Case Study Advice for People with Whining Dogs
Juneau and Sally are two Doberman Pinschers that have grown up in a home together. The owner has no complaints about the behaviors of the two dogs, except for the fact that they whine incessantly. Since Juneau and Sally do not have any aggressive tendencies, are not territorial, or have any other bad habits, the owner has overlooked this whining problem for years. However, the whining is quickly becoming annoying and the owner is starting to wonder exactly why Juneau and Sally are whining.
In an attempt to curb this behavior, the owner of Juneau and Sally must find the root of the problem. Often, dogs whine for a variety of reasons, including pain, fear, or boredom. In this instance, the cause of the whining is probably boredom, but the other reasons should be completely ruled out. Juneau and Sally's owner takes the pair to the veterinarian's office to shed more light on the situation. The veterinarian believes that the whining behavior stems from Juneau and Sally being left alone for a large portion of the day while their owner is at work. Although Juneau and Sally are outdoors, so they can play, do their business, and exercise at will, the pair is still lonely. Since this behavior has never been corrected, the dogs have adopted the habit as a sympathy ploy to get what they want. Their owner confirms this thought and the next step of breaking the habit begins.
First of all, Juneau and Sally are obviously not pleased with their current situation of being left alone during the day. To make the dogs happier, Sally hires a pet sitter who comes in twice a day to walk, pet, and play with Juneau and Sally. The two dogs seem to be much happier when their owner returns from work, although the whining is still present. If the owner would not have allowed this whining to continue for such a long period of time and corrected the problem sooner, this new arrangement would likely end the whining altogether.
Next, the owner begins working on a new training command for Juneau and Sally. Each time either dog whines, she firmly states "no whine." She accompanies this command with a quick squirt of water from a spray bottle to get the dog's attention. Once the dog stops whining, the owner lavishes praise. Whenever Juneau and Sally whine to get their way, the owner refuses until the whining stops. Of course, tasks like going outside cannot be punished, since many dogs whine when they need to relieve themselves.
This training method coupled with the hiring of a pet sitter has drastically changed the whining situation with Juneau and Sally. Now, neither dog whines to get his way. Furthermore, the owner finds the situation a great deal less stressful on both her and the dogs. If you are experiencing a similar situation, consider following this case study to help break your dogs from whining. Keep in mind that pain or discomfort is a viable reason for whining, so visit your veterinarian to ensure your dog is in top health.
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