Dog Training - How To Quiet Dog Whining
Any dog training must begin with an understanding of why the current action is occuring. In this case, whining is one of the earliest behaviors of puppies. It also is one of the more difficult behaviors to correct.
A puppy will whine to gain some attention. In most cases it has to do with isolation and stress, so that's what we'll deal with in this article. But whining can also be caused by physical discomfort, and for that you'll need to take your pet to a vet as soon as possible.
But back to isolation. Chances are, when your dog starts to whine, you go and get him, maybe pet him or give him the love and attention he's craving in an effort to quiet him. Although you may not realize it, you are now dog training. In a sense, you are training him that by whining he can get what he wants. Basically the opposite of what you hope to achieve. As a result, your pet becomes, in children's terms, a spoiled brat. Like a spoiled child, he'll whine when you try to make a phone call, when you have company, anytime he's not getting your attention.
The puppy has now gained control, and Miniature Pinscher owners certainly realize how quickly their pets will attempt to gain control of the household. But this certainly applies to most breeds.
As the owner and master, you need to take back control. If from your previous dog training he understands other commands like "sit" or "stay" use them now. By giving the commands he already knows and obeys, you are getting control back. Now you are in a position to teach because he's focused on you.
Start by teaching the "speak" command. By doing so you now gain control of the activity that is driving you crazy. I know that sounds a bit strange, but by first teaching him to "speak" you can then add "quiet" or "enough" to your dog training. We use "enough". Remember to give praise and/or rewards when he hushes. If he doesn't, grasp and gently jerk or shake his collar, and maybe even add brief harsh eye contact while repeating "enough". Again praise him when he quiets. However by teaching him to "speak" first, you can generally teach "enough" without physical punishment.
Another way is to teach this is by simply correcting your pet when the whining occurs. Remember if he is whining, you need to withhold praise and attention. Instead, pretend to leave the house and sneak back in. When the chorus starts, break in on him, gently yank or shake his collar and repeat "no, no", "enough" or "quiet". Remember from a previous article that it has to be a jerk or shake of the collar and not a pull. Pulling indicates play and is not effective in dog training.
Never give your pet anything when he's whining. Doing so only reinforces the behavior. Instead, get control, teach him to "speak", then stop him with "enough". Make sure he is quiet before you feed him, walk him, or pet him.
One last way that some people have used effectively (although we've never used it) is to have a squirt gun handy. If he bothers you while you are reading or watching television, you can squirt him in the mouth with water, say "enough", then go on about your business.
Again, we cannot testify to the effectiveness of this because we've never done it, but others have told us it works for them.
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