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Why Some Dogs Whine at Night

When a dog whines, it can be for any number of reasons. That doesn't mean we want to listen to it though. So, it can be a bit of a chore to find out exactly why the dog is whining and then to cut it off completely.

If you're like a lot of people with a dog, you probably yell from your bedroom or try to train them to stop doing it.

But, in many cases there are some very specific reasons that underlie that whining - requiring special attention from the owner.

The Root of Dog Whining

A dog will whine for one of three reasons. It might be afraid, anxious, or hurt. In the latter case, you'll need to identify the source of pain and then get it treated immediately. However, in the first two cases, you should be able to minimize or stop the whining with a few easy changes.

First, know that a whining dog may not be completely at fault. If your dog is whining because they are upset about something like you leaving, but they have not been trained to recognize what is happening, they are legitimately upset that you might not return. If this is the case, proper training is require to resolve dog seperation anxiety.

Additionally, a dog given full run of the house will be uncomfortable and not know where to settle down when you sleep or leave for the day. These are easy to fix, but are also often overlooked.

Cutting Out the Whining

To stop the whining, you must first establish a set space for your dog. If you have not already trained your dog to stay in a crate while you are sleeping or away, you may consider that now. Alternatively, you might decide to train your dog to stay in a single room.

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In either case, you are providing a safe space for your dog that they can go to instead of whining at you for protection. Many people are immediately drawn to the sound of a whining dog and want to help it. But, if you do so, you'll only reinstill that behaviour and make it  worse.

Your goal then needs to be find a way to stop it completely without providing reassurance for something that shouldn't be an issue to start with.


To start with, never respond to your dog's whining. If they want to go out or want your attention, wait until they stop whining to respond. Second, make sure they are not uncomfortable at night due to too much space.

Desensitizing can be done by giving your dog a space such as an empty room and then leaving them in there. You'll leave them there while you go about your day. Only go back into the room when they stop whining and relax.

In extreme cases of dog separation anxiety, this may not work and you'll need to resort to shorter, more controlled sessions of leaving them alone. You may even need to see a vet or an animal behaviour expert to determine what is causing their anxiety and to solve it.

If this becomes the case, make sure everyone in your household follows any new rules put in place to help out your anxious puppy.

If your dog is not hurt or severely upset about something, there is no reason for them to whine excessively whenever you're not in sight. If they still do, could your dog be afraid of storms or weather changes? Once you identify the problem, the amount of work required to train them out of it may seem extensive, but don't forget - dogs learn quickly.

If you take action quickly, your dog will learn and change their behaviour much faster than you might expect.

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