Why Do Dogs Whine & How to Stop It

Categorized as Why Does My Dog
dog whining: why and how to stop it

Dog whining can be quite annoying. My own dog, at once time, was a terrible whiner. From the very first day he arrived, he had been whining all the time from morning to midnight. After quite a while, his whining started to take a toll on me, in the forms of a countless sleepless night. Until one day, I woke up and decided that was the time to end his whining.

Why Is My Dog Whining?

There are many forms of communication that dogs use to communicate, such as barking, growling, and whining. Dogs whine to show you what they feel the most at the moment.

These are some of the most common reasons why do dogs whines:

  • To get attention.
  • Feeling stress.
  • Has low self-confidence.
  • Feeling excitement
  • Feeling pain or sick.

1. Attention-Seeking Whining

dog whining at his owner.

Being a social animal, dogs love to gain as much attention as they can from their dog owners.

But, some dogs crave far more attention than others, and this is when your dog’s attention-seeking attitude can becoming a serious problem.

There are several types of dogs that can be affected by these attention-seeking problems: dogs with medical problems, dogs with anxiety problems, dogs with needs not meet, dogs with a history of being re-homed, dogs of certain breeds, dogs undergoing recent changes.

How to Stop Attention-Seeking Whining in Dog

Dogs whine to demand attention, to ask for treats, toys or to play with you.

If you want to stop his whining, you must not succumb to any of his demands. Period.

What I mean by that is, when your dog starts to whine just go away and ignore him. In this way, your dog will learn that any kind of whining won’t be tolerated and rewarded.

When your dog finally is getting silent and quiet, only after then, you are free to give him some of your attention.

After that, your dog will learn that before he can get anything, he needs to behave.

2. Anxious Whining

Anxious whining is a type of whining resulted from panic and stress.

When your dog’s stress level is high he will whine a lot and show panic behaviors such as pacing, circling, and licking.

Before you learn how to stop anxious whining, you need to learn to recognize signs of stress in dogs

7 Signs Your Dog is Stressed

Before you can help your dog coping with his stress, you need to be able to recognize stress signs in dog first. Here are seven common signs of stress and anxiety in dogs.

  1. Barking. Excessive barking can be due to confinement, lack of exercise or separation anxiety, which are three major causes of stress in dogs.
  2. Trembling/shaking. If your dog is suddenly trembling and shaking, your dog might get stressed.
  3. A decrease in appetite. If you see a decrease in your dog’s appetite or if your dog suddenly stops eating altogether, there is a good chance your dog is stressed or getting sick.
  4. Increased sleeping. You should be worried if your dog is sleeping more than the usual or seemly overly lethargic. Sleeping more is often a symptom of many dog’s health problems such as diabetes, diarrhea, dehydration, tumor, anemia, and poisoning.
  5. Hiding. As a social animal, dogs like to stay in a group. But what if your dog suddenly hiding from other pets or people without any reason? Then, you could be suspicious that your dog might feel stressed.
  6. Panting. Panting in dogs is a normal activity when they feel hot. However, excessive panting without any apparent cause can become the symptoms of other worst-case scenarios, such as poisoning, chronic illness, injury, and stress.
  7. Digestive Problems. Digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, or other digestive problems are often the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Other important symptoms include but not limited to vomiting, aggression, pacing, excessive licking, digging, chewing, sweaty paws, red eyes, dilated pupils, bloat, excessive tail wagging, dandruff, and tense muscle.

What Causes Stress in Dogs

In this article, I have classified three conditions that can cause stress in dogs. Those three conditions are separation anxiety, too much noise and too many people, and stressful situations.

Separation Anxiety

What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is a condition when your dog is afraid to be left alone by his or her owner.

How can you tell if your dog suffers from separation anxiety?

If your dog whines when he is alone accompanied by one of the following symptoms: pacing, panting, excessive drooling, destruction around doors and windows, and urinating or defecating around doors, then there is a great chance your dog suffers from separation anxiety.

How to Stop Separation Anxiety Whining?

To deal with separation anxiety whining, you need to teach your dog that you will always come back home.

To do that, you can pretend to pick up your keys or coat and go out of home for a couple of minutes then come back again.

By doing this simulation then your dog will learn that you won’t leave him and you will always come back home.

Too Much Noise and Too Many People

Just like his owner, there is a time when your dog might want to be alone.

As in the case, when you hold a party at your house and there is so much noise.

In that situation, your dog might become uncomfortable and need to go somewhere alone.

But where he can hide and regain his composure again?

It might be a good idea to provide a safe, quiet room; the room that he can go whenever he feels he wants to, such as your bedroom.

A Stressful Situation

Just as the name implies, this is the situation where dogs feel stressed because of external factors conditions such as lack of water.

There are a few things that you can do to make your dog less stressful, such as:

  • providing enough water to drink
  • giving new toys to play with
  • giving blanket before he sleeps

To sum it up, show him that you love him.

3. Appeasement Whining

Appeasement whining is an excessive whining followed by appeasement behaviors.

What does it mean by appeasement behaviors?

