7 Reasons Why Your Puppy Keeps Whining

Do you have a new puppy in the family? Does he whine all the time, even when the household is trying to sleep? Do you find yourself at your wit’s end trying to figure out what might be wrong with him? There are several potential reasons why puppy keeps whining, and it’s important to be familiar with them as you get used to having a new furry friend in the house.

Causes of Why Your Puppy Keeps Whining

In this article, we’ll walk you through seven of the most common reasons puppies whine. We’ll help you understand your puppy’s whining so you can narrow down the potential causes and figure out whether or not he/she needs veterinary attention—or just regular attention! Take your time looking through this information to find out more.

Potential reasons why your puppy keeps whining include, but aren’t limited to:

Puppy keeps whining

Normal Puppy Communication

Puppies whine, cry, bark, and howl to communicate. This is just part of how they behave, and for the first couple months to a year of your dog’s life, he/she may do a lot of all of this! Puppies are noisy by nature so they can get the attention of their mothers when they need assistance with something, so it’s important to remember that your dog may spend a lot of time whining simply because he’s trying to tell you something.

The longer you have your dog, the more likely you’ll be able to tell just what it is he/she needs or wants when they whine. Just like human babies, puppies develop different types and patterns of whining depending on what they need. They also sometimes whine along with other habits to help express what they want to their human families.


Your puppy keeps whining because they’re excited. If your puppy is happy to see you when you get home, they may start whining and wiggling to show their excitement. He/she may do the same thing when you or someone else in the family plays with him/her, or when he/she gets attention.

It’s okay for your puppy to whine a little in excitement. However, if you’re trying to teach him to calm down, reward him for being quiet or sitting still by giving him treats at the right time. This will reinforce calm behaviors over active ones.


If your dog is bored, he/she may start whining because he/she wants something to do. Your puppy may want attention, playtime, pets, or something to chew on. If you don’t give him/her something, he/she may find something to do on his own—whether you like the results or not!

Make sure your puppy has frequent access to puppy-safe toys. Observe your puppy while they’re chewing on toys to make sure he/she doesn’t accidentally ingest anything they shouldn’t. Additionally, take your puppy out for frequent walks and give them plenty of playtime both indoors and outside. Just make sure you only take him outside after he’s had the appropriate vaccines to keep him healthy as well.

Pain or Illness

Dogs and puppies who are whining because they’re in pain or are sick usually have other symptoms going on aside from just the whining. If your puppy keeps whining along with other problems such as lethargy, lack of appetite, limping, pacing, vomiting, or other symptoms of illness or injury, get him to a vet right away.

Puppies whine often, and it’s not usually because they’re in pain. Even so, it’s very important to rule out this possibility and to make sure your dog is healthy and well if you notice him whining excessively.


Puppies are like babies and toddlers; they are afraid of many things they don’t realize won’t hurt them. Loud noises, sudden movements, and confusing environments are all scary to puppies, and they are likely to whine about it to let you know they need some comforting.

It’s okay to comfort your puppy a little bit when he’s scared. However, as long as he’s safe, it’s best to avoid rewarding his whining with attention or petting. Instead, reward him when he’s quiet and still, and he’ll quickly learn how he’s meant to behave.

Needing to Go to the Bathroom

If you’re potty training your dog, he may learn pretty quickly that whining when he needs to go to the bathroom will get him a chance to go outside. This is often one of the first things dog owners try when they notice their puppies whining frequently, so dogs quickly learn to associate the two behaviors.

If you’re worried about your dog continuing to whine forever when he needs to go outside, you can start training him to sit quietly next to the door or ring a bell when he needs to go out instead.

Missing His Family

It’s true that puppies miss their littermates as well as their mothers when they’re first taken away to live elsewhere. They don’t realize that the humans surrounding them are their new family, and they may whine often, especially at night, because they miss the comfort and protection of their canine family members.

If your puppy keeps whining a lot at night, wrap a hot water bottle in a soft blanket and put it in the crate with him to comfort him. Place a ticking clock or a white noise machine nearby as well to give him some comforting, soothing sounds and make it easier for him to relax in his new home.

This behavior of whining when missing their canine family should abate within a few days or weeks, or the whining may have another cause.

Contact a Vet for Help if Your Puppy Keeps Whining

Now that you understand a little bit more about why your puppy might be whining, you should be better able to make the right adjustments to help him get used to his new life with you. Remember that raising a puppy takes a lot of time, patience, commitment, and effort, and no one ever gets it completely perfect.

Give yourself and your puppy (as well as the whole family) plenty of time to get to know each other and understand each other’s personalities, too. In no time, you’ll find your new puppy fitting in beautifully with everyone else in the household, and you’ll come to recognize what his whines mean, too.

If your puppy keeps whining and you’re not sure what to do next, contact a veterinarian to set up an appointment or to get additional advice. They’ll be able to help determine the underlying cause of why your pet’s doing this and work with you on the best plan moving forward.

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About North Kenny Veterinary Hospital

North Kenny Veterinary Hospital has been serving Columbus, OH pet families with exceptional veterinary medicine since the 1950s. We put a strong emphasis on preventive medicine as well as low-stress handling to help pets have a more pleasant veterinary experience. We use Fear Free techniques for every cat and dog to help reduce their anxiety and calm their nerves.

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