How do I stop a dog from whining?

Many dogs will whine whenever they want to get something from you. This can be one of the single most annoying behaviors in dogs - in extreme situations, it leads to constant whining over whatever need the dog is focused on at the moment. It can also be difficult to train them to stop, because usually people have "taught" the dog to whine by giving in to them whenever they do it. The situation is not that different from having a spoiled child. If they learn that whining can successfully get them something, of course they're going to keep doing it.


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You should first make sure you know what the dog is whining about. Whining while you're eating or near a food bowl means they want food, while whining at the door means they want out. Whining when they see people outside means they want to go see them. Whining at the leash means they want a walk.

Then, you need to establish when it is OK and not OK to whine. The only OK situation should be when they do it to get outside to go to the bathroom. You don't want to discourage the dog from doing that because that will result in it just going in the house. In all other situations, you don't want to give in.

If the dog whines to go to the bathroom, put it on a leash, take it outside, and then once it has gone bring it back inside with no play or detours.

If the dog is whining for something else, order it to sit or some other command. Do this several times and get it to be quiet for a few seconds at least. Then praise the dog and leave without giving it what it wanted in the first place.

The key is NOT TO GIVE IN. If you give in even some of the time, the dog will know it can still get what it wants.

One final thing: make sure that the whining is not a medical issue. If it just seems to be happening randomly, it is not a training thing. If the dog is just sitting in a bed whimpering or making the noise without seeming to want anything in particular, it could be doing it because it's hurt. Also look for a sudden increase in your dog acting like this. If your dog doesn't usually whine but just started, you need to be careful for injuries or sickness. Take the dog to the vet immediately if you suspect it may not be a bad behavior issue.

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