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Why Is My Dog Whining? What Can I Do?

dog whining
A dog has only a few ways of communicating with its owner. There is barking, staring, nudging with its head and of course, whining. Whining is one of the most effective and common means our dogs have to tell us that something is wrong. Learning what your dog's whines mean is much like learning what a baby's cry means.

Reasons Your Dog is Whining

When a puppy is born, one of the first things it learns to do is whine. The mom teaches the puppies that whining gives them what they want because when they are hungry, they whine and she comes to feed them and if they get lost from the rest of the puppies, they will whine for the mom to come and get them. The puppy carries this skill with it when it becomes a member of your family as you become its new pack.

dog whining in crate
You can learn to control the whining by the way in which you handle your new dog when it whines to show you that something is wrong. This might not be so easy if you are getting an adult dog that is already set in its ways with its whining habits. Some people find that his or her dog is whining more than necessary and worry that something is wrong.

What Should I Do?

The first thing to do when you find that your dog seems to be having problems with whining too much is to rule out any medical problems. A quick trip to the vet would tell you if there is anything physically wrong with your pooch. If nothing is wrong, you need to work through the whining so that you can get it under control.

dog keeps whining
It is important to learn not to respond every time your dog whines. If your dog is whining, make sure that all of its needs are addressed such as hunger, thirst, and going potty. If all is as it should be, you need to take a look at what is going on around the dog. It can also help to pay attention and reward your pet when he is behaving well so that he learns what acceptable and good behavior is.


Dogs will whine if they are scared, lonely, sick, and hungry, so once you rule out illness and being hungry, your dog is most likely going through separation anxiety. If this is the case, you can work with your dog on this and help him to put an end to his worry. You can start with doing some temporary separation tests to show him that all will be ok while you are away.

dog whining at night
You can do this by putting your dog in the other room by itself. Check-in on him every so often (but not while he is whining). This will show him that you will return and that he is just fine. You can do this little by little, stretching out the time until your pooch is ok with you being gone for a long period of time. This process really doesn't take that long and with positive reinforcement, your pooch will be wagging his tail in no time at all.

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