If your dog has been wagging its tail and whining, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog wag its tail and whine? Likely reasons why your dog wags its tail and whines are that it wants something from you, it is excited, it is feeling threatened or that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded.

There are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my dog wag its tail and whine?

Below are likely causes and what would make each of them more likely.

Your dog wants something from you

A likely reason why your dog wags its tail and whines is that your dog wants something from you. This would be more likely if your dog only does it before getting things such as food, exercise or treats.

Your dog is excited

Another possible cause is that your dog is very excited and whining as a way of showing that excitement. This would be more likely if it shows other signs of being excited such as wagging its tail a lot or jumping up and licking you. It would also be more likely if it does it more at a time when it is likely to be excited such as before getting walked.

Your dog it feeling threatened

It could also be the case that your dog is feeling threatened or frightened. This would be more likely if your dog hides, it does not wag its tail heavily and if it does it at a time when it is more likely to be fearful such as when there are loud noises inside or when there is thunder and lightning.

Encouraging the behavior

It might also be the case that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded. If you often give it things such as extra attention or treats, when it whines, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Injury

It could also be the case that your dog has been doing it due to having an injury. This would be more likely if your dog has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of having an injury such as limping or moving unusually. If it does seem like injury could be the cause, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your dog has always wagged its tail and whined

If your dog has only started doing it recently, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it. It could be due to a change in its environment, a change in how you have been interacting with it or a change in its daily schedule such as feeding it at a different time.

The timing of when your dog wags its tail and whines

If your dog tends to wag its tail and cry at a certain time, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it does it more before getting exercise, it could be the case that it is excited about getting exercise or that it is actually telling you that it does not want to do it, possibly due to an injury, which would be more likely if it is hesitant to get exercise.

The body language your dog shows

It would also help to consider the body language your dog shows. If it does things such as make itself appear smaller, not wag its tail heavily, and try to hide, it would be more likely that it does it due to injury or feeling fearful or threatened.

What to do about my dog wagging its tail and whining?

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Avoid encouraging it

As mentioned above, your dog might have learned that the behavior is rewarded. Instead, it would help to avoid giving it extra attention when it starts whining and to reward it when it does not.

Get help

If you are not sure why your dog has been doing it or it seems to be doing it due to injury, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out medical causes.

If it has been behaving very unusually, another option would be to get help from a dog behaviorist who should be able to show you why your dog has been doing it and what you can do about it.

Avoid intimidating it

It might also be the case that it has been doing it due to feeling threatened. It would also help to limit reasons why it might feel threatened and to be calm around it.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.