The Root of the Behavior
Your dog’s ancestors use whining as a form of communication while living in the wild. Whining was often used by a submissive dog to alert the alpha dog that he surrenders. Today, your dog is domesticated and most likely lives in a house with air conditioners and heat to accommodate any weather situation. He’s not fighting for territory, hiding from predators, or hunting for his own food. Chances are your dog is living his best life. Although whining isn’t needed, your dog still has a natural instinct to use it as a communication tool. He uses it to tell you different things several times a day. A soft little whine as he stands over his food bowl will tell you he is ready to eat, an urgent higher pitch whine as he stands by the door tells you he needs to go outside, and so on.
You can probably determine between several vocal pitches that your dog expresses through his whines and not even realize it. This form of communication bonds dogs with their owners. As long as their owner begins to understand their dog’s whining language. Stress is a common reason dogs whine. It often takes dog owners off guard because they don’t realize their dog is stressed. If you aren’t familiar with your dog’s stress whine, listen carefully the next time you leave the house. Chances are he will start whining as soon as you pick up your keys and he understands you are on your way out the front door. Once you learn the stress whine, you will pick up on all the times your dog uses it. This will help you understand what causes your dog to feel stress throughout his daily life. It also gives you the opportunity to eliminate some, if not all, of the stress-inducing causes from the house and your dog’s life.
Encouraging the Behavior
As a pet owner, you don’t necessarily want to stop your dog from whining because it is a form of communication between the two of you. However, if your dog’s whining becomes excessive, you can take measures to help lessen the frequency of his whining sessions. Boxers are intelligent dogs that learn quickly. There’s a chance you might have taught him to whine every time he wants something and never stop until he gets his way. This is often taught during puppyhood or during the first few days of being in your home. One of the most common scenarios is when your dog wants something like a flavorful dog treat and stands at the cabinet where he knows it’s located and continues to whine endlessly.
You probably just left your dog whining in the kitchen without giving him yet another treat for the day, but he is insisting he gets another one by whining constantly. As you sit in your living room, you probably can’t handle hearing the whining anymore and you give in by giving your dog a treat, or maybe two in order to keep him quiet. At this point, you just trained your dog to whine endlessly until he gets his way. He is now the ruler of the house, or at the very least, has you wrapped around his cute little paw.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Once your dog understands that if he whines a lot he will get his way, he will usually become a little monster that whines about almost everything. You probably will feel overwhelmed at this point and not know what to do next. However, there is something you can do that will make all the difference in the world. You need to consult with a professional dog trainer. Trainers have deep insight into the canine psyche and will help map out a training plan that will lessen the occurrence of whining sessions. This means you will finally have peace and quiet and take control back over your home.
Whining is a natural behavior in dogs. As a pet parent, you can use it to your advantage because you will understand your dog’s needs better than if the whining didn’t exist at all. The only time you should be concerned with your dog’s whining is when its related to injury or sickness. This situation requires assistance from a licensed veterinarian and you are recommended to make an appointment immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.