Why Do Dogs Whine and What Does It Mean?

Dogs can be a little weird sometimes. Some days, they are easy to understand, and you can tell exactly what they want. On others, they don’t seem to respond properly to anything you try to do with them. 


This is especially true when it comes to whining. Almost every dog owner has been in a situation where their dog suddenly starts whining, and they have no idea why. This is extra annoying because you usually need to know why they are whining to get them to stop. 


So, let’s look at some possible solutions. Keep reading to discover the answer to why dogs whine? so you can be ready the next time your dog gets upset. 

1. They Want Attention

Dogs are incredibly social creatures. They are so social that many dogs suffer separation anxiety when they don’t have others around to socialize with. So, it isn’t much of a logical leap to assume attention is important to dogs. 


That is why many dogs whine in the first place. They want a little attention or to be noticed by the people around them, especially you. They may feel like they haven’t received much attention from you recently, or they may be afraid that you will leave them somewhere. 


This is often seen when people leave their house, and their dog almost immediately starts whining. In this scenario, your dog knows you are leaving and wants to come with you. To deal with this, you can give them a toy that will occupy their time, or you can even use a dog carrier bag to take them with you. 

A large Dalmatian dog sitting down on a couch

2. They Need Something

Dogs can’t achieve many of their needs on their own. They need you to let them outside, feed them, help them find their favorite toy when it is lost, and plenty more. However, they can’t communicate any of this with you properly. Instead, they just whine to let you know something is wrong


In this situation, you need to figure out what is going wrong. Try to use clues about what they are doing to determine what it could be. For example, if they are standing by the door and whining, they probably need to go outside. Meanwhile, if they are looking at the couch and whining, they may be trying to tell you that their favorite toy rolled underneath it, and they want you to get it for them. 

3. Fear

Just like humans, dogs feel fear. If something frightens them, they will react in a way that shows it. Most of the time, this means whining. 


Dogs may whine to express fear of a situation they don’t want to be in. For example, if a dog is afraid of car rides, it will start whining with fear as you try to load it into the car. A dog who fears being locked up in their crate will often whine before going in it and continue whining after they are there. 


You can help reduce these fears by directly addressing them. A fear of car rides can get better if you reward your dog after every successful car ride and take them to fun places a few times. Meanwhile, a fear of a crate may be addressed by buying a more luxurious crate and rewarding your dog every time you put them in it. However, the specific way you address each fear will depend on the specific nature of that fear. 


Help your dog overcome their fear of car rides by making them feel safe and secure. Buckle your furry friend into the PupProtector™ Memory Foam Dog Car Bed, where they’ll have adjustable leash straps, cushioned bolsters, and a memory foam base. Your dog might even grow to love their car rides.

4. Pain

Whining isn’t just about what your dog likes and doesn’t like. It is sometimes a genuine expression that something is wrong with them. 


A dog may whine if they are injured. If they hurt their leg while running or scratch their paw on something, they will probably whine until their injury starts to heal. They may also whine if they are sick or experiencing some sort of chronic pain.


With a whine caused by pain, you need to pay close attention. Try to see if you can tell where the pain is coming from. If you can tell, you can start to address the issue yourself. However, this isn’t always possible, as sicknesses and internal issues can cause pain you cannot see. If you can’t determine what’s wrong, don’t hesitate to take your dog to the vet to see if they can help. Even if the issue ends up being minor, it is always better to be safe than sorry. 


You can also take steps to prevent potential pains. An orthopedic bed can help relieve and prevent pains caused by hard surfaces and uncomfortable beds. 


Related: Bringing Home a Rescue Dog: Your Comprehensive Guide

A sad-looking Cavalier King Charles Spaniel looking up

5. As an Apology

If you’re a long-time dog owner, you’ve likely been in a situation where you discover your dog doing something wrong. One look at them will tell you that something is wrong. You can see the look of guilt on their face; they may try to hide, and their head will hang downward. On top of these signs, dogs who have done something wrong often whine. 


This is done as a way to show that they have done something wrong. They may even be afraid that they will be punished for it. As you are the leader of the pack, they expect their transgression to be addressed by you and will whine to you until you do so. 


Luckily, you can address this issue relatively easily. Depending on what was done, you can provide a brief scolding to show that you recognize the issue. Then, leave your dog alone. It is this acknowledgment/scolding that they are whining about, and once it is done, they have nothing to whine about anymore. 


Let your pet know you love them while keeping you both comfortable. Discover the Pet Bedside Sleeper Crate Kit & Stairs, a way to let your pup sleep next to you while maintaining access to their crate. Give your dog the closeness they deserve.

Deciphering Your Dog’s Whining

Your dog will whine for any number of reasons. It could be something minor, like the fact that they want you to pay more attention to them, or it could be something more serious, like an injury that needs to be addressed. This is why it is important to pay attention to your dog’s whines and know what they mean. By doing so, you can keep your dog happy and healthy while reducing any problems you have to deal with. 


Related: Home Remedies for Arthritis in Dogs: Natural Comfort Solutions

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