Dog Whining

Dog whining is one way dogs communicate with other dogs or their owners, along other vocal signals such as barking, howling and growling. The most basic way to decode a whine is to say it's a call for attention or care, but the employment of these sounds may be more complex. There are several types of whining, and you should be able to interpret the sounds your dog makes.

Communication with Mother

The puppy first starts whining when he communicates with his mother, letting her know that he is cold or that he needs food. At this stage, the whining is an automatic response, as the puppy feels hungry or cold. The mother responds to the whining by providing the needed care.

Boredom and Loneliness

By the time they are adopted by an owner (about 8 weeks old), the puppies will learn that whining can be produced on purpose as well. The puppy will whine when he is bored or lonely, expecting the same response from the owner as from his mother. This is the time when the owner should establish dominance and let the puppy know that the whining will not always be rewarded with care and attention, so it shouldn't be used as a blackmailing strategy. Even if the puppy's whining may be heartbreaking, you shouldn't respond to it. The puppy needs to have food and be warm enough and get attention when you want to give him attention, but he should learn that he won't get your attention by whining.

Anxiety Whining

Some dogs may start whining when they are stressed or suffer from anxiety. If the owner is gone or asleep, the dog may start to whine.

Separation anxiety can be solved by training your dog to accept that you will be gone for parts of the day. Start the training by going out for a few minutes, rewarding the dog when you get back with a toy or treats. Extend the duration of your time away to several hours. The dog will get used to being left alone, as he will know that you will be back and you will reward him. You can hide the dog's favorite toy an hour before you leave and give him the toy right before you close the door, so he'll be distracted.

Excitement Whining

Dogs can whine when they are overly excited, when anticipating an event or a treat.

Frustration Whining

Dogs can start whining when they chase an animal or ball and the subject of the chase suddenly disappears.

Whining Due to Pain

Dogs can whine when they are in pain. The whining is like a reflex and is not controlled by the dog. You can stop the whining if you find the underlying cause of the pain and treat your pet.

All dogs whine at some point during their lifetime. The reasons are various and the whining may be only momentary. However, if your dog uses whining on a regular basis to get things and controls your activities, this is a behavioral problem and he should be trained.