Home Dog Care Dog Whining: 7 Reasons Your Dog is Crying

Dog Whining: 7 Reasons Your Dog is Crying

Dog Whining and 7 Reasons Your Dog is Crying

It can be difficult for pet owners to listen to their dog whine and cry persistently, and not know why they're doing so, or how to help them. There are many well-known reasons why dogs whine and cry. The less well-known reasons of dog whining behavior are discussed below in order to better understand your pooch.

1. Mental Health Conditions

There are a number of neurological problems and mental health conditions that can lead to a dog whining and crying. Some owners may not realize that dogs can, and do, experience many of the same mental health issues that humans experience, such as, but not limited to: depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, canine post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety (including separation anxiety), as well as confusion and dementia that is related to old age. In dogs, dementia is often called canine cognitive dysfunction.

2. Medical Conditions

Medical ConditionsThere are also quite a few medical conditions that can cause a dog to whine and cry. Such as, but not limited to: dental issues, injury, orthopedic pain, digestive disorders, infectious diseases, parasites, urinary tract infection, ear infections, and noninfectious diseases.

Persistent or constant crying and whining in dogs can be indicative of an uncomfortable medical condition. However, most of these conditions are difficult, if not impossible to diagnose without taking your pup to see a licensed veterinarian. It's recommended that you take their dog to the vet, should he or she persistently whine for unidentified reasons. Physical distress could likely be the cause of your dog’s whining if he's crying while laying down, and is being submissive without any other kind of engagement.

3. Too Hot or Too Cold

The bodies of dogs run at much different temperatures than human bodies do. Depending on what breed and size your dog is, they can be very sensitive to hot and/or cold temperatures. Monitor your dog for signs of being too hot or too cold, always bring them inside if they are outside in extreme temperatures. Adjust the indoor temperature accordingly in order to regulate the dog’s body temperature. Also, make sure that your dog always has dry bedding to sleep on. Dog experts at Healthy Paws Pet Insurance explain what temperatures are too hot and too cold for dogs, in their article entitled, Safe Outdoor Temperature for Dogs.

4. To Show Submission and To Appease

To Show Submission and To AppeaseIf a dog believes that another animal or human is a threat, they will often display either aggression or submissive behavior which can include appeasement whining. This is a completely normal canine behavior that can be indicated by the dog also displaying other submissive behaviors such as: avoiding eye-contact, rolling onto their back, ears back, tucking their tail, or crouching.

It is important to always avoid physically or verbally punishing your dog, as doing so can lead to this kind of behavior, and reduce a dog’s confidence, in general. If your dog is trying to “apologize” to you, it is imperative that you acknowledge the apology in order to reassure your pooch and prevent the development of further problems, such as insecurity, explains dog expert Katherine Ripley in the following article that she wrote for the American Kennel Club, 5 Reasons Your Dog is Whining.

5. Insecurity

Dogs who have suffered physical or psychological trauma due to being physically attacked by another animal or human, or verbally attacked by their owners, often develop a lack of confidence and insecurity, which can lead to consistent dog whining behavior.

It's been said already that you should never physically or verbally attack your pup as a way to “train” them or “teach them a lesson,” even for perceived bad behaviors. It's always better and more effective to positively reinforce your pet and reward them for good behavior, rather than punish them for bad behavior. Punishing dogs, even with positive punishment methods, leads to bad outcomes, as is explained by Certified Dog Behaviorist, Pat Miller, in her article entitled, Ways to Stop a Dog from Whining.

6. Afraid to Sleep Alone

Afraid to Sleep AloneDogs are highly social, pack animals. In nature, they do everything together, including sleeping. Therefore, it is normal for your pooch to be afraid to sleep alone. Furthermore, this fear could be because the dog is a puppy, and is adjusting to life away from his canine mother and siblings, and expressing their frustration through dog whining.

It is recommended that dog owners let their new canine companions, even adult dogs that are new to the home, sleep in the same room as them for at least a few weeks. Then slowly train and condition them to sleep alone, if needed. This is explained further by American Kennel Club experts in the following article, How to Help an Adult Dog Adjust to a New Home.

7. Excitement

It might be counter-intuitive to think that a dog would whine because they are excited, but this sometimes happens, especially with high-energy and hyperactive dogs. They simply have too much energy and excitement built up that they find it hard to restrain themselves, and whine as a way of expressing their excitement if no other outlets are available.

This usually occurs when the dog is greeting a person or animal that they love. It is fairly normal behavior, even if less commonly seen. You can reduce, and possibly even eliminate excitement induced dog whining by redirecting your pet with toys or treats. Dog behavior expert Jennifer S. explains why dog owners should not reinforce this kind of behavior, in the following article, Why is My Dog Whining?.

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Rachael is a writer living in Los Angeles and an alum of UNC Chapel Hill. She has been a pet owner since the age of three and began dog-walking in 2015. Her nine-year-old Pug and best pal, Ellie, is the queen of sassy faces, marathon naps, and begging.