Ask the Trainer: Stop Whining!
The Problem: How can I stop my dog from whining?! -Reba Kah
STOP WHINING, someone might yell when the dog is whining. But why should be the first question. Why and when is the dog whining? Perhaps the cause is the desire to go outside to potty or play. Maybe the dog has learned this is how attention is gained – good or bad. Perhaps he’s hurting or begging for food. Obviously, when the cause is determined the fix is easier. But let’s do a process of elimination.
- Make sure the dog has had a veterinary examination based on his age, lifestyle and breed
- If you see he’s whining when you touch him or he moves a certain way, make an appointment with your veterinarian
- Make sure your dog is being fed the appropriate dog food to meet his age, lifestyle and breed
- Make sure he is given proper exercise and attention from you
- Make sure his collar is a properly adjusted buckle or snap collar
If health reasons have been eliminated and the dog has been outside to eliminate, the problem could be he has trained you to get attention. My hound mix would whine for attention. This is common with dogs who have become attached to their owners or who have been rescued and are insecure.
First, know that yelling, yanking or anything that is forceful punishment to the dog, will not be helpful and may make matters worse. If this behavior has just begun, the fix is relative easy and quick. If the dog has a long history of whining, it will take longer to correct. Re-directing and focusing the dog with positive encouragement and training will help give the confidence needed to eliminate this behavior.
- Help the dog avoid situations when and where he is whining
- Ignore his whines
- Re-direct and focus the dog with positive encouragement and training
- Teach calming behaviors
Jill Lundgrin - Specialist with Clicker Training - Coastal Canine Academy
Jill has worked with dogs more than 25 years in the dog arena of shows and competitive obedience while she attained her Associate Degree in Applied Science in Veterinary Medicine. She's an instructor for Pet CPR/First Aid. And an active member of the Charleston Dog Training Club. She was accepted into the internationally acclaimed Karen Pryor Academy for specialized clicker training. She currently shares her home with 3 rescues - a Chihuahua, Pug and Beagle/hound mix.