How to Discourage Dog Whining
At first we might think it’s cute, “Ahh, how sweet, the dog is talking to us!” Then the “talking” turns incessant and we find ourselves shouting to our canine companion, “Stop whining!” For some reason, some dogs are more verbal than others, demanding our attention by squealing from their throats. But if your dog’s whining has you ready to put your hands around his throat, follow the steps below to help your dog kick this annoying habit.
Step 1: Analyze when, where and why your dog whines. If possible, keep a journal for one weekend to determine what situations trigger this behavior. Also, ask your neighbors if they hear your dog whining in your absence.
Step 2: Once you’ve pinpointed the circumstances that trigger the whining, address each circumstance separately. For instance, if your dog whines in his crate at bedtime, encourage him to explore his crate during the day by placing treats and toys inside. Make his crate a comfortable place to be by purchasing a cozy bed to lay his head. Reward him when he enters his crate and lies down for a period of time without whining. If your dog whines to go outside, you might want to train him to exhibit an alternative behavior. Perhaps he can swat at a bell hanging from the door to indicate that he needs to go outside. Take the time to address each individual situation that elicits the negative response.
Step 3: Think about how much time you spend apart from your dog. Many dogs whine due to separation anxiety. Try to spend more time with your dog and/or make the time you spend with him more quality time. You can also train your dog to deal with periods of loneliness by leaving for short periods of time and rewarding him for being independent for these bursts. Slowly work up to longer stretches until he is comfortable and secure in the knowledge that you will return.
Step 4: Prevent boredom for your dog. Many dogs, especially pups, whine out of boredom. Offer a variety of toys to keep him occupied when he is feeling playful and you’re unable to entertain him. Another good way to keep him occupied is with treats that last awhile. Purchase some rawhide bones or cones to fill with peanut butter to keep his mouth active.
Step 5: Ignore the behavior. This is easier said than done. It’s akin to listening to a baby cry itself to sleep; heartbreak and infuriating at the same time! Set a timer, leave the room and allow your dog to whine without seeing or getting a reaction from you. If your patience outlasts his persistence, you might have just solved the problem. If not, keep trying and soon enough he will learn that his behavior is fruitless if it warrants no reaction.
Step 6: Another option is to spray him with water when he whines. Some would argue that this isn’t dealing with the behavior, but if you’ve tried the steps above to no avail, you might be ready to fill up the water bottle.
Step 7: If your dog continues to whine, or he whines while he’s eating, take into consideration that he might be in some sort of discomfort. Don’t be afraid to take him to the vet to see if there are any underlying health concerns causing him to whine.
This article was written by the generous authors at Another Perfect Gift which is an online gift shop featuring gifts for dog lovers and other unique gift ideas for puppy owners.
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