How to Stop Puppies from Whining & Biting

Puppies naturally whine and nip in order to communicate.

Puppies naturally whine and nip in order to communicate.

Your pup will learn a lot of his manners from his mother and his litter mates, but it's the job of a dog owner to continue this education once he is in the domestic environment. Pups often whine and bite, but with firm guidance and consistency you can correct this.

Whining

Identify the cause of the whining by observing your pup and noting down the triggers. For example, if he whines when put in a room by himself, the probable cause is separation anxiety. If he whines only when you are ignoring him, attention-seeking is a likely behavior.

Expose your pup to the trigger, for example by ignoring or isolating him. If addressing attention-seeking whining, say “Quiet” in a calm, passive voice intermittently as he whines, but otherwise ignore his behavior. If addressing separation anxiety, ignore the pup entirely.

Remove the trigger when the whining stops. As you give attention to the pup or take him out of isolation, issue verbal praise and a food treat. This teaches the dog that whining elicits no positive outcome, while calm, quiet behavior elicits a positive outcome.

Repeat this process every day, each time increasing the length of time you expose the dog to the trigger that causes whining. An attention seeker will quickly learn that attention is more forthcoming when he doesn’t whine and will learn not do so. A dog with separation anxiety will learn that each period of isolation ends more quickly without whining.

Biting

Identify the cause of the biting, or nipping. This may happen due to excitement during play or as a sign of affection.

Take a toy in your hand and re-create the environment in which your pup is likely to bite. For example, play with him.

Position the toy between you and the dog when he appears to want to nip. Direct his attention to the toy.

Issue verbal praise and more fuss if he chews or bites the toy. End the interaction if he nips you. Repeat this process for 10 minutes each day. Over time he’ll learn that nipping people has a negative outcome while directing his energy to an appropriate outlet has a positive outcome.

Items you will need

  • Food treats
  • Toys

Tip

  • Use toys to distract whiny pups as you're training them. Give your dog a toy while you're ignoring or isolating him. The distraction may cause him to stop whining sooner.
 

About the Author

Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.

Photo Credits

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