don’t demand that our dog (10 yr old black lab) do anything. We don’t “make” her sit, do tricks, or anything of the sort. She has free reign of the house, yet has chosen her favourite spots. She doesn’t whine, she doesn’t “go” in the house (rather she leads us to the door when she needs to go out), and she doesn’t bark at strangers.

    She is a part of our family, and, as such, is treated as one.

    She doesn’t freak out when we have to leave her alone. We simply sit with her for a few minutes, tell her what we are doing and how long we will be, and she is fine. We send “pictures” to her when we are out, telling her we are ok and that we will be home soon.

    I think the problem with most dog owners is that they simply do not know how to communicate with their dogs. Dogs see in pictures, so really, all we have to do is send them a picture of what we want them to do, or what is happening, and they will be fine with it.

    She jumps up on our bed because we want her to, not because she deserves it. She crawls between us and soaks up the love we are giving her. When we are finished, she jumps down and settles in her bed, which is right next to ours, as it should be.

    She is an angelic animal, as all dogs are prone to be. She senses when we are sad, upset, or off-kilter, and she tries to make us feel better.

    People simply need to learn how to communicate with their dogs.

  2. I realize I am commenting to an old topic but I found this one after looking at why my dog whines on walks and only on walks. Your answer makes a great deal of sense, however I believe our circumstances are different. Our dog Handsome is a rescue from a native reserve. He is approximately 4 to 5 years old and was walking around with mange, and 2 broken hips as he had been hit by cars on the reserve for years together with scars from dog fights (they all fight for food/roadkill etc) and has whined on walks from the very start with us. I contacted his foster mother from the rescue org. and she says that he never whined on their walks. I thought it was apprehension until I spoke with her – now I am at a loss. He is a very loving and affectionate dog (considering the abuse he has suffered from humans) and is eager to go on walks (we do have another dog that he loves as well). Ideas would be appreciated.

  3. leila_admin says:

    The best advice we would give you is already outlined in the article. Please re-read and go through each thing step by step. To help a dog be secure they need to know you have everything under control. The article explains all this. It’s easy, just be consistent

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