Why do Labradors whine?
Labrador Retrievers are gentle dogs that normally stay quiet wherever they are.
However, they can still get noisy sometimes, which may lead you to wonder: why do Labradors whine or bark a lot?
For this article, we will be going over some of the likely reasons why do Labradors whine and some tips on how to stop Labrador from whining.
Getting to the bottom of it will help immensely with getting your Lab to stop whining so much.
Let’s dig right into it.
Do Labradors whine?
As with other canines, yes, Labs may also whine.
After all, just like in any other kind of relationship, proper communication is also important in pet-owner relations.
This is all the more crucial when you consider the fact that your Lab cannot talk.
Consequently, your Labrador Retriever may look for other ways to communicate with you, which may include barking or whining.
At first, whining can be a cute attribute that you enjoy hearing from your Labrador.
However, it can easily get tiring if your Labrador Retriever’s whining becomes excessive and is no longer endearing.
Common reasons why do Labradors whine
There are a handful of reasons that could result in your Labrador Retrievers making noise by whining.
Here are some of them:
1) Your Lab wants to get your attention.
The first thing to think about when you hear your Labrador Retriever whining is that they need something from you.
This could be anything from going out to relieve themselves to wanting to play with you.
They could even be whining because they want more treats!
As their fur parent, you should not always succumb to the things that they want just to keep them from whining even more.
There are legitimate reasons why your Labrador is whining, and in those situations, you should properly attend to their needs.
But, take note that you have to do it the right way, or you are risking reinforcing the idea of whining onto your pet.
2) You unconsciously trained your Labrador Retriever to whine.
This may transpire when you hear your Lab whine as a way of asking for something, and the first thing you want to do is to try to figure out what they are asking from you so you can deliver it and get them to stop whining.
However, while it does teach them to stop whining for the moment, they now have the idea that whining will make you give them whatever they want.
In effect, you are basically handing over a bargaining chip to your Labrador, which is something you want to avoid doing.
Even when what they want from you is not a pressing matter, they could start to use whining as a tool to get what they want.
As a pet parent, you cannot just settle for the easy way out every single time.
Instead, you need to instill in your Lab the proper habits in order for them to stop whining.
3) Your Labrador Retriever feels bored.
Another reason why do Labradors whine a lot is that they feel bored.
Like human beings, Labradors get tired and bored of their surroundings as well.
This is especially true when they have not been getting the right amount of exercise.
As a breed with high levels of energy, Labs also need a lot of upkeep in terms of the exercise department.
If they don’t get to release all their pent-up energy, they will turn to destructive behaviors, such as whining or chewing on your furniture.
None of those things are events that you want to happen. Hence, make sure that your Labrador gets enough exercise for the day.
4) Your Labrador Retriever feels anxious, stressed, or terrified.
Just like you, your Labrador could also have anxiety-induced behaviors.
In canines, one of the ways that they express being anxious about something is through whining.
It could be that they are uncomfortable in the situation that they are in, or something is making them feel anxious.
Try to watch out for other behaviors that they have during anxious moments, as the whining is usually accompanied by another action like panting or pacing.
Your Lab could also get anxious when you leave home, which is another issue entirely.
The bottom line is that there are a lot of reasons why your Labrador could feel anxious at the moment.
You need to know when to pick out when they are anxious or if their whining is because of something else.
5) Your Labrador Retriever is hurt or feels pain.
Once you’ve ruled out other options, and your Lab still does not stop whining, it could be very likely that they are hurt or feel discomfort.
Their discomfort could be due to an underlying medical issue that needs immediate attention.
If you suspect that your Lab is whining because of pain, you should take them to the vet immediately.
Labradors are predisposed to many illnesses, such as joint pain, according to this study.
With joint pain, it could be very possible that your dog is whining because it physically hurts them to move.
6) Your Labrador Retriever is saying sorry.
There have been a number of videos circulating online about pet owners gently scolding their dogs for doing something that their canine buddy was not supposed to do.
In a majority of these videos, the dogs that were being reprimanded kept whining even when they are being rebuked.
In the same vein, it could be that your Lab is whining because they want to say sorry, especially if you are chastising them.
7) Your Labrador Retriever feels frustrated.
Much like humans, Labradors also feel frustrated when they don’t get what they want. As such, your Lab could be whining out of frustration.
In these cases, they may want something that you are not willing to give them just yet. This can include anything from your attention to extra treats.
One critical tip to remember is that you should be careful about giving in to their demands every time they whine because of frustration.
Otherwise, while it may seem harmless when you give in the first time, you are actually creating a cycle that will be tough to break.
8) Your Labrador Retriever is excited.
When your Lab is excited, they tend to show their excitement through various forms of communication including whining in certain situations.
