In order to stop golden retriever whining, first you need to understand it. Whining is a natural behavior common to any dog and any breed, more frequent and easily triggered during puppy hood, becoming less and less frequent as the dog grows into adulthood.
There a number of reasons that can and often do trigger whining behaviors, these reasons aren’t dependent on a particular breed, gender or age, they simply cause a dog to whine, same way someone cries whenever it feels pain or is in distress. Dog’s will whine when scared, hurt, upset, anxious, excited, bored, when craving for attention, food, water and some of them even when they need to go outside.
Reasons are many and sometimes isn’t easy to understand which one is causing your dog’s whining, however we can apply some simple logic and rule out a few of these. For example, let’s suppose you have a puppy, it is more likely he is whining for attention or food than it is for any sort of pain or sickness. On the other hand an grown golden retriever who doesn’t usually displays this behavior and suddenly begins to whine a lot, it is more likely it is feeling pain when compared to the puppy.
Whining is common, no question there, but with golden retrievers it is a bit more common than with other breeds, and the reason is quite simple, we only need to look at the general personally of this dog breed. They are for the most part an active, friendly, human attention and companionship craving breed, it isn’t too surprising they would whine more frequently when compared with other more dominant and independent breed.
How to stop golden retriever whining
Whining can be stopped almost always by satisfying the need that triggered the whining behavior in the first place. Simple example, lets say your dog ate his dinner, went outside and is now sitting down close to you whining while you are in front of the computer working. Your dog most likely wants you to play with him, wants your attention, but unfortunately you can’t do that yet, you still have work to do.
Well there are a few things you can do in situations like this to stop golden retriever whining, you can crate him, leash him, or just give a toy for him to play with. But the one thing you shouldn’t do is complying with your dog’s wishes or give him something else he would like while he is still whining, you can comply of course or give him the toy as suggested before, but only after he has stopped whining for a while, otherwise, if you give in while he’s still whining, he will learn that whining is an effective way of having what he wants, in other words, an effective way to train you to do what he wants, hilarious aspect I believe.
It can be hours until a dog stops whining, this can be a real test on your patience, but you have to do your best to endure, remain calm and pay no attention whatsoever to your dog, you shouldn’t even look at him. On the safe side, when a dog whines for too long, it can be a sign he’s hurting or enduring some health problem, if you notice your dog whines a lot, you should do a veterinarian check up just to be on the safe side and make sure his whining isn’t motivated by any health problem.
Once your sure it isn’t a health problem you can go about training your dog and change his whining behavior.
What you can do to stop your dog’s whining
For the most part, its our fault for encouraging undesired behaviors in dogs. If your dog developed the habit of whining for attention, then you or someone else rewarded him for this behavior a few times, either gave him the attention he wanted, or something almost as suitable, like a treat, toy and a walk outside. So to stop golden retriever whining you should ignore all the whining and instruct everybody who lives with you to do the same, and once the dog stops whining and is calm for a while, reward him for it.
Another situation when golden retrievers whine a lot is when people they like and don’t see often or don’t see them for a while arrive on your home, this is a really anxious moment for you dog, he’s all geared up to welcome the guests and have all the attention thrown at him, and when he doesn’t get the attention he was craving for, he might whining, wiggle and howl at times. This almost always succeeds and the dog gets the attention he asked for. The best thing you and your guests can do is to ignore the dog for the first few minutes and wait until his relaxed and quite, then they can pet him all the want to.
Train your dog to entertain himself
One of the best ways to not even need to stop golden retriever whining is training your dog to be able to entertain himself. Its always good when a dog is capable of entertain himself while remaining still or laying down, this relieves the owners to go about their affairs when at home, all dogs are capable of this it only takes practice.
To teach this skill to your dog, he will need to obey you to “down” or “stay” command words, if he doesn’t you will work on it while you do do this. Start slow first, have your dog to lay down for half minute with you sitting on his side. Do this everyday, slowly building up to one minute, you can do it in the living room or in the area of house were your dog spends his time. After that go to another room, and after that one, you can go outside and move on to practice during walk times, slowly moving to higher distances and level of distractions.
When your dog learns this skill, he will learn to lie down and stay in nearly all situations, and you can use this trick to have your dog entertain himself while laying down, with the help of a toy he’s found of is usually more easier, or to quickly defuse situation, including a whining situation.
Provide exercises for you dog
Golden retrievers are quite active, and as most behavior problems are linked with lack of exercise, it is a lot easier for your dog to behave if he had the opportunity to play and exercise himself, this is a great way to stop golden retriever whining not to mention fun and healthy for both. If you already provided moments where your dog exercises himself, but he still exhibits whining problems, then you might want to increase the amount of time he exercises or increase the frequency of these exercises.
You can also do another activities that would increase a dog’s exercise routine by visiting new places, playing tug of war, working on obedience skills or another form of training.
Teach your dog to be alone and appreciate it
Almost all of us have jobs and responsibilities to deal with, so because of this we aren’t able to tend to our dog every time, and even if we could, it wouldn’t be such a good idea, it would further enhance the dog’s dependency on you for things and moments he should be able to do and be alone, and when eventually you would need to leave him alone for some time, you would have some major whining coming up shortly.
Dogs like and need some time every day for themselves, a dog that is calm and quiet alone and still is able to entertain himself is generally a more balanced dog.
You can begin training to stop golden retriever whining for this same purpose, start by placing him on his crate for thirty minutes while you are home at least a couple times a week. To enhance the dogs ability to stay calm and respond better to this training sessions, you can give him his favorite toy for him to play with inside the crate. Then you can move up to longer times and increase the frequency of these crating sessions, eventually your dog will become more used to idea, and if you also decrease the amount of times he sees you from his crate, he will also begin not to care much if your around or not. At the end of every session, open his crate door and ask him out, however don’t make a big thing out of being outside and together again, the dog needs to understand this is nothing out of the ordinary.
These sessions are designed to teach your dog that there is no problem and it is normal to be alone sometimes, basically you’re teaching him to behave and enjoy himself on his own.
Toys are a good way to stop golden retriever whining, catch your dog’s attention and have him play for a while alone with a toy he likes, but you can’t be always buying new toys to keep your dog interested in them. Alternatively you can follow another path, why not storing some of the toys when they aren’t in use, and keep changing which toys are available for your dog to play with, this way they will seem new and interesting. This way you don’t need to buy new toys all the time, and when your dog is whining for attention, you can have him interested in one of these toys for a while, but remember to give him the toy when he’s quiet for a while, you don’t want to further encourage your dog’s whining of course.
Food dispensing toys
Dogs with lots of energy are more likely to bark, whine and generally annoy their owners to play with them, they may be bored and happen to have extra energy to spend. Food dispensing toys are a nice way to drain a dog’s energy, instead of feeding him from a bowl, make him work for every single piece of food by feeding him from food dispensing toys.
Many people say Thundershirts are pretty good to stop golden retriever whining, because of this we are including them here. Thundershirts pretty much are a vest that fits nicely around a dog to help him feel more secure, almost like having his owner hugging him all the time. It is used to help reduce anxiety and whining problems in general, but originally though to be used during fireworks and thunderstorms which is usually when dogs are more preoccupied and restless. Although it will not make anxiety and whining simple go away, it might give you an edge if your dog has serious whining issues.
Now with all these hints and suggestions on how to stop golden retriever whining, I believe you will be better prepared, and have a better understanding of this behavior and how to address it. As a finishing note, I would like to remind you that dogs are very much a lens of their owners emotional state, when you are tired and stressed, your dog will likely notice it and begin to imitate you, for this reason is why you are advised to be calm and patience with your dog.