According to ASPCA: 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.”

As explained above, dogs give appeasement whining when he meets other people or dogs that he perceives as a threat.

Appeasement is often the result of low self-confidence. If your dog suffers from appeasement whining, then you need to increase your dog’s self-confidence to stop it.

How to Stop Appeasement Whining

As explained before, you need to increase your dog’s self-confidence to stop appeasement whining.

There are many ways to increase your dog’s self-confidence. Two of the most popular ways are enrolling your dog in a reward-based obedience class and playing fun, interactive games.

No matter which way that you choose, remember to never physically and verbally punish your dog.

Physical and verbal punishment only serve to decrease your dog’s self-confidence and eventually increase his appeasement-whining.

4. Greeting Whining

Your dog can whine when he greets you to show excitement. Personally, I see nothing wrong when my dog greets me as I come home.

However, in some cases, greeting whining can turn out of control. From a simple whining, some dogs can jump, bark and get crazy.

When this is happening, it’s time to teach your dog self-control.

You can try to calm your puppy by setting an example, greet your puppy with a slow and calm demeanor. When your dog sees your reply, he would likely mirror your action.

Other things, which you can do, including mat training, teaching sitting, and hand targeting.

5. Lack of Socialization

I believe that many dog behavior problems such as excessive dog whining can be traced back to improper socialization when they grow up.

Therefore, it is important to socialize your dog early.

Further reading: How to Socialize a German Shepherd Puppy

Benefits of Socialization

There are many benefits of socialization that your dog can reap from proper socialization, such as a boost in the dog’s confidence, reduce aggression, increase friendliness, and improve health conditions.

The Most Critical Age to Learn Socialization

Socialization lesson must begin from the very first day your puppy arrives in front of your door.

According to research, the best time to socialize puppies is from birth to 16 weeks of age.

Why? Because during this period, a puppy’s mind works like a sponge for learning things. He will absorb and remember everything that you show him.

The First Step – Socialize Your Puppy in A Safe, Friendly Environment

First, let’s start by socializing your puppy in a safe, friendly environment – the environment that you know well.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Invite friends and family that you know will love your dog.
  • Ask friends and family to bring their dogs to play with your puppy. But before you invite their dogs, you should know their dogs first and determine if their dogs are ideal friends for your puppy or not.
  • Only visit friends or family that you know will get along with your puppy. If they have pets, that would be nice bonuses.
  • Don’t let your puppy runs up to people or dog that you don’t know.

After 6 Months-Old

Your job next is to encourage your dog to reach the bigger world by encouraging your dog to interact with more people and animals.

1. Encourage Your Puppy to Meet More People

Bring your puppy to meet more people.

It can be as simple as taking your puppy to the nearest dog park. Or let the children around your home to play with him. Or take him to the nearest mini-market and let him interact with more people while you are buying a can of soda.

The point is, no matter what you do, you need to encourage your puppy to meet and interact with more people.

2. Introduce Your Puppy to Other Animals

You should bring him to meet and interact with other animals as well.

Does your neighbor have a bird? Great, you should bring your puppy to meet your neighbor’s bird. Does your aunt have a cat? Then you should bring your puppy to meet your aunty’s cat.

A dog that grows up knowing a lot of animals will grow into confidence and affectionate dog.

A side note:

While it is important to expose your puppy to many animals, your pup’s health should always become your number one priority.

What do I mean by that?

When you bring your puppy to meet other dogs. You can assess quickly whether the dogs that your puppy interact with are healthy or not.

How to assess the other dogs?

Don’t make it complicated, just take a quick glance, and in five minutes, if you are not sure whether the dogs in front of you is healthy or not, that’s the time to bring your dog home.

6. Feeling Pain or Sick

Your dog can whine a lot when he is in pain or getting sick.

When you see some of the following signs in your dog, then that is the time to visit your vet.

Top 10 Signs Your Dog May Be Sick:

  • bad breath or drooling
  • gain weight or lose weight
  • drinking or urinate excessively
  • sleeping a lot
  • difficulty to move
  • coughing, sneezing and excessive panting
  • dry or itchy skin, sores, and lumps
  • dry, red or cloudy eyes
  • digestive problems

Why is My Puppy Crying and Barking at Night?

It is completely natural for a young puppy to crying and barking at night when left alone. When a puppy is separated from their packs, they cry and bark to call out for their family.

What to do When Your Puppy Whines at Night

First, you should start to make your puppy comfortable staying in his crate at night. Here are some tips:

Play with him for 15 minutes or so before you put him in the crate. Start by putting your puppy in the crate for a short period of time.

Don’t rush back to see him when he starts to bark and cry. That’s his tricks to control you. If you fall to his tricks, he will do the same thing over and over again.

If his barking and crying continue, you should come and spend some time with your puppy in his crate. then leave him. If he continues to bark and cry when you leave, you should say “NO” loudly. After he has been quiet for a few moments, then return and praise him.

You should practice leave and return several times until your puppy understands that you are not abandoning him, and there is nothing to worry about when he is left in his crate.