Although it isn’t exactly ideal in all scenarios, it’s perfectly okay for your Labrador to whine when they’re feeling excited, as this is their way of expressing their joy.
How to stop a Labrador from constantly whining
It’s inevitable that your Labrador Retriever’s whining will bother you, especially when they’ve been at it for a long time and don’t seem to want to stop until they get what they want.
So, how can you get your canine to stop their incessant whining?
We have listed some suggestions below:
1) Stop reinforcing it.
First off, you have to get used to the idea that you may have been reinforcing your Labrador’s bad habit.
Whether it was intentional or not, accepting that you may have contributed in some way to their incessant whining will help you on your way to preventing the behavior from getting worse.
Besides, the solution is really rather simple. All you have to do is just to stop giving in to their whining.
No, this does not mean that you stop taking your Lab out to potty or stop giving them something when they really need it.
Not giving in to their whining simply means that you are not letting their seemingly endless whining control you.
Whenever they whine to get something they want, you have to shut it down immediately.
Don’t give them what they want just because they are whining. Instead, make sure that they are already silent and behaved before you do anything for them.
This way, they understand that the way to get you to do what they want is not through whining but through behaving properly and not making a racket.
While it may take a few extra moments of your time to wait until they’re no longer whining, it will definitely save you a lot more time in the long run once they learn that good manners are the key to getting what they want.
2) Let them out for some exercise.
As previously mentioned, your Labs will get bored and possibly whine because of lack of exercise.
If this happens, try taking them out for a walk and see how effective it is in placating them.
There’s no guarantee that it will work because whining is something that depends on the root cause.
But, in the case of boredom, you can simply take them out for some exercise or play a game with them.
Either way, spending time with your pet is not at all a bad way to spend a part of your day.
3) Identify the source of their anxiety and do something about it.
If you know that the whining comes from your dog feeling anxious, then the best way to approach it is to tackle the problem at the root.
Try to figure out what’s making your Lab feel nervous or anxious. It could be someone new in the house they don’t know, or it could be you leaving for work.
While it’s not always easy to take care of the things that cause your dog anxiety, you can do something to change your Lab’s perspective about them.
Counter-condition the idea that’s causing them to be anxious and replace it with relaxed and good feelings.
For example, leaving the house and giving your dog a toy or some treats that they can immerse themselves in while you’re out will help associate good things to being alone at home.
4) Teach them how to ‘speak’ and go ‘quiet’.
The speak and quiet commands are the two most helpful commands when it comes to managing your Labrador’s whining.
The first one your Lab has to learn is the quiet command, as it is easier to learn.
To teach them the quiet command, you should give your Lab a treat when they take breaks between barking.
This reinforces the idea that staying silent will bring them rewards and praise.
It is also a good idea to make use of a clicker as a signifier so that your Lab will understand when they are doing the correct thing. You can then start rewarding for longer periods of silence.
Once it seems like your Lab has gotten used to staying quiet, you can now add the cue phrase: quiet.
Make sure to add the cue when your Lab is already performing the required action.
Next up is teaching your Lab how to ‘speak’. This one is a bit more challenging than teaching your Lab how to stay quiet, as it poses different problems if you get it wrong.
You can start by enticing your Lab by offering them a treat that’s just out of their reach.
Though they will try to reach for it at first, do not give it to them.
Eventually, they will vocalize and make a sound. The moment that they do that, signal using the clicker that this is an action you would like to capture.
Repeat that until you can now add your cue. Over time, your Lab will understand when you want them to speak or stay quiet.
The problem with the speak command is that it can go south quickly is you don’t do it correctly.
There are many Lab owners who report that their Labs started barking or making noises even more because of the speak command.
Regardless, it is a good tool to use if you can manage to utilize it correctly.
This is why it is important to teach the quiet command first, as it can be a form of practice.
What to consider when assessing why your Labradors whine
Trying to pinpoint the reason behind why do Labradors whine and what you can do about it can be difficult.
However, there are some considerations that will help, such as the following:
1) The area where they are whining
If you notice that your Lab is whining at a particular object or area, such as the neighbor’s fence, it could be that something from that area or the thing itself is bothering them and causing the anxiety.
2) The timing of their whining
Timing is also of importance. If your Lab starts whining whenever you leave the house, that is already a pretty good hint at the reason why they constantly whine.
Knowing this can help you find a solution as soon as possible.
All in all
There are a lot reasons that could lead pet parents like you to ask, “Why do Labradors whine?”
In the end, all you got to do to determine the most possible reason is to pay attention to your Labrador Retriever.
The sooner you can assess what is the root of their whining, the sooner you can get them to stop.
Check out the recommendations we have enumerated above for some ideas on how to stop your Lab from whining.