There is something about the sound of a dog whining that irritates most people. Whining is a natural behavior that dogs use to whining to communicate that there is something that they want. Puppies whine for the mother when they are hungry, and she returns to the litter to allow them to nurse. Mature dogs, when and if they discover that humans can be trained to same way will use whining to get what they want.
If your dog is a whiner it is important to take note of what you are doing when the dog starts to whine. It may start to whine when:
- You are eating something the dog wants
- You are outside or inside and the dog wants in or out to be with you
- Put in the kennel or crate
- When it needs to go outside
Probably most owners agree that whining to go outside to toilet is the only acceptable whining on the list. For this type of whining immediately let the dog outside to go to the bathroom. Do not engage in any additional play, but it would be acceptable to praise the dog mildly for letting you know that it needed to go outside. Try to monitor this closely and anticipate when the dog needs to toilet to avoid starting a whining behavior.
Stopping your dog from whining
Removing this habit from your dog's behavior is very similar to the way you stop a child from whining, ignore the dog while it is whining, and attend to it when there is silence. Even telling the dog to stop will be giving attention, so completely ignoring is best.
In addition try:
- Give several commands in a row like sit, come, stay, down etc to get the dog focused on a productive and positive behavior. Reward the dog for completing the actions and spend some time with the pet after he or she is quiet.
- Place the kennel or crate in a room that is distant from you. This will avoid the temptation of responding to the whining either verbally or by giving in.
- Make the kennel or crate a positive place. Put toys and comfortable blankets in it to make it a pleasant place to be. Start with short session and work to longer so the dog becomes accustom to being crated. Never leave the dog in the crate or kennel for long periods of time or as a punishment.
- If the dog only whines in certain situations look closely at the situations to determine what is bothering the dog and change them if possible. Reward the dog for being in the situation without whining.
- Spend extra time with the dog when it is quiet. This reinforces the good behavior.
- If the dog whines for no apparent reason, or starts whining when eating, going to the bathroom or when moving, immediately have a vet check the dog. Whining can be a sign of pain.
The most important factor is to avoid giving into the whining behavior. If, at any time, you do respond to the dog when it is whining, the dog simply understands that it has been rewarded for the behavior. Stay firm and respond only when the dog is behaving quietly.