How to Handle Whining Puppies & Dogs

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cute puppiesPuppies and babies aren’t very different at all – both cry when they need or want something. They cry as a form of communication with their mothers, whom they know they will get a response out of by providing food, security or love. Mothers usually will respond very timely to her baby, and a pup will soon realize that whining will bring their mother to respond. A puppy will whine when they aren’t content, it’s their form of crying. So, if puppies are tired, uncomfortable or think they’re dying of starvation, they’ll be sure to let you know. When adopting a pup at a young age (8-10 weeks), they’ll learn that whining for attention or needs won’t always work with their new ‘pack’ or bring their mother (you) to them.

If you constantly run to your puppy’s side whenever you hear a little whimper or whine, she’ll learn pretty fast that when she whines, she gets love and comfort. As a result, she’ll continue to whine. This is a reason why people may continually tell you to make the puppy sleep alone.

If your pup is genuinely distressed for some reason, then of course, you ought to respond accordingly. She’s just been relocated from the location she was familiar with; it’s quite possible that she’s truly frightened. The trick is to wait until your pup has stopped her whining, and when she has, you can comfort her with all your love and attention. She’ll stop her whining when she realizes that it’s not getting her anywhere.

Yes, puppies are unbearably adorable and you’ll have the urge to snuggle and comfort her whenever she asks, but refrain yourself. If you do give her attention whenever she whines, you’ll learn the hard way that comforting her at the wrong times won’t teach your puppy how to get what she wants.

Some pups won’t give up their bad whining habits, and they may not learn how to properly get what they want. If you’ve adopted one like that, then wait until she’s stopped her whining to give her your comfort. She may stop for only a second; this is when you should respond. By responding when she’s stopped her whining, even if momentarily, you will be teaching her that whining won’t get her what she’s after.

Grownup Adult Whiners

Usually most dogs will stop their whining when they’ve past that 1.5 year mark, however, occasionally some of them will continue. There are a few reasons why adult dogs may continue to whine. She may have learned that by whining, she gets what she wants. It’s also possible that she isn’t aware that she’s doing it and it’s turned into a habit.

If your dog is whining, it could be that she’s feeling lonely, and wants some comfort. She also could be injured, afraid or has to potty. Before you can find a solution to her problem or needs, you’ll need to find out the reason behind her whines. Sometimes it’ll only be a desire for your attention, and other times it may be a justifiable reason.

“I have to go, and I HAVE to GO NOW!”

One of the most common reasons why dogs whine is because they have to go potty and they want to be let outside. If she’s potty trained, she knows better than to do her business in the house. You may recognize the look on her face that says ‘I’ve gotta go,’ or she may wait anxiously by the door looking at it and then at you, trying to communicate her needs. Simply let her out, that’s all she’s asking for.

“Ugh. I’m bored.”

A dog may whine simply because she’s bored. You may notice her following you around the house or get up occasionally and pace. She’ll appear unhappy and whine to herself.

One way to fix this problem is to give her your attention and give her an exercise session. Take her out for a run, play fetch or do something you know she loves to do. If she’s constantly throwing the “I’m bored” whines around, you may want to make sure that she’s getting the necessary amounts of exercise and playtime she needs. If you can, she’ll be much happier if you take her along during your daily doings, such as errands.

Make sure you’re giving her enough attention; dogs are very social animals and do anything to get your love and affection. For every percent of love you give her, she’ll give you back 10 times more.

“Ouch! I’m hurting!”

A sharp howl or sudden whine may indicate that your dog is in pain or is injured.

If she holds up a paw or acts abnormally, she may be trying to tell you that’s she’s hurting. Puppies and adult dogs can be in pain for different reasons (i.e. teething). Check the obvious things to see if she whining for an apparent reason. If you can’t find anything noticeable, feel her limbs and joints in case theirs swelling. Make sure to be gentle, you wouldn’t want to cause any unnecessary discomfort.

If you still can’t find anything, it’s a smart idea to take her into your vet.

“I’m Scared”

One sign that your dog is whining because she’s scared is that she’ll look in a particular direction during her whines. Her whining will be different than other reasons if your dog is afraid of something.

A lot of times, during thunder or lightening storms, dogs will become scared and anxious, and she’ll look in the direction of a window.

Dogs often pick up on the mood your in, if you scared or stressed, your dog will often feel the same way. If you attempt to discipline your dog and get her to stop whining when you’re upset, it will most likely worsen. If you tune her out, she’ll learn her fears aren’t logical. Her fears or anxiety will be confirmed if you run to her and give her your attention, she’ll think that there’s a reason why she should be scared.

When she has stopped whining, you then can give her your attention.



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