First things first, however you choose to respond to your puppy plays a crucial part to training your puppy. Many dog owners don’t realize that their own response reinforces their dog’s behavior. So it’s so important for you to learn how to respond to your dog if you want to stop your puppy’s constant and heartbreaking (sometimes annoying) whines.
If You Just Brought Home a New Puppy
Your new puppy is whining because it’s in a new environment not anywhere near his siblings and mother. It will take a little bit of time for your puppy to feel at home. If you’re crating your dog (highly recommended), try using a clock that ticks to comfort your puppy when he’s in his crate. Make sure you put the clock outside his crate so he can’t get to it but still close enough for him to hear. This may help soothe your puppy whenever he’s in his crate.
Night Time Whining
Does your puppy keep you up at night with his whining? If this is the case, try putting a blanket over his cage at night. Out of sight, out of mind. Make it as comfortable for him as possible with toys and perhaps a stuff animal for him to added security (along with the ticking clock to help fall asleep just like he did with his mother.) If your puppy whines and you respond with a “Shh, there there” your only reinforcing that whine. It is best to completely IGNORE your puppy when he’s in his whining. This way, your dog will learn that just because he’s whining, does not mean he will get the attention he wants. You don’t want your puppy to get attention on his own terms, you need to make it on your terms, that is where obedience training comes in.
Most of the time your puppy will whine for a few minutes, but if your puppy knows there is someone in the room that can potentially give him the attention he wants, he will keep on whining. You need to stay strong and completely ignore him. Every time you respond, you are giving your new dog a reason to keep whining, to get a response from you (and maybe a chance to get out!)
Another reason your dog may be whining is because something is wrong. If you don’t have a puppy who has separation anxiety, you may have an older dog suffering from separation anxiety. It’s possible for dogs who have never shown signs of separation anxiety to develop them some time down the road. Perhaps you were gone for a weekend or you took him to a friend’s house to because you were on vacation. These reasons alone can cause sudden separation anxiety in older dogs.
These are some important things to keep in mind when you are dealing with a dog with a constant whine. Puppies requires a little more patience because of their relentless whining. Older dogs require a change in their daily routine or a visit to the vet to see if medically, there is something wrong with him.