You were all excited to bring your new puppy home this morning – it was a grand day of adventures as you introduced your newest family member to the rest of your home and your family. Everyone had a great time and the puppy couldn’t have been more adorable!
Now, however, it’s 2 am and you’re still listening to the little whimpers coming from your puppy. He just keeps crying no matter what you do!
I’ve been there – and I know how it feels. You think you’ve tried everything and it just doesn’t stop. What could your puppy possibly be whining for? He’s continuing on day and night – after those first few hours, it was as though he went into panic mode!
The truth is, whining, crying, whimpering and howling is a natural puppy behavior. You see, your puppy is a natural born pack animal – he is crying out for his mother and litter mates to come and find him.
Of course, we know they have no chance of hearing him – but your puppy doesn’t know that. At first, it will be difficult but this type of whining should stop within the first couple nights of being home.
If your pup continues to whine then he may have caught on that you pay attention to him when he cries. This is a very bad behavioral problem that can quickly and easily develop in young puppies so it is essential that you do your best to prevent this problem from developing.
Here are five ways you can go about teaching your pup to stop whining (unless he really needs something of course).
A Ticking Clock or Soft Radio Overnight May Help
This trick is obviously if you are having trouble with your puppy crying all night long. Some pups are not yet comfortable sleeping all alone and that can cause them to whimper and cry all night long. Yes, it’s normal, but you want to stop it as soon as possible before it becomes a habit.
One way to help soothe your puppy when sleeping alone is to have a soft ticking clock wrapped up in a cloth in their bed. It is supposed to replicate the sound of another dog’s heartbeat, comforting your puppy as though he were back with his litter.
A radio on a low volume playing soft music may be helpful as well. I’m not exactly sure why it works, but it’s probably similar to why some people prefer to fall asleep with the TV or radio on.
Leave a Piece of Your Clothing in the Pups Bed
Again, this trick is more for overnight than any other time of day.
However, overnight or any time your puppy is left alone is when he is most likely to start crying.
A great way to help you establish a relationship with your puppy as their pack leader it is suggested to have the puppy sleep either in your room or with an article of your clothing. This allows the puppy to learn your scent better and become comforted by it.
Never allow your puppy to sleep in your bed, even for one night. That is unless that is where you want him to sleep for the next 12+ years of his life. If you let your puppy sleep in your room he should have a bed or otherwise soft area (towels, old sweaters, etc.) that is all his own.
If you are crate training then consider putting the crate in your room for the first couple of nights. If you would prefer not to do that, making sure you have the article of clothing with your scent on it is in the crate is essential!
*You will probably have to take your puppy out at least once overnight! They are little, therefore have little bladders and cannot hold it all night long. So if your puppy has been quiet for the last few hours and suddenly started crying he may need to go out!
Practice Leaving the Room
This is an approach you can take day or night. All you need to do is simply choose a room (a puppy-proofed room!) and go in with your puppy. Pet him for a few minutes to get him comfortable and then leave the room.
If your puppy starts whining wait to see if it stops after a minute or two. If it stops then go inside and praise your puppy! You want him to realize that when he’s quiet you will be affectionate.
Plus the more times you do this he is likely to realize you are not abandoning him and that you will come back eventually. Do this repeatedly, staying gone for longer and longer each time. It is very important that you only ever enter the room when your puppy is quiet!
On the other hand, if your puppy never stops crying after you close the door for the first time, you should open the door and give your dog a strong, firm, “No” or “Quiet” or “Hush”! Then leave the room again.
If the puppy stays quiet after that then you should go and praise him for a job well done! If even after that your puppy continues to cry then you should open the door and let your puppy out of the room.
Take him outside to see if he has to potty – then resume this practice at a later time. This method may take a lot of patience but in the end, it is well worth the wait.
Add More Playtime and Longer Walks to the Daily Routine
Another possible reason that your puppy is whining is that he just has too much energy and he wants to play! All that energy has to come out eventually and in some cases, it may manifest itself as a crying pup.
If your puppy is continuously whining then consider adding extra-long walks into each and every day. If possible, add an hour or two of straight play time throughout the day – preferably closer to the end of the day – to tire your pup out.
After a long day of play and a nice long walk doesn’t keep your puppy from crying then at least you’ve ruled out pent-up energy. At this point, it’s fair to say your pup is whimpering only to get your attention – and this is a behavior you cannot let continue.
The Last Resort is the Silent Treatment
If all else fails and you are sure that your pup is whining only for attention, not to go out or because he has too much energy, then the best thing you can do is play the silent treatment. Tough love is difficult, but it pays off in the end.
When it comes down to this you need to simply not acknowledge your pup at all when he is crying. Do not make eye contact, don’t say anything – even growling back at them (yelling) is a response and they will remember that.
As soon as your pup has been quiet for a few minutes reward him. This will teach him that being quiet gets him treats or petted and he will abandon the crying for attention technique. It may take a little longer in more stubborn breeds – but it will work 100%.
You should know that all puppies, like babies, are going to cry from time to time – so make sure you’re not punishing your puppy unnecessarily. If you suspect your puppy is injured or sick and that may be the cause of the whimpering then contact a vet immediately!
Among all the things you can do to get your puppy to stop whining, these are the five most effective, widely known, positive training techniques.