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Weekly question: How do you get your dog to stop whining?

Ace has a crying issue. It is the worst when he is in a new place with other people and dogs and wants something, usually attention. He sits there and does this high-pitched, annoying whimper. I try really hard not to give in to what he wants, which is easier said than done, especially when others say things like “Oh, poor Ace.”

The best thing I’ve come up with is to make Ace lie down and stay, usually with his leash on and sometimes his Gentle Leader. Then I totally ignore him until he is quiet. I only tell him “No!” and pop his leash when the crying really escalates. Usually it’s best to just ignore the behavior.

The mutt sometimes cries in the car when we are going somewhere exciting like the dog park or if we are going somewhere unfamiliar. The best way to deal with this is to have him lie down on the back seat with his leash and Gentle Leader on and make him stay. He cries the most when he is watching out the window, so if he is lying down and can’t see where we are going, he is less likely to cry.

Vee Hudson had similar issues with her dogs, and I suggested she try some of the ideas that had worked for Ace. Vee’s dogs and Ace have improved, but I know many people have the same problem, especially if the dog isn’t getting enough exercise or mental challenges.

So, how do you get your dog to stop crying?

Email your dog-related question to me at, and I’ll post it for others to answer.

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K9 Amiga

Thursday 24th of July 2008

when he was younger, i ignored it so he wouldn't think whining was an effective way to communicate now that he's older (impatience over walks are a huge cause of whining) i address it with "a stern no" i try my best not to cater to it

K9 Amigas last blog post..Introspection & Amazing Dogs

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 22nd of July 2008

Yes, I try to always make Ace sit or lie down before he gets something. I make sure to never give in to what he wants if he is whining, especially if he's just doing it for attention. He gets attention if he's quiet.


Tuesday 22nd of July 2008

Biggie whines only when he's excited in a good way and he does it when he's trying not to bark. Putting him on the leash helps, and some self-control exercises help too. I agree with Cynthia Blue; training him that he has to "sit" or "down" before he gets the "good thing" helps too. It's like teaching the dog to say "please" and helps redirect some of that energy.

Apryl DeLancey

Tuesday 22nd of July 2008

My girl never whined too much - when she did it was because we were being silly and I pretended to ignore her while holding a treat or something.

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Cynthia Blue

Tuesday 22nd of July 2008

Our foster dog, Tony, whines and barks quite a bit when he's excited. He really is lacking in impulse control and self control. I think teaching a basic impulse control helps dogs like this. And teaching them what to do, instead of what not to do, is good. Maybe giving them a chew or toy or kong would be good to distract them!