If your Golden Retriever has been whining a lot this post will show you a number of reasons why it might have been doing it and what you can do to get it to do it less.
So, why does my Golden Retriever whine so much? Possible reasons are that it is in pain, bored, hungry, looking for attention, stressed, frightened, excited or you might have rewarded the behavior without realizing it.
There are actually a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it and it could be due to multiple different reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.
Why your Golden Retriever whines a lot
Each of the different reasons why your Golden Retriever whines will likely come with some clues.
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.
It is ill or injured
The reason why it has been whining could be that it has an illness or injury. This would be more likely to be the reason if it has started whining a lot suddenly and if it has shown other signs of having an illness or injury such as being fatigued or limping. If it seems like illness or injury might be the cause it would help to take it to a vet.
Golden Retrievers are meant to get quite a lot of exercise on a daily basis. If your Golden Retriever has not been getting much exercise it might be causing it to become agitated and to whine more. Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise daily. If your Golden Retriever is not getting that much and it is healthy, it would help to make sure that it does.
It wants attention
The cause of the whining could be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention or if you normally give it more attention when it whines.
Instead of rewarding it with more attention when it whines, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, training it and exercising it.
It wants something
It could be the case that your Golden Retriever whines because it wants something else from you. Things that it might want could include food, water, to be let outside or a walk. It would be more likely that it does it because it wants something if it tends to whine more at a certain time such as when you would normally feed it.
It could be the case that something has been causing it to be stressed such as someone being mean to it, another pet dying or something causing it to not be getting enough sleep. It would help to consider what could be causing it to be stressed and to see if you can eliminate the source of the stress.
It could also be the case that something is causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it does it more at a certain time such as when there are noises outside or on nights when it is windy.
Sometimes, dogs will whine slightly when they are excited and it might be why your Golden Retriever does it as well. This would be more likely to be the reason if it tends to whine in situations such as when you come home or when you are about to take it out for a walk.
You have been reinforcing it
The cause could be that you have been encouraging it to whine by giving it things that it wants to get it to stop. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it whines then it might be doing it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it does it but to make sure that there is nothing else that might be the cause.
How to get your Golden Retriever to whine less
Below are some options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to stop doing it.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, Golden Retrievers should get exercise on a daily basis. If your Golden Retriever has not been getting much exercise it would help to make sure that it does by walking it yourself or by getting a dog walker to do it for you.
Reward it for not whining
It would also help to make use of positive reinforcement training which is where you reward it for showing signs of behaving the way you want it to and avoid rewarding it when it does not.
If you reward your Golden Retriever when it does not whine but it normally would and avoid rewarding it when it does whine, it should encourage it to whine less.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, it would help to give it things to be distracted with such as bones, toys or puzzles. By doing so, you should be able to reduce the amount of attention that it tries to get from you.
Make sure that it is not ill or injured
If you cannot figure out why your Golden Retriever has been whining, it has been doing it excessively or you cannot get it to stop, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your Golden Retriever and to rule out the possibility of illness or injury being the cause.
Things to consider
When the whining started
When trying to figure out why your Golden Retriever has been doing it, considering what else happened when it started would likely be helpful. If it did not always do it then it might be the case that there was an event that occurred that caused it to start.
If it did start doing it suddenly, it could be because it became ill or injured, it learned that it gets rewards when it does it or there might have been a sudden change in its daily routine leaving it confused at times where it would normally get something. It would help to consider what else changed when it first started doing it.
When and where it whines
It would also help to consider the timing and location of your Golden Retriever’s whining since it might be the case that it has something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to whine when you would normally feed it then it might be the case that it does it because it wants to be fed. Whereas, if it does it when you are giving it exercise, it might be the case that it has an injury.