Has your dog been much whinier than usual lately? Have you tried everything you can to get it to stop howling to no avail?
While some reasons might be as simple as the dog just feeling neglected by you, there might be some serious issues that you might need to get checked out by a licensed vet. To answer the question of why does my dog whine so much, you need to be understanding, caring, and notice your dog’s behavior properly to find the underlying cause.
Most Common Reasons for Whining
Whining is a common mode of vocal communication between dogs. There are several common reasons why your dog might be whining and, if so, you have nothing to worry about. If the whining is getting excessive, there are always ways to train your dog.
If your dog is around another dog or your friends, it might get into a submissive pose with its body lowered and whine in the process. This is a sign of appeasement and is a common way for dogs to interact with other living beings. Normally, this won’t happen all the time and shouldn’t be a cause of concern.
If your dog is whining because it’s trying to appease too many people or other dogs, it might have low self esteem. Building your dog’s confidence by practicing positive reinforcement and teaching it tricks can help improve its mental well being and help cut down on the whining.
Greeting Other People or Dogs
Similar to appeasement, your dog might whine when it sees you, family members, or its friends in the dog park. This can be caused by excitement, which is a common reaction dogs have to their owners or friends. Again, you don’t need to be concerned if your dog is whining only when greeting people.
If you regularly have friends coming over or you know other people with dogs, talk to them and ask them not to respond when your dog whines or barks at them. Your dog will soon realize that the whining isn’t getting the results it’s hoping for, and they should stop whining.
If you’re at a dog park and you notice your dog whining and barking at other dogs, some good ideas are to offer them some treats to stop, keep your walks fun, or hire a professional trainer. You can read more about this in our article!
Asking for Attention
If your dog is feeling neglected, the only way to get your attention is to either bark or whine at you. This isn’t just limited to asking for attention, but it can be about asking for treats or toys.
While this isn’t exactly something you should be worried about, it’s better to train your dog in a way that doesn’t reward this type of behavior. They might get conditioned into believing that their whining gets them what they want at the moment, which might make their behavior worse.
The way to treat this kind of whining is by giving your dog treats when it quiets down. This reinforces the idea that silence is a positive attribute. Some negative reinforcement can also be used in the form of bark collars or citronella collars, but several dog owners don’t want to put their dogs through that kind of punishment.
What you could do instead for negative reinforcement is turn away from the dog and not give it the attention it’s looking for whenever it starts whining. Keep in mind that even scolding a dog and talking directly to them constitutes attention, so your best bet would be to completely ignore them whenever they ask for attention.
If your dog is whining excessively, it might be displaying signs of anxiety or a possible phobia. See if there are any stimuli in your surroundings that might be causing it stress. This could include an intimidating stranger, a large dog, or something similar.
In such cases, removing the dog from such a situation or removing the source of stress can usually get it to stop making that sound. If that’s not possible, you can always try to calm it down by petting it and talking to it in a calm voice.
Dogs are very attached to their owners and find solace in their presence. Your dog would feel a lot safer if you were around it. Your dog needs to realize that there is no immediate danger to you or itself in the scenario.
If this does not work and your dog is suffering from chronic stress or anxiety, you might have to take them to a vet and get some medication that will help them calm down. There are several safe pills that are administered to dogs to treat anxiety. You can also check out this article on How to Give a Dog a Pill.
Afraid of Separation
We’ve all had experiences with dogs where they will excessively whine just as we’re about to leave the house. This could be because they are very attached to you and the thought of you leaving gives them separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety can be a real problem with dogs, as they might be prone to destructive behavior in your absence. This might include chewing up furniture or rugs, defecating or urinating inside the house, or excessive barking.
There are multiple reasons why your dog can develop separation anxiety. This type of behavior is most common among dogs who were abandoned or grew up in a shelter. The change in pace when it comes to a new family can trigger separation anxiety.
Another reason might include a change in the place where you live. For example, if you’ve recently moved houses and you’re away for work all day, your dog might feel uncomfortable being alone in the new environment.
Finally, a change in schedule can also trigger separation anxiety in dogs. If your dog is used to you leaving and coming back at a certain time, it might get used to that time table. A sudden change in that schedule might cause them to act out.
Leaving an item of clothing that smells like you with your dog when you leave the house can be helpful. For more tips, feel free to read more about separation anxiety.
Your Dog is Hurt
One of the most common reasons why your dog might be whining is because it’s in pain. If you’ve had no problems with your dog and you suddenly notice it whining uncontrollably, check for any signs of injury.
One way to do this is by noticing if your dog is licking itself excessively at a particular spot. Dogs tend to lick their injuries, which will give you a pretty good idea about where to look.
If there are no noticeable injuries but your dog still won’t stop whining, it might be a good idea to take them to a pet.
Your Dog Has a Disease
Similar to the previous point, your dog might be in pain because of an internal issue that might be causing them discomfort. While injuries can be easy to gauge because they’re on the surface, diseases can be more difficult to identify.
Check for signs of sickness in your dog. Are they eating and sleeping right? Are they drinking too little or too much water? Are they showing signs of sluggishness or lethargy when awake? Do they look thinner or more exhausted than usual? If any or all of those are the case, make sure to take your dog to the vet immediately.
There are many reasons why dogs whine excessively, from small behavioral issues to major issues like injuries or diseases. Whatever the reason might be, taking care of the issue early on will be crucial in ensuring that it does not become a deep-seated problem.
While negative reinforcement can always be administered in the form of bark collars or citronella collars, we suggest that you should try to train your dog using more positive reinforcement to ensure the best behavior.
Please feel free to check out our other articles on Natural Puppies for similar topics!