• Linda Healy

Dog whining

A whining dog, especially one who does it constantly, is bound to get on everyone's nerves. If your dog whines loudly and persistently, it may be a sign that he is stressed or overexcited. This may be because he wants something he can't do himself: to be let out of his crate or go for a dog walk, be fed, to be given free rein to chase a cat. Whining can also mean that your dog is so excited that he doesn't know how to calm himself down.

Steps to stop whining

If you don't correct this behaviour, a strong-willed dog will soon learn he can get what he wants if he whines long enough. To stop the whining don't coddle your dog with baby talk or pet him reassuringly. Try to ignore it. Only when he stops whining should you give him some attention. That way he learns that he gets rewarded when he doesn't whine, not the other way round.

Giving your dog something to do will also take his mind off whining. If he starts whining ignore it and command him to "sit" or "lie down." After a few obedience drills most dogs will forget what they were whining about.

You can also correct your dog's whining by telling him in a strong, low voice, "No whine!" Make sure your voice is not too harsh because an angry correction will just make some dogs more nervous and anxious. When he responds by being quiet, pet him and praise him. Once he understands "no whine" try giving him the command to whine. Being able to respond to commands, and receiving praise for it, will help boost the confidence of an anxious dog. Praise him strongly when he learns to stop when you tell him to.

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