Your dog gets sad when you leave which causes a whining behavioral response. Why is that so wrong? Maybe I should write a blog instead titled, ‘How to Stop Your Human from Being Such a Complainer’.
I get it though, maybe it makes you sad to hear us when we’re sad. In that case, I’ll help you help your pups.
Separation anxiety is a prevalent issue in dogs and can be expressed to you in many different forms. Whining, crying, or barking when you leave the room are some of the most common signs. By setting a routine, downplaying your exits, and ensuring your dog receives adequate amounts of exercise each day can drastically minimize the anxiety your dog feels when you’re not at home to comfort them.
Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.
Step Number 1: ROUTINE Equals No Dog Whining
I’m chuckling due to the amount of times I use this word or general idea in all of my posts combined. What does that tell you?
You should set a solid routine for you and your pup.
Seems to be a common denominator. I know math isn’t everyone’s strong suit, but a common denominator is the one thing that all the things have in common.
In this case, it would be a ROUTINE.
Sorry for yelling. I get frustrated.
If you have your dog on a solid and consistent routine, then you leaving will become expected and a normal part of the daily regimen. And the impending dog whining act will subside.
Your dog is far from being stupid.
They can figure out repetition and consistency fairly quickly. If your dog wakes up around the same time, goes outside around the same time, takes walks at the same time, and goes to bed at the same time, then they’ll figure out that you leave and come back at the same time each day, too.
We need this. We need routine and consistency as much as the military. We’re structured beings. Use this to your advantage.
Pro Tip: Even if your human schedule is excruciatingly random, it remains crucial that you keep your dogs schedule exactly the same. Your dog does not, I repeat, DOES NOT do well with change – especially if that change comes every single day.
If change does in fact come every single day like clockwork, is the ‘change’ then the consistent variable in the routine, thus making it a form of structure and organization?
Stop trying to justify your unorganized lives. That’s absurd and quite frankly, ridiculous and selfish.
You guys are unbelievable. I’m moving on.
Step Number 2: Do Not Make Exits or Entrances a Big Deal
Your dog is whining because your making your absence a big deal to them.
Here’s what I mean by this.
When it’s time for you to go to work, or to the gym, or to the bar, or whatever it is you go do when you leave us, do NOT make a thing out of it.
By thing I mean, change up the way you talk, or talk more than usual, get sad, stare at us awkwardly, or any of the likes. We can read facial expressions and sense emotions better than you can possibly imagine. It’s one of our super hero powers.
Instead, create a simple routine we can get on board with. Grab your stuff, grab us a treat, usher us to the crate or the bed (wherever you decide – just stick to a spot in the house that we know we need to go to when you leave), give us the treat, say your quick and unaffected goodbyes, and leave.
Easy as that. This is something we can get use to.
Same idea when you get home. Don’t make such a huge spectacle out of it. Great, you’re home, get over it. Just open the door and give us a good hug, tell us how much you missed us, and that you couldn’t think about anything else the whole time you were gone. You know, little things like that.
Some humans swear by not even acknowledging their pet when they get home until they’re completely calm and have stopped jumping around and going crazy.
I personally don’t love this idea. Don’t misunderstand me here though – I get the goal behind the madness, and it may in fact be a viable option for some dog parents out there, but I’m not a fan.
I know my humans love to see my crazy smile when they walk through the door. We don’t have a party with streamers and balloons but we do enjoy each other in that moment.
Leave us alone. We’re like really really close, okay.
Step Number 3: Make Sure Your Dog is Getting Regular Exercise
I feel a bit like a broken record here. Routine, regular exercise, routine, regular exercise, consistency, structure, blah, blah, blah.
This is not complicated. None of this is. We are simple, lovable, beings. Don’t make this harder than what it actually has to be.
If you give your dog their recommended, 30 minutes – 2 hours of daily exercise, they’ll be too tired to care if you’re at home or not. Their minds won’t be racing and their feet won’t be pacing. Which then translates to no dog whining when you’re gone.
Unused energy is unused energy and needs a catalyst to escape.
Would it be better spent running around the park in joyous gallops with our other dog friends, or running through the walls of your house in full blown panic mode, by ourselves?
Again, your choice, I’m good with either.
