Why Do Dogs Whine? Here’s the Truth

If you’re a dog owner, you’ve likely been asked the question “Why does your dog whine?” by friends, family, and strangers alike.

It’s a valid question – after all, dogs whine for a reason!

But what is that reason? Turns out, there are a lot of different reasons why dogs may whine, from excitement to anxiety.

In this blog post, we’ll break down each possible reason why your dog may be whining and what you can do about it.

So if you’re curious about why do dogs whine, keep reading!

Why Do Dogs Whine – 7 Top Reasons

Ever wonder why your dog whines? Here are the top 7 reasons:

#1 – They Whine for Attention

One of the most common reasons why dogs whine is for attention. Dogs are social creatures and crave interaction with their humans.

If your dog feels like they’re not getting enough attention, they may start whining in an attempt to get your focus.

This is especially common if you’ve been ignoring them or if they think you’re about to leave them alone.

To combat attention-seeking whining, make sure you’re spending enough time with your dog each day. This includes things like playing fetch, going for walks, and giving them belly rubs.

#2 – They Want Something

Dogs are smart creatures and they quickly learn that whining gets them what they want.

For example, if your dog starts whining when they’re hungry, it’s likely because they’ve learned that this behavior will get you to feed them.

dog above head shot

Additionally, if your dog whines when they want to go outside, it’s because they know that this is usually when you take them on a walk or let them out into the backyard.

If your dog is whining for a specific reason, it’s important to only give in to their demands if it’s good for them.

For example, if your dog is whining because they’re hungry, you should feed them. However, if they’re whining because they want to play fetch at 3 AM, it’s probably best to ignore them!

#3 – They Have Anxiety or Stress

Dogs can get anxious or stressed just like humans can. And when they do, they may start whining as a way to cope with these feelings.

Several different things can cause anxiety or stress in dogs, including loud noises, changes in routine, and separation from their owner.

If your dog is whining due to anxiety or stress, it’s important to try to calm them down. This may include things like giving them a toy to chew on, giving them some safe calming dog treats, putting on some calming music, or taking them for a walk.

#4 – They Are Expressing Discomfort or Pain

Dogs may also whine as a way to express discomfort or pain. This is especially common if your dog is injured or sick.

If you think your dog is whining due to pain, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

They may be able to prescribe medication or give you other advice on how to help your dog feel better.

You should also keep an eye on your dog for other signs of pain, such as whimpering, yelping, or crying.

#5 – They Want To Say “Sorry”

It’s a common misconception that dogs only whine when they’re in trouble or want something.

But this isn’t always the case! Dogs may also whine as a way to say “sorry.”

For example, if your dog knocked over a vase and you scolded them, they may start whining out of guilt.

This behavior is called “appeasement whining” and it’s a dog’s way of trying to make peace with you.

If your dog is appeasement whining, the best thing to do is to simply ignore them. They’ll eventually stop and realize that they don’t need to keep apologizing.

#6 – They Are Excited

Dogs may also whine when they’re feeling excited. This is often seen in puppies who are trying to get their owner’s attention.

But excitement whining can also be seen in adult dogs, especially if they know they’re about to get a treat or go for a walk.

If your dog is whining out of excitement, the best thing to do is to wait for them to calm down. Once they’ve settled down, you can give them the attention they’re craving.

#7 – They Are Bored

Just like humans, dogs can get bored if they don’t have anything to do. And when they’re bored, they may start whining as a way to entertain themselves.

dog looking at the camera

If your dog is whining due to boredom, it’s important to give them some things to do. This may include things like providing them with chew toys, taking them on walks, and playing fetch with them.

You should also try to avoid leaving your dog alone for long periods of time as this can exacerbate their boredom.

How To Make Them Stop Whining – 7 Practical Tips

Now that you know why your dog is whining, it’s time to learn how to make them stop.

Here are seven practical tips that you can use straight away to stop your dog from whining:

1. Look Closely at the Situation That’s Causing the Whining

You can’t stop your dog from whining if you don’t know why they’re doing it. So, the first step is to take a close look at the situation that’s causing their whining and see if you can figure out what’s going on.

