How to Stop a Dog From Crying and Whining For Attention

Dogs cry and whine for a variety of reasons, and this post is focused on dogs that whine and cry for attention.

As always, it’s often the human’s fault for encouraging a dog’s whining. If a dog has developed an annoying habit of whining to get attention, guess who’s likely been rewarding the whining for months? (I’m guilty of this too.)

10 Tips to stop a dog’s whining and crying

If your dog’s whining has gotten annoying, the best thing to do is train a new behavior.

One way to do that is to encourage him to lie down and focus on a food-dispensing toy like the one below or something as basic as a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter. Read on for more ideas.

1. How do you stop a dog from crying? Ignore the crying!

This is easier said than done, but in most situations it is best to ignore your dog if he is crying and whining for attention.

How to stop a dog from whining for attention

You want to teach him that he’ll get what he wants if he’s calm, quiet and patient.

I know this is not easy! I usually make the mistake of giving my Lab mix Ace attention for whining. I can’t help it! But it’s generally the wrong thing to do. (June 2018 update: Ace has passed away.)

Every time Ace whines and I look at him, he learns that whining gets my attention. The next time he wants attention, he will likely whine again because it worked in the past.

My black Lab mix Ace - Tips on how to stop dog from whining

Sometimes I even pet Ace when he whines! No wonder he’s such a cry baby! Heck, even if I scold my dog for whining, he thumps his tail.

“Ha! Gotcha to look at me!” he says.

So what is the obvious solution?

Ignore the dog whenever he whines!

To truly ignore a dog means don’t look at your dog, don’t scold him, don’t laugh at him, don’t touch him and don’t even glance in his direction.

Just stare at your phone or whatever you’re focused on. Leave the room if you have to, just make sure not to acknowledge your dog when you leave.

2. Teach your dog to stay on a dog bed.

If your dog tends to whine for attention, sometimes it’s helpful to provide him with something else to do.

I recommend teaching him to lie down and stay on a dog bed with a special toy like a Kong filled with peanut butter or a bully stick. Sometimes it can help to put him on a leash and tether him or to put your dog in his kennel with his toy.

If your dog tends to start whining at a specific time each day, you can give him the bully stick before he starts whining in order to break the habit.

See my post: How to teach a dog to go to his bed.

3. Feed your dog meals from food-dispensing toys.

Dogs with pent-up mental energy are more likely to cry and whine. They may be bored, or they might be carrying around extra anxiety.

One of the easiest ways to drain a dog’s mental energy is to stop feeding his meals from a bowl. Instead, make him work for every single piece of food by feeding all his meals in food-dispensing toys such as the Kong Wobbler (below).

Kong Wobbler food-dispensing puzzle toy to stop a dog's whining

You can also feed your dog pieces of kibble while you work on obedience training. This isn’t going to solve your problem immediately, but the goal is to drain your dog’s energy over time in order to decrease the crying.

For additional training tips, see my ebook: “50 Dog Training Tips: Your Training Problems Solved Now.”

4. Provide your dog with lots of exercise.

It’s so much easier for a dog to “behave” if he’s had the chance to burn physical energy.

To stop your dog from crying for attention, I highly recommend you double the amount of exercise he’s getting. On average, I would say a dog needs a half-hour walk every day at a minimum just to get by. Ideally, most dogs could stand to walk for an hour to 90 minutes or more every single day.

If you run with your dog, a hands-free leash makes running (or walking) more convenient.

If you don’t have the time to walk your dog as long as you would like, a dog backpack can help a lot! We have the green Ruffwear pack below, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Ruffwear dog backpack

In addition to physical exercise, dogs need mental and emotional exercise such as solving puzzles, visiting new places, working on obedience skills or playing tug.

See these posts:

Exercise ideas for dogs

10 ways to give your dog mental stimulation

5. To stop a dog’s whining, you should relax, too!

Dogs pick up on our emotions and mirror us. So, if you are stressed or anxious all the time, guess who else will feel anxious? Anxious dogs will often pace, pant heavily and you guessed it, whine!

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6. Try training tools to stop a dog from crying such as the Thundershirt.

Many people swear the dog Thundershirt will stop anxiety issues such as whining.

The Thundershirt is basically a vest that fits snugly around the dog to help him feel “swaddled” and more secure. It’s designed to decrease a dog’s anxiety during Thunderstorms but can also be used for a dog’s anxiety issues in general.

Some people will put Thundershirts on their anxious dogs during walks or during obedience classes, for example.

Order a Thundershirt here.

Thundershirt for dogs

If you try the Thundershirt in addition to everything else in this post, you will likely see some progress. Read a review of the dog Thundershirt.

7. Teach the dog to lie down and stay with distractions.

Working on general obedience skills is important to stop a dog’s whining because your dog is learning self control.

All dog owners should have the goal of being able to leave their dogs in a down/stay position with distractions for up to a half-hour. I believe all dogs are capable of this skill. It just takes a lot of practice and patience.

And you have to start small.

Start by asking your dog to lie down for 2 seconds while you’re standing right next to him.

