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Guest Dewbomination

Excessive Whining For No Reason

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Guest Dewbomination

Hi everybody! This is my first post, though I've been lurking the forums anonymously for a while now. This place has been such a great resource already - I love the community here! I'm hoping someone has had a similar experience with their greyhound and might be able to give me a little bit of insight to my hound's weird behavior.

 

We adopted 3.5 year old Dewey in March - he's a huge goofball and pretty outgoing for a greyhound. He showed some pretty normal symptoms of anxiety for the first few months - he was scared of leaving the apartment at first, scared of cars and loud noises, scared to cross the street, and sometimes would freeze up in the middle of a walk and refuse to move.

 

Through gentle but persistent encouragement we've gotten over almost all of these issues - he loves going outside now, doesn't mind cars, loves long walks, etc. Very occasionally now he will freeze on a walk if he is only with one of his two owners (me and my partner) - he prefers to be in a group. However, it doesn't feel like a problem.

 

What has become a problem: over the course of the summer he started whining more and more - in the last month particularly it has ramped up a lot. He whines frequently throughout the day now, and it doesn't seem to be linked to a particular cause - he eats plenty, gets healthy treats and snacks, has fresh water always available to him, and it doesn't seem to be linked to having to pee or poop. We took him to the vet to make sure he's not secretly in pain, but he has a clean bill of health and the vet didn't seem to have a clue why this would be happening. We're hesitant to put him on anxiety meds because it doesn't even seem like he's particularly anxious - just loud!

 

He whines any time either of us leaves the apartment or changes rooms. He whines while sniffing around the house. He whines loudly WHILE he's playing with and squeaking his favorite duck toy. He often doesn't even seem to be in distress - just whines for the sake of whining. We try not to acknowledge the noise because we don't want to reinforce the behavior, but often it gets so loud and irritating that we have to shush him. And the worst part is that it seems to be increasing in both volume and frequency of occurrence.

 

Does anybody have experience with this strange random whining behavior, or barring that, an idea on how to address it? It's getting worse - what was once a mildly annoying quirk is now a majorly off-putting and frustrating behavior, and we have no idea how to fix it.

 

Thanks for your time and help!!

 

 

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Oh dear.

 

Well, hopefully others who have managed to "fix" this issue (it's not a problem, unless it annoys you, which apparently it does!).

 

All I can tell you is that some dogs are just chatty. Sounds like you have a boy who loves to express himself! I also find it annoying, but some people find it cute, and others manage to just accept it as part of the dog they have! I'm not sure there are any easy solutions, but I'm sure others will chime in!


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Susan,  Marcai's Mister Bigglesworth (AKA Da Evil Won), and Sleekat's Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming and George (Driven by Chile) and Buck (Vogo Player)

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Dogs whine for a lot of different reasons. Each reason may need a different kind of addressing - or none at all. Some greyhounds, and dogs in general, are just more vocal than others. You may just have one who likes to communicate with you in one of the only ways he has.

 

You may find it useful to keep a "whine diary" for a few days to see exactly what he's doing when he whines, at what times of day, during what circumstances. He may be having some separation anxiety, which can be addressed by alone training. Or more general anxiety which might mean some meds or OTC help. He might not like or feel anxious about a certain sound on the TV or radio, or other noise around the house/apartment requiring some desensitization or a white noise machine.

 

Ignoring his whining is only half of the training you need to do. You also need to be rewarding the behavior you do want - when he's quiet. Otherwise he's just getting the punishment and not the reinforcement.

 

As a stop gap, you can try getting some DAP diffusers and a collar for him to wear to see if tht helps at all. It would be the first line of defense for general anxiety anyway, so it's a logical place to begin. You can also look into getting a consult from a certified animal behaviorist who may be able to give you some further stategies to help.


Chris - Mom to: Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Lilly, and Felicity ( DeLand )

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), and Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby),

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Guest goofydog2

Morrie is also a communicator. He starts with whining and if that doesn't produce the desired result he'll resort to his Big Boy Outdoor Voice!

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Guest Dewbomination

Thanks for the replies! I guess maybe he is just vocal. Although the odd thing is that aside from the whining he's otherwise quiet - I have heard him bark maybe five times in the 6 months we've had him.

 

We have tried the "whine diary" but it really does seem to be random and unlinked to any physical condition. I also don't think it's separation anxiety because he often does it while we're in the room with him, and he's not displaying any of his other typical signs of anxiety. The whining habit started significantly after he got over the normal-intensity anxiety he had for the first few months.

 

I will try to be more rewarding when he is being quiet. We have also thought about getting him a girlfriend (not just because of the whining, we do eventually want another dog!) but I'm hesitant at this point because I don't want a new dog to pick up his whining habit - one whiner is frustrating enough.

 

At this point we're hoping that it's a phase he'll grow out of.

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Thanks for the replies! I guess maybe he is just vocal. Although the odd thing is that aside from the whining he's otherwise quiet - I have heard him bark maybe five times in the 6 months we've had him.

 

We have tried the "whine diary" but it really does seem to be random and unlinked to any physical condition. I also don't think it's separation anxiety because he often does it while we're in the room with him, and he's not displaying any of his other typical signs of anxiety. The whining habit started significantly after he got over the normal-intensity anxiety he had for the first few months.

 

I will try to be more rewarding when he is being quiet. We have also thought about getting him a girlfriend (not just because of the whining, we do eventually want another dog!) but I'm hesitant at this point because I don't want a new dog to pick up his whining habit - one whiner is frustrating enough.

 

At this point we're hoping that it's a phase he'll grow out of.

 

Sounds a lot like our guy. He's a big time whiner, but he almost never barks. We do our best to just ignore him when he whines, and it goes in phases. Some months, it's minimal, other months, he's always reminding us that he's there, and oh, yes, that he's starving and wasting away (he's not). He'll probably always be a communicator, but he'll likely start to whine less, and you'll also notice it less. Marvin has a 'girlfriend' who doesn't whine, but she sure tried it out when our friends brought her over to our place with them for a game night after hearing Marvin. She hasn't done it since, though, and seemed to pick up right away that whining didn't actually result in getting anything (treats, attention, etc.). Try to tough it out with him, and he'll figure it out - you'll learn that there's a marked difference in whining that means you need to address something ("I really really need to go out now" or "something is really hurting me").

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