Want to put an end to your dog whining for attention? Try this trainer’s chilled out solution

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Does your dog whine for attention every time you take your focus off them, even if just for a moment? Whining is a problem encountered by a lot of pet parents, but thankfully, there is a solution.

Anxiety in dogs is a common issue that can trigger whining and trying to figure out how to reduce separation anxiety in dogs isn't easy. However, with time, patience, and consistency it can be done.

According to expert trainer Adam Spivey, founder of Southend Dog Training, whining is a learned behavior that often brings positive results.

"If your dog whines for attention and you give it to them at that moment, they learn to keep doing this," he explains. "It will often get worse before it gets better because they have been taught (unintentionally) whining gets them what they want."

To help you put a stop to whining, Spivey has shared a helpful video to Instagram which features him in a real-life training situation with a pup that won't stop whining. 

In the clip, Spivey can be seen smiling when he accidentally glances at his clients dog and the dog starts to whine. "It's because he's just got some attention, that's where his whine comes from," he says with a laugh.

Spivey says that in these sorts of circumstances where your dog won't stop whining, what you want to do is ignore them.

"Just carry on talking, act as if he's not there, don't give him the attention that he's looking for, stay nice and chilled out and he will stop."

When Spivey and his clients do that in the clip, it's not long before the attention-seeking pooch in question falls silent. 

"He's silent because nobody is giving him eye contact," Spivey explains. "That whine is because he's demanding attention. He's not in pain, he's not sick, he's doing it because that whine gets him what he wants."

It's important if your dog is whining that you don't make eye contact with them and carry on doing what you're doing — this will teach them that whining is pointless.

"Ignore the whining, wait for calmness then fuss the dog," Spivey reiterates. "Recondition your dog that calmness and quiet gets them everything."

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.