Are you a vizsla owner with a particularly vocal vizsla and asking yourself why do vizslas whine?
Hungarian vizslas are a communicative dog breed and they like to share their feelings with their owners. Which can be helpful to ensure you are meeting your dog’s needs, but whining can also become an annoying and persistent habit.
In this article we explain why vizslas whine, how to identify the causes of whining and we share some training strategies to stop your vizsla whining so much.
This article is based on research and personal experience as a Vizsla owner. I’m not a qualified dog trainer, Vet or dog behaviourist.
Why Do Vizslas Whine?
Vizsla whining is a method of communication and is a dog’s way of seeking your attention. This can be for many reasons ranging from vocalizing basic needs such as hunger, thirst or the need to be let outside all the way to communicating emotional needs such as boredom, anxiety and pain.
The vizsla breed in general tend to be more vocal than other dog breeds but the amount of whining will vary from dog to dog. This is partly to do with their unique personality and temperament and also how they are raised and trained as puppies.
Whining is an effective way to communicate but it can become an annoying habit if they are inadvertently rewarded for the behaviour with attention (positive and negative).
So if you are a vizsla owner and asking the question “why does my vizsla whine so much”, read on. In the next section we go in to more detail about the reasons why vizslas whine and what you can do about it when you find it too distracting.
5 Reasons Why Vizslas Whine
Hungarian vizslas are a unique dog breed that love to be close to their human owners. It is why they are known as velcro dogs.
They communicate the care they need in many ways including whining. The most common reasons are:
- To communicate basic needs
- Express emotions
- Anxiety or stress
- Health issues
So as you can see there is usually a reason why you dog is whining and it shouldn’t simply be ignored.
Let’s go into each of these reasons so you can better understand what your dog is telling you.
1. Communicating Basic Needs
Often vizslas whine to communicate basic needs such as hunger, thirst or the need to be let outside to go to the toilet.
Perhaps a favorite toy has fallen under the couch and they can’t retrieve it or they are feeling cold in the evening and need a blanket pulled over them.
Ours seem to have an internal clock and know exactly when it is dinnertime and if it is late – beware of the whine!
Often when you address these needs the whining stops, so always consider basic needs first if your vizsla whines.
2. Expressing Emotion
Vizslas are expressive dogs and are pretty good at sharing their emotions with their owners. But some vizslas tend to whine more than others and it is often just a personality trait – particularly for dogs who whine to express emotion.
Some dogs whine when they get excited, when they greet other dogs or when they see you.
Others start to whine when they know you are getting ready to go on a walk – they just want to go right now and whine to hurry you up! Some vizslas even whine while they eat or in their sleep!
Whining is a common way expressing negative emotions too.
Vizslas will whine when they are unhappy about a situation – perhaps the cat is sleeping in their bed, you are cutting their nails, they really want some of that tasty sandwich you are eating or they want to sit up on your lap for a cuddle while you watch TV.
If they are left alone all day they may whine more because they are seeking more cuddles and affection when you are home.
So if your vizsla is expressing their feelings through whining, try to pay attention to those feelings and consider how they can be addressed.
One of the most common reasons for dog and particularly puppy whining is boredom. They are simply seeking more attention.
Of all the reasons dogs whine, boredom whining is the one that frustrates vizsla owners the most.
Vizsla whining due to boredom can often be due to a lack of exercise. Vizslas are energetic dogs and need daily off leash walks to burn off all that pent up energy. A tired dog is a happy dog so be sure to get outside on a daily basis.
Vizslas are also intelligent people focused dogs and don’t fare well when left on their own for long periods of time. It is best to keep them busy so they don’t get bored and whine all the time when you are out.
4. Feeling Anxious
It is not uncommon for vizslas to whine when they are stressed or feeling anxious. When combined with pacing, yawning or trembling it is a sign they are feeling scared about something.
Common causes are loud noises like fireworks displays and thunderstorms or when being groomed. But it may also be caused by internal issues such as separation anxiety.
