Photo by Kevin Lowery | www.kevinlowery.com

Before bringing home a new dog or puppy, it is important to know what behaviors to expect from your new addition. If you have decided to get a puppy, one particularly challenging behavior that you should expect to face is whining or crying.

It is important that puppies stay with their mothers for at least the first eight to ten weeks of life. If someone is trying to sell you a puppy any younger than that, they are not likely to be a responsible breeder and you will be faced with raising a puppy that did not receive critical teaching and information from its mother and siblings.

Even if you get a puppy at the ideal 8-10 weeks of age, you are still likely to face at least a little whining or crying. The adjustment of leaving their mother and siblings can often cause puppies to cry when they want or need something, or when they are left alone.

How to Stop Puppy Whining and Crying

  • Ignore the whining, while still giving your pup confidence that you are there and actively reward quiet moments with your attention. Do not reward your puppy with attention or play until she is quiet for at least several seconds.
  • Do not expect your puppy to take to a crate right away. Crate training must be taught slowly, using positive reinforcement to make the crate a fun and safe place for him.
  • A tired puppy is a quiet puppy. Short intervals of exercise and basic training can significantly help reduce whining and crying.
  • Keep in mind that young puppies are not able to go long hours without toileting. Getting your puppy on a regular routine will get you on the right road to potty training and may help eliminate whining.
  • Never use punishment, intimidation, or pain to stop your puppy’s whining or crying. Remember that this is an instinctive response to a need (whether it be hunger, thirst, desire for attention, etc) and you have to teach your puppy what you do and do not want.
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