Why Do Dogs Whine and How Do You Deal with It?

Puppies have a tendency to whine while they are very young but some dogs don’t grow out of the behavior. If your dog seems to be whining all the time, it might be time for you to do something about it. Keep reading to learn the most common reasons why dogs while and what you can do about it.

Why Do Dogs Whine?

Sometimes dogs do things that seem strange to humans but, if you take a moment to examine the behavior, you may realize that it actually serves a purpose. For example, if your dog develops a habit of digging holes in your yard it could be an outlet for boredom or frustration – it could also be that he’s creating a cool space to relax when it is hot outside. Whining may not serve a utilitarian purpose but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a purpose, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a purpose. Here are some of the top reasons a dog might whine:

  • Stress – If your dog is feeling anxious or stressed, he might do more whining than barking – he may also pace back and forth, lick his lips, pant, or carry his tail low.
  • Boredom – Many dogs will whine when they become bored or lonely – it is a plea for attention.
  • Appeasement – If your dog whines when meeting new people or dogs, it may be a display of appeasement or submission – he may also tuck his tail, hold his ears back, and avoid eye contact.
  • Excitement – Many dogs whine when they are very excited, though some dogs bark instead.
  • Pain – Dogs have a natural instinct for hiding their pain and weakness but if the pain gets bad enough, your dog might not be able to keep from whining.

Whining is typically more common in puppies than adult dogs, but any dog will whine if it gets him something he wants. Keep reading to learn more.

How to Handle Your Dog’s Whining

Dogs are smart and some of them will take advantage of their owners, if their owner will let them. You may not think that you are letting your dog take control but, by giving him what he wants when he exhibits an undesired behavior, you are essentially teaching him to keep exhibiting that behavior. For example, if your puppy is feeling lonely and he whines until you start petting him, you are effectively teaching him that whining will earn him the attention he wants. The best way to curb this behavior is to think about what your dog is trying to get and then avoid giving him that thing – in most cases, it is attention.

Though whining is frequently a plea for attention, it can have other motivations behind it so examine each situation as it arises. If you are not sure why your dog is whining – especially if it is a newly developed behavior – you might want to take your dog to the vet for a checkup because he could be trying to tell you something.

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