As puppies, it comes naturally: a very young puppy will whine without even realizing it when she is hungry, tired, or cold.
The mother dog will respond to this whining with milk, warmth, and a safe place to sleep – and as time goes on, the puppy begins to realize the association between the two.
This is when she begins to whine deliberately, to notify her mom that something’s amiss or that she needs something.
When you adopt your pup, she should be between eight and ten weeks old.
This is the time that a puppy will either learn that whining does not work with her new, human family; or, she’ll learn to use whining as a manipulative tool (of sorts) to motivate her new mommy or you to provide for her.
This is why it is generally advocated for you to leave your new puppy alone on her first night.
For if you respond to whining with positive attention (cooing, patting, sympathy, taking her out of the crate and cuddling her) how can she help but learn to whine until she gets what she wants?
You need to use your common sense and good judgment, of course.
For a really panic-stricken pup, she probably does actually need some attention and affection, if only to distract her from the scariness of her unfamiliar new surroundings.
The trick is to respond in a timely manner so that she doesn’t feel like it’s her whining with the result (or else you’re conditioning her to whine whenever she wants something, which is paving the road to hell).
For a puppy that’s working herself up into a real frenzy of crying and whining, do not feel like you have to cold-bloodedly ignore her.
By all means, pay her a bit of attention and calm her down – just initiate the contact when she’s no longer whining.
It’s not always realistic to wait until she stopped whining altogether – contrary to popular (albeit misguided) opinion, some puppies simply do not stop whining and really will continue for hours on end.
If you suspect that this may be the case, you don’t have to prolong your pup’s misery.
Just wait til she stopped for even a few seconds, then seize your moment and open the crate door.
Though it is not ideal, it is the most practical solution under the circumstances.
Whining In Adult Dogs
Whining is not a natural form of communication between humans and dogs.
Most dogs grow out of whining around the six-month age; if your dog is whining after this period,
it means she is either doing it unconsciously or learnt that to be a useful motivator tool to get her what she wants or needs.
As an adult dog, there are several reasons as to why she might be whining:
1. In pain
2. Bored or lonely
3. Needs to go outside
4. Afraid or fearful
Your response to her whining really depends on the cause of it.
Sometimes whining is justified, and does require a response – and sometimes, it is just plain manipulative.
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