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”