Dog Whining

Dog Whining Behaviors – Reasons and Solutions

Although dogs can not talk, they have many other ways of communication to interact with their owners or other people and animals around them. They can communicate with their body language and make a variety of sounds (like barking, whining, growling, howling, sighing, groaning, etc.). If you have a dog in the house, you can expect some whining from time to time. Whining can be endearing, but if it continues for an extended period of time or becomes a habit, it can become irritating. To prevent your dog from whining, you must first comprehend why he is complaining. In this article, we will discuss in detail what is whining, what are the possible causes, and how we can stop our dogs from whining by proper management and Training? Let’s go.

Whining is a high-pitched nasal sound that they repeatedly make while closing their mouths. Dogs (especially puppies) whine or cry to express their physical, mental, or emotional state.

They whine (a high-pitched cry) to let you know that they are unhappy and need something. Dog whining can be innocuous or indicate that something is wrong. So pay attention to their body language to determine whether or not something is wrong.

Why Do Dogs Whine?

It’s usually fairly clear why a dog is whining. However, sometimes, it is difficult to understand why your dog is whining.

There are numerous reasons why dogs whine, and luckily, the majority of them are not life-threatening. Even if the problem is not life-threatening, it is important to understand the cause behind this change in behavior. 

A few common causes of dog’s whine are discussed below, though they may overlap at times.

1.Conciliatory/Appeasement Behavior


Conciliatory or Appeasement whining is a normal behavior in dogs. However, sometimes dogs whine excessively while interacting with people and other dogs by adopting a subservient pose.

When dogs perceive a threat or aggression directed at them, they may try to make people or other dogs happy. When you scold your dog for some wrong act, he may whine in apology.

 Appeasement behavior can also be expressed through body language, such as keeping the ears back, rolling over on the back, avoiding eye contact, or turning the body sideways to the perceived threat.

What To Do?

By increasing your dog’s confidence, you may be able to reduce her appeasement whining. Consider enrolling her in an obedience class that employs reward-based training techniques. Playing interactive games with your dog, such as tug and fetch, can help him feel more confident. 

Avoid using physical or verbal punishment. Intimidating your dog will only lower her self-esteem and possibly increase appeasement whining.

2.Whining During Greetings

Most dogs whine when they greet people because they are excited, and when they are overly aroused, they may lose control of their behavior. Everyone likes this kind of act from their pet, but it can be irritating if they do it for too long.

What To Do?

Divert the attention of your dog toward his favorite toys when greeting people. Simply telling your dog to be quiet during greetings is ineffective because he won’t understand you unless you take specific steps to teach him what the word “Quiet” means.

Instead, use management techniques to keep your dog from being overly excited. Don’t speak in excited, loud tones, and move slowly and calmly. Wait until your dog is less excited before petting or interacting with her.

It will be beneficial to train your dog to do something else while greeting you or others, for example, sitting or hand-targeting training. Your dog may whine less if he is engaged in some other, more polite behavior.

3.Whining For Attention

Sometimes Dogs will whine just because nobody is paying attention to them. When you are busy doing something that does not involve your dog, he will get bored and start whining to get your attention. He may be asking you to play with him or spend time with him.

If you are spending time with some other person or pet, your dog can start whining due to jealousy. Dogs may also whine when they have nothing to do and get bored.

What To Do?

It can be difficult to reduce attention-seeking whining because owners may unknowingly reinforce the behavior. Recognize that even if you’re scolding your dog, any eye contact, touching, or talking to her counts as attention.

To make your dog learn that whining for attention will not help him at all, turn away from him, fold your arms and simply ignore him.When your dog is quiet, give him a reward to make him learn that he should be quiet to receive your attention, play, or treats.

When your dog isn’t whining, go out to give her attention and treats on a regular basis. When your dog will realize that silence will attract your attention, he will not whine.

4.Asking For Something


The most common cause of whining is that your dog may need something, and he whines in an effort to tell you that he wants something. He may be hungry and asking for food or water, want to go out for a walk, his favorite toy is missing, or the cat is sleeping in his bed.

What To Do?

If you think that the demand of your canine friend is genuine, fulfill it, and the problem will be solved immediately.

However, if your dog is whining for more food after eating his routine diet, it is a problem that must be addressed. Ensure that no one else in the family is spoiling his habit by offering extra treats, and never give food to your dog from the table. If you feed him more food in response to his whining, his behavior will worsen.

Furthermore, if your dog is whining to go out for a walk, again and again, this could be due to a bladder or digestive problem,so you should take him to the vet immediately.

5.Whining Due To Stress And Anxiety

Dog_Whining_Due_To Stress_And_Anxiety

When dogs are stressed, anxious, or afraid, it is common for them to whine. Trembling and panting along with whining indicates that your dog is probably scared or anxious about something.

Perhaps your dog is nervous because there is a new visitor or resident in the house, or maybe he is worried because someone has gone missing.

Dogs with this sort of whining also show some gestures of appeasement whining (like yawning, licking of lips, or averting of eyes). You may also hear a whine and a yawn at the same time.

