Some small dogs seem to be prone to whining. If allowed to go on, whining can become a problem that is an annoyance at best, and potentially damaging to your relationship with your furry friend at worst. In fact, many dogs have been re-homed over problem whining.
The reason small dogs seem to be prone to this problem behavior is likely that they tend to receive more coddling from owners that think it is cute or adorable when their puppy whines, or who assume that the little gal needs some comforting.
Luckily, armed with some basic knowledge, and a willingness to make some changes to how you react to whining behavior, you can usually curb problem whining in a few weeks. Read on to find out how.
It is important to take a moment to assess whining before you use any of these training techniques. Sometimes dogs will whine for legitimate reasons. You don’t want to discourage her from whining if she is trying to communicate something important such as:
Notice that the first example is if your dog is in pain. This could be due to an underlying medical condition. If there is a chance that this is the case, consult with a vet before working on any whine reducing training.
Other, less legitimate, reasons for whining include:
These emotional states are something we can encourage, without even knowing it. If you have been rewarding any of these types of whining behavior with attention your dog wants, then he is convinced that whining is a successful strategy… because that is what you taught him by rewarding him for whining.
The three methods we offer in this guide are not meant to be taken as single training sessions. Rather, they are different strategies to use when your dog whines for any of the above reasons. You can use them all, depending on which is most convenient for you in the moment, to curb problem whining once and for all.
These methods are called “continuous training” methods because they are really more of a lifestyle change than a discrete training session. The ultimate goal is to have other strategies for responding to your dog’s whining that do not involve rewarding the behavior.
The first step before getting started with any of these methods is to just be observant.
Unless you first eliminate any and all rewards for whining first, none of the methods suggested here will be effective.