Whining is instinctive for puppies when they are hungry, tired or cold. The mother dog will react to puppy whining by providing warmth, milk, and a secure sleeping place.
Eventually, puppies connect the two actions and begin to whine deliberately. This is how the puppy lets his mother know that something is amiss or he requires something.
Puppy adoption should occur between eight and ten weeks of age. It’s at this time that puppies discover that their whining doesn’t have any impact with their new family; or they may use whining to manipulate their new mom (you!) into giving them what they want.
Therefore, it is commonly believed that a new puppy should be left on his own for the first night is his new home. If you react to puppy whining with sympathy, cooing, cuddling etc., your dog is certain to think that whining will get him what he wants.
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Of course, this will require good judgment and common sense on your part. A frightened puppy will need affection, reassurance and attention. It is important that you act quickly so he doesn’t think that the desired result was achieved through his puppy whining. Your pup must not be conditioned to whine every time he wants something.
You should teach your puppy to be comfortable with isolation and privacy by leaving him alone even when you are at home. This will help to prevent separation anxiety when you leave the home. Once you know that all your puppy’s physical needs have been met and you have taken the time to get him used to isolation, then he must be taught that whining is inappropriate.
This does not mean that a puppy that is really worked up, whining, and crying, should be cold-bloodedly ignored. When he has stopped whining, you should show him some attention and calm him down. It is not always possible to wait until your puppy has stopped whining completely as some puppies will whine for hours.
In this instance, you don’t need to extend your puppy’s anguish – as soon as he stops whining for even a few moments, you should open the crate door. This is less than ideal but is probably the best you’ll be able to do under the circumstances.
Most dogs have grown out of puppy whining by the time they are six months old. Puppies that still whine after this time are probably doing it by instinct, or they have figured out that it gets them what they need.
For more details on how to deal with puppy whining, visit Stop Dog Whining.