When I first adopted Ace, he did not know the command “down” or “stay.” No big deal. We simply worked on this every day, slowly building from 1 second to 5 seconds, then 10, then 30.

We worked in the living room first. Then we practiced during walks. Slowly, I increased the distance, time and level of distractions.

If your dog learns the skill of lying down and staying, he develops a higher level of self control. This will benefit him in all areas of training, including learning not to whine for attention.

Stop a dog from crying and whining for attention

8. Instruct guests to also ignore your dog’s whining.

This is the tricky part at our house. When certain people visit (like “Uncle” Peter!), Ace gets very excited and wiggles and squirms and most definitely whines for attention. If his favorite people aren’t paying attention to him, he will even howl!

It’s very cute when Ace howls, and he always gets showered with affection for “singing.” However, if the goal is to teach my dog not to whine for attention, we need to be consistent even when people visit.

So what’s the solution?

Ignore the dog’s whining even when friends and family are over.

Before the guests arrive, inform them that your are trying to teach your dog to stop whining. Ask them to please ignore your dog for the first 10 minutes or so until he is calm and quiet. Then they can pet him all they want!

9. Teach the dog to appreciate being alone.

Dogs need some down time every day. A dog that knows how to be calm and quiet by himself is generally a more balanced dog.

Most of us have these things called jobs, so our dogs do spend time alone every day. But our dogs also need to learn that we can’t spend every second with them even while we are home.

So, at least a few times a week, put your dog in his crate for a half-hour or so while you are home. Or leave him in the fenced backyard or in a bedroom.

Give him a favorite toy like a Kong with peanut butter. Just teach him that it’s OK to spend time alone. Then, invite him back to spend time with you, but don’t make a big deal about being “reunited.”

10. Keep toys put away when not in use.

To keep your dog interested in his toys, keep them put away when they aren’t in use. Rotate which toys are available, so they will seem new and interesting to your dog.

When you want to stop a dog from crying, you can get him interested in a toy so he’ll leave you alone.

Of course, you don’t want to reward your dog with the toy for whining. Instead, wait until he’s quiet for at least a few seconds. Then ask him to sit or lie down and give him the toy as a reward.

Now … here are two more issues I want to address quickly. A dog’s crying when you’re not home and a puppy’s crying at night.

How do you stop a dog from crying when you leave?

Unfortunately, a common problem is your dog cries and whines when you are not home.

All of the above can help to stop your dog from crying when you’re gone, especially increasing his exercise.

But if your dog is crying when you leave, he might be dealing with some mild separation anxiety. Usually this will go away with time, and it’s best not to make a big deal out of coming and going.

Most dogs will be less anxious if you can leave them in a smaller area such as a kennel/crate or in a sectioned off area of your house.

If your dog tends to cry when you leave, I recommend an extra long walk twice a day (morning and evening). You should also leave your dog with a couple of special chew toys like Kong stuffed with frozen peanut butter and a bully stick.

Dog Kong toy

When a dog has separation anxiety, you’ll want to slowly decrease your dog’s emotional response to his “triggers.” This could be things like you picking up your keys, putting your shoes on or getting ready for work.

You can do this by picking up your keys and putting them down randomly when you’re not going anywhere and tossing your dog a treat.

For a more detailed look on separation anxiety in dogs, check out this post.

There are also two books I recommend for stopping your dog’s crying when you’re not home. One is my ebook on separation anxiety and the other is a short step-by-step guide from behaviorist Dr. Patricia McConnell.

How do I stop my dog from crying at night?

Some dogs will cry at night because they don’t want to be alone. This is especially common with puppies on the first few nights, but it’s also common with newly adopted adult dogs. Usually the dog or puppy is just getting used to their new routine.

If your puppy is crying at night, it’s best to ignore the crying (as difficult as that is!). Some puppies will need a quick potty break in the middle of the night, but it’s best to set your alarm and take your puppy out on your own terms when he is quiet.

Some tips to stop a puppy from crying at night:

  • Use a kennel/crate and ignore your puppy’s crying at night
  • Keep the kennel by your bed if you can so your puppy can see you
  • Wear ear plugs!
  • Try putting a T-shirt of yours in the kennel with your puppy
  • Keep soft toys and a soft blanket in your puppy’s kennel
  • Put a tempting chew toy in the kennel like a bully stick
  • If you have a towel or toy with your puppy’s littermates’ or mother’s scent on it, that can be comforting
  • Try a “heart beat” toy
  • Don’t feel sorry for your puppy. Give her plenty of interaction during the day.
Puppy heart beat toy

For more details on how to stop a puppy’s crying at night, I recommend this post.

Do you have a dog that tends to cry for attention?

In the comments, let me know what has worked for you and what hasn’t. It’s definitely a common problem and a work in progress.

Please share this post if it will help someone you know.

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Related posts:

How long do puppies cry at night?

Stop your dog’s barking in the morning

Stop a puppy from whining all day

Stop a dog from crying for attention - German shepherd puppy

89 thoughts on “How to Stop a Dog From Crying and Whining For Attention”

  1. I had the biggest problem with my dog whining when we were out on walks. She loves to run so I guess the frustration, boredom, excitement? of not being able to run around was too much for her. She used to sound like I was trying to murder her!

