Excessive canine vocalization is very troublesome. Especially if it gets out of control and we do not know how to deal with it. However, all it takes is a little patience and understanding to solve the problem.
What’s all the noise about?
This is the fundamental question you should ask yourself at the very beginning. You need to recognize the cause of the behavior and the stimulus that triggers it in order to move on to eliminating the problem. The dog usually whines when they want to communicate something. This is how they talk about their needs or how they express their well-being.
The most common causes of dog whining:
Need for food, drink, or a walk
Dogs can whine to ask for food or water. The problem most often occurs on hot days when the four-legged dog does not have enough water. It is important to remember that your dog should get food and drink regularly. If they get the right amount of food and drink, they will not have to ask for it. Similarly, the same rules apply to walks. If you provide your dog with an adequate dose of exercise and let them go to potty, the dog will not be forcing it.
Whining for attention
This situation often happens when the dog gets bored. They start to play around to make their owner give them attention. People often cannot stand the pressure and initiate play.
Unfortunately, it teaches the dog that by whining the dog will achieve whatever they want. It is best to ignore the dog’s vocalization in this kind of situation. The fun should start when the dog calms down. It is the pet parent who should start the interaction, not the dog.
Apart from ignoring the dog’s vocalization, it is crucial to praise and reward them when they show good behavior. Positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, toys, and enthusiastic praise can help your dog understand what behavior you want them to exhibit. It is important to note that punishment and negative reinforcement can be counterproductive and can result in more vocalization.
Additionally, try to improve the bond with your pet. Devote some more time to them during the day. Go for a long walk, play tug of war, or teach them basic obedience. You don’t know how? Have a look at our Dogo app! We especially recommend the program “Basic Obedience”, “Stay Active”or “Strengthen your Friendship”.
Furthermore, teach your dog to take care of themselves. Give them a sniffing mat or organize an olfactory game. You can also give the dog a chew toy. Your dog should focus on this exercise and do not force your attention.
Fear of being left home alone
Dogs most often start to whine when the parents go to work, school or to meet friends. The dog is afraid to be alone and their fear is expressed by a horrifying howling. It often happens in dogs who have lower self-confidence. In this case first of all you should improve your dog’s self-esteem. All sorts of olfactory games will be helpful. Let your dog use their skills to find their favorite treats or toys. Finding them using the sense of smell teaches your dog to be independent and builds their sense of worth. Praise and appreciate your pet – let them feel special.
You can also increase your dog’s confidence by teaching them new commands. Don’t forget to give enthusiastic praise and awards for your dog’s progress. In addition, try to give your dog space. Allow the dog to spend time on their own. You do not have to hold them on your knees and pet them constantly. If you do this, you will impair their independence and trigger the fear of being alone.
You can start by leaving their dogs alone for short periods of time and gradually increase the duration as the dog gets comfortable with being alone. Additionally, consider crate training their dogs to provide them with a safe and secure space when they are alone.
When you leave the house, try to leave an olfactory mat, interactive board, or your dog’s favorite chew. If your dog associates your departure with something pleasant, they will stop feeling stressed by it.
Moreover, you can also consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to provide companionship and exercise to their dogs when they are away. This can help reduce the dog’s fear of being alone and provide them with an opportunity to interact with other people and dogs. Additionally, you can also consider using calming aids such as pheromone diffusers or calming vests to help reduce their dog’s anxiety when they are alone.
If your dog vocalizes and you have already ruled out all possible environmental causes, take a look at their health. Maybe they feel bad and whining is a call for help? In this case, go to the vet immediately.
Remember never to punish or hurt your dog for their whining. It is their form of communication, a need to provide you with important information. Try to understand it and you will certainly find a solution.