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Why Does My Dog Whine All the Time?


If your dog is whining frequently, you’re likely becoming irritated with the behavior, concerned about the behavior, or somewhere in the middle. When human children whine, it can be for a variety of reasons. Your dog is very similar in this regard. 

Whining is a form of vocal communication, and it’s as close to full fledged words that dogs can get. Singing and whining sounds are telling you a story. 

Learning how to translate that story into human language will help you uncover the root of the issue and assure that your pup’s needs are being adequately and appropriately met. 

Why Is My Dog Whining?

Dogs whine for plenty of perfectly normal reasons. In many scenarios, whining behavior can be appropriately responded to. Think of it like a game of call and response. Your dog whines, you determine why, and you provide the answer. Your dog will whine again the next time they want to send you a message. Effectively, you’re talking to your dog

To Show Submission

Dogs sometimes whine when they meet strangers of larger stature or unfamiliar animals. They may lower their heads or tuck their tail between their legs, making themselves seem meek or small. This is the animal declaring that it doesn’t want to be considered a contender for dominance. It’s showing submission because it feels outmatched or non-confrontational. 

Whining might be normal as your dog is getting used to a new pet they share space with, particularly if that pet is larger or has a more imposing personality. Helping to get the two acquainted will ease tension and make both animals feel more comfortable.

If your dog is submissive to everyone and everything, it’s possible that you’ve adopted an animal with abuse or trauma in their history. There is no shortage of reasons why that animal would benefit from a veterinary examination and a visit with a behavioral specialist. 

To Say Hello

While many dogs bark as a way to say hello to human or animal friends, some dogs may whine excitedly. This is more likely to occur if you’ve trained your dog to minimize barking. It may also happen if your dog is politely interested in someone or something, rather than overwhelmingly excited. 

To Ask You For Something

Dogs sometimes whine when they want something, whether it be treats or special attention. Your dog may be whining because they need to go potty and don’t have independent access to their designated area. 

The best way to determine what your dog is asking for is to use visual cues. Hold up the leash, check the food and water bowls, show them the treats. They’ll tell you what it is they want. 

If whining is a desire for excessive eating, it’s wise to ignore the behavior until your dog realizes they won’t get snacks on-demand. 

To Express Distress or Sadness

People whine when they’re distressed or sad, and animals aren’t any different. Many pet owners can tell by the tone of their dog’s whine how they feel. 

If the whining behavior occurs in conjunction with noisy disruptions, like holiday firework celebrations, loud storms, or construction in the neighborhood, it’s likely that your dog is experiencing environmental distress. 

If nothing is different and your dog is whining excessively, this could be a sign that your dog is sick or in pain. Check your dog for injuries. Is your dog eating, drinking, and relieving themselves normally? 

If something seems off, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Dogs are remarkably adept at hiding injuries and illness, and whining may be their only tell. 

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Whining?

Whining is a normal communication behavior and, when used appropriately, is an effective way for your dog to talk to you. If your dog whines as a form of communication for necessary asks, like alerting you that they need to go outside or telling you the water dish is empty, you shouldn’t attempt to get your dog to stop whining. 

The effort would be akin to discouraging your dog from communicating with you, and life will be much more difficult for both you and your dog if you shut down their communication channel. 

Consider that the alternative would be loud barking. A little bit of whining may not seem too bad in comparison. 

If your dog’s whining behavior seems to relate to pain or underlying trauma, you should immediately take your dog to a veterinarian. A vet will be able to deduce whether or not the situation is an emergency. If it isn’t, you can speak with your vet about behavioral training and calming strategies you can use to help ease your dog’s anxiety. 

If your dog is whining because they want your pizza crust or something else they shouldn’t have, you should completely ignore this behavior. Do not give in. Don’t try to comfort your dog or apologize to your dog. Don’t hand them something they want just to make them stop. When you do this, you’re teaching your dog that whining is an appropriate way to control you, rather than to communicate.

Reprimanding your dog for whining may send mixed messages that reinforce the behavior. Don’t say anything to your dog. Don’t mention the dog’s name, tell the dog to go away, or give them commands. This may give the impression that you’ll give in if your dog does what you ask. 

Remain totally silent. Turn away from your dog. Look at your phone, Make your dog feel completely invisible when they whine or beg for things they can’t have. Eventually, they’ll give up. If they’ve been quiet and well behaved for a minute or two, give them a treat they can have.

In the long run, your dog will learn that the best way to get what they want is to behave appropriately. 

How Do I Make My Dog Comfortable?

If your dog is whining due to a fear of storm sounds, loud noises that are out of your control, nervousness about a car ride, or discomfort with unfamiliar people in your home, there’s not much you can do to change those situations. Your dog may overcome the stress they feel with time, but until they learn to feel calm around certain types of stimuli, they’re likely to whine. 

Many dog owners find that CBD tincture is very helpful in these situations. CBD isn’t a sedative, but it can help to promote a calm mood. 

If your dog is wound up too tight to sleep on a stormy night, a few drops of CBD tincture may change your dog’s perspective. As your dog begins to relax, whining may stop. If your dog is already tired, CBD’s relaxation benefits may be enough to encourage your dog to get some sleep. 

CBD also works to support overall joint mobility. Many older dogs develop achy joints. CBD can help to support your dog’s body, lending some relief to the discomfort they experience from joint pain. 

VETCBD Hemp’s CBD was made with your dog in mind. Our American-grown hemp-derived CBD is lab tested for quality and purity. It’s safe for your pet, and effective with regular use. 

Include CBD in your pet’s wellness plan during the stormy season to keep them feeling safe and calm when the rain starts falling.



Communication in Dogs | National Library of Medicine

Dogs and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) | American Kennel Club

How to Tell if Your Dog is in Pain. | American Animal Hospital Association

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