Puppies are adorable from nose to tail. Even their cute little noises can pull your heart … or make you pull your hair out! When whining becomes a constant problem it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly why it started in the first place – especially in litters where puppies may learn to whine from their siblings.
Solving the problem behind whining is only the first step in curbing your pup’s noisy behavior. Even once you know what she wants, it is not that easy to appease her (which only makes her whine). As frustrating as it may be, you know that you have all the skills you need to learn how to make a puppy stop whining. Here are some tips, tricks, and insights to get you started:
Why do puppies whine?
Trying to know why a puppy is crying is similar to trying to figure out why a human baby is crying. Hunger, fear, loneliness, and discomfort are just some of the reasons you might hear your furry friend whine, but she may also display some dog-specific behaviors.
Anxiety is an especially common cause of whining in puppies. They can get used to being away from their mother or littermates, or the environment is too cold or open. Whining can certainly be based on fear, and when it is, it is accompanied by fearful body language such as a hidden tail or a lowered head. In these cases, building trust can help.
Excitement is another, albeit opposite, reason your pup might be whining. Whether or not she wants to say hello or can’t wait to consume the food you will be giving her, teaching her that waiting will be rewarded can help stop the whining.
Moshehar / Pixabay
Never give in to whining
If you think your puppy is whining or wanting with excitement, if you give him what he’s looking for, he’ll likely move on. As difficult as it is to listen, don’t give in! By soothing her screams, you are teaching her that whining makes her what she wants – but that’s not what you want.
However, this is not the same as ignoring your dog’s needs. If your puppy is under a month old, his screams should never be overlooked. Regardless of your dog’s age, injury or illness can also be a cause for complaint. Therefore, it is always important to watch out for an unusually noisy puppy.
Discuss why they are whining – as soon as they are calm
If your pup is whining, stop! She will slowly learn that crying will not get her anywhere when she sees you stop on your tracks. For example, if your puppy is whining for attention, stop interacting with him immediately: get up so she can’t jump on you, cross your arms, and look away. It will definitely frustrate your furry friend at first, but soon she will learn that if she whines she is not going to get your attention.
Just as important as discouraging the whining is to reward the calm behavior when you see it. It’s important to give your dog the attention or food he wants once he’s calm. Don’t make your puppy wait too long or you risk losing his or her attention or undermining the lesson. It’s a great goal to reward your dog about three seconds after they stop whining.
Remember, eye contact also counts as attention
It can be difficult not to silence or correct your puppy when he is moaning, but even negative or dramatic attention will look like a reward to him. Unless you specifically taught your dog that shh means to be quiet, he probably won’t get it anyway. Even the smelly eye that can work on your kids probably won’t make much of a difference to your pup. If she made you whine a minute ago, she will surely try again.
birgl / Pixabay
Redirect behavior when you whine with excitement
Sometimes a dog can whine when upset with excitement, especially while being greeted. In such cases, it can be nigh on impossible to ignore your pup. Therefore, it may be more effective to redirect your arousal instead. Following a command or two, your puppy can focus on something else. It can be helpful to ask guests to follow the same routine so that your dog gets used to staying calm and active during the greeting.
Help build your dog’s confidence
For puppies who whine out of fear or fear, it’s all a matter of patience and trust. Sometimes a pet just needs to get used to a new environment, and while you can comfort them in their new place, they ultimately need to learn to bypass themselves. When you reward them for taking small steps, e.g. For example, when exploring new places, you can carry yourself with your head up in unfamiliar situations.
Whining can be a loud and disgusting problem for a puppy, but with a little love and patience, she will settle down and thrive. The most important piece is why she whines, which unfortunately isn’t always obvious. However, as you get to know your growing pup, you will also learn about their little quirks and what makes them tick. Soon you will be working together to meet both of your needs without whining.