If theres one thing that dogs and babies have in common, its that when they want something, they let you know about it!
And just like a baby cries to get attention, so does a dog or puppy whine to get its masters attention. Its a natural mechanism for dogs, and one that we dog owners need to understand.
Unfortunately, most dog owners get dog whining all wrong. Instead of ignoring the sound or trying to reduce their dogs need to get attention through whining, they immediately try to comfort their dogs. This only rewards the dog for its whining, and positively reinforces the behavior. The dog knows that by whining, it can get whatever it wants. Not only does this prolong the behavior, but also it puts the dog at a higher rank than its owner and family! And when the dog becomes the alpha, deeper problems arise: aggression, biting, chewing, and overall disobedience. If you cant get your dog to stop whining, you wont be able to stop barking, biting, or other negative behaviors.
Stop The Whining! - Dog Whining Solutions
The key is to establish when whining is acceptable (sometimes if your dog is in pain or alerted to intruders) and when it isn't okay (nearly all the time). Once this sinks in and your dog understands the rules you've laid down, he'll be less likely to engage in a whining concerto. Here are other ways of dealing with whiners.
- When a dog is in the whining mood, have him do something productive like "come" or "sit". Make him do a few tricks in a row and reward him by praising him. This will distract him from his whining and instead reinforce positive, obedient behavior.
- Dogs that suddenly whine for no apparent reason need to be taken to the veterinarian.They might be in some sort of pain or are sick. This is a form of whining you should NOT ignore.
- Make your dogs crate or kennela constant source of whininga comfortable place he can enjoy. Make it nice and cozy so he actually looks forward to spending more time there. Put in some toys, particularly puzzle games like the Kong or Buster Cube. Crate a dog for short periods just so it has time to adjust and accept the set-up.
- Dogs whining because they want to go out and "take care of business" need to be assisted pronto. Once they're done, let them back in. Praise them for doing their business outside! This is actually a good form of whining, so make sure you listen to it.
- Praise your dog for the rare occasions it's quiet. Once he starts getting attention for being quiet, he'll eventually get weaned off of the irritating whining.
- If your dog is a serial whiner, scare it out of its behavior. Shaking a pebble-filled can or squirting your dog with a water pistol sends a signal to your dog that this behavior is unacceptable. If you do this consistently and EVERY time your dog whines, then you will surely succeed in stopping your dog from whining.
When it comes to dogs, as much as possible, don't give in. Every time a dog gets what he wants, the idea that whining works is reinforced. Dogs are a lot like people, they'll stick to what gets them what they want - in this case, whining. This means they'll be whining more AND longer each time their demands aren't met.
Show your beloved dogs that YOU are the boss and that you won't be bullied by unnecessary whining!