Dogs are a lot like human kids when it comes to this concept. They have tons of energy and need to focus it on something productive, otherwise, idle hands (or paws) make fretful minds, or something like that.
I don’t know, but either way, it can’t be good. For us or the human pups.
Step Number 4: Adopt a Sibling
I know, I know. You can’t cure problems in a marriage by having a baby. I’m prepared to argue that this isn’t quite the same thing though.
Dogs have pack mentality. They thrive best when they’re not alone (for the most part).
Often times your dog is whining, crying, and barking because they’re lonely, unsure, and a bit scared. Get them a furry brother or sister and watch as their anxieties dissipate into thin air, instantaneously.
This is especially the case in dogs like my sister, Callie. She’s a Siberian Husky. Those wild puppies still think they’re wolves or something and have a raging sense of pack mentality.
Good thing I was already in the picture when we adopted her, otherwise she may have chewed through the entire house.
Having me there with her seemed to help her otherwise innate behavior of destruction. She really didn’t destroy too many things and I would like to sit here and take all the credit for that. I taught my husky sister how to be a cocker spaniel from the get-go. You’re welcome, parents.
I digress. Got a bit off topic there.
I tell you that story to say, sometimes two really is better than one. Especially when the company of your puppy sibling gives you purpose and makes you feel safe and happy.
So, as you can see from the image above, having my best friend with me every minute of every day helps to ease a bit of uncertainty that I know I would otherwise feel without her there.
Love you Callie girl, even though you hoard ALL of the toys, even the ones that were bought specifically for me.
Step Number 5: Dog Whining Still an Issue? Pass the Doggie Prozac
And by Prozac, I mean, nothing of the sorts!
What kind of a dog do you take me for, anyway?
While pill popping is highly discouraged here, I do however, recommend some Pet CBD oil as a more natural remedy for anxiety.
You guys seriously wouldn’t believe all of the benefits associated with CBD oil on a comprehensive scale. I’ve found a really good one that has worked great for me with all of my anxious behaviors.
It’s from Onyx and Rose.
I actually wrote a specific review on this product. Don’t worry, I didn’t get paid to do it, so you can trust that this is a raw and honest opinion that was not falsely guided or persuaded in any way by a promise of monetary gain.
Just my personal thoughts, for free. I’ll link it here for you to read if you’re at all interested.
But try to be interested and give it a read, and then give it a try. If it works, awesome, if not, sorry, but at least you can mark it off the list and move on.
Pro tip # 2: Leave your dog some puzzle toys and lots of things to chew on during the day. This will help occupy their mind and engage cognitive receptors that keep them entertained and relaxed throughout the day and while you’re gone. You can also leave out one of your dirty shirts (if your dog isn’t a chewer) so they can continue to smell you throughout the day.
Most pup anxiety can be narrowed down and alleviated in some way. Whether that be through, routine, exercise, CBD oil, a sibling, or some combination of them all.
Take the time to work with your dog and really figure this out. It will make for a better quality of life for the both of you.
Your dog just really, really, really misses you when you’re gone.
We want to go everywhere with you and don’t always understand why we can’t. Try to see it from your dog’s perspective and then do what you can to help them.
I personally think a solid ‘bye, Bubba, I’m leaving now’ routine is best for this, but what do I know.
As always, you lovely, weird humans – continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often.
Love you guys,
P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.
Why is My Dog Whining All the Time?
A dog will whine as a form of verbal communication. And often is a result of them seeking attention, feeling excited, needing something from you, or when they’re mad at you for something.
You need to pay attention to the circumstances happening when your dog whines. From there you will have a better understanding of what’s causing your dog to whine and if you should be worried or need to take action.
There can be instances of mental illnesses (PSTD for example) that may cause your dog to whine in excess out of fear.
This is critical knowledge for you in order to get your dog the help they need.
Reach out to your vet for recommendations regarding dog cognitive rehabilitation treatments.
What Dog Breeds Whine the Most?
Below is a list of the top 10 dog breeds that whine most frequently compared to others.
- Poodles (Toy)
- Miniature Schnauzer
- German Shepherd
- Bonus: Cocker Spaniels (who also are predisposed to suffer from severe separation anxiety)
Fear not though.
With proper training, a dog does not have to fall victim to any predisposed character traits based solely on any normality previously observed within their respective breeds.
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