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Why Do Dogs Whine?

By Hundidocom @hundidopuppy
dog whining

Whining is yet again, one of the many forms of dog vocal communication and has a close connection with barking. Dogs most often whine when they’re seeking attention, when they’re excited, when they’re anxious or when they’re trying to appease you.

(Check out Dog Nipping and Mouthing)

Why Do Dogs Whine?

  • Appeasement Actions

Some dogs whine exceedingly when interacting with people and other dogs, usually while adopting a submissive posture.

  • Greeting Behavior

Some dogs whine during greetings. This sort of vocalization is usually stimulated by excitement and may be inclined to dogs or people.

  • Seeking Attention

Some dogs whine in the presence of their owners to get their attention, rewards or desired objects.

  • Anxiety

Some dogs whine as a result of stressful situations. In this context, whining at times seems involuntarily.

  • Separation Anxiety

If your dog only whines right before you leave or during your absence, he may have separation anxiety.

  • Injury or Medical Condition

Dogs often whine in response to pain or an agonizing condition. If you notice that your dog vocalizes often or has suddenly begun to vocalize, it’s vital that you take her to the vet to rule out medical causes.

Why Do Dogs Whine?

Dogs most often whine when they’re seeking attention, when they’re excited, when they’re anxious or when they’re trying to appease you. *

How to Handle Excessive Whining

  • Appeasement Whining

Dogs can try to appease people or other dogs when they perceive a threat or aggression being directed at them. Appeasement behaviors include holding the ears back, tucking the tail, crouching or rolling over on the back, avoiding eye contact or turning the body sideways to the perceived threat. Appeasement whining is also a normal canine behavior.

You may be able to reduce your dog’s appeasement whining by building her confidence. Try taking her to an obedience class that uses reward-based training techniques. You and your dog can also try trick-training classes or dog sports like agility, fly ball and musical freestyle. Playing fun, interactive games with your dog, like tug and fetch, can increase your dog’s confidence. Avoid physical and verbal punishment.

  • Whining During Greetings

If your dog whines when greeting people, you can divert his attention to his favorite toys. Simply telling your dog to be quiet during greetings usually isn’t effective because, unless you’ve taken specific steps to train your dog what the word “Quiet” means, he won’t understand you.

Furthermore, most dogs whine when greeting people because they’re excited, and in an incredibly aroused state, they may not have control over their behavior. Instead, use management procedures to help prevent your pooch from becoming overly excited.

  • Anxious Whining

Whining as a result of anxiety is difficult to eliminate unless the cause of anxiety is removed. Anxious whining is usually accompanied by other nervous behaviors, such as pacing, circling and licking. Many anxious dogs do not seem able to control their whining when under extreme stress.

Some medications may help reduce your dog’s anxiety. Consult your pet doctor or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist to learn more about anti-anxiety medications.  Do not give your dog any kind of medication for a behavior problem unless directed to do so by a veterinarian.

Steps to Avoid Whining

In addition to not reinforcing whining behavior, you need to reward your dog for being quiet. Teach your dog that she must always be quiet before receiving your attention, play or treats. Regularly seek out your dog to give her attention and rewards when she’s not whining. When your dog understands that silence works well to get your attention, she won’t feel as motivated to whine.

Don’t hesitate to contact a professional in your area. Many pros offer group or private classes that can give you and your dog lots of great skills to learn and games to play that will reduce her appeasement whining, whining during greetings and attention-seeking whining.

* image source


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