This tendency to experience separation anxiety is one of the cons of the breed.
But trying to identify and remove or improve these situations is important for your dog’s wellbeing.
5. Health problems
Some vizslas may whine when they are sick or in pain. It can be an action of self comfort but may also be the way your dog tells you they need help.
If your vizsla starts to whine more than usual, or whines when walking, climbing stairs or when touched in a certain area they may be experiencing pain.
In this instance it is important to visit your vet to rule out any medical issues.
How To Stop Vizslas Whining
As we explained in the previous section, it is important to understand the reasons your vizsla is whining before you can address it.
Some vizslas are just naturally more whiney than others and while you can train some annoying habits out, you are unlikely to completely stop your vizsla whining.
If you believe your vizsla is whining too much, here are some strategies you can use to stop your vizsla whining all the time.
Establish Good Habits When They Are Puppies
When you bring your vizsla puppy home and start training it is important to establish good habits from the start.
Puppies need a lot of attention and naturally get bored quickly as they haven’t yet learned the skills to self entertain or be calm.
It is also common for vizsla puppies to whine in the crate as they are not used to being on their own and miss their littermates.
But how you respond to vizsla puppy whining will contribute to how much and when vizslas whine as they mature.
Of course you should always give your puppy plenty of attention, cuddles and ensure all their basic needs are met.
But when your puppy starts whining, don’t give in immediately. Redirect or wait until they stop whining before taking action or giving them your attention.
Always be consistent with training and how you react to whining (and barking).
Ensure basic needs are met
For puppy and adult vizslas you should always make your their basic needs have been met.
Check they are not hungry, thirsty, cold or need to go to the toilet.
Ensure they are getting plenty of physical exercise to reduce the chance of boredom whining.
Chew treats, frozen kongs and stimulating toys and games can provide them with good mental stimulation too.
Give Plenty Of Loving Attention
Vizslas are affectionate dogs and love nothing more than a cuddle with you. Make sure you are giving them enough of your time and affection throughout the week.
If you work long hours out of the home, consider hiring a dog walker or doggy daycare to keep your pup busy and in contact with others.
Mix Up Routines
Vizslas are very good at recognizing routines and patterns.
If you have the same routine each day they often start to anticipate what comes next – whether that is breakfast, dinner, or their daily walk time.
They may start to whine in advance of the next anticipated activity – so try and mix up your daily routine to keep them guessing about what will happen when!
Ongoing training is super important for vizslas. Consistent rules and boundaries can help calm your dog and reduce anxiety and whining.
Teaching them fun tricks and jobs like putting their toys away, retrieving certain items from around the home or how to pull a blanket over themselves can all help keep them mentally stimulated and alleviate boredom.
Don’t let kids feed them scraps from the table as this encourages begging and whining when you eat your meals.
If they whine when people arrive at the home, redirect them with a job or a toy. When you are leaving distract them with a long lasting treat like a frozen kong, licky mat or chew.
For vizslas with separation anxiety, work on desensitizing them to help them overcome their anxiety. Depending on the level of anxiety you may need to engage a dog behaviour specialist who understands the vizsla breed.
Boredom whining can be the most tricky type of whining to resolve. All dogs need to learn to be calm and/or self entertain.
Assuming their physical and emotional needs have been met, and no other strategies have worked, the last strategy to apply is to ignore the whining.
Ignore means everything – no eye contact, no verbal communication, no physical contact. When they eventually stop whining, reward them with affection and cuddles.
And if the whining continues a firm and stern “no” can be deployed.
Whining happens for many reasons. Some vizslas are more communicative than others and whining is part of their personality. Other times it becomes a habit reinforced through time by how we react to them.
Most whining can be resolved by addressing their needs, exercising daily and training regularly and consistently.
Persistent whining may need focused training using some of the strategies outlined here.
Does your vizsla whine? Let us know in the comments below!
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