Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Does Your Doggie Whine, Bark or Howl as and when He or She Likes It?

Alright, lets move on to another common doggie behavoral issue, that is "Whining".

A whining, barking dog can be very frustrating for the whole neighborhood and, normally, the owner of a loud dog does not like it either.

To do your neighbors, yourself, and, really, your dog, a favor, you should work with you dog when he or she is most open to learning; when your dog is a puppy.

When an older dog whines, it is because, as a puppy, he or she did not learn that whining, barking and howling are not acceptable forms of communication. In short, loud vocal communication on the part of your dog is a bad habit that was allowed to develop when he or she was a puppy.

A lot of older dogs use barking and whining to manipulate their owners, to get what they want. In short, it is almost like doggy blackmail.

So, if you currently have a puppy who whines, barks or howls, you need to nip it in the bud so that the problem does not rear its ugly head as your dog gets older.

There are certain steps you can take to put an end to your puppy's whining, and there are also some things not to do.

Correction behaviors for whining which are helpful at the puppy stage
· When the puppy whines, do not acknowledge them since that is what they want.

· If the whining becomes too much, take the puppy immediately outside so they relate their whining to being taken out to the bathroom and that is all whining will get them.

When Tymmie my Maltiese was left alone in a small room, I would not check on him if I heard whining; I would take him directly outside so that he could go to the bathroom if he needed to. This showed him whining meant out to the bathroom and that was it.

To ensure that Tymmie did not develop some form of separation anxiety, I would make him get used to being alone, even if I was in the next room. This let him get used to being on his own and, again, showed him that I would not give in to his whining and howling (though later I bought Cocoa the Miniatuer Schnauzer to accompany him). This is a hard stage; its like when your baby is crying and all you want to do is go and pick them up and hold them BUT this is also a very important part to training a puppy to not whine.

It is important to make sure your puppy is not whining for a legitimate reason; I always made sure TYmmie was healthy, well fed and watered but, beyond that, I would not run to his howling.

Once you have made sure that your puppy is healthy and well fed, teach him not to whine in the same way you would teach him or her to do anything else.

To make sure that whining does not persist:
· Never give into your puppy's whining or reward him or her for bad behavior.

· Do not hesitate to discipline your dog when he or she whines unnecessarily.

· Do not let you dog feel abandoned, even though you do need to leave him or her alone sometimes so that your puppy grows accustomed to separation.

Even though it is hard to hear your baby cry, sometimes hours at a time, stick to your training routine. If you follow these rules, as I did with Tymmie, your puppy will grow into a quiet, pleasant dog with great communication skills.

But one barking I like about Tymmie is every morning He without fail barks at 8am to inform me to bring him out for his business, so if it happens that I intend to stay on the bed a little bit longer during weekend, I have not choice but to pull myself out of the bed to attend to him which I am most happy to oblige.

Good dog Tymmie. :o)

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