Posted : 8/10/2008 3:46:51 PM
The one thing everyone has alluded to but hasn't "spelled out" for you is that dogs are pretty quick to link two things together. As in ... ***instantly*** (which is why clicker training works so well -- it identifies a behavior and rewards it INSTANTLY).
So ... if the dog is whining and then stops ... you have to be ON IT. You can't sit there trying to 'ignore' the dog and not even realize he was actually quiet for 5 minutes **BEFORE he started whining ~~again!~~**
So you have to dedicate yourself to being tuned into the dog *all* the time. So you can pick up on that precious minute when he did stop so you CAN reward that.
In most households that are really not big time dog people, what they thought they wanted was a more convenient but cute dog. And suddenly this dog is a lot more aggravation and annoyance than they ever imagined.
But they just aren't used to tuning in on what the dog is trying to *tell them* until the dog picks up undesirable habits. The whining got your attention -- I can promise you, the dog probably tried 100 other things (such as dropping a toy at your food, putting its chin on your knee, lying down and pulling on your shoelace -- other ... and admittedly quieter things) but the dog didn't get a reaction out of you UNTIL it whined.
And then the reaction it provoked in you was a negative one, because the thing that got your attention was ... the pitch of the whine.
I have a whiner. A talker ... an incessant noisemaker!! Luna. The hound mix you see in my signature.
We tend to like all different breeds ... and a hound was something neither of us had had so we went with it. But 2 weeks after we got her I was POSITIVE we had made **the** most gi-normous mistake of our married lives.
She drove me nuts. There was something about the pitch of her whine that was like nails across a blackboard to me. She so drove me nuts I couldn't think. It didn't just annoy me -- it wound me up nerve-wise to the point where I began to think I'd lose my mind.
And with Luna it was purely communication -- she whines ALL the time -- when she's happy, sad, wanting food, glad to see you, or just plain "talking" but mostly she just wanted some sort of attention -- even if it was just me acknowledging her.
And in her case, what *I* had to do (because her whining had SO set me on edge I was practically ready to hate her!!) was I had to drop back and MAKE time to bond with this dog. To seek HER out for attention, and just petting and loving. to ... as Glenda put it above ... ***anticipate*** her needs before she whined about them.
See we humans think diffferently than dogs (boy do we!) -- and in our human-ness the LAST thing we want to do when we finally get 2 blessed minutes of peace is initiate any play with the darned dog who is driving us so crazy!!! She's finally left me alone -- GO AWAY I don't want to THINK about her!
But think about it -- **you** brought her home. Now, it's up to you to make her a productive part of your lives. And a little extra attention now will pay off. You simply have to out-think her and beat her to the punch.
But that 'reward' has to be SO immediate ... you can't think "oh yeah, she's quiet ... as soon as there's a commercial I'll go let her out". No ... NOW. Not when you're done with that paragraph -- but that very instant.
Because that *is* how dogs think. A+B might equal C **if** A and B happen almost at the same time.