Why Do Dogs Whine, Besides Driving You Crazy?

why do dogs whine cover

Whine, whine, whine, if only I could have a little cheese with that whine, I’d be one happy dog! It can drive the most tolerant peep nuts and if you’re like my peep, you want to stop it at once. If fact my peep thinks it’s very unattractive when I whine.

But dogs whine as a way to communicate their emotional state and usually at a higher level of excitement or need.

So besides you thinking that your dog is trying to drive you crazy, which might just be the case, not all whines are created equal. Here is what your dog might be trying to tell you.

Reasons why dogs whine

It’s all about our emotions

Whining is a way we try to communicate our emotions to you. We’ll use our body language, energy and sound to express what state we are in.

We’ll whine because we’re:

  • Frustrated: We can get a little obsessive; we might scratch at the door or kick you or the sofa.
  • Excited: You’ll see us jumping, doggy dancing, and circling with a big wagging tail.
  • Anxious: We could be pacing, shaking and having a low wagging tail and ears down.
  • Fearful of scared: You could see us tremble and we might want to try and escape.

As a dog, I would have to say it’s not my preferred method of expressing myself, but after listening to peeps chatter all the time, I’ve learn that it might be a way for me to communicate and I’ll start vocalizing too.

dog keeps whining to me

How to stop your dog whining?

First and foremost, you’re going to need to respond to it properly, and I don’t mean screaming out your dog’s name with the word stop and the end.

Try to understand why your dog is whining instead of responding to it immediately. When you respond to whining with attention or affection this will only teach your dog that whining works.

Instead remain calm, and get your dog calm as well. Like with kids, just because your dog is whining for something, it doesn’t mean that they should get it.

For example, I like to whine at the door to the garden. I’ll usually saunter over to the door give it a little kick and then whine to get my peep off the computer to come to open the door for me. I use to do this all day long, and sometimes I didn’t even want to go out, I basically got the pleasure of watching my peep get up and down every time I whined at the door, regardless of how many times she said “Maggie Stop”

However, my peep changed my ways, by first ignoring my whine and then calling my name and asking me to sit. She then went and opened the garden door, called me with the word “okay” and I was then allowed out into the garden. After a few times of going through all these steps, I found that whining was causing a lot of work for me, so now I stopped and sit nicely at the door once or twice a day.

Submissive whine

pack dog submissive whine

Back in the day when dogs use to roam in packs, whining was considered a sign of submission. It was a way for one dog to tell the other dog that they “give up”. Our body language was also submissive, ears, tails and head down, or even squatting or lying down, trying to get a low and submissive as possible.

Now if your dog gives you the “I give up” whine, or what I like to call the “I’m sorry whine” the best thing you can do is acknowledge it and then just walk away. To us dogs, that means “apology accepted!” We’ll feel a lot better and we might even give you a kiss on the cheek.

Happy to see you whine

But what do you do when your dog greets you by whining due to she is so excited to see you come through the door?

Again, be calm, don’t touch the dog, don’t talk to the dog, and don’t look at the dog until your dog settles down. After that give your dog a little praise and continue on.

Physical Needs

Whining for no apparent reason: The first thing you must do is make sure your dog is not in pain or physically distressed. If you dog suddenly starts whining while lying down, especially in a submissive posture without trying to engage you, contact your vet at once.

dog whining at the door

Got to go whine

Sometimes a dog will whine due to it needs a nature call.  A house trained dog will not want to go “inside their den” (that’s your home in dog speak) and when the urge starts to build up, your dog will give you signs in body language like pacing, scratching at the door or even nudging you to get a move on. He’ll also speak in a whine to let you know how distressing this is for him and his feeling of frustration.

In fact I’ve kicked my peep in the back while in bed when I’ve had a late night nature call. When you got to go, you got to go, and I’m not very good at opening doors to the garden myself.

I’m a spoiled dog whine

spoiled dog whine

Sometimes your dog will whine because it wants something. Now this could be the food on your plate, or the new bag of treats on the kitchen counter. And your dog will whine all the time for these tasty little wants especially if this behaviour has worked in the past.

Giving in to this whining will only lead to more, make sure you get your dog in a calm state before you decide to give them what they want.

Does your dog whine and what do you do about? We’d love to hear