Jump to section
Does your dog spend half the night keeping you awake whining? Not only does his incessant whining giving you a serious case of insomnia, it's probably giving you a serious case of the morning grumps. Not to mention the rest of the family.
So why do dogs whine at night and is there anything you can do to stop them?
Many dogs start night whining during puppyhood, but you may find that some older dogs start having a problem being quiet when you are trying to catch a little shut-eye.
There are several reasons why your dog might be whining at night, including anxiety, being over-excited and not ready to sleep, and of course the simple logic of "If I whine, I get attention", much like a young child.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is also the possibility that your dog's nighttime whining is being caused by a medical condition you may not be aware of. If you think this might be the case, be sure to take your dog in to see the vet and have him perform a check-up so that he can give your pup a clean bill of health.
Since night whining is more common in puppies, the sooner you start the training, the more quickly everyone in the family can get a good night's sleep. However, it is not uncommon for adult dogs to suddenly take up the chorus at night. If you are working with a puppy, you can usually get them to stop whining at night after a couple of weeks, but older dogs may take several weeks longer.
You should never "reward" your dog for whining by giving in and fussing over him. However, you should avoid punishing him as well. Rather than reprimanding your dog for their whining reward him for not whining after being told to stop. However, you should be prepared for the sleepless nights to continue until your dog fully understands what is expected of him. The good news is that for most breeds, the number of sleepless nights will dwindle relatively quickly.
Before embarking on this particular training exercise, there are a few things you are going to need, including your pup's favorite treats, a leash, plenty of quiet (hard to do when he is whining), and most of all, tons of patience.
You may also need to pick up a new pair of sneakers as at least one training method involves both of you getting plenty of exercise. Giving your dog a bed of his own may help make him comfortable enough not to whine at night.
Since training your dog not to whine at night, this is the best time of day to train him for some methods, but not for all of them.
The All Tuckered Out Method
Ready to go
Grab your walking shoes, a leash, and your dog.
Walk it out
Take your dog for a nice long walk.
Spend time playing
Make time to play with your dog during the walk, to burn off a little extra steam and spend some quality time together.
Stay out for a while
Stay out and play/walk until your dog is tired out.
Ready to crash
Take your dog home well tired out and ready to sleep all night long.
The Ignore the Noise Method
Crate your pup
Put your pup in his crate for the night.
Turn and walk away from your pup.
No turning back
If he starts to whine, don't stop as this would be rewarding him for his behavior.
Praise and more
When your dog quiets down, go back, give him a treat, and praise him.
If he starts up again, repeat the process until he stops whining at night.
The Quiet Command Method
Put your dog to bed
Place your dog in his crate or on his bed.
Say good night
Say good night and leave the room, closing the door behind you.
If your dog starts to whine, don't scold him.
Go to the closed door and firmly tell your dog to "Be quiet."
Once he has quietened down, open the door and shower your dog with praise and give him a treat. Repeat each night until he finally stops whining.
By Amy Caldwell
Published: 12/28/2017, edited: 01/08/2021