How to Stop a Dog Whining

Anyone who has experienced a dog whining over any length of time will know that it's not only difficult to ignore, it's unsettling to listen to as well. It seems to hook into a part of you that demands you take notice, take pity and take action now!

However, it can often seem that your dog whines for no real reason. Perhaps your dog whines at night, when it’s hardest to ignore - or stay patient! Or maybe your dog is constantly whining whenever they are in their crate. Or maybe you only need to visit the bathroom to set them off.

Faced with not knowing why your dog whines or how to stop it can cause huge frustration for owners, after all, they're fed, walked and well - so what else could it be?

How to Identify Why your Dog Is Whining
As a dog trainer with over 10 years experience of working with whining dogs, this is the simple 2-step system I use to work out what lies at the root of it. Basically there are two different reasons that a dog whines and your first step is to work out which one is driving your dog. With a bit of careful observation you should be able to work out which of these reasons apply to your dog.

Attention Seeking Can Drive Dog Whining
First up, to identify if it is simply an attention seeking device, look at what might have set off the whining. For instance does your dog whine while you're around and is he trying to catch your eye or get some attention with it? Also, how do you react? Do you immediately shout at the dog to "shut up" or do you stroke or comfort the dog?

In some dog’s eyes, even negative attention is worth having, because it beats having no attention at all. So if you react every time your dog whines, he's going to carry on doing it. He's getting what he wants.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs is Also a Strong Driver for Dog Whining
Secondly, if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, this could be the trigger for his whining. Again, look at what starts them off. Do they whine the minute they are separated from you, even if you just nipped into the next room? Do they whine at night when they are downstairs and you're sleeping upstairs? Ask your neighbors if your dog whines when you're out, because that's another clear indicator of separation anxiety in dogs.

Separation anxiety is surprisingly common among dogs and often misunderstood, with many of the symptoms being put down to bad dog behavior rather than the bad behavior being a result of the dogs anxiety.

If you want a clearer idea about separation anxiety in dogs, I've created a very informative free report covering all the major symptoms, which I'll tell you more about later.

Training Methods That Stop Dog Whining
Training is the only long-lasting way to stop dog whining for either of the scenarios we have discussed. There is absolutely no need to punish your dog, or use shocks or sprays to stop this behavior.

Firstly, if your dogs whining are attention seeking behavior, the only way to stop it is for you to take no notice. You need to teach your dog that his techniques don't work on you. In fact you can teach your dog that not only will it not work, but the results of his whining means he could lose the pack. And as a pack animal, their natural desire is to be with the pack.

For example, let say you have some visitors around and put your dog in the crate - where he promptly start whining. If your dog can see you at this stage, without looking at or saying anything to your dog, you could move out of view, or leave the room to show them that this behavior will lose them the pack.

As soon as they stop whining you could return to the room or move back into view. It's simple but surprisingly effective. What is crucial is that you are consistent in not responding to your dogs whining either by speaking to or looking at your dog.

If the whining is driven by separation anxiety in dogs, then it’s a more complicated issue to deal with. It still needs some simple techniques like the one I described above, but you need to address it on two levels, that of pack leadership and the specific behavior problem which requires methods that will gently build up the time you spend apart and reduce their anxiety.

You want to be certain that the whining is driven by your dog’s anxiety before you start any training, so read my report The 7 Symptoms of Dog Separation Anxiety to get a better understanding of the problem, or check with your vet.

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