Why do dogs whine?

April 26, 2012

Dogs use vocalizations for communication. As part of their vocal repertoire that includes barks, howls, growls and snarls, the dog uses the whine to in similar ways that humans utilize the whine to communicate.

A dog may whine because it wants an object or it wants to do something and it feels that it must beg for what it wants. A dog learns to whine as a puppy. As a puppy, it may learn that the mother dog will return when the puppy whines. The puppy will whine for a variety of things from its mother such as comfort, warmth, affection, safety, milk and food.

The whine is a versatile vocalization that can express a dog’s needs and wants to its owner in the same way that it used to whine to its mother. Instead of the mother, it is now the owner who has the parental relationship to the dog. In this way, a dog whines when it needs to go outside or when it is hungry. When a dog whines to its owner about a need or desire, the whine is meant to prompt its owner into action that will make the dog more comfortable or happy.

A dog may whine to its owner for play time or a walk. Dogs are active and curious animals that need plenty of exercise and to explore their world. When you exercise with your dog, your dog enjoys it so much that it will whine for more.

A whine is not always such a heartfelt request for time outdoors or a treat. A whine can also indicate that the dog is experiencing pain. If your dog whines from pain or irritation, it is important that you find the cause for the pain right away so that you can seek proper medical attention for your dog.

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