Think of your puppy as a new baby you’ve brought into your home. It eats, poops, and sometimes, communicates by crying and whining—like a human baby. While it may be cute at first, days and even nights of this behavior can be stressful and annoying. Finding the root of your fur-baby’s whining can help stop the behavior, but it can be challenging, especially if you’ve met all of its basic needs. Let’s take a look at a few possible reasons your furry friend may be whining, and how you can help them.
Your puppy is scared or stressed
Whining is a way for your puppy to express fear or stress. Since you’ve brought them home, your fur-baby is constantly exploring and growing accustomed to its new home and parents. New faces and objects can overwhelm your pup, causing them to cower under furniture and cry, yelp, or whine. Your puppy may also pace, tremble, or pant while whining—all are signs of anxiety or stress. Puppies also generally go through periods where they become frightened of new objects or objects that previously didn’t scare them.
How you can help your puppy: If your puppy is scared or stressed, your best solution is to remove them from the room. Why? Puppies learn to quickly associate negative emotions to a situation or event, which can become ingrained in them as they grow into adult dogs. You can try to ease your fur-baby’s fear with strangers by socializing them. This allows them to grow accustomed to other people.
Your puppy is feeling sick or pain
Sometimes, your pup’s whining may mean that they are feeling under the weather. You may look for other signs of illness, such as lethargy, heavy breathing, and loss of appetite, just to be sure. If your energetic furball suddenly becomes withdrawn and refuses that you touch them or whines when they perform an activity, they may be suffering from an injury or even have joint pain.
How you can help your puppy: Go to the vet immediately if you suspect that your furry friend is sick or has an injury. Your vet will make the best diagnosis for your puppy’s sickness or injury and provide any necessary treatments.
Your puppy is bored
When your puppy follows you around while whining or crying, it might be for one reason: boredom. Boredom is a common reason for a pup’s whining. Puppies, like all dogs, are naturally active and social animals that require lots of physical and mental activity at different times of the day to release all of that pent-up energy. Your furball just wants something to do!
How you can help your puppy: Play a game with your furry friend, like hide and seek. Take a run or a jog around the neighborhood. Bring your pup to a dog park. Have them play with puzzle or Kong toys. Anything that requires your fur-baby to be active physically and mentally will alleviate their boredom and stop their whining.
Your pup wants attention
Does your pup whine while sitting on your lap and looking straight into your eyes? Your furball may just want some attention and affection from their favorite hooman! It’s no different than a newborn baby crying out to be held or cuddled by its parents.
How you can help your puppy: Always acknowledge your puppy when you come home. Remember that your furry companion is a social animal and may be waiting all day to interact with their humans. However, you should also never indulge negative behaviors. When your pup stops whining, you can give them the attention they want. This shows your puppy who is in charge and that whining is not a welcome behavior.
Your puppy needs to go outside
If you’ve trained your pup to go outside to relieve themselves, they may communicate their need to go by whining or crying. They may also pace around the door while whining to let you know that it’s extra urgent!
How you can help your puppy: The idea of your pup whining every time they need to use the potty can be aggravating. As your puppy matures, you can start training them to express this need to go in different ways, such as sitting by the door or ringing a bell.
Whining is another way for your puppy to communicate their feelings, wants, and needs to you. As a puppy parent, it’s important to acknowledge the reason for your pup’s whining and find better ways for them to express their communication. Avoid yelling at your puppy when they’re whining as it can make things worse and sever the developing bond between you both. Always be patient with your furball—they’re in a new home and that can be scary, even for us humans. With time, love, and patience, your puppy will adjust to its new life and the rules of the house.
To learn more about the different ways to keep your furball entertained, check our other blog: 7 Ways to Keep Your Puppy Entertained.