Why Your Puppy Won't Stop Whining
Is your new puppy whining day and night? Like raising a new baby, puppies cry and whine to communicate their thoughts and feelings with their new family. Unfortunately, they don't speak the same language as their human roommates, so to get their point across, you'll hear a lot of dog whimpering, whining, yelping and even crying.
As much as you love the newest addition to your family, it's very frustrating to listen to a puppy whining all day, or even worse, throughout the night when you wanted to rest from your busy day. After days of this behavior, everyone in your house ends up tired and stressed out, and no one wants that.
The first step to correct the dog whimpering is to identify what is making your dog whine. Once you know what he's trying to communicate you will be able to help your pup learn to stop. There are a few reasons why your dog might be whimpering.
Is Your Dog Bored?
Keep him busy. An active dog has less time to whine, but a bored dog is basically shouting for you to pay attention to him or give him something to do. There's actually a simple fix. When your puppy starts to whine, turn his attention to something new. First, start by training your dog simple commands. This gives your dog a mission, and by spending time together, you'll begin to build your bond. Giving him a chance to show you how he what has learned is a good way to curb his whining behavior. Trying things like building dog obstacle course in your backyard to burn off some energy, playing fetch, doing a little dog treat scavenger hunt or just a simple game of tug-of-war with his favorite toy are great ways to keep a bored dog entertained.
Is Your Dog Excited?
While this may seem like the least likely reason you'll hear your puppy whining, it's actually very normal. Your dog is smart. He knows how great you are, and he is simply excited to see you. Or, he wants his ball, another toy, a treat or maybe dinner. There are many things that excite your dog. He just doesn't know how to communicate that yet. To manage the behavior, address each situation separately. For example, if your dog sits at your feet during dinner and whines throughout your meal, consider feeding him his meal in a different room at the very same time. If your dog whines for attention only, it's best to ignore him completely. Then, when he is calm and not making noises, reward him with the attention he deserves. Remember dogs are pack creatures and they see you as their pack leader. When his pack leader isn't giving him attention he can feel neglected. He just needs to learn that you love him even when you're not paying direct attention to him.
If your dog is used to a routine, like going for a walk early in the evening or playing before you leave for work, and that gets disrupted he may think you are ignoring him. Reassure him that he is still a good boy and try and give him as much attention as your schedule will allow; this should help with the whining.
Does He Need to Go Outside?
One of the simplest answers to why your dog is whining is that he needs to go outside. If you have done a good job of potty training your puppy, he will let you know when he is ready to go out to relieve himself. Whining is typically a common behavior for puppies going through potty training, but over time you can teach him to go sit by the door or even ring a bell when he wants to go out.
Is Your Dog Sick?
It's important to note that while whining is normal and to be expected, especially with a puppy, always be on watch for other signs and symptoms that something could be wrong. When in doubt, make an appointment with your veterinarian's office. Your vet will be able to perform a thorough examination and let you know if your dog is in fact whining because he's not feeling well.
Finally, remember to be patient with your new furry family member. Moving into a new home is scary, and your puppy is adjusting. Increase the positive attention when he's behaving, and make sure to never bring negative attention to the whining. Working with a professional trainer on these behaviors at a young age will help your dog learn to communicate without whining. Eventually, he'll grow into being a dog that uses other nonverbal cues to inform you of his needs or he'll gain the independence to meet them himself.
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and even transform—its intended audience. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print, and includes interviews, ghostwriting, blog posts, and creative nonfiction. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Reach out to her on Twitter @ReinventingErin or learn more about her at http://erinollila.com.