Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog
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Thread: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

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    Unhappy Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    I have two dogs, one a charles spaniel (Buddy), the other a charles spaniel & shitzu mix (Nemo). Nemo is the one I'm having a problem with. I've trained them both to stop barking when I say 'Quiet' (and it works perfectly, though it's a bit harder when we're outside, but they do listen).

    But saying 'Quiet' doesn't quiet the mix dog, Nemo. He was good up a long time, but it seems like since we got Buddy (who is 8 months old now), he's become more of a whiner.

    He whines at everything and nothing. He sees something on tv that's interesting, he whines. He sees a horse or dog especially, and he whines and whines and whines. Sometimes he'll be napping and then he'll wake up and just start whining.

    I've tried ignoring the behaviour, only giving him attention and affection when he's quiet for long periods of time. It doesn't work. I've tried crating him when he starts consistently whining, and I crate him for about 10 minutes or so, sometimes more. That doesn't work. I've tried taking him for a long walk to tire him, and that still doesn't work.

    He doesn't whine when I leave the house, not for long anyway. I think the first few minutes and then he's quiet. Though he does start to whine if I go to the bathroom and shut the door.

    He even whines sometimes when we're outside. Not nearly as much as when he's indoors, but sometimes he'll just stand there and whine. If I notice a reason for it, say there's another dog across the street or somebody walking a block down, I'll tug his leash and turn his attention away from it. But sometimes he just stands there and whines for no reason that I can see.

    This whining is driving me insane and I am at my wit's end. I don't know what to do. I devote half an hour every night to him with brushing him, and I play with both dogs throughout the day, but that doesn't seem to make any difference. Nemo is a fairly vocal dog otherwise, when he's playing he sounds like a gizmo. I think it runs in the breed because Buddy is also like that. But Buddy is quiet throughout the day. He only barks when he gets excited outside, and I can always quiet him. But he's not a whiner like Nemo.

    What can I do to stop this whining? I've even though about getting those no-bark collar things to help with the problem, but that's my last resort because I have heard those things change a dog's personality and makes them more timid.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member RBark's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    I don't think bark collars work on whining.

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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    There are some collars that can be set to trigger for barks, whines and howls.

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    Senior Member amdeblaey's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    You know-I'm with you-my chocolate lab whines at every little thing-same as you-I try to ignore it, but oh boy it's like nails on a chalkboard now. I don't know what to do either-and I'm beyond stressed right now-my husband is deployed-he's been gone for 10 months now-and every little thing stresses me out-so this whining(though it may not seem like a big deal to some) to me it's what sets me off-and I find myself removing myself-or putting Loki in his kennel before I physically lose it. My other lab-not a peep. Never-neither of them bark-but Loki does whine. I have come to the conclusion that I need to do some more mental stimulation with him-I think he is board. Not sure how much training you do with your dog-but it may help you too. Good luck-hopefully you'll get other advise-because I am looking for help too!!

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    Senior Member StarfishSaving's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    I think you need to exercise your dog more, probably a lot more, including mental workouts like training or backyard sports. If that doesn't help consider herbal treatments, medication or something like that to help because the constant whining is probably an indication of some underlying anxiety, especially since he will wake from a nap and start up immediately.

    Edited to add: If it is an anxiety-related behavior, using ANY kind of punitive means to treat it, like an anti-bark collar (even the spray kind,) or even aversive noises or verbal corrections will just make it worse.
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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    Quote Originally Posted by StarfishSaving View Post
    I think you need to exercise your dog more, probably a lot more, including mental workouts like training or backyard sports. If that doesn't help consider herbal treatments, medication or something like that to help because the constant whining is probably an indication of some underlying anxiety, especially since he will wake from a nap and start up immediately.

    Edited to add: If it is an anxiety-related behavior, using ANY kind of punitive means to treat it, like an anti-bark collar (even the spray kind,) or even aversive noises or verbal corrections will just make it worse.
    Exactly. The more the OP gets frustrated, the more the dog is likely to whine. Vicious cycle I agree with training...exercise his brain. Teach him things he can be rewarded for. Use the play times during the day to reinforce what you're teaching him.