    She is a ton better now, but I always walk her off leash in a heel(if we’re in the neighborhood), which she stays in diligently, then she won’t whine. If the leash is on she’ll still whine at times and try to pull ahead. I’m not sure I get it, but it works.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’m glad you’ve found a way to get her to stop whining! That’s so interesting how she heels perfectly without the leash and is not so good with the leash! 🙂

        1. Nothing is working for me. Diesel is fine in our bedroom during the day but at night he’s in the kitchen whining like crazy! He’s an 8 yr old American Bulldog. HELP

        2. Amazing! I have toy poodle twins and they act as if murdered sometimes when I don’t come right in or when we are out walking and I won’t let them run up to every dog and child. It is hard. We practice staying with me and not dragging me. They are wonderful sweet dogs but the barking and the whining to see others drives me nuts. It is embarrassing too. Argh.

    2. Our dog does this too! She does not whine during walks (usually) but she will walk in a great heel if we let her off her leash–even while people or kids walk by! But the minute she is on the leash she tugs like crazy and if people or kids walk by she whines as she tugs in an attempt to get to them. I think it is some type of psychological thing where she is actively working on being a good dog when she is free to make that choice for herself but when the choice is made for her (with the leash) she knows she can’t actually get to the things she isn’t allowed to get to but she’s going to try her hardest to get to them anyway? It’s the weirdest thing and I’ve never known another dog like that.

      1. Dogs don’t generalize well at all. She was likely taught to Heel without a leash (I’m assuming?) so she knows that behaviour without a leash but it’s a whole different context when she has a leash if she wasn’t taught to Heel with a leash on. 🙂

  2. I don’t remember what book I read it in, but they offered very simple formula, “Give your dog the attention they need, before they have to pester you for it.”

  3. These are all really good tips. A certain golden retriever I know needs some work on this very thing. It’s really difficult when everyone in the household isn’t consistent, so admittedly I’ve sort of given up. Luckily she only whines when certain people arrive or when she has a toy in her mouth, so it’s really not all that often.

    And yes, Ace is really cute when he howls.

  4. Our problem isn’t whining it’s mouthiness. When I come home or someone comes to the house for a visit we have a very large puppy “leading” us around by the arm or tugging on our clothing to get our attention. We haven’t yet perfected the sit and wait method of greeting and he’s so very excited that MOMMY IS HOME AND I MISSED HER SO MUCH AND I NEED TO TELL HER I LOVE HER AND SHOW HER ALL OF MY TOYS AND I CAN’T GET CLOSE ENOUGH AND I REALLY, REALLY MISSED YOU DID I TELL YOU THAT ALREADY?????? We keep toys by the door that we can give him when we come home but if I forget to stock that pile……not pretty.

  5. Sorry to hear that your dog is mouthy. Hopefully you will see progress if you totally ignore him when he does that. Best of luck to you!

  6. Our dog whines/cries when the baby cries. She consistently gets louder and louder the more he cries. It is driving me insane! We put her outside when she starts and she cries more there. The neighbors probably think we are beating her!

  7. About the crying when the baby is crying. I saw an episode of The Dog Whisper where someone had the same problem. Cesar said that in a pack the whole group helps raise the puppies and maybe your dog is the same situation. They needed to teach the dog boundries (because the dog was always trying to get into the baby’s space) and teach it what they expected of him/her to do when the baby is in the room. If you can find the episode it seemed to make some sense and seemed to work well for that family.

  8. Please Lindsay help!!
    I have a rottie x and whenever I go out for big trips like on the bus or train to the beach she just won’t stop whinging and crying! I just don’t know what to do I know I should ignore her but when there are other members of the public on the transport I find it really hard. Please any advice would be really appreciated.
    From Steve

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Is she whining out of excitement or fear? Or maybe both? My dog whines in the car when he’s excited or nervous, and boy is it annoying. Honestly, I haven’t found a way to get him to stop but I’ve figured out how to tone it down a bit.

      I can tell you a few things that help my dog, so maybe they will help yours:

      Taking him for a long walk (like an hour or more) before we go in the car helps. Not only that, but exercising him every day leading up to the car ride. It also helps to find things to drain his mental and emotional energy such as playing a good game of tug of war and working on obedience commands.

      My dog is calmer with a Gentle Leader type collar over his nose vs. a regular collar.

      If the whining is really bad and you absolutely have to take her on the bus or train, you could try an e-collar. This would not be my first recommendation, especially if she is acting out of fear, but sometimes you just have to weigh your options. An e-collar might settle her down right away. Problem solved.

      Hopefully that at least gives you some ideas!

  9. Hi Lindsey, you mentioned here that your dog whines in the car. My dog does this constantly! No matter how calm I get her before we leave, when we are in the car she whines like mad. I tried driving different ways to the dog park so she doesnt recognise where we are going. This works for about a few mins but she is off again soon after. And then when she knows we are getting close to the park, she really gets excited and whines even louder!!!

