Whining is one doggie behavior that can really drive humans crazy! The natural inclination is to try and make the dog stop it. Unfortunately, most people try to accomplish this by punishing the behavior. The fact is that some dogs can’t help it, and probably don’t even realize that they are whining.
Rather than trying to punish the behavior away, it is essential to determine WHY the dog is whining and remedy the situation. Whining can be the result of several different things: pain, fear, anxiety, needs, and finally wants.
The solution to the first problem - pain - is obvious, an immediate vet check is in order. Global fear of things and generalized anxiety should be evaluated by a Behavior Counselor who can give case specific suggestions and may suggest a Vet visit as well. If the dog is whining for something that he needs (i.e., a potty break or a drink) you must attend to that immediately. Whining for wants on the other hand require some good old fashioned impulse control! Teach the dog to be patient, and quiet, to get what he wants!
What tactics have you used to problem solve whining?
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Elisabeth Catalano, M.A., CPDT, CDBC
Director of Behavior and Training
The Coventry School, Inc.