So you’ve got a whining schnauzer on your hands. Day in and day out you find your pup crying far more often than you think is necessary. You’ve probably started to wonder, why on earth do they whine so much? Is it normal for schnauzers to whine & cry this much?
Why Does My Schnauzer Cry So Much:
For the most part schnauzer’s frequently cry from learned behavior. They’ve unintentionally been trained to cry and whine as a way of getting attention. Other reasons why your schnauzer cries so much could be they’re scared, anxious, in pain, overly excited, or need something.
In this post you’ll discover the top 9 reasons why your schnauzer cries so much, when it’s something you should worry about as well as 5 helpful tips to reduce or stop their crying altogether.
Tip #4 can be challenging but is super effective.
Let’s dive right in.
Top 9 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Whines & Cries So Much
Sometimes something may excite your schnauzer so much that they whine or cry because they can’t contain their excitement.
An example of this is the viral videos that people post when a family member comes home after a long time being away.
At first the dog isn’t sure of the person, but in a short time they can’t contain their excitement.
They’re jumping up and down on them, whining and trying to get as close to them as possible.
If you notice your pup crying when you come home, they may have simply missed you so much that their excitement is overflowing.
Have you ever been sitting on the couch, reading, watching TV or scrolling on your phone and hear a big whine/sigh come from your schnauzer?
This could be their way of telling you they are BORED!
They spent all day alone and want you to play with them, take them outside or go for a nice long walk.
But instead you’re choosing to do something else, and that makes them want to whine to let you know, “hey! I’m bored over here!”.
You may also notice them whine or cry if you grabbed their leash or said walk but didn’t end up taking them out.
They probably got themselves all excited about going out and doing their favorite activity, and then you decided now wasn’t the time.
So they’re whining to let you know they’re bored and want to go out.
One of the more obvious reasons for your schnauzer to whine or cry is because they’re scared.
If you have a guest in your home that your pup feels uneasy about, they might cry because they’re afraid of the new person in their home.
Or if they aren’t good with other dogs, they may whine when around larger, more intimidating dogs.
If your pup wasn’t socialized much when they were younger, new people and dogs may easily frighten them.
In addition to crying you may notice them excessively pacing, heavily panting or shaking/trembling.
Just as people do when they’re in pain or great discomfort, they cry.
If your pup has an injury, internal or external, or you accidently stepped on their paw or tail, they’ll let you know they’re in pain by whining or crying.
If you notice that whenever your pup does certain movements that they whimper, they may have an injury you aren’t aware of.
For example if they let out a whine when they jump on or off the couch, or when climbing up or down the stairs, they may have an injury.
If your schnauzer is getting older it could be anything from arthritis, hip & elbow dysplasia, or a range of internal complications.
If it’s not noticeable what’s bothering your pup it’s important to take them to the vet to have them looked at.
5) Want Attention
Probably the most common reason for your schnauzer to be whining or crying is that they want your attention.
You’ve likely trained them (unknowingly) that when they whine, you give them attention.
Whenever they’ve whined in the past, you come to the rescue and give them love and attention in an attempt to make them feel better.
Believe me, I know how hard it is to hear them cry and not rush over to make them feel better or make sure they’re okay.
But unfortunately, if you want them to stop crying so much, you’ll have to resist the urge to cater to them when they cry.
You can usually tell between a cry that’s looking for attention versus a cry from pain that absolutely needs your attention.
So for the 99% of the time when they cry for no reason other than attention, it’s important to do your best to ignore it.
If you don’t, they’ll continue to whine whenever they’re feeling deprived of your attention.
6) They’re a More Vocal Pup
Just like some people are louder or more quiet than other people, your schnauzer might be more vocal than other pups.
Almost like they’re having a conversation with you, they may whine to express how they’re feeling in many situations.
They think you understand what they’re trying to communicate when they whine or cry so they continue to be vocal.
Your pup might simply think they’re a person too and communicate with various sounds of whining and crying.
7) Need Something
Sometimes your schnauzer whining is a great thing because they’re letting you know they need something.
Whether their food or water bowl is empty, they need to be let outside or they can’t reach their toy under the couch.
Crying in this instance is more of a friendly reminder.
If they need to go to the bathroom and they whine at the door to be let out, you’re much happier that they let you know rather than having an accident inside.
Same with their food and water bowls. Sometimes you might forget to check if they need food or water and they cry to remind you it’s time for their dinner.
A study was done not too long ago that found dogs are actually smarter than people may think. They found that dogs’ intelligence levels could be as high as a 2-year old human.
So much like a child may whine to get the attention of their parents to let them know they need something, so will your schnauzer!
They’re quite smart when it comes to pattern recognition. When they notice you do a certain action when they do a certain action. If they like your action, they’ll continue to repeat their action