    I know its purely excitement becuase I go for walks with a friend of mine and her dogs. And as soon as we pull up to herdriveway, Chip goes crazy again! Did you find out a way to stop this? (other than giving out to them and giving them the attention they want!)

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      The best thing I can do when my dog whines is to wait until he calms down before he can get out. Simply waiting doesn’t always work, though, so in those cases I use a firm “No!” and then I tell him to lie down. It helps that his obedience skills in general are pretty solid. But the whining … he still does it when we go to very exciting places like his favorite parks.

      Does your dog whine in the car even if you go on a five minute drive around the neighborhood? You may need to start with really small steps, like just sitting in the car without the car even running. Reward your dog for being quiet. Then back out into the driveway. Reward for being quiet. Then down the street. Reward. Etc. Just keep looking for tiny ways to step up the challenge as your dog is successful.

      1. Thanks Lindsey. I will try that! She is usually excited when we first get in the car, then calms down a bit, but as soon as she recognises where she is, she is off again! Il try what you suggested and see if it makes a difference. Usually I turn the radio up and just ignore her! 🙂

        1. My dog Smoke senses the dog park a 3-4 miles away begins to whine. I believe they react as if it’s a birthday party.

  10. Save Big Live Better!

    Hi There!
    Some great suggestions here, but we’re still a little stumped with our pup! He’s about 7 months and since he was neutered as decided to whine and howl in his crate all night long. It’s not pain or anything, as he’s fine when we’re around, seems like he’s seeking attention.
    He sleeps in side by side crates with his sister, so he’s not alone. We’ve tried ignoring it, but it just gets louder and louder and end up waking our toddler, which becomes a whole other problem! LOL:)
    Any other suggestions you might have for us would be much appreciated…we’ll try ANYTHING at this point to get some sleep!
    Thanks in advance:)

    1. My dogs,calms down when I cover their kennels with a sheet/blanket.The kennel is their “Den” just like in the wild. Covered completely at night. .during the day the door is open and just 3 sides are covered.They go it during the day to sleep or if scared of something

  11. I have a 7 month old Labradoodle. He is a puppy, but looks like a pony. He constantly digs in the back yard and he eats my mothers plants. My family and I cannot get him off this habit. Now, I work, as we all do and I cannot come home until 530. I know that he needs attention but to keep him cooped up in my apt is just much. So when I take him to my parents who have a big backyard and they leave him out there to play thats when the digging and eating of plants start. Any suggestions on how to break the habit?

  12. Hi! I’ve been reading all the suggestions regarding whining and they are helpful but many refer to ignoring the behavior. Our 4 year old Spoodle stands at the back door and whines for hours to get inside even when noone is in the room. She can’t see anyone but knows the family is awake and ‘somewhere abouts’. In this respect, she is being ignored because there is no family member around. We don’t know how to get her to shut up. The noise goes on from first light until possibly someone let’s her inside. She’s a highly anxious dog and still wees inside sometimes when excited. Gah!

  13. I hope someone out there can help me! I have a 1 year old whippet x labrador who I’ve had since he was a couple of months old. He’s unbelievably clever. I mean, the dog can count and pick up things so quickly! However, I’ve been trying this technique to try stop his whining. If I ignore him, he’ll shove his face right in mine. And if I leave the room, he follows. And if I shut him in the room, he’ll trash something. Understandably, he whines when he wants to go out which I control as he has this fantastic trick of jumping the gate. The gate just so happens to be right in front of a bus stop and fairly busy road. I’m having trouble figuring out which it is that he wants and have often mistook his noisiness as a need rather than a way to get my attention. Any advice would be gratefully welcomed. Thank you!

  14. I lost my eldest yorkie last may who was 13 yrs old, i have still got another who is 4, but when i take her out with me like in the bank or a shop she constantly cries she is very tiny so fortunately it,s not to loud but it upsets her, i can,t understand it as i,m with her, if on the other hand i leave her with my partner or just leave her with my daughter, she absolutely cries so much after me, she was never this bad when i had my other dog, can anyone suggest anything please

  15. Hello there,
    I have been looking for a remedy to my dogs whining for months now. From everything I’ve read it’s to get attention. I got to a point where I was exercizing her for hours every night, and when we first came back home it seemed as though that might have done the trick , but then about 20-30 minutes later she’s RIGHT back at it. Harlem is almost 10 (husky/newfie/lab mix), and didn’t really start the incessant whining until about a year or two ago. She has always been vocal , but usually just when she needed to go outside or during play ( this I attribute to those talky huskies ). I’m at a point where I’m so frustrated that I just tell her to go lay down, and I feel that all I ever do is tell her to go away, which absolutley breaks my heart, but I can’t have her whining in my face from the time I get home until ( and some times after ) its time for bed. I have tried ignoring her, which seems to work in the moment most times, but doesn’t seem to be offering any long term solution. I have decided to train her to ring bells when she needs to go outside as I had with my other two previous dogs, so that I can discern between attention and potty whining. Aside from that I’m at a loss and for some reason Cesar Milan won’t return my calls 😉 To add to this, it appears that she only does this with me really. My boyfriend had been out of work for a short bit recently and said she was quiet as a mouse all day, until I get home. I love my dog with all my heart and especially in her older years, I don’t want there to be this constant irritation on my part and apparent frustration on hers. Any help would be GREATLY appriciated.
    Thanks in advance fellow dog lovers!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Hmm. My dog does this, only much more mildly. He whines only when I’m home. Never for my husband. So, I think that shows that our dogs are obviously picking up on something from us, whether it’s looking for attention, picky up on our energy or even just habit.