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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    I'm not sure what backyard sports are, but we live in an apartment and basically smack dab in the middle of the city. Not a nice environment to walk the dogs in. I tried walking them for quite a ways but they pull constantly. I can usually get one under control if he's by himself, but when they're together it's like they excite each other and they don't listen to me as much. And they're always so interested in other people and noises that they rarely concentrate on doing their business.

    I can try the training. Not sure how it works really with two dogs, but I think I saw another post in the forums about training two dogs at once, so I'll check that out. Right now they only know some practical commands like 'down', 'quiet', and 'wait'. Haven't quite mastered 'stay', but the 'wait' works well when I'm at the door or they want to barge ahead of me when I come out of the apartment. I always make sure to be the first one out the door and the elevator.

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    Senior Member qingcong's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Glumbumble View Post
    I tried walking them for quite a ways but they pull constantly. I can usually get one under control if he's by himself, but when they're together it's like they excite each other and they don't listen to me as much. And they're always so interested in other people and noises that they rarely concentrate on doing their business.
    This is an excellent place to start. It sounds like Nemo isn't getting enough physical and mental stimulation in his life. At the risk of sounding like The Dog Whisperer, teaching your dogs to walk calmly on a leash is the first place you need to start. You can't expect your dog to be cooped up in the apartment all day and feel satisfied with his life. I live in an apartment too, and us apartment dwellers have a duty to walk/exercise our dogs everyday to keep them happy.

    The reason why your dogs go crazy when they're out walking is because they don't do it enough, and you, the owner are not taking control of the walk. They need to learn to defer to you instead of doing everything they want. Learning to follow your lead is healthy mental exercise for the dog and will likely reduce Nemo's overall anxiety. Dogs seem to feel more secure when they know that there is a leader in charge.

    Teaching Nemo to walk on a loose leash and then in the heel position will do wonders for him. My dog was a wild animal when we first got him. He pulled on the leash until he was gasping for air and lunged everywhere. At home, his behavior was about as crazy. It took a lot of patience on our part, but in about 2 months we were able to have him walk reliably in the heel position with no pulling. His overall behavior changed as well, he was less crazy all of the time.
    Last edited by qingcong; 02-14-2010 at 04:37 PM.

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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    Thanks for all your help. I've never had a dog before that needed 'mental stimulation'. I suppose getting more toys might help too. They go through toys pretty fast, and right now we just have a ball which Nemo likes to fetch, and a bone and kong that they can chew on. With the weather getting nice again, I'll try to walk them for longer periods and hopefully by next winter they're more used to walking on a loose leash. I had them doing well for a while, though my fiance always struggled with them (he's not as home as much as me, so he doesn't have as many opportunities to discipline them or to walk them and make sure he goes first instead of them), but they seemed to loose that after I visited my parents for a month or so and they got run of the backyard there.

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    Senior Member qingcong's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    All dogs need mental stimulation! If you think about it, people go to school as kids, then we go to work as adults. Wolves play hunt as puppies and when they grow up they have to hunt and feed the pack. The need to do a job and to exercise the body and mind is in every animal, otherwise they go crazy when they do nothing.

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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    My point is though, Nemo is the only dog I've had that has whined like this because of lack of mental stimulation. All my other dogs have been fine. My fiance was talking to somebody else who trains dogs and she says that his past could be a big factor as to why he's whining. Because we got him when he was 6 weeks old, and we thought he was 8 weeks. So he was separated too early from his mom and siblings.

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    Senior Member moluno's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    You know, I have a dog that's a constant whiner too and I'm not convinced she does it because of lack of exercise (both physical and mental). We can go to the dog park for 2 hours, where she runs and plays the whole time... and she is TIRED when we get home, but she'll still whine for a little bit before settling down. We can do trick training sessions (and I make her work things out for herself, so she's using her noggin) and she'll still whine. She can be lying down, chewing on a toy, and she's still whining. We've been in obedience classes for a month and every single class, she has whined the ENTIRE hour. I've never met a dog as whiny as she is, and I've also never met a dog that gets as much interaction as she does. It baffles me.

    I ignore her but I don't think she cares. What I've also tried doing is putting her in a down/stay when she gets worked up because I think part of my problem is that she just doesn't really know how to settle herself down. Honestly--I sometimes think I do TOO much with her, and that she's expecting me to constantly interact with her when she's awake.

