Crying and Whining

Puppies cry, whimper, and whine for a variety of reasons. Whimpering is usually a sign of submission. A whine may be a call for help, an invitation to play, or a request for attention. Whining may also be a sign of fear. Before you can work with a puppy to reduce his whining, you must figure out why he is making these noises.

Obviously, if the cry or whine is a call for help, you will help your puppy. If the crying and whining is an invitation to play or a request for attention, give him a command, such as “Sit!” and reward this behavior. Then go play with your puppy. If you immediately play with your puppy when he requests a play session, you will be reinforcing that a whine is a great way for your puppy to get you to drop everything and play. You don't want to do this!

If your puppy is fearful of something, such as thunder, fireworks, or the washing machine, you will need to work to desensitize your puppy to the frightening sound. If you do nothing (no coddling, no petting to try to comfort), most puppies over time will become used to the sound once they discover nothing bad happens to them. Remember, coddling a frightened puppy sends the wrong message and reinforces the fearful response. When you catch your puppy not displaying fear of these sounds, reward him with a treat to reinforce these more relaxed behaviors.

For sounds that are infrequent, such as thunderstorms or fire-crackers, some behaviorists suggest playing a tape of these sounds at low levels. Eventually, the pup becomes accustomed to them, and you can reward him when he shows relaxed behaviors. The volume of the recording can be increased over time until he shows no signs of fear at normal levels.

In addition to dealing with behavior problems in your dachshund, consider giving her more exercise and interaction through training. Most b-a-d habits are developed in puppies and dogs who are really b-o-r-e-d.

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