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Why Do Dogs Whine When Excited?

 

Why do dogs whine when excited? After living for some time with your dog, you may have noticed that there are different “nuances” in his repertoire of behaviors. Among the different types of whining your dog engages in, you may have likely noticed that one form of whining occurs when your dog is particularly excited about something.

Why does your dog react in such a way? As with many doggy behaviors, we can sometimes make only assumptions, but here are some possible explanations for what your dog may be trying to say when he’s all revved up and whining when excited.

coming homeSo Happy You’re Home!

Does your dog whine when you come home? Some dogs will throw quite a party when their owners come from work, and for some dogs there may a lot to whine to about. If your dog is particularly vocal when you come home, he may be communicating a mixed bag of feelings.

It could be your dog may be saying something in the terms of: “Oh, I am so happy you’re home, gosh, I missed you so much!” to the more victimized “So you’re home finally. I was home for a whole 4 hours! I was so worried, where have you been? I am hungry, have to go potty and was lonely all this time!”

Jokes aside, most dogs hate being left alone and when their owners come home, that’s the big perk of the day, so they feel strong emotions, most likely a mix of happiness, relief and excitement. So instead of keeping all those emotions bottled up, they’ll release them through… you guessed it, whining when you come home!

I Just Saw Something!

If only I get you...
If only I get you…

Some dogs tend to whine when they’re all excited about seeing something. Many dogs will whine excitedly when they spot something that they not commonly see around the neighborhood. In most cases seeing a cat, squirrels or birds in the yard may trigger lots of whining accompanied by other excited body language such as pacing back and forth, piloerection (raised hackles) and shaking.

If there are other dogs in your household, you can bet they’ll pick up that excited energy and join in to see what’s going on. If you are nearby, your dog may come to you, whine and ask you to follow him to towards the window to alert you of what he just saw.

Generally, the whining gets more intense when the dog is prevented from gaining access to the animal such as being behind a door, window or fence. Again, in this case the whining is likely the result of strong emotions and the frustration of not being able to do what the dog would really love to do: chase those animals away!

Let’s Play Fairly!

Does your dog whine when you are playing with him? If so, there may be chances he’s a tad bit frustrated and he may be asking you to play fairly. Watch carefully when your dog whines. Is it when you show him the ball and then hide it behind your back and don’t toss it?

If so, your dog is likely whining from being yes, excited but also a tad bit frustrated. “Hey, toss the ball to me, why do you have to pretend to toss it? That’s not fair!” Well, we don’t really know if dogs have a sense of fairness like we do, but you get the message, your dog is telling to toss that ball right away!

If you want to train your dog to whine or bark, you may find it interesting that this is often the method used for it.




Show some food or a toy your dog really wants, get him all excited about it and then hide it behind your back. Granted, your dog may have something to say about it!

Hey, Another Dog!

Some dogs will whine excitedly when they see other dogs, especially on walks. The whining generally subsides when the dog gets to meet the other dog and sniff him; however, it’s important to note that not all whining is always friendly. Some dogs may whine as if they want to meet, but then they will lunge or bark at the other dog when they get to interact. It’s always best to practice caution.

What does this type of whining mean? It can have several meanings. It can stem from a lack of self control, the dog is so excited to see the other dog he can’t contain himself and whines, but it could also be a form of communication. By whining and assuming a tail tucked, body lowered, head down and ears back position the dog may be communicating appeasement and is telling the other dog “I mean no harm.” There may also be an anxiety/fear component to it. These dogs may benefit from a confidence boost.

Guests, Oh, My!

Many dogs will whine a lot when there are guests visiting. Again, this behavior is likely linked to an over-aroused state and lack of self control. The whining usually intensifies when there are guests who talk to them excitedly, making a big fuss and throwing a party to greet them.

To help these dogs gain some self control, it’s best to practice with guests who act low key while you distract your dog giving him something else to do rather than whining excitedly. The guests could toss a few treats on the ground as they enter and then sit down and give attention to the dog only when he’s quiet. You can keep your dog more focused by asking him to perform a few tricks or obedience exercises at a distance from the guests and rewarding him with a stuffed Kong to work on until he gets calmer.

As seen, dogs have a lot to whine about when they’re excited! In most cases, these dogs simply lack impulse control and haven’t learned sufficient coping skills for channeling  all their strong emotions. Puppies and young dogs in particular are the most likely to be whining excitedly, but as they mature, generally their tendency to get all excited about things may gradually subside. To help these fellows attain more self control, you can try keeping your dog’s mind occupied on doing something else that will keep him from getting too hyped up. Also, try your best to act calm and give attention to your dog only when your dog calms down. So keep calm and love your dog!