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Home > Dogs > Why Does My Australian Shepherd Whine So Much? 6 Likely Reasons

Why Does My Australian Shepherd Whine So Much? 6 Likely Reasons

sick australian shepherd dog lying on grass

Herding dogs may nip at your heels and others may be excessive barkers. Some of these breed-specific behaviors or traits can be concerning or annoying. Australian Shepherds, for instance, can be excessive whiners. There are circumstances when it is a learned behavior and others that may indicate a health issue. If you are lucky enough to own one, here are some reasons your Australian Shepherd may be whining at you.

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The Top 6 Reasons Your Australian Shepherd Might be Whining

1. Your Aussie Needs Something

If your dog needs water, food, or to go outside, it may whine to let you know it needs something. They may also whine because they need your help. Is the cat invading your dog’s space? Did the dog lose his treat ball under the bed? Identifying the issue and fixing it should stop the dog from whining.

If your dog is getting treats and extra food from other members of the family, it may encourage the dog to whine to get food. If your dog is whining right after it was fed, this may be a behavioral problem and will need to be corrected. If you respond to the whining by giving the dog more food, you are making the problem worse.

However, if your Australian Shepherd is whining to go out after just getting home from a walk, there may be an underlying health problem. The dog may be experiencing a digestive or bladder issue. If you notice the canine needs to go out right after it comes in, seek the advice of your veterinarian to rule out any health conditions that may be causing the whining behavior.

sick australian shepherd dog
Image Credit: Irini Adler, Pixabay

2. Your Australian Shepherd May Be Whining for Attention

You may have unintentionally taught your dog the annoying habit of whining. If when the dog whined, and you responded, the dog learned to whine to get attention.

If your dog is feeling ignored, it may whine to get someone to pay attention to it. Dogs, like kids, get bored and will whine to get something to stimulate them. They are looking for someone to give them attention and play with them.

Australian Shepherds should have mental stimulation and exercise daily. When dogs get bored, they behave in ways that are annoying, like whining. A bored dog can also become a destructive dog and start to chew on furniture and dig up the yard and flowerbeds.

3. The Dog Is Excited

If your Australian Shepherd whines when you come home, they are whining because they are excited to see you. They may exhibit this whining and crying behavior while playing or when they are excited to get a treat.

Taking your pup for long walks and playing ball may help to tone down the excitement and reduce the whining.

Try giving your dog a lot of attention during calm, quiet moments. This may help to avoid the dog getting over-excited and whining for attention later.

4. Your Dog Is Stressed or Scared

When a dog is anxious or scared, they may whine to let you know they are uncomfortable. Other behaviors that it might exhibit when it is whining are panting, trembling, and pacing. If your dog is whining and acting nervous, it could be because something in the environment is different. Do you have a strange visitor in the home or a family member that is away and missing?

Dogs can sometimes suffer from Does CBD Help Dogs with Separation Anxiety? What You Need To Know!separation anxiety. Do you notice your dog whining when it sees you getting ready to leave the house? Separation anxiety in dogs can lead to destructive behaviors when you are not home. If your Aussie is exhibiting signs of separation anxiety, you may want to talk to your vet about calming treats or medications or other techniques to help control the anxiety.

australian-shepherd dog_Thomas G._Pixabay
Image Credit: Thomas G., Pixabay

5. Your Dog May Be in Pain

If your dog is whining when climbing the stairs or jumping on the couch, it may be an indication that it is in some sort of physical pain. Like humans, dogs can get arthritis and experience joint pain and swelling.

If your dog is whining for no apparent reason, (it is not anxious and it has everything it needs), you may want to discuss the whining with your vet.

6. The Dog Is Apologizing

If you yell at your dog for chewing on the remote or nipping at your heels, they may whine to say they are sorry to their master.

Like wolves, dogs feel ignored by their master after engaging in bad behavior. If they whine after you scold them, let them know it’s okay and walk away. The dog will get the message that the apology is accepted and they are welcome back into the pack.


How to Stop Your Aussie from Whining

Australian Shepherds whine and cry for a multitude of reasons. Once you have had the dog to the vet and it has a clean bill of health, here are three things to try to put an end to the whining.

Man Carrying a Australian Shepherd Dog Beside a Woman
Image By: Cottonbro, Pexels

Teach the Dog How to Stay Quiet

Once you have determined that the whining is a behavioral issue, you may be able to reduce the whining. Aussies are vocal, so the chances of putting an end to the whining is slim. An Aussie will still whine when anxious or excited. You may be able to control the attention-seeking whine, however.

When your pup begins to whine and you acknowledge the dog, you are rewarding the behavior. The dog whines and gets your attention. If the dog whines and you shush them or you pet them, they are getting your attention, which is what they want.

To discourage the behavior, turn your back on the dog and cross your arms on your chest. Do not turn back until the dog is quiet. You can also walk away from the dog if that works better for you.

When the dog begins to whine and realizes that you are not responding to it, it will stop. Once it can stop whining for a few minutes, you can give it love and attention. A treat will further validate the quiet.

Repetition is key. After repeating the steps consistently, the dog will get the message and stop whining. Remember to be patient and make the training session a positive experience for you and your pet.

Schedule Play Time

A tired pup is a quiet pup. Regularly scheduled play time will help to tire the pup out and sleep. If the dog is sleeping, it is not whining. Scheduling play time along with ignoring the attention-seeking behavior should eliminate the whining for attention or to play.


In Conclusion

Whining is a common trait of Australian Shepherds. You love your dog, but the whining can become annoying quite quickly. While most times the whining is attention-seeking behavior, there are times when it can alert the owner to pain or injury with their pet. You should identify the cause of the whining so you can schedule a visit to the vet or begin the proper training so you and your pet can live in a quiet and peaceful home.

Featured Image Credit: EvitaS, Pixabay

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