This may mean watching your dog closely to see what they do before they start whining or taking note of the circumstances that seem to trigger their whining.

2. Try To Recognize the Type of the Whine

There are different types of whines and each one may require a different approach to stop it. So, it’s important that you try to recognize the type of whine your dog is making.

For example, is it excitement whining, or boredom? This will help you figure out the best way to deal with it.

3. Find the Source of the Problem

Once you know why your dog is whining, you can start to look for the source of the problem and address it.

For example, if you learn when your dog is bored, you may need to provide them with more toys or take them on more walks. If they’re whining due to anxiety, you may need to help them feel more secure in their environment.

4. Give Your Dog What It Wants (But Not Every Time)

In some cases, the best way to stop your dog from whining is to simply give them what they want.

canned dog food

For example, if your dog is whining for food, you may need to feed them. It could be just a case of giving them some good canned dog food. Or if they’re whining to go outside, you may need to let them out.

However, it’s important that you don’t give in to their whining every time as this can reinforce the behavior. Instead, only give in occasionally and make sure to do it randomly so they don’t learn that whining gets them what they want.

5. Approach Your Dog Gently and Genuinely Try To Help Him

If you want your dog to stop whining, you need to show them that you’re trying to help and that you genuinely care about their wellbeing.

This means approaching them in a gentle manner and using a calm voice when you talk to them.

It also means being patient with them and not getting angry or frustrated, even if they keep whining. If they are stressed for instance, an anxiety relief bed or something similar may work. 

6. Redirect Their Whine to Another Behavior

In some cases, you may be able to stop your dog from whining by redirecting their behavior to something else.

For example, if your dog is whining for attention, you could try giving them a toy to chew on or asking them to perform a trick. This can help take their focus off of the thing that they’re whining about and help them to relax.

7. Don’t Give In Right Away

If you give in to your dog’s whining immediately, they will learn that all they need to do is whine and they will get what they want.

Instead, wait a few minutes before giving them what they want. This will help to teach them that they need to be patient and that whining won’t always get them what they want.

People Also Ask

Why Does My Dog Keep Whining for No Reason?

If your dog is whining for no apparent reason, it could be a sign that they’re bored, stressed, in pain, or anxious.

Try to provide them with more toys and attention to see if this helps. If not, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Are Dogs Sad When They Whine?

Dogs can whine for a variety of reasons, including boredom, anxiety, stress, pain, or hunger. However, not all whines are indicative of sadness.

If your dog is whining and appears to be sad, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or dog behaviorist to rule out any underlying health or behavioral issues.

Why Do Dogs Whine or Whimper?

Dogs may whine or whimper when they’re in pain, bored, anxious, stressed, or hungry. If your dog is whining or whimpering, try to figure out the cause so you can address it.

For example, if they’re whining due to boredom, you may need to provide them with more toys or take them on more walks.

How Do I Make My Dog Stop Whining?

If you want your dog to stop whining, you need to figure out the cause of the behavior and address it.

For example, if your dog is whining due to boredom, you may need to provide them with more toys or take them on more walks. If they’re whining due to anxiety, you may need to help them feel more secure in their environment.

Conclusion

Dogs may whine for a variety of reasons, including boredom, anxiety, stress, pain, or hunger. If your dog is whining, it’s important to figure out the cause so you can address it.

In some cases, the best way to stop your dog from whining is to simply give them what they want. However, it’s important that you don’t give in to their whining every time as this can reinforce the behavior.

If you want your dog to stop whining, you need to show them that you’re trying to help and that you genuinely care about their wellbeing. This means approaching them in a gentle manner and using a calm voice when you talk to them.

Ultimately, it’s important to be consistent with your training and to be patient with your dog. With time and patience, you should be able to stop your dog from whining.

What do you do when your dog starts whining? Tell us your preferred methods for stopping their whining.

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Lovelia Horn

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