How To Stop Dog Whining

dog whining is enough to drive any owner to distraction

Listening to a dog whining can drive you to distraction because it’s so difficult to ignore, especially if you have a dog whining at night. It can also be distressing when you don’t know how to make them stop. That noise is designed to tugs at your heart strings! So here’s a simple 2 step process to show you how to stop dog whining fast.

Identify Why Your Dog is Whining

Step one is to identify why your dog is whining. It might seem at first like your dog whines for no particular reason, but that’s not likely to be the case. There are 2 major reasons behind a dogs whine and you need to identify which one your dog is doing before you can get them to stop.

First, it could be attention seeking. Watch your dog closely, does your dog whine only when you’re around? Is he trying to catch your eye or get some attention with it? Notice how you react to your dogs whining. Do you immediately shout at the dog, stroke or comfort the dog, or do you ignore it?

Whining for Attention

If your dog is whining to get your attention, and he gets it everytime he whines, then he’s going to carry on – even if it makes you cross with him. In some dogs view, even negative attention is attention worth having.

My dog use to whine whenever he lost his ball underneath the sofa or kitchen cupboard. He would sit their whining and looking so dejected that I would always get up and get it for him. But then two things started to happen. First he started dropping his ball by the sofa and cupboards on purpose so it would roll underneath, and second he started to do it every time he wanted my attention. That’s when I realised I had to stop paying any attention to him when he whined. He soon stopped using those tactics on me!

Whining Driven by Separation Anxiety

The second reason could be that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. Again, try observing what triggers their whining.

Do they start whining the minute you’re out of their sight – even if you’re only going into the next room?  Or do they whine when you go upstairs and leave them downstairs, or do your neighbours complain about the whining while you’re out? All of these scenarios point to separation anxiety in dogs.

If you want to find out more about dog anxiety, enter your email details in the box on the top right and we’ll send you a link to our free video series which clearly lays out why it happens and how you can deal with it effectively.

Use Training To Stop Dog Whining

Step two is to get into action! Training is perhaps the only permanent way to stop a dog from whining. But please note that using methods such as shock collars or spray collars or any other kind of punishment is not the answer to this dog behaviour problem.

If your dog is whining for attention this is relatively simple to deal with as you’ll just need to use some simple training methods to show your dog that whining will not get them the attention they want. They don’t need to be harsh methods, but you do need to be consistent in not responding to your dogs attempt to get your attention.

Which basically means you ignore them when they whine, or get up and walk away from them as soon as it starts. When they discover that whining does not get them the attention they want, they will simply stop using it. Just make sure they don’t replace it with some other unwanted behaviour that you do respond to!

If your dog is whining because they’re suffering for separation anxiety, this is rather more difficult to deal with. You’ll need to address leadership issues and learn to be the pack leader with your dog as well as use training methods that will gently build up the time you spend apart from them and reduce their anxiety. If you’re looking for a step by step dog anxiety training programme, click on the link to check out the ebook I commissioned from a highly respected dog trainer.


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  1. Brittanie Leonard
    3 years ago

    I just got a new dog from a farm, she is an older dog (German Shepard/Australian Shepherd mix) She is a great dog and I’m very happy with her, but she is having some anxiety issues. I think she is settling in here fine, but at times she paces/whines. She also is snappy with our Great Dane puppy. I was wondering what advice you have on calming down her anxiety/stopping her whining and possibly getting her to accept the Dane as company?


    • Tony
      3 years ago

      Dear Brittanie,

      A new arrival needs to find out where it fits into the family hierarchy, and if we do not give tem the right signals, they can take on the leader role, meaning a stressful time as they are in a world they do not understand. There are 4 elements to the Amichien Bonding system (Food, Hunt, Danger, Status) where you can convince dogs that you are the one to trust. Once they relax, the pacing gets less and less, and they are less snappy with other members of the pack.

      The main thing to do if she starts to pace and whine is to pay no attention. She needs to see that you are not worried, and she can’t get your attention when she dictates (dogs can be veyr clever at doing that, using many different ways).

      You can definitely improve this situation by practising the 4 elements of AB.

      Best regards, Tony

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