      Since my dog’s whining is pretty mild, I try to just ignore it. Sometimes I use a firm “no” and sometimes I just get up and walk away.

      I’m sure you’ve tried this, but how about more “mental challenges”? Lots of little training sessions. Maybe giving her more puzzle-type toys, etc.

  16. For me, Kongs and food dispensers don’t really work. My dog just start whining as soon as she finishes her food/treat. I gave her a thundershirt, it helped her a bit (shorten the length of whining, but that’s it). I take her for long walks (1 hour the first thing I wake up and 1 hour in the evening) with her backpack of two 1 L water bottles before I crate her. She’s a malamute, so she’s definitely stubborn in her way… but it just drives me nuts sometimes. She’s a tough one 🙁

  17. Hi Julie,

    My dog Eddie whines often even though he gets a ton of exercise. He’s 5 and he has always been like this. He just paces the house sometimes and whines and whimpers for no reason. Sometimes he will pant heavy and press his body into me for attention. It’s like he doesn’t know how to stop himself. I know he is an anxious dog by nature but his whining is going to drive me insane. Please help!

    -Jen and Eddie

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Hi Jen. How much obedience-type training have you done with him? Sometimes that really makes a difference.

  18. One peace of advice is dont just stick your dog outside . My neighbors do this then i have to deal with hearing 2 dogs cry lol. And they like to do it at odd hours .

  19. We had our cocker spaniel spayed shes nearly 3 yrs old. We’ve never had a problem with her whining/howling (apart from when we first got her) but it’s a week after spaying, she wakes up 3 or 4 times in the night and whines and does the same if shes left in a room on her own.

    Will this pass? do you have any helpful tips? I have been advised to ignore her but that’s difficult when you live in a mid terrace house. I’m really struggling 🙁

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Well, as long as you can rule out that she is not in pain, I would just ignore her (as hard as it is!). I think if she learns she doesn’t get attention for it, she will go back to her usual behavior and routine before her spay surgery.

      But maybe check with the vet to make sure she isn’t in pain. Also, make sure she isn’t having trouble “holding it” after her surgery. Unfortunately, I have heard of some cases where females have some incontinence issues after a spay surgery, although this is pretty rare. Just worth mentioning this new behavior problem to your vet to rule out a physical problem.

      1. Many thanks Lindsay, We’ll just have to persevere. It’s awful seeing her so fed up. We are giving her pain killers so would assume she’s not in any pain. I’ve been in touch with the vet who also advised to ignore her. Back to vets on Thursday for 10 day check up! hopefully we may have made some progress by then 🙂

  20. I am very excited to implement all of these ideas. I have to admit that some of them I already new about just wasn’t following through on them. Looking forward to less whining! 😉

  21. I have a 3 years old boxer who whines if left in backyard. If I say a loud shhh, he would stop whining for few minutes and start again. But once inside the house and in his crate, he is perfectly fine. Is this form of separation anxiety?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yes, I guess it is a mild form. My dog will also be more anxious/excited when outside but is typically fine being left in his kennel or indoors.

  22. Hi, I know this is an old post but I hope I could get some help…
    My Saluki whines a tiny bit, then goes on to knock things off the table and counters, rattles the trash can, flips her water bowl, and makes a RACKET. It’s kind of hard not to ignore her. We’d fed her, walked her, and provided her with everything she might need. But it seemed like that wasn’t enough. Is there anything we can do? We’ve tried to get things off the table and make sure she can’t topple things off the tables, but then she starts rattling the door knob. Please help!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      You mean when she can’t be in the same room with you? Do you use a kennel/crate? Or, maybe give her a Kong toy with peanut butter? Maybe give it to her before you leave the room.

  23. Hi lindsay, im having a problem with my 3 year old border collie / blue heeler mix. Hes always been mouthy when it came to food and no one sharing or when someone is having a conversation and no one is speaking to him, he’ll start talking and then gradually gettin louder into barks. We usually spend a week or weekend at the boyfriends house. Last week was the longest time we’ve been there. Since we’ve been home, hes been whining non stop or panting when no one is looking at him or even paying any attention to him when he’s around. He starts shaking when you finally pay attention to his whining. I dont know how to stop it or even where to start. I know its my fault that he’s like this for always babying his bad attitude. Im wondering if this attitude is because he misses my boyfriend, boyfriends dog, the change of houses?? I have no clue, hes never acted like this before.. thank you!

  24. Great website. I was searching for whining solutions 🙂

    My 9 year old Westie, extremely nice and obedient at home, drives me crazy when she sees a dog or if a person stops to say hello to me. My other Westie, male, 10, minds his own business when he walks alone but definitely gets worked up with his sister’s whining.

