Barking, growling, howling and whining are four ways by which your pet dog tries to communicate with you. Barking is an expression of some emotion, like excitement. The dog growls to restrain a person from coming too close to him – it’s his way of saying, "back off, I am in a bad mood!". Howling may be considered as a kind of long-distance communication. The dog whines or cries only when he is in distress or when he needs attention from you.
Very young pups whine in an effort to gain more attention from their mothers. This is something which is totally natural in the beginning.
Little pups who are raised by human foster families tend to miss their mothers and whine in the hope that she will come to them and soothe them immediately. The pet’s owner might choose to do one of the following three things:
* Ignores the call of distress and go about minding his business like nothing happened
Here, the dog feels very lonely, unwanted and unloved. This can affect his relationship with his owner.
* Takes a look at the pup to see if all’s well with him, also attend to him if something is genuinely wrong with him
This is the ideal thing to do, as it establishes a deep bond between the dog and his master. The pet may be trying to call for help of some kind, so the owner can immediately help him with that too.
* Leaves all other work aside and rush to the spot to ‘save’ the dog from even the slightest distress
This results in the pet becoming spoiled rotten! The dog uses whining as a tool to get whatever he wants from the owner.
There are various circumstances which make your pet whine. They are listed below:
1. Attention seeking
Your pet lets out a whine, imploring you to go to him. This can be tackled by spending some time with him and then leaving him alone for short periods of time. Once he understands that you will not succumb to each of his appeals, he will learn to calm down and stop pestering you.
Your pet may be experiencing severe separation anxiety when you leave him alone for a period of time. This can be sorted out by staying away from him for short periods of time and let him get used to the idea of being alone.
Dogs sometimes whine in pain, when they are ill or are injured in some way.
4. Learned response
Dogs could whine when they need something specific from you, like a piece of treat or to recover their favorite toy that’s out of their reach. In this case, he will look longingly in the direction of the item he wants and will whine for it.
Sometimes, dogs may suddenly let out a whine in excitement – like when they hear their owner’s car coming into the driveway. This will subside as soon as the excitement fades.
Dogs whine for various reasons. It is up to a sensible owner to listen closely and judge whether it is merely for attention or if something is really wrong with his pet. Treating your dog well, while not spoiling him, is the key to good canine training. While the dog knows his limits, he also develops a rapport with his owner.
By George Kane