If your Malamute whines a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you eight common reasons why Malamutes do it and what you can do about it.
Your Malamute might actually be doing it for a number of different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.
Why your Malamute whines a lot
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
It is ill or injured
The cause could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started whining a lot suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as limping. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Malamutes are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be why yours has been whining.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day and the American Kennel Club actually recommends 2 hours per day. If your Malamute is not getting much exercise and it is healthy, it would help to make sure that it does start getting more exercise.
It wants attention
It might be the case that it has been doing it for attention. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
Instead, it would be helpful to give it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it but to avoid rewarding it with attention when it starts whining.
It wants something
The cause might also be that it does it because it wants something from you like food or a walk. This would be more likely if it starts doing it more at around the same time that you would normally give it something.
It might also be the case that something has been causing it to be stressed or anxious. This would be more likely if it does it more at a certain time such as when you are about to leave home which would suggest that it has separation anxiety.
The cause might also be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it starts whining at times such as when there are noises outside like fireworks or if it does it more at times such as when someone is around that it does not like.
The reason could also be that it gets excited since dogs will often whine when they are excited. This would be more likely to be the reason if it does it more in situations such as when you come home, when you’re playing with it or when you would normally walk it.
You have been reinforcing it
The reason why it does it might be beause it has learned that the behavior is rewarded. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it whines then it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved and to avoid rewarding the whining. It would also help to make sure that there are no other causes.
How to get your Malamute to whine less
Below are some options you have when getting your Malamute to stop doing it.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above it is important to make sure that your Malamute is able to get daily exercise. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day and the American Kennel Club recommends 2 hours per day. Provided that your Malamute is healthy, it would help to make sure that yours is able to get enough daily exercise.
Reward it for not whining
It would also help to make use of positive reinforcement training which is where you reward your Malamute for showing signs of behaving the way you want it to and avoid rewarding it when it does not.
If you reward your Malamute when it does not whine but it normally would and avoid rewarding it when it does whine, it should encourage it to whine less.
Avoid reinforcing the whining
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have encouraged it to whine when it whines. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not whine and to wait for it to stop whining before rewarding it.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, you could also give it things such as toys or bones to be distracted with so that it is less likely to seek attention from you.
Make sure that it is not ill or injured
If you are unsure of why your Malamute has been whining, it has started doing in suddenly or it has been showing signs of being ill or injured 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 particular Malamute and to rule out the possibility of it being due to medical causes.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your Malamute has been doing it.
When the whining started
If your Malamute did not always whine, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to illness or injury, learning that the behavior is rewarded, a change in its daily routine such as being fed at different times or another sudden change.
When and where it whines
It would also help to consider the timing of when it whines since the timing might have something to do with it. For example, if it does it more before getting fed, it might be the case that it does it because it is hungry.