Nighttime should be a time for rest, relaxation, and restoration.
But ideals don't always line up with reality, and your night probably won't be so blissful if your dog's whine is keeping you up all night.
Some amount of whining is completely normal in both puppies and adult dogs. If your dog is whining excessively, however, it might be time to find a solution. Here are some ideas that might help you - and your furry friend - get the restful night you're looking for.
Is it normal for my dog to whine at night?
First things first: it's 100% normal for your dog to whine from time to time, even during the night.
This is especially true of young pups that are still adapting to a new environment. Environmental changes can lead to stress, anxiety, and/or loneliness, particularly during the nighttime hours.
Don't think that only young dogs whine at night, though. Adult dogs are also prone to whining at night if they have separation anxiety. Pets that are kept at the kennel while their owners are on vacation are also more likely to whine - regardless of their age.
There's one instance where whining is not normal, however. If your well-trained adult dog begins whining at night, you may want to consult with your vet. This type of whining may be caused by pain or joint discomfort.
If a well-trained adult dog starts whining at night, it's usually caused by pain or discomfort. Dog owners should consult their dog's vet.
How to prevent dog whining at night
Before going into prevention methods, it's important to understand why your furry friend might whine in the first place!
One of the top reasons is a simple one: their bladder could be full. Puppies whine about bladder issues more than adult dogs.
If you hear your puppy whining during the night, don't ignore them. Your pup may be having legitimate bladder issues. But don't treat nighttime tinkle trips like playtime, either. These trips are teachable moments.
Bladder issues notwithstanding, there are several tried-and-true ways to help your dog learn to keep calm and carry on with a minimum of whining.
First, ensure your dog is comfortable before bed. Make sure they've been fed, have access to plenty of water, and have gotten plenty of exercise. Dogs that stayed active during the day are much more likely to sleep well at night.
Once your pup is set up for bedtime success, be sure to stay attentive. Young pups often use their whines to let you know they need to go potty. Puppies don't have the largest bladders, so once they've gotta go, they've gotta go, so don't just leave them in their crate if you hear them whimpering!
Here are some other tips and tricks for puppy potty training:
- Don’t be too chatty with your pup, lest he/she think it's playtime when it's not
- Don’t give praise or treats until your furry friend has done their business
- But be sure to provide praise after -and only after - your pet has finished up
- Return your pup to their sleeping quarters and leave without too much commotion
Another thing you can try? If your pup is still anxious, consider the following tactics:
Provide a little extra comfort
Providing your pet with an indoors-friendly heat source, a softer bed, a stuffed animal, or even a pet-specific swaddling suit may help them feel a little cozier through the night. If you have another pet they can also be used to keep your pup company. These methods may seem pretty drastic, but they can really help out anxious dogs.
Try pet-friendly CBD
Just like you, your pets have an endocannabinoid system. What's that, you may ask? It's an internal system that helps their body stay calm, collected, and perfectly balanced. Endocannabinoid imbalances have been implicated in sleep problems, anxiety, and a whole host of other things that might be contributing to excessive whining. 
Now for some good news: correcting these types of imbalances may be as simple as giving your dog some CBD. CBD may help stabilize your pet's production of various hormones and neurotransmitters, helping them perceive the world around them differently in the process. Older dogs may stand to benefit the most from CBD, but pups can benefit, too. CBD may also be able to remediate separation anxiety.
What not to do if your pup starts whining at night
This might sound harsh, but there are times when you should ignore dog cries. Persistent whining should definitely be ignored - don't respond by yelling or raising your voice. Your dog needs to get comfortable with his or her crate.
He/she also needs to learn how to come and go to their crate by themselves, too. Don't carry them there - have them walk!
Also make an effort to only let your pup out of their crate at a time when they're not whining. Over time they'll come to realize that excess whining isn't functionally useful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why would adult dogs whine at night?
Puppies typically grow out of whining at night at an early age. If your adult dog is gravitating away from their normal quiet behavior, it might be time to do some investigating!
Reason #1: medical problems
Joint pain and other types of physical pain can easily make your dog cry out at night. Your dog may also be experiencing digestive issues. Plenty of other medical problems can make your dog more vocal, too. Urinary conditions may also cause your adult dog to whine and whimper. If you observe such things from your dog, don't hesitate to take a trip to the vet. They'll be able to diagnose your pet's problem and provide a prescription if necessary.
Reason #2: anxiety
Most dogs experience anxiety at one point or another, but if your dog's anxiety is getting out of hand it may lead to sleep problems down the road.
Loud noises and other sudden changes to your pet's environment can be a perceived threat to your pup, leading to whining at night.
Dogs can get anxious for many different reasons, some of which are environmental and some of which are more psychological. Depending on the root causes of the problem your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medications or behavioral class. A growing number of vets are realizing that CBD can improve your dog's confidence, too!
Reason #3: boredom
This reason may seem a little silly, but it's just as relevant as the potential causes we've mentioned above. Some dogs take up appeasement behavior when they're bored - specifically appeasement whining - in hope of getting their owners attention.
A possible solution for this type of dog whining is upping your pet's workout routine. The more they get moving during the day, the more likely they'll be able to sleep soundly during the night.
How long will my pup whine for?
The duration of dog whines can vary from one dog to the next. Some dogs may whine for a few minutes or an hour; other dogs may cry all night. Every pet is different!
What dog breeds whine the most?
Certain breeds of dogs are more vocal than others. Animal experts theorize that some dog breeds were incentivized by evolutionary processes to be louder, while others just didn't encounter this need.
Small dogs are notoriously vocal, for example. Many of these small breeds were bred to be watchdogs. Larger dogs, on the other hand, are generally less whiny. Without further ado, here's a list of ten especially vocal dog breeds:
- Howling Husky
- Sassy Chihuahua
- Yappy Yorkie
- Alaskan Malamute
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Toy Poodle
- German Shepherd
Dog whines and how to prevent them: final thoughts
Have you and your pup been experiencing more than a few sleepless nights recently? If not, don't fret - just revisit the tips and tricks we've covered here. And don't forget to keep your dog active during the day with walks, fetch, and social time. A tired dog is a dog that sleeps through the night!