Whining Dog Case Study

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Are you getting complaints from neigbors about your dog's excessive whining & howling?

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Baxter is a small poodle that owner Daniel complains whines too much. The dog whines as its major method of communication, which annoys Daniel. Furthermore, Daniel has a problem determining what the dog needs since there does not seem to be a difference in the whining noise produced by the small dog. Since Baxter is a young puppy, Daniel wants to immediately break the whining habit before it becomes too ingrained in the dog and it becomes more difficult to break. Furthermore, Daniel is aggravated by the whining and will need to find another home for Baxter if the whining does not cease.

Since Baxter is not yet housetrained, Daniel combines this task in with the whining. Daniel attempts to create a different way for Baxter to notify him of his needs, so he hangs a small bell on the back door. Each time Baxter goes outdoors, Daniel makes the dog ring the bell until eventually Baxter associates the two tasks. Where Daniel had problems deciphering the whining in the past and Baxter would frequently have accidents in the house, Daniel now knows exactly when Baxter needs to go outside to relieve himself.

However, even with this bell training, Baxter continues of whine. Daniel then begins training specifically for the barking and implements a new command of "no whine." When Baxter begins to whine, Daniel immediately commands "no whine." Unfortunately, in most instances, Baxter continues whining. Daniel changes the training process to include a shake can that he made from a potato chip cylinder filled with small rocks. When Baxter begins to whine, Daniel now commands, "no whine" and shakes the can to produce a startling noise. This seems to draw Baxter's attention and stops the whining. Once Baxter stops whining, Daniel praises the dog with kind words, treats, and pets.

Although this training seems to be advancing, Baxter is still having a problem whining. Daniel is coming to the end of his rope regarding training practices and turns to his veterinarian for assistance. Surprisingly the veterinarian reveals a medical condition that causes Baxter to whine. Some dogs whine from pain, and this condition is the direct root of Baxter's whining. Once treatment of the condition is underway and Baxter begins to feel better, the whining completely stops.

In this case, Baxter was whining due to a physical condition. Although the training methods used by Daniel were correct and effective, his first step should have been to the veterinarian's office. By seeking professional help from a veterinarian to ensure Baxter had a clean bill of health, Daniel would be able to prevent Baxter from suffering to the extent he did. This should be the first step with any dog who is whining, especially those who have recently developed the habit, since something may be physically wrong with the animal that causes the vocalization. Once medication conditions have been eliminated, the training course of action is the best way to go. Remember to provide plenty of praise when your dog successfully completes a command so that you do not lose the dog's trust in the training task.



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