    Ignoring is very hard in outside setting. There has been several beach vacation/ walks which ended up in me frustrated and not enjoying dog-human vacations. I convinced myself after research – I bought a einstein e-collar. Prong collar didnt work and gentle leader was useless for whining (The dog doesnt pull).

    I use E-collar diligently. When i see a dog coming the opposite direction, I make both my dogs sit (do several exercises as taught by Dr. Sophie Yin and reward is a high value treat only for this purpose). It has been a challenge but past 2 years have been better, I don’t seek odd hours for long walks. Quiet is the command used just for the whining part. I am still searching but i guess consistent practice and patience is the key for an otherwise fantastic dog.

    I work from home and that might be a problem with my presence constantly for the dogs.

  25. Yeah, just lock it in a crate… :/ or look after your dog properly… Try taking it for a proper walk for once In a while.
    I hate it and think its wrong caging it up, don’t you think it makes your dog anxious? Remember all dogs are different. Learn to look after them. Walk in morning on lead, feed, then have them out in garden. Take them somewhere before tea time an let them off for a run. Feed them a proper meal. Give them treats. Don’t shout or hit your dog or lock them in cages to discipline, as it DOESNT work… It exacerbates the problem. They don’t communicate or respond in humanistic ways. You need to love them, and give them attention. Don’t have a dog if your gunna lock it up or shout when its anxious. Would you lock your child in a cage? no…? You don’t need all these fancy money making scams such as that jacket… Its B***sh*t, even you said it wont work…
    If you cant do any of the above you aren’t fit too look after them.

  26. I observed that my puppy (a very loud whiner) completely stopped when his e-collar (cone) was on (neutered last week). When I could monitor him, I took the cone off. Whining comes back. E-collar on, whining stopped. He seemed disoriented wearing it, so it must re-focus him.

    I am not planning on using the e-collar for whining since it seems cruel – just needed it for a few days after surgery.

  27. Hi, I really need some help. I have a 12 weeks old toy poodle just brought her home. She has been whining for attention like crazy. I’m crate fencing her with a pee tray and another pee tray size area for her to roam. Given her lots of toys. I tried ignoring her until she is calm, I even tried using stern No or walk away but she howls, whines got worse. I tug her collar to tell her No, but she also couldn’t understand. It has been terrible this 2 days as both of us need to work and she starts her crazy crying in the middle of the night waking all my neighbour.

    Could you please help us, before we really goes to the point beyond control.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      She most likely just needs some time to settle in and adjust. Increasing her exercise can help. Also, giving her Kong-type toys stuffed with jerky treats or peanut butter to keep her busy. Mostly, just ignore the whining and it should decrease with time. I know it’s stressful!

      1. Hi Lindsay,

        So we got a 3 month old Cocker Spaniel 2 weeks ago and started putting her in the living room (outside our bedroom) for the night about 5 days ago. She was fine for 3 nights but last night she started clawing at the door, whining and barking. I am afraid since she seems to be regressing. Suggestions?

  28. Hi Lindsay.
    Please help me!
    I have a 6 month old Redbone Coonhound, and she’s awful. She is a smart dog and a great cuddler, but she won’t shut up. It’s like every two minutes she’s crying and whining. I know Coonhounds are howlers, but this isn’t howling, it’s flat-out crying and whining… All the time. She whines in her crate, with us in the living room, at night, when we are gone, when she is hungry, when she’s thirsty, when she has to go out. I can’t take it any more.

    We sprayed her with a water bottle for awhile and that worked wonders, but now she just cries louder. I love her to death but she won’t shut up!! I have no idea what to do. I want her to bark and howl like a Coonhound… (And any other normal dog…) Not whine like a baby.

    Any advice will help… If anyone has any tips I’d appreciate them.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Hmmm, are you sure she’s not in pain or uncomfortable?

      If it’s just for attention (most likely), what about completely ignoring her when she whines? Like, calmly getting up and leaving the room even? Like, take it to an extreme for about a week and see if you notice a difference. That would be my suggestion, as hard as it is to be consistent. Also double her exercise.

  29. It’s so funny you mentioned ignoring her! We have done that also… Same thing, in fact… I think it makes it worse! Haha.

    We have another dog and they are always playing, so she gets exercise. With the weather getting nicer she will get a lot more exercise. I just have no clue how to make her shut up!

    Thank you for your advise! We can try it!
    Wish me luck!!!

  30. I am the 5th home for a Basset Hound. When I got her six months ago she was only one and a half years old. I took her because the last guy that had her was taking her to the pound with a 90% kill rate. She wasn’t bladder trained so I fixed that so she doesn’t get me up all through the night. She is healthy in no pain but whines constantly. My Boxer is starting to pick up the habit. Thank goodness my pug has not. She has toys, treats, and plenty of playmates. She get plenty of attention even more than the other dogs. But she whines day and night especially if she does not get her way. I’m going to try my best ti ignore her although it’s hard because she can go for hours. I’ll let you know. In the meantime any suggestions would be appreciated.