    So that doesn't really help you--just wanna say I'm in the same boat. Juno started whining at I think 6-ish months old, I thought it was just a phase she'd grow out of (because she also had a phase where she'd constantly bark at me) but 4 months later, it's not any better.

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    Senior Member qingcong's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Glumbumble View Post
    My point is though, Nemo is the only dog I've had that has whined like this because of lack of mental stimulation. All my other dogs have been fine. My fiance was talking to somebody else who trains dogs and she says that his past could be a big factor as to why he's whining. Because we got him when he was 6 weeks old, and we thought he was 8 weeks. So he was separated too early from his mom and siblings.
    Ah, I see. Well if he's getting his needs fulfilled and he's still whining then I don't know. I'm aware of some dogs being very whiny and anxious for seemingly no reason. I wonder if it becomes habit forming after a while? Does Nemo have any toys he enjoys playing with? I ask because I'm thinking you could redirect that anxious energy into playing with his toy instead. For example, the moment he starts whining, stuff a kong into his mouth so that he doesn't get a chance to whine. The point being to never let him practice whining and to break the vicious cycle.

    I wouldn't completely rule out using a shock collar to fix it, but using aversive methods are dangerous. Your timing and understanding needs to be spot on, otherwise you will create a whole host of other problems.

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    Senior Member BrittanyG's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    Has he been to a Vet recently? It almost sounds like he could be in pain.. Something to think about.

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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    From the sounds of it, there really are some dogs out there that are just whiners. Maybe they like to hear the sound of their own voice? Nemo is a pretty vocal player when he's with Buddy or my other dog who lives with my mom, Toby. He'll growl and whine and when he and Buddy get together it's hard to watch TV because they're both so vocal. I'm thinking it has something to do with the breed since they are the same breed.

    The last time he went to the vet was several months ago, basically when we got Buddy because it turned out that Buddy had cockcidea(sp), so then he transferred it to Nemo. I don't think he's in pain, because I've heard him whine when he was in pain, and there's a big difference. And he doesn't whine when he poops or eats, which is good because it means there's nothing wrong with his bowels. And he's fine when he goes into his crate to sleep overnight.

    And Quinqong, that's a really good idea. I hadn't thought that it might have just become a habit. He's only got 3 toys right now, 1 of which will need to be thrown out soon since they're both wearing it down and are about to get pieces of it. My problem is though, if I give him a toy everytime he whines, will he not mistake that action as a reward for his whining?

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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    Same happens to my dogs also. I am also with you. Its very irritating.

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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Glumbumble View Post
    My problem is though, if I give him a toy everytime he whines, will he not mistake that action as a reward for his whining?
    Yes, that would be an unwanted consequence, but do you think that his whining could get any worse?

    In the same way that you teach a dog to not chew the couch and redirect his chewing habits onto a nylabone, I'm thinking you can apply the same concept to breaking the whining. The goal is so that eventually, when he thinks about whining, he goes for his toy instead.

    The MOMENT he begins to whine, not 30 seconds later, the split second his body twitches in anxiety, you need to make a sharp noise to snap him out of it. I use a finger snap or hand clap. Then quickly give him a kong stuffed with food so that he'll have something to do for a while. You can try a bully stick too, dogs love those and they take forever to chew. If you give him a kong after he's been whining for 30 seconds, then yes, you will be rewarding him for whining, but if you are on the ball and stop him before he starts, then you've effectively redirected it.

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    Re: Constant Whining from a 1 yr old dog

    That sounds like a good idea. I can pretty much tell when he's about to whine sometimes because he starts getting tense. It's become a problem when he sees an animal on TV, especially another dog, and he starts whining a lot. He likes to watch TV sometimes when something interesting is happening, but when an animal is on he just goes nuts and starts whining. I have a small kong, but nothing to stuff in it. Maybe I'll try his squeaky ball and just give that a squeak and toss it when he starts getting anxious.

    I got two new toys for the dogs and that seems to have helped a little with the whining. I try to take them for a long walk in the afternoon, but it does get hard with both of them pulling.

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