Instruct guests to also ignore your dog’s crying and whining
This is the tricky part at our house. When certain people would visit (like “Uncle” Peter!), my dog Ace got very excited and wiggled and squirmed and most definitely whined for attention.
If his favorite people weren’t paying attention to him, he would even howl!
It was very cute when Ace howled, and he always got showered with affection for “singing.”
However, if the goal is to teach the dog not to whine for attention, we need to be consistent even when people visit.
So what’s the solution?
Ignore the dog’s whining even when friends and family are over.
Before the guests arrive, inform them that your are trying to teach your dog to stop whining. Ask them to please ignore your dog for the first 10 minutes or so until he is calm and quiet. Then they can pet him all they want!
Other Problems That Might Cause Whining
Separation Anxiety If your dog only whines just before you leave or during your absence, she may have separation anxiety. If this is the case, your dog will usually display at least one other symptom of the disorder prior to your departure or when left alone, such as pacing, panting, excessive drooling, destruction (especially around doors and windows), urinating or defecating indoors, depression or other signs of distress. For more information about this problem, please see our article, Separation Anxiety.
Injury or Medical Condition Dogs often whine in response to pain or a painful condition. If you notice that your dog vocalizes frequently or has suddenly started to vocalize, it’s important to take her to the vet to rule out medical causes.
Keep toys put away when not in use
To keep your dog interested in his toys, keep them put away when they aren’t in use. Rotate which toys are available, so they will seem new and interesting to your dog.
When you want to stop a dog from crying, you can get him interested in a toy so he’ll leave you alone.
Of course, you don’t want to reward your dog with the toy for whining. Instead, wait until he’s quiet for at least a few seconds. Then ask him to sit or lie down and give him the toy as a reward.
Now … here are two more issues I want to address quickly. A dog’s crying when you’re not home and a puppy’s crying at night.