If you’ve ever owned a dog, then you’ve probably heard them whine before. For the most part, whining is normal, as it is just another form of communication that dogs use. There are a variety of reasons why dogs whine. They could be wanting something or are just excited over something. Either way, dog whining has something to do with their physical, mental, and emotional state.
Identifying the Reasons Why Dogs Whine
You might have already seen your dog whine every time you leave them alone. Or in some cases, the whining could be accompanied by destructive behavior. This could be a sign of separation anxiety or just anxiety in general. Once you notice your dog exhibiting such behavior, make sure you consult your veterinarian for some professional advice. Together, you may come up with a behavioral modification plan as well as some anxiety medication, if necessary.
The reasons why dogs whine could be medical too. The most common cause of whining is pain. When you notice that your dog starts whining whenever they get up or down or when they place weight on a leg, it’s perhaps the best time to take them to the vet. For elderly dogs, whining upon every movement could be a sign of arthritis. Before the condition gets worse, make sure you head to the vet as early as possible.
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Identifying the cause of the whining
It’s not easy to determine the real reasons why dogs whine. For example, whenever a stranger approaches him, that could mean that he’s excited or afraid. Excitement often comes with jumping, circling, and lots of activity. Anxiety, on the other hand, is characterized as pacing, constantly looking around, and looking generally nervous.
Finally, whining could be a sign of frustration. Take for example your dog is trying to reach for something under the couch. They could continue whining over and over again until they finally get what they want.
How to manage dog whining
Reward-based training is the best way to manage whining associated with separation anxiety. Punishment should be ruled out at all costs. Once you punish your dog, it may tone the vocalization down, but you continue to feed into his anxiety. If this gets worse over time, the dog may end up becoming aggressive.
As all types of dog training go, the secret is to remain calm and collected. You need to set a good example for your dog if you want them to achieve that ideal calm, submissive state. You don’t necessarily have to give in to their whining, neither do you have to punish them for it. Like raising kids, you don’t have to keep spoiling your dog. The decision to discipline them lies entirely on you.