If your dog whines anxiously just before you leave the house, he or she is suffering from separation anxiety. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety frequently develop destructive behavior when left alone.

What To Do?

Whining caused by anxiety is difficult to treat unless the source of the anxiety is addressed. Pacing, circling, and licking are common nervous behaviors that accompany anxious whining. Many anxious dogs are unable to control their whining when under extreme stress.

Separation anxiety can be treated by using desensitization and counterconditioning techniques. 

To learn more about these techniques, Contact a Professional Animal Behaviorist or Professional Trainer. Some medicines can also be used to treat anxiety but never use any medication for a behavior problem without asking your vet.

6.Manifesting Pain Or Discomfort


When a dog is sick or in pain, it will often whine. If your dog is not feeling well, whining is a way for him to get your attention and let you knowthat he is sick.

In some cases, the dog’s whining may be an attempt to calm itself rather than to attract attention.

If he is reluctant to move or whines while jumping or climbing the stairs, he may be suffering from arthritis-related joint pain.

What To Do?

If you have met all your dog’s needs and there is nothing to make him anxious, and still your canine friend is whining without any obvious reason, he may be experiencing internal pain due to any medical cause. So it’s better to take him to the vet for a medical check-up.

7.Whining At Night

Older dogs whine at night, not due to any particular reason, but just because they are old. In addition to any of the reasons mentioned above,  young dogs or puppies may whine just because they are at a new place and missing old companions (dogs or persons), and getting bored, or they may have some medical issue causing pain (like bloat, colic, etc.).

What To Do?

Although ignoring a whining puppy or dog can be difficult, and you may feel guilty to do so, it is crucial that you do not respond when he whines. This will give him a strong message that whining will not work to get attention. Otherwise (if you react), the problem will persist forever.

For older dogs, you can take the following steps.

  • Exhaust your dog to the point where he or she falls asleep right away.
  • Provide plenty of food and clean water for your dog.
  • Limit the amount of water you offer at night.
  • Play soothing music.
  • Give them something that smells familiar to them, such as your shirt.
  • Appreciate quiet behavior.

On the other hand, contact your vet immediately if you think there is some medical issue.

8.Whining In Crates


Dogs are social animals and prefer to live in groups, either with humans or other dogs. When placed in a crate, they will whine out of solitude, boredom, and to get your attention.

What To Do?

  • Select a crate of the right size.
  • Make it comfortable for the puppy.
  • Give plenty of breaks for exercise and potty.
  • Increase the crate time gradually.
  • In the end, the most important thing is, Ignore the whining.

9.Dog Whining For No Reason

If you have met all your dog’s basic needs and there is no obvious reason left for whining, but your dog is still whining, there may be some underlying medical problems like digestive issues, bladder problems, etc.

What To Do?

Take your pet immediately for a medical check-up to the vet’s clinic.

General Management Tips To Stop Whining

If your dog whines excessively, it is better to find out the reason before you try to correct the behavior. The good thing is that you can train your canine friend to whine less or even stop whining altogether.

We have discussed above common causes of whining and how to manage it. 

Some general management tips are given below

  • Pay close attentionto the different sounds of your furry friend, and soon you will be able to distinguishwhines for different reasons.
  • If your dog’s whining appears to be caused by stress or pain, approach it with caution and handle it gently. If this is the case, the whining may escalate and even become aggressive.
  • Examine the situation objectively and consider the possible causes of the whining before deciding how to proceed.
  • Don’t ever punish or scold your dog for whining, as this can exacerbate a fearful or anxious dog’s anxiety and lead to aggressive behavior.
  • If your dog is fearful, anxious, or stressed, try to figure out what’s causing it. Dogs can suffer from a variety of fears and phobias. After finding the cause, you can start working on training and desensitizing your dog to help it overcome its fear.
  • If your dog is whining for a genuine reason, just accept it and provide what he wants.
  • Avoid inadvertently inducing whining in your dog. If you’re certain your dog is whining for attention or food, divert it to a different behavior before giving in. Make your dog sit or lay down quietly first, then reward it with attention, praise, or a treat.
  • Whatever your dog is demanding, don’t give immediately. Although it is difficult to resist your whining puppy, you might finish up with a whiny adult if you give in every time.
  • Make sure to spend reasonable time with your dogs and provide plenty of exercise, playtime, and toys to avoid boredom and anxiety.

You must respond selectively to your dog’s whining. If you’re certain there’s no real need, it’s best to ignore it. When you notice a moment of silence, praise it, give it a treat, or do something similar


It is very common for dogs to develop a habit of whining (due to any reason). You can reduce whining by using basic training tips, physical and mental games and regular exercise.

If the behavior is extremely resistant to change, you may take the assistance of a Professional Trainer or Behaviourist.

But, whatever the case may be, be patient and consistent, and you’ll be more likely to see the required outcomes. Although the habit will not diminish completely, it will be reduced to a more tolerable level.


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