You may have noticed that your German shepherd friend likes to whine so much lately, and you are wondering what the reason might be. You are not alone, as most German shepherd owners usually find their dogs whining uncontrollably sometimes.
This is worrying as it usually indicates that something is wrong with your dog, but you cannot tell outright.
This article will explore the reasons German shepherds whine so much, what it may indicate, and what you can do about it. Let’s get into it.
Is It Natural For German Shepherds To Whine?
German shepherds are naturally very vocal, and that includes whining. This is due to their background of being herd dogs.
German shepherds were originally bred to work and manage herds. This means they usually use their loud vocal cords as part of their controlling mechanisms.
Their keen sense of smell meant they will warn their owners by whining or barking when a farm animal is trying to leave the herd or a stranger is trying to get into the shed.
Thus, whining is naturally part of your German shepherd friend, and there are different reasons for this.
Reasons For German Shepherd Whining
Here are some reasons your German shepherd whines so much.
- It is Alerting You
One of the most common reasons your German shepherd friend will whine is when they perceive a threat. For instance, your dog will whine if it sees someone or another animal approaching the house.
It may even whine when they are just passing in front of your house. Note that the natural herding instincts of your shepherd friend mean what it sees as a threat is different from what you see.
It could be your friend coming to visit you, but your dog will see him as a threat. This is why it is important to train your dog on these issues.
- It May be Injured
An injured German Shepherd may whine incessantly until you check it out. This is usually the case if your dog only started whining recently. It may be because it has recently been injured or is ill from eating something bad. You will have to take your dog to the vet if you notice this sudden whining.
- It is Scared
Phenomena such as thunder strikes, sirens, lightning or any loud noise can cause your dog to whine out of fear. Dogs easily feel anxious and scared when they hear such loud noises.
- It is Bored and Wants Attention
German shepherds are meant to be active dogs and as such, they are easily bored if they don’t get active. It is recommended that you give your dog at least an hour of exercise a day. Your dog may whine so much if you ignore it and do not exercise it enough.
Once you notice your dog whining, and you know notice it may be because you have not taken it out for many exercises, you should do so.
- It is Stressed
Dogs get stressed too. If your dog started whining only recently, it may be because it is under stress. Situations that can cause your dog to be stressed include, moving to a new home, and being mistreated by you or another person or a family member leaving the house. These scenarios can put your dog under stress and result in whining.
- It wants something
German shepherds may also whine to register their need for something such as food or wants to go for a walk. If you notice your dog whining and also giving you a soft look with those lovely eyes, it most certainly wants something. You can give it food or take it for a short walk to see if it will stop.
- It is Excited
If you are playing with your dog, you have just come home from work, or it knows that it is about to get food or go for a walk, it can whine to register its excitement.
- It Wants to Apologize
If it has done something that it knows will make you unhappy, then it can cause it to whine, as that is one of the ways that dogs will submit and say that they’re sorry.
How To Get Your German Shepherd To Stop Whining So Much
Incessant whining can be disturbing for you. It is important to get your dog to control it. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Exercise Your Dog
As we have already noted, German shepherds are very active dogs that don’t like to be dormant else they will feel bored and start to whine. You should endeavour to give your dog an hour or two of exercise to get it distracted, so it does not whine so much. You can walk it, play fetch, swim with it etc. to get it to be active.
- Give it Treats
One way of ensuring positive reinforcement is to reward your dog when it does not whine at a time it normally would. You should be careful not to give it treats when it whines as a way of trying to get it to stop.
If you always give your dog treats when it whines, it will associate whining with treats and perceive it to be a good thing to do. Thus, you should only give your dog treats when it stops whining and stop when it starts.
This way, your dog will know that whining gets it nothing, while it will get treats for not whining. This is the best way to ensure positive reinforcement.
- Give Your Shepherd Friend Attention
Your dog being bored gives it a reason to whine. German shepherds always want to be active and feel part of you and the family. It is thus important to cuddle your dog sometimes and also make it active.
Some ways you can keep your dog active include playing tug of war with it, playing fetch, training it or taking it to doggy daycare while you are away.
- Check to See That It Is Not Injured
Once you notice that your dog has suddenly started whining, check out his body to see if there are visible signs of injury or notice how it walks to see if it limps. Sometimes, there would be no physical proof of illness, but you may notice how down and inactive your dog is. It might be a health risk, not naked to the eyes. In any case, you should take your dog to the vet for a checkup.
- Distract Your Dog with Toys and Games
If you know that at the moment, you would be unable to give your dog the attention it is seeking by whining, you can give it some toys to play with and keep it focused instead of whining. You can also give it puzzle games to play.
This does not only distract your dog; it also helps to sharpen its mental abilities. Since German Shepherds are intelligent dogs, you may want to get your dog a tough puzzle to keep it going and excite it.
Some chews are designed to calm dogs. You can give your dog one of these when you notice whining.
- Give Your Dog a Thunder Shirt
To reassure your German shepherd, wrap a shirt firmly around them. This is known as a thunder shirt. Although it might sound like they won’t enjoy it, dogs feel safer when they are firmly wrapped in something. When there are fireworks, thunderstorms or any such loud noises, you can use them to relax your dog.
- A Calming Plugin Works Too
You might also give a relaxing plugin like Adaptil a shot. They function by exuding a mother breastfeeding’s pheromones. Your dog will be brought back to its most secure state by this.
Naturally, they are less inclined to whine if they feel safer. Additionally, you are not limited to purchasing a plug-in. A collar or spray are also options.
Whining is completely normal and natural for German Shepherds, so you do not need to fret. Yet, it can be disturbing if it whines more often than usual.
When you notice this, we hope that because of this article, you are now able to understand what it may mean and what you can do to alleviate such behaviour.
Training your dog is the first important step in reducing or controlling whining in your dog. Not only whining-specific training but general obedience training. This way, your dog will listen to you, and also you are also assured of a well-behaved dog.
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