  31. We have just moved to town from a farm. We have 3 dashies and one of them has developed this whining and the others are starting as well. It’s constant with her even if your with her. Someone is home with them most days but if you go out and get back they make so much noise on our return. We are ignoring them to see if this helps. Cheers

  32. I’ve tried everything for years, this stuff and more and the dog just won’t stop whining, he’s getting older though. He’s almost 14 I think and is still rowdy but he whines constantly for attention…. he’ll even bark if his master isn’t sitting with him…. he’s more of the master. It isn’t my dog but I live in the same household… all I know is some dogs are just unique apparently because this one is unlike all dogs, he also loves cats which is a little unusual but not too unusual. He does hate all other dogs though, that is unusual because he doesn’t like dogs at all but has a thing for cats…. Anyway some dogs are unique I suppose…. who knows what goes on in their minds.

  33. OMG I’m going to try all of these things….our girl Megan is a whiner!! and yes I give in to get her to stop! Wrong thing to do!! She also whines when we are out and about in the stroller…..again …don’t give her any attention, hard to do but I must! Thanks for all the great articles on dogs and their pitiful owners(LOL) we all try but sometimes fall short. But thanks again for helping us to get back on track.

  34. Our cocker spaniel whines and howls if left, for example, with my husband, if I pop into a shop and will not settle in a bar or restaurant. I have tried all of the rewarding the good behaviour and ignoring the bad but to no avail. What can I do to discourage this behaviour as it is becoming a real irritation. My younger cocker is quite the opposite – entirely calm and relaxed.

  35. I’m having this problem since 2-3 days my dog just can’t stop whining. She is uncontrollable ,she just wants to sleep in my bedroom but I can’t allow her due to some reasons. Her whining is annoying and she doesn’t stop for hours. What to do?

  36. Hoping you can help… my husband and I adopted a pug from the SPCA almost a year ago, he will be 5 at the end of October. It only seems to be the past few months or so that he has really started to obnoxiously whine, almost obsessively. He stays in a small area when we are gone or sleeping, but as soon as he knows we are up the whining starts, when I get home the whining starts, when I put him outside to piddle he starts whining the second he is at the door, if my husband steps outside he whines and his whining is sooooo bad!!! We’ve tried the ignoring thing, but the more we ignore him the more he whines, almost to the point he sounds like someone is stepping on a squeaky toy. We don’t know what to do because ignorning him only seems to make him worse, we don’t even get the opportunity to reward good quiet behaviour but we end up having to tend to him because we have to leave for work at a certain time and need to make sure he his fed and has gone to the bathroom. This issue seems to be getting worse and worse.

  37. I recently adopted my first dog ever with my family she is a 10 month old Lab cross and she always climbs into the front window and whines at the street then begins to pace between the front door and the window. She is normally well behaved but when she does this she ignores all of my commands and becomes very resistant to any of my attempts to calm her. Do you have any additional tips on stopping this behaviour?

  38. Hello, I have a 5 year old coonhound mix that whines 24/7. She is not in pain and gets plently of exercise. I have tried everything from the silent treatment to rewarding quietness and she has not gotten any better. Do you have any suggestions?

  39. We adopted Max about nine months ago and he is the worst at whining. He’s loud as can be, and ignoring him does not work (he just gets louder or physically closer). Max is the type to get bored easily. These tips were so helpful and I will definitely have to put them to use ASAP. Thank you again.

  40. I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT he barksand whines A LOT. . So, leaving home is always a challenge for us.
    My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

  41. I love your training tips and posts ! I must share though that my 3 yr old Pitbull is a brat lol!!!! Every nite near 9:30 pm Ollie starts his whining, you cannot ignore this, he gets louder and whines longer!!! This whining means “bedtime mom”, I’m not kidding!!! We have a schedule and if I’m not in bed by 10 pm it’s on!!!! It’s actually hilarious, most the time, I say ok bedtime and he runs down the hall to the bed, I get his usual nitetime snack and all is well. I can then read for a bit quietly to relax and our other pup Mugsy just follows suit, so I’ve got a regular BEDTIME whiner

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Haha! That is so funny because it’s happening to you and not me! Do you think he’s just that excited for his treat? Haha!

  42. I just recently finished potty training my little guy. So now he is allowed to run about the house. However, because it’s still recent, I take precautions and lock him up at night in his kennel. With that, he has begun to whine and cry incessantly and I can’t get him to stop. I don’t want him to have to stay locked up and never be allowed to run around. Any tips on how to get him to learn not to whine when it’s time for bed? Ignoring him isn’t doing anything to help my situation

  43. We just found a dog that looks like she was possible abused. She is constantly wining and howling and always has her butt against a corner or by the door. She also will not stay in the yard and runs away. Shes sweet and a good girl but she always seems scared. Im sure she has really bad anxiety. I cant keep her and am wanting to adopt her out. I dont see many people wanting to adopt her with her problems so i need help ASAP! Any suggestions?

  44. When my dog whines my ex girlfriend beat him (with a newspaper) until he stopped. It worked because​ after a while she reached for a newspaper and he stopped.

