So you have a problem with a whining dog? It is not unusual for people to have problems, particularly with puppies whining all day long. Most puppies will outgrow this behavior.
They generally whine for two reasons: For attention and when they are anxious. If they want attention, they will continue to whine if that attention attracts a reward. It is better just to give your dog attention in the form of eye contact rather than a reward to stop it from whining, as a reward will only encourage it to whine all the more.
Often the best solution is to ignore the dog completely until the whining stops no matter how long it might take. When the dog realizes that it is not getting the reward it expects from whining it will tend to stop. An alternative method is to blow a whistle when your dog is whining and when it stops you stop.
Often this method works faster than simply ignoring it. Another reason why dogs whine is because they are anxious. Particularly when nobody is around and they have separation anxiety. This can be more difficult, if you are unable to find somebody to mind the dog when you’re away. Leaving your dog with suitable toys to play with, fresh food and water can assist, and also getting it used to you being away by starting off with shorter periods apart as discussed in a previous newsletter.
Another method to stop your dog from whining is to buy a clicker from a pet store and ignore the whining until it stops. Once the dog stops whining, wait for a few seconds and then click the clicker, and then reward it in some manner. The dog will soon learn that the reward comes from its silence.
Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book. This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.