Why is My Dog Whining at Night?
Any new dog owner will have many questions while learning how to be a good dog parent. Questions like: “Why does my dog stare at me?” and “why is my dog whining at night?” are just a couple of the most common ones. Some of the unusual behaviors of our furry friends are fascinating, while others can be concerning, and we understand that you only want the best for your dog.
There are several reasons why your dog whines at night, and while these reasons are often not life-threatening, some of them do require your attention. Let’s take a quick look at some of the reasons why our dog whines at night and what you can do about it.
Why Does Your Dog Whine at Night?
It should be noted that if your dog suddenly picks up the habit of whining at night, several reasons could be the cause of that behavior change. If, however, you have considered all the logical reasons you can think of and still can’t narrow it down to one solvable cause, then you might need to take your dog to a qualified vet for a checkup.
That being said, here are some of the most common reasons why dogs whine at night:
Anxiety or Separation Anxiety
This a common reason why your dog whines at night. Many dogs, of different ages, suffer from what can be categorized as separation anxiety. Try paying close attention to when the whining starts. If your dog whines when you walk away or you don’t allow them to sleep in your bed with you, then it could be that they are suffering from some form of separation anxiety.
There are, however, other forms of anxiety that are specific to occurrences such as heavy rainfall or storms. If your dog is afraid of the loud noise of a thunderstorm, he or she is most likely to whine only on the nights when there is a storm.
Unfortunately, most house dogs don’t get quite as much exercise and interaction as they need. If you aren’t giving your dog at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day, he or she might quickly become bored and suffer from too much pent-up energy and lack of mental stimulation.
This is why your dog will start whining at night for no clear reason. They are bored and want to let out some of that energy by running around in the yard. The whining is meant to get your attention and to get you to take them outside regardless of the time.
Dogs respond well to behavioral training. If your dog is all grown up and is still whining for no apparent reason at night, the problem might be that he or she didn’t get the right kind of behavioral training to get rid of that trait as a puppy.
In this case, your best course of action would be to hire a professional dog trainer and work together with them to get rid of this behavior.
Pain, Bloating, or Other Medical Problems
Dogs tend to whine when they are in pain so you need to pay close attention when the whining occurs. If your dog is whining only when they are lying down at night, then the problem could be that they have chronic pain in their joints or belly. They could be experiencing some discomfort related to their position or this could be bloating or even a chronic illness.
How to Stop Your Dog from Whining at Night
As you can see, there are many different reasons why your dog whines at night. If you have already visited the vet and ruled out any medical concerns, there are several other measures you can take.
Here’s a video outlining some tips and tricks you can use to stop your dog’s whining at night:
The first and best-recommended course of action is to simply ignore your dog’s cries for attention. Puppies tend to pick up habits quickly, and if you come to their aid as soon as they start whining, it will reinforce that negative behavior. They will know that you will come any time they whine at night, and that will make it very difficult for you to change this habit.
Simply ignore them when they whine, and eventually, they will learn that their whining won’t elicit any kind of response from you. If it bothers you to hear your puppy cry, you can move their crate to another part of the house where you can’t hear them as much, or you can try earplugs.
Some dogs are more persistent than others. Simply ignoring them might not work as fast as you would like it to. In that case, the next best course of action would be to hire a dog trainer to work with your dog and train them to stop that behavior.
Just like most humans, a tired or adequately exercised dog will happily (and quietly) rest at night. We know that all dogs need exercise, but the key if helping your dog get enough exercise so they will be craving rest at the end of the day. Different dog breeds have different energy levels, so requirements and intensity levels vary from dog to dog.
Learn exactly how much exercise your specific dog needs and make sure that they get it every day. This will stop them from getting bored and whining at night or calling for your attention.
Crate Train Your Dog
Condition your dog to be comfortable in their crate by rewarding good behavior. Once you let him or her out for a bathroom break, have them walk back to their crate on their own. Carrying them there could create a negative association with the crate in their minds. Reward them with a chew toy or a treat as soon as they walk back into their crate from their bathroom break.
Finally, if you simply must let your puppy out of the crate during the night for a bathroom break, do so when they are quiet as opposed to when they are whining, and this will reinforce the positive behavior. Remember to reward them with a treat once they walk back to their crate without whining.