My Dog Whines – Why and How Do I Stop It

Does your dog whine? Irritating isn’t it. But before you loose your patience, you need to make an evaluation of why your dog is whining. Is there something wrong? Does he need something like– to go out to the bathroom? Or, is he demanding something, like your attention?

Since our dogs can’t talk, their only forms of communication are barking and whining. When a dog consistently whines, the very first thing to check for are any medical issues. If your dog is in some type of pain, his way to deal with it is to whine. Especially if you have an older dog, arthritis can be very painful and the dog’s only way of telling you it’s in pain is to whine.

Fear can be another reason dog’s whine. If they are in a situation that is causing them to be afraid, again the way they can communicate that is to whine. If you placate those feelings by saying something such as: it’s ok, and pet, pet, pet you are actually reinforcing the dog’s belief that he should be afraid. Instead, use your leadership role, using your calm energy to signal the dog that you have everything under control and he has no need to be afraid. Distract with a jolly routine.

Boredom is another reason dog’s whine. Dog’s are intelligent creatures and their intellect must be properly stimulated with exercise and training. Dogs need a job to do. Their job can be anything from working on basic obedience a few times a day, to tracking, to walking with you appropriately on a leash for a nice walk.

Demanding attention and being bossy are also reasons dogs will whine. If this is the cause of your dog’s whining, you again, must use your good dog parenting skills and leadership to let the dog know that whining does not get him what he wants. You can choose to ignore the dog and see if the whining stops. Once the whining stops you must IMMEDIATELY tell the dog he’s done a good thing by saying something as simple as Good Quiet!

If ignoring the dog doesn’t work, you may have to resort to the handy squirt bottle that has water in it. When the dog whines, say something like –ack ack, no –and squirt immediately in the face (short squirt) do not squirt in the eyes. The second the dog stops whining, be sure to praise excitedly.

Again, if training begins the moment your bring your dog or puppy home and good leadership is put into place, the dog will be less inclined to be bossy and try to run the show. Obedience training, coupled with understanding what your dog needs to be balanced, is so much easier to incorporate than to wait until you have learned behavior from your dog that you dislike.

Remember, train, be consistent and train again.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, Opportunity Barks!


2 replies
  1. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Jen: Has your trainer talked about the relationship you have with your dog? Have you read anything about leadership role with your dog – which is not about dominating your dog? Since your vet has said there is nothing
    physically wrong with your dog, then what is wrong is the relationship the humans and the dog have. Here is an article I wrote that I hope will help you.

  2. Jen
    Jen says:

    I have a Doberman, a rescue, that whines all the time. I had him neutered as per my vet’s request (not that I cared either way), I walk him 3 miles a day, had him to a professional trainer who has been working with my dog and I for a month now, am very consistent with him, don’t get frustrated, and follow ever step of the trainer’s instructions. The vet has checked him out and has found nothing wrong so she prescribed Clomicalm at 80mg a day. While this has helped some, he is still whining. And may I add HOWLING in the car. He will chew on a bone in the car and be fine, but take that away and you need ear plugs to drive. I train with him throughout the day since I am home, and even after walks he will not come in and settle, he just whines again. When I am talking with someone or on the phone it gets worse. I think it is a combination between demand and boredom. Please help or I will have to get rid of the dog this week! Everyone in the house is miserable after 3 months of this.

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