Why does your dog whine?

by | Dog Care |

All dog parents probably hear their dog whine from time to time, but some hear it more often than others. 

In this post, we will share some helpful tips from the ASPCA, with helpful insights on why your dog whines, and how to address excessive whining.  

Why do dogs whine? 

Appeasement Behaviour

Some dogs whine excessively when interacting with people and other dogs, usually while adopting a submissive posture (e.g., tail tucked, body lowered, head down, gaze averted). 

Greeting Behaviour

Some dogs whine during greetings. This kind of vocalization is usually motivated by excitement and may be directed at dogs or people. 

Seeking Attention

Some dogs whine in the presence of their caregivers in order to get attention, rewards or desired objects. 


Some dogs whine in response to stressful situations. In this context, whining sometimes seems involuntary. 

Other Problems That Might Cause Whining 

Separation Anxiety

If your dog only whines just before you leave or during your absence, they may have separation anxiety. If this is the case, your dog will usually display at least one other symptom of the disorder prior to your departure or when left alone, such as pacing, panting, excessive drooling, destruction (especially around doors and windows), urinating or defecating indoors, depression or other signs of distress. 

Read the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society’s blog on How to help a pet with separation anxiety. 

Injury or Medical Condition

Dogs often whine in response to pain or a painful condition. If you notice that your dog vocalizes frequently or has suddenly started to vocalize, it’s important to take them to the veterinarian to rule out medical causes. 

Read the FULL ARTICLE to learn what to do about excessive whining and how to teach hand targeting. 



Thank you so much for all you do

Thank you so much for all you do every day to rescue animals in need. I can’t imagine the terrible situations that you see every day.  It is great that you have the heart to help. Keep up the good work.