  45. I am interested in your advice. I have had my 4 month old puppy 5 weeks. He has settled in well. We have another dog, an 18 month old as well. They are both Italian Greyhounds and are both male. The issue we have is that the puppy has taken to crying in the morning, around 5am. We know all the advice says not to go to them but and eventually they won’t do it anymore. The problem we have is that we live in an apartment and are worried about our neighbours not being happy with this morning alarm! We have also found at times that he really needs the loo and therefore we have let him out to go. Both dogs are crated, separately over night. Then last night he woke us in the middle of the night-around 1.30am! The advice you have given above is really useful but doesn’t talk about what to do if you are not present with the dog(s) at the time. I know that by going to them we are encouraging this behaviour but when we tried to leave it he cried for 45 minutes and we were quite concerned about how our neighbours would feel, after all we are having a heatwave at the moment and so all windows are open! Please if you can over any tips to help us out it would be most appreciated.

    Thanks in advance. We love your site and always read all the tips!

    1. My daughter had this with her JR pup… he drove her crazy with it. So I took him for a couple of weeks to give her a break… but at night he cried the place down, even when I crated him… so in the end, I covered his whole crate with a sheet, and this seemed to work. In the morning, I would leave the sheet over the crate but uncover the front like a den… and let him out as usual. I did this the whole time and the night/morning crying stopped… except if he was alerting me that he needed to go to the toilet.
      I hope that helps..?

  46. My 2 year old Toy Poodle screams when people come and in the car . It seems that when my attention is given elsewhere the problem starts .
    We can have a tradesman come and the screams are not as intense compared to when friends come and take my attention . Driving is because my attention is on the road .
    How can I help her settle

  47. Hi I have a lab/mix he will be 2 in January when we first got him I babied him way too much I was pregnant and he was my baby he is not babied like that anymore I make sure to give him lots of love still and his “brother” who is one year older than him play together ALL the time they get a lot of excercise but when my lab is anywhere other than with me he screams. Like I go to let him out to go potty when I get home for work he pees real quick and if I don’t let him RIGHT back in he screams and screams some times he just holds it screaming outside the door and won’t go and then 20 minutes later I have to let him out again. If I ignore it it will just keep going and get worst. We will be out front and I have a short chain link fence around our yard that he can obviously see through but if I’m outside it talking to my neighbor he screams. If I’m at work and my brother is sleeping at home my lab scratches on his door screaming excessively. I love him so much but he is driving me and my husband absolutely insane.

  48. my rottweileir is constantly whining and nudging my friend for attention so she will stroke her what is she being this way for can anyone please help me she is a pedigree bitch and 10yrs old

  49. Hi,
    First of all….Linda, I love you blog and everyone in this helpful community! I didn’t see anyone mention this when your dog is whining, but I think it’s something for everyone to keep in mind. My daughter’s adopted 7 yr old American Bulldog is a sweet lovable marshmellow who is very well behaved. Approx. 2 years ago he started whining for no obvious reason. At first he whined once in a while and then more frequently but it never became a constant whine. I suggested to my daughter than I thought something might be wrong with him physically and that she should take him to the vet, which she did. After examining him and doing blood work, the vet told my daughter that her beautiful fur baby had lymphoma, which was causing unbearable pain to him. I don’t mean to be a downer, but I just wanted to mention that if there’s no apparent reason for the onset of whining it could be worth a visit to the vet to rule out any underlying illnesses that we owners may not be able to detect. Thanks, and blessings to everyone!

  50. I need help. I have a 4 month old pitbull that bites, cries bloody murder when we leave him in the backyard or any other room by himself. Whines a lot. My family and i love him very much but he’s so much to handle we just want to train him. He also has a problem with peeing and pooping inside the house even when we take him out he will still go inside. TIA

  51. Darlene Appling

    our pittie Zelda likes to” talk” to us. She makes a noise like Chewbacca. It’s how she communicates to us when she wants to go potty usually. I don’t considerthat whining. In fact it’s pretty funny! She is a very intense dog. Love her so much!

  52. My dog is JR x Chi. 9yrs old, and in the last 2yrs gets so excited and ‘screams’ when we go on the bus to visit my daughter, who we’ve been visiting for years. It’s like he’s on drugs. He won’t shut up… it’s like he’s telling everyone that we’re going out, blah blah, blah. It’s so embarrassing and it’s driving me nuts! Even when he finally shuts up, just before we get there… he starts again as we get off the bus, and spinning round in circles…
    I’ve tried ignoring it… put him on my lap… put my hand over his head/eyes to calm him… shh’d Him… put him under my legs and made him lay down… nothing seems to work, he gets louder.
    I can’t leave him at home because it’s a whole day out, and it wouldn’t be fair… he has severe separation anxiety and I have to crate him for short times out to give him security.
    I now have a 6 month old rescue puppy, and I don’t want her to learn his bad habits. She’s not a barker, and I hope she stays that way.
    We’re going to visit my daughter tomorrow. I’m hoping the puppy’s quietness on the bus will help him too.

  53. I have a dog, and I had to sleep on the floor by his crate at night to get him to feel secure and comfortable and stop whining. Fortunately after a couple of nights, he stopped.

  54. Pingback: Dog and Puppy Crate Training – Pur Mildred

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