Why is your Doberman whining
The Doberman Pinscher can be quite a vocal dog. This can be amusing but at times it can be very annoying. Especially when they are making continuous high-pitched whines and whimpers.
Vocalizing is a way that your dog is communicating and try to tell you something. You need to understand what they are trying to express in order to find a solution.
Possible translations can include:-
They are in pain
Your Doberman may be trying to let you know they are in pain. If your Doberman pinscher whines when eating, moving or going to the bathroom, seek medical attention immediately.
If they are whining when eating, it can be a sign of bloat.
Bloat is a digestive issue that causes a dog’s stomach to fill with gases blowing up like a balloon. Alternatively, they may develop a problem known as torsion also referred to as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV). This is where the top and bottom ends of the stomach twist. This can trap gases and cut off circulation.
Dobermans are a breed that can be prone to bloat like many of the deep-chested breeds. This is why it is important not to feed them too soon before or after exercise. To learn more about how to avoid this see here.
If they are whining while toileting it can be a UTI (urinary tract infection) or other bladder or bowel issue. Consult your vet.
If they are whining moving around they could have an injury you are not aware of. Have your vet do an examination.
Attention seeking behavior
Dobermans become very attached to their owners and family. They are often referred to as a velcro dog. This means they follow you everywhere and are stuck to your side. The whining is a way to get your attention and can become a bad habit fast. This behavior needs to be corrected. We will look at this further below.
When a dog is overexcited it is the result of the mind becoming over-aroused. Arousal of the mind doesn’t happen in one step. It goes up in steps. By catching the state of mind early you can calm your Doberman before they become over-aroused. The whining is usually accompanied by jumping up and down and running around. For tips on how to calm a Doberman see here.
Pent up energy and frustration
Dobermans are a very active and high energy breed. They require daily exercise of one to two hours. Failure to release this pent up energy can make them frustrated and bored. Boredom is one of the main causes of behavior problems in dogs. For a full guide to Doberman exercise see here.
Dobermans are also highly intelligent and require plenty of mental stimulation and enrichment. Mental exercise can tire a dog just as much as physical activity. For more on providing mental stimulation and enrichment for your Doberman see here.
Every Doberman is an individual. Some can be quite laid back and confident. Others can be high strung and suffer from anxiety. This could be a result of poor breeding practices, poor puppy socialization, training issues or stressful environments.
Many Dobermans also suffer from separation anxiety from being left home alone. For a guide to leaving a Doberman home alone see here.
How do I stop my Doberman whining
Once you know just what it is your Doberman is trying to communicate to you with their whining you can find a solution. If it is not a medical issue it is most likely to be attention-seeking behavior, lack of exercise, or overexcitement.
Depending upon the severity of the problem you may wish to consult with an experienced and qualified dog behaviorist. If the behavior hasn’t reached that point you can usually fix the problem with doing some training.
Techniques to fix whining behavior
There are a number of approaches you can take to teach your Doberman not to whine. Never yell or physically punish your Doberman. This is more likely to result in making them anxious, fearful, or even aggressive.
If you are wanting to fix whining in a Doberman puppy, crate training works well. When your Doberman puppy is in the crate they will learn to be quite. Never release them from the crate when they are making a noise. This may take some patience. They will quickly come to understand that when they are quiet they can come out.
Teach the quiet command
When your Doberman is vocalizing simply give a “quiet” in a calm manner. Don’t yell at them as this will have the opposite effect. Once they are quiet you can give them praise or a treat.
This can also be done in conjunction with a calm hold technique. A calm hold is a technique used to settle and calm a dog. Simply place your hand on the side of your dog’s shoulder just holding them still. Don’t make eye contact with them. You can hold your Doberman by the collar if you wish to hold them in place with your other hand on the shoulder
Ignore your Doberman
When your Doberman whines ignore them. This is done simply looking away and ending all interactions with your dog. You can even turn your body away from them and cross your arms. Once they are quiet you can give them praise or a pat in a calm manner.
This is referred to as a negative correction in dog training circles. Positive and negative in dog training terminology doesn’t mean good or bad. It means either adding something or removing something. By taking away your attention they learn that whining doesn’t get the result they wanted.
Redirect the behavior
This is where you refocus your dog’s attention to an acceptable outlet. This is not giving them what they want such as attention. This will likely worsen the behavior. It is redirecting their attention to something else. This can be a toy or scattering some kibble on the ground. You can then walk away and leave them to it.
As stated above, positive in dog training means to add something such as a reward. Once your Doberman is quiet and has stopped whining you can reward them with either praise, a treat, or pat. This reinforces the wanted behavior – not whining. For more on how to reward a dog see here.
Summary – Stopping Doberman whining
Your Doberman may be whining for a number of reasons. These include they are in pain, are attention-seeking, pent up energy or overexcitement. Once you are able to ascertain the reason for the whining you can decide on the best solution.
Obviously, if they are whining because of pain, consult your vet immediately. If it is due to pent up energy increase the amount of daily exercise they get.
If the whining is due to attention-seeking or overexcitement try the techniques above or consult a dog trainer or behaviorist.
Doberman related posts