The Star-Herald

How to stop your dog from whining

We would like to personally say how grateful we are to all those near and far for helping us with our shoe drive. We met our goal and collected 100 bags of shoes, with each bag containing 25 pair. The company will arrive in early July to pick them up; until then we can continue collecting. More shoes means more money. We will receive a sizable check for our efforts and each dollar goes to the care and well-being of our shelter animals. Again, thanks to everyone who made this fundraiser possible.

Think about this for a second: While you can communicate with an extensive vocabulary, your dog can really only communicate in a few ways. It can bark, whimper, stare, nudge, lick — and, of course, whine.

Whining is effective because, in essence, it communicates that something is amiss. Puppies learn to whine almost immediately after they are born because when they whine, their mothers respond to their needs by comforting, feeding, etc.

When puppies grow up and leave their mothers, they take this skill with them. That means that your puppy will come to you as an expert in whining.

It’s a good thing in some respects, since of course you’ll want to know if something’s wrong with your puppy or newly adopted adult dog. However, whining as a way to get attention or simply as a habit should be nipped in the bud.

How do you stop your dog from whining?

You should first take your new family member to the vet to rule out any potential health crises, pain, etc., that may be causing the whining. Your new family member needs a good checkup as soon as you adopt anyway, so you can take care of two things at the same time.

Your vet will investigate any potential reasons for the whining, such as hard-to-detect health problems that cause pain. Once the medical problem is taken care of and any pain or discomfort alleviated, the whining may stop.

Does your dog need to relieve itself outside? Is it hungry? Thirsty? Remember, this is one of the few ways your dog has to communicate. If your new pet is uncomfortable in any way, whining gets the message across. Take care of the need, and the whining should stop.

Give some love and attention. Is your dog whining because it is bored, needs attention, or otherwise feels ignored? You don’t want to spoil your dog by jumping at every little whimper, but you do indeed need to give your beloved family member the love and attention it deserves. Schedule playtime and just some good snuggle time into your day so that your friend gets what it needs.

Dogs can be prone to separation anxiety, which can happen through no fault of your own. If you have to leave and go to work, for example, you can’t let the fact that your dog is whining stop you.

So, start to train your dog not to whine when you spend time apart. Shut your dog in a room by itself for short periods of time, then extend that time until it is comfortable being alone. When you open the door, you reassure your pet that you’ll come back every time. As the dog learns to trust that you will indeed return, the whining should stop. When you return from your time away, ultimately, you should find a happy dog with a wagging tail. For more tips, go to

We invite you to stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society to see what new family member might be waiting for you.  Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closing for lunch 12-12:30. Please be responsible: spay and neuter your pets.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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