Whether it’s a little cry or a long howl, when dogs whine, they’re trying to tell us something. This can make pet owners worried, confused, or even annoyed.

Grown-up dogs whine for different reasons, like wanting your attention, feeling pain, or asking you to stop watching your favorite show and help them get their toy. Fixing the whining depends on why it’s happening.

We talked to a dog training expert to learn about the various reasons why dogs whine and how to help your furry friend when it happens.

Why Is My Dog Whining? 7 Possible Reasons

What is the scientific reason why dogs cry?

Just like puppies, grown-up dogs whine for different reasons. They do this to tell us what they need or how they feel. It’s our job as dog parents to understand why they’re whining. Here are the usual reasons why adult dogs whine:

1. Seeking Attention

Dogs whine to get your attention, just like how a child might tug on a parent’s sleeve. When your dog whines, it could mean they want to play, cuddle, or just spend more time with you.

2. Expressing Pain or Discomfort

Why does my dog randomly whine in pain?

When a dog is hurting or not feeling well, it may make whining sounds to let you know something is wrong. This could be because of sickness, getting hurt, or having a long-term problem like arthritis. The whining is their way of telling you they’re not okay and might need help.

You may like to read: Why do female Dogs Cry When Mating?

3. Expressing Fear or Stress

Dogs feel scared or stressed, just like people do. When they whine, it might be their way of showing these feelings. Things like loud sounds, new places, or other animals can make them feel this way.

4. Expressing Boredom

When dogs are not kept busy or entertained, they might start making whining sounds. Especially active dog breeds need both playtime and exercise every day. If they don’t get enough of these, they might whine to show they’re feeling bored or frustrated.

5. Wanting Something

Dogs usually make a whining sound when they want their human to do something for them, such as giving them food, taking them for a walk, or throwing their ball.

6. Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

If your dog gets really worried when you’re getting ready to leave or when you’re not around, they might whine a lot. This is called separation anxiety, and it happens because they’re scared of being alone and want someone with them all the time. They might also do things like pacing, breaking things, or going to the bathroom in the wrong place.

7. Communicating Excitement

Not every time a dog whines means they’re upset. Sometimes, dogs whine because they’re super excited or looking forward to something. It could be when they see you getting their food ready or grabbing their leash.

They might also whine when they see something interesting, like a squirrel climbing a tree, or when their favorite person comes home. It’s like they say, “This is so much fun!”

You may like to read: How To Make Bone Broth For Dogs?

How to Stop Whining?

How do I stop my dog from whining?

If your dog whines a lot, it’s a good idea to figure out why before you try to stop it. Some people don’t care if a dog whines a bit, but others find it really irritating. The good news is, you can teach your dog to whine less, or maybe not at all.

  1. Listen to Your Dog’s Whining:
    • Pay attention to different pitches and volumes for various reasons.
    • Recognize whines for wanting something or boredom.
  2. Approach Carefully:
    • Handle gently if whining indicates stress or pain.
    • Avoid escalating to aggression.
  3. Assess the Situation:
    • Objectively consider potential reasons for whining.
    • Don’t punish; it may worsen anxiety.
  4. Identify Stress Factors:
    • Find sources of fear, anxiety, or stress.
    • Work on training and desensitizing to overcome fears.
  5. Meet Needs Responsively:
    • Fulfill legitimate needs, like potty breaks.
    • Avoid reinforcing unwanted behaviors.
  6. Avoid Unintentional Encouragement:
    • Redirect attention-seeking behavior.
    • Train them to sit or lie down quietly for rewards.
  7. Enrich the Environment:
    • Provide toys and ensure enough exercise.
    • Prevent pent-up energy that leads to whining.
  8. Selective Response:
    • Ignore unnecessary whining.
    • Reward moments of silence, work on “quiet” command.
  9. Avoid Begging and Whining:
    • Don’t give in to begging behaviors.
    • Manage whining with basic training and mental stimulation.
  10. Seek Professional Help if Needed:
    • Bring in a trainer or behaviorist for stubborn cases.
    • Be patient and consistent for better results.

You may like to read: How To Make Dogs Happy?

FAQs: Why do dogs whine for no reason?

Why do dogs whine when nothing is wrong?

Still not satisfied? Here are some frequently asked questions:

Why is my dog whining so much all of a sudden?

When a dog feels hurt or uncomfortable, they might whine to let you know something is wrong. This could be because they’re sick, got hurt, or have a long-term issue like arthritis. Their whining is like them saying they need help or that something’s bothering them.

How do I make my dog stop whining?

Don’t give in to whining. Ignore it or leave the room. Whining won’t get any rewards; it only leads to boredom. Encourage your dog to seek attention in a way you like. When she does, praise and reward her a bit, especially at first, so she learns to prefer that behavior.

Do dogs whine because they are sad?

Yes, animals can show their feelings, and when they’re sad, they might whimper, whine, or hide their face. Unlike humans, animals don’t usually cry tears when they’re emotional. People are thought to be the only creatures that shed tears of emotion.

What’s the difference between whining and crying in dogs?

Your dog might whine to grab your attention when feeling bored or wanting something. But if your dog is crying a lot, there could be another reason. Common causes include feeling anxious or scared.

Is dog whining the same as crying?

Dogs don’t cry like people do. If they hurt a lot, they might make sounds like whining, growling, or even screaming. But, similar to many animals, they often hide their pain.

Why is my dog whining while lying down?

When dogs feel pain, they often make whining sounds. If your dog whines a lot when lying down, it might mean she has pain in her joints or some other issue related to how she’s positioned. She could also have difficulty breathing while sleeping or other problems causing her to whine.

How to stop dog anxiety whining?

Show your dog you don’t like whining by using big gestures like turning away or crossing your arms. Ignore your dog completely to let her know that whining won’t get her attention. Instead of encouraging whining, give your dog a treat when she’s quiet.




By Syed Habib Ahmed

Syed Habib Ahmed is a pet lover and writer having experience with all kinds of animals. Over the years he has cared dogs, cats, horses and other pets. Before writing became his full-time career, he has worked with different vets and organization who rescue animals.

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