Why Is My Dog Whining?

Why Is My Dog Whining?

When it comes to owning a dog, whining might be quieter than barking, but it can still bother you. For puppies, it's usually clear that they're just hungry. But when your adult dog keeps whining, you might think that it's injured. Or perhaps it needs to go potty.

Though you can't communicate with your dog, you can detect why your dog behaves that way. In particular, you can figure out if this whining has a serious reason behind it or not.

In this blog, you'll discover what your pet's trying to tell you when it whines and how to stop this behavior.

Why Do Dogs Whine?

Why Do Dogs Whine

Whining is a common vocalization among dogs. It's the way that it communicates with you and others. Therefore, each whine has a meaning and a reason. For your dog's safety and comfort, you should understand what its whines mean and react accordingly.

Here are the reasons behind your pet's vocalization and how you can stop it:

Your Dog's in Pain

When you're asking yourself “Why my dog is whining”, the most concerning reason might be the pain. It might suffer if it suddenly starts whining or has started doing it frequently. This type of whining is its way of telling you that it's in pain which could be because of an injury, disease, or another condition. 

Therefore, you should rule out a medical issue by visiting a veterinarian. Treating this issue will help your dog heal.

Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety

Another concerning reason why dogs whine is that your departure makes them anxious. You can tell this whining apart from others by verifying if your dog also shows this behavior before or right after you leave:

  • Indoor Defecation and/or Urination
  • Pacing 
  • Destruction near Windows/Doors
  • Excessive Drooling 
  • Depression
  • Escape Attempts

Before you try to alter this behavior, ensure that your dog isn't urinating or defecating inside due to a medical issue, to mark its territory, or due to excess excitement.

Now that you're sure that why your dog is crying isn't because of the above issues, you can alleviate your dog's anxiety with the following methods:

  • Counter-Conditioning: In mild cases, you can use this technique to change your dog's behavior. For instance, you could hide food in a toy and give it to your dog as you leave. Then, your dog will focus on trying to get to the food instead of worrying about your disappearance.
  • Separation Training: In severe cases, you should let your dog get used to you leaving by letting it go through this experience in a controlled way. You'll slowly increase the duration of separation from a few minutes to hours over weeks without letting it get anxious.
  • Medication: Even if your dog doesn't respond to the other methods, it doesn't mean your dog is whining for no reason. You should contact a veterinarian about possible solutions, which could include anxiety medication.

Your Dog Wants Attention

Your Dog Wants Attention

It's possible that your pet wants you to pay attention to it. It might be because it needs help such as if its toy is out of reach or it needs to go potty. Alternatively, if you're wondering 'Why is my female dog whining all of a sudden' it might be because it's alerting you to other animals nearby. However, your dog might just want you to pay attention to it instead of anyone else or even the tasks you're focused on. 

You can alter this behavior by showing your dog that seeking attention by whining won't work. You could either turn away from it or ignore it. Additionally, you can pair this technique with providing treats when your pet doesn't whine. 

Your Dog Is Bored

If you're wondering why my male dog is whining so much, one of the simplest reasons is boredom. Dogs need exercise, socialization, and mental games. Otherwise, it'll sigh, whine, and make messes to express how bored it is. 

If your dog keeps whining, you can enrich its life with these activities:

  • Tug of War
  • Playtime with other Dogs
  • Scent Games
  • Puzzle Toys
  • Trick Training
  • Dog Career

Your Dog Wants to Appease Others

If your dog is whining when you're around others, it might be because your pet is trying to appease them. Your dog could see these other people and animals as threats. Then, it takes on a submissive posture and starts to whine.

To stop this type of whining, you should give your dog confidence. For example, you could play interactive games and avoid physical and verbal punishment.

Your Dog's Excited

Why does my dog keep crying when guests come over? Usually, it's because your pet is doing its greeting but it's so excited it vocalizes and might even bark. 

While this behavior may not be fully controllable, you can manage it and tone it down. You can either train your dog to learn what 'quiet' means or stop whining when it hears this command. 

Alternatively, you could teach your dog to greet properly. You can train your pet to bump its nose against your hand, increasing the distance between it and your hand over time. When it performs as training, you can reward it. During this exercise and real greetings, you should keep your movements simple, calm, and slow. Then, you can ask your guests to also do it so that your dog focuses on greeting rather than whining. In addition, you can also keep your dog from getting too excited by focusing its attention on another command such as 'sit'.


When your dog is whining, it is communicating with you that it's in pain, bored, or even excited among other things. Depending on the context and its body language, you can discover what your dog is trying to tell you. For example, if it's making messes and whining every time you go to work then it might be due to separation anxiety. Whatever the reason why your pet whines, train it out of that behavior, reward it when it acts well, and enrich its life with playing games and activities.

Back to blog