Are dogs sad when they whine?

Whining is one of many forms of canine vocal communication. Dogs most commonly whine when they’re seeking attention, when they’re excited, when they’re anxious or when they’re trying to appease you.

I can’t stand hearing my dog yelp in pain because of a spinal condition because it makes me so uncomfortable. It seems that I’m not the only dog owner who is sensitive to a dog’s cries. According to a recent study in the journal Royal Society Open Science, pet parents find the sound of a crying dog to be just as depressing as the cries of a newborn human. So why is it so sad when dogs cry?.

According to a press release about the study, associate professor at the Interacting Minds Centre at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University in Denmark and study author Christine Parsons, “Pet ownership is associated with greater sensitivity to pet distress sounds and may be part of the reason why we are willing to spend large amounts of time and resources on our domestic companions.” It may also explain why we find pet interaction to be so rewarding and why we are affected emotionally by both positive and negative communication cues, such as meows or whines. “.

500 young adults participated in the study and listened to the sounds of dogs howling, cats meowing, and human babies crying. Overall, dog and cat owners thought that whimpering dogs were worse than meowing cats, probably because cats are more independent than both dogs and people and because meows don’t always indicate distress. Whether they had a pet or not, every participant was more affected by crying dogs than by crying cats. And dog parents thought that dog yelps were just as depressing as baby cries.

The findings imply that dogs communicate distress to humans more effectively than cats do, and that owning a pet increases emotional sensitivity to these sounds. It makes sense that we find these sounds emotionally compelling for sounds that we need to respond to, like a dog wholly reliant on its human host for food and care, Parsons said.

Personally, I find the cries of a dog extremely troubling. When my neighbors left their puppy outside in the rain while they weren’t home, I brought the dog inside and left them a note because the dog’s cries were so distressing. Because they both depend on people, leaving a puppy outside in the rain makes me feel like leaving a baby outside by themselves, whereas cats can more successfully survive on their own. For instance, a cat left in the rain in a fenced-in yard may jump the fence to find shelter.

All adults, including cat owners, rate dog whines as being more negative than cat meows, which may be due to this difference in animal dependence. According to Katherine Young, a lecturer at Kings College London and the study’s senior author, dogs may simply have more effective distress signals than cats.

The study also cited earlier studies showing that individuals with secure emotional attachments are better able to recognize infant distress signals. This may also apply to an animal’s capacity to react to distress signals, according to researchers. The current study found that adults who described their relationships as secure were more adversely affected by the sounds of distressed cats than other people.

The study also debunked the “cat lady” stereotype and found no link between preferring cats to dogs and mental health issues like anxiety or difficulty maintaining relationships with others. In fact, cat parents seem to have a high level of sensitivity and compassion for both animals and people. #TheMoreYouKnow. More like this.

According to studies, to pet parents, a whimpering dog sounds as sad as a sobbing child. Heres why.

Another intriguing discovery was that dog whines were the saddest-sounding of all sounds, even sadder than cat meows. The study’s co-author Katherine Young proposed the following hypothesis: “This difference in animal dependence may explain why dog whines are rated as more negative than cat meows by all adults, including cat-owners. Dogs are more dependent on their human than cats. Dogs may simply have more effective distress signals than cats. ”.

Her yowling and barking are so loud that they seem to strike my heart directly. We give in to her because she is an old dog. And yes, I realize that by “rewarding” her for crying, we might be “spoiling” her, but in all honesty, when a child her age requests human attention, we are and should be grateful for that.

I recently read a research paper about why a dog’s whimper is the sound that is particularly evocative and sad to both cat and dog parents, and Lola’s whimpering brings that to mind. In essence, scientists discovered that to us animal lovers, a whimpering dog sounds as sad as a crying baby. Lead researcher Christine Powers claims that having pets makes people more sensitive to the sounds made by distressed animals, which may contribute to our willingness to devote a lot of time and money to them. It may also explain why we find pet interaction to be so rewarding and why we are affected emotionally by both positive and negative communication cues, such as meows or whines. ”.

Recently, Lola, our dog, began a new stage in her life. She is unquestionably a senior dog at the ripe old age of 14, and she exhibits signs of dementia that make her more vocal than usual. She was a spunky 10-month-old when we first got her, and ever since then, she’s been mostly a silent friend, not much of a barker or whiner.

These noises typically express a need for food, water, a bathroom break, a toy, attention, etc. Similar to how puppies communicate with their mothers, this involves pleading with them through a whimper or whine. Therefore, it makes sense that adult dogs use the same vocal impulse to communicate with their owners.

To be sure, whimpering and whining are instinctual. But it’s also learned. After all, it doesn’t take long for dogs to realize that whining will directly result in them getting what they want. And that is how a dog’s “crying” can develop into an issue. Whiny dogs can stress out a household with their pitiful keening, just as barky dogs can drive their owners crazy if they do so constantly in search of attention or anything else they might want.

Luckily, there is help. To begin with, speak with your veterinarian to help rule out any potential medical issues (such as pain or cognitive decline). For those looking to stop excessive crying behavior, a highly recommended certified trainer or veterinary behaviorist is the best option if the issue is likely behavioral. And as always, your vet needs to know about your dog’s behavioral problems.

The type of crying that we humans make cannot be perfectly translated into canine language. When they’re sad, dogs don’t cry hot, salty tears or wail or sob like people do. Which is why interpreting a dog’s cry can be tough. Whimpering or whining is a canine “cry,” which can refer to a myriad of different things.

It’s also important to note that most dogs don’t whine when they’re in constant pain. Dogs who experience ongoing pain (such as dental pain or the orthopedic pain of osteoarthritis) rarely vocalize their discomfort, despite the fact that they may cry out when accidentally stepped on or whimper after surgery. Although it seems counterintuitive to humans, this is something that all dog owners need to remember.

Your Dog Needs or Wants Something

The most obvious reason your dog may be whining is that they need or want something from you, like food, water, or a walk. Maybe their favorite toy is stuck underneath the couch, or the cat is sleeping in their bed. The whining should stop once you identify the problem and fix it.

But if your dog is begging for more food after you’ve already given it to them, there’s a problem that needs to be fixed. Never feed your dog from the table and make sure no one in the family gives them extra helpings. The behavior will only worsen if you give your dog more food in response to their whining.

Additionally, if your dog cries for a walk after you’ve already given them one, this may be a sign of a bladder or digestive issue. You should take your dog to the vet if they need to relieve themselves again as soon as you enter the house.

Dogs will occasionally cry out when nobody is looking at them. This is similar to how young children complain when they are bored by the conversation at the dinner table between the adults. Your dog seeks a playmate or an activity to keep them busy.


Should you ignore a whining dog?

The best way to stop your dog from whining in order to get your attention, according to dog training experts, is to ignore her. When your dog starts whining, turn away from them and avoid making eye contact. Don’t touch her or talk to her, and refrain from berating her because she interprets that as attention.

Does whimpering mean a dog is sad?

They can definitely feel emotions, and they typically show sadness by whimpering, whining, or covering their faces. They just don’t cry when they’re sad. According to popular belief, humans are the only animals that will cry out of emotion.

How can you tell if dogs are sad?

Signs of a sad dog
  1. Withdrawn – the dog may not be as enthusiastic about playing or exercising as they usually are.
  2. Lethargic – they may be sleeping more than usual.
  3. Loss of appetite – they may stop wanting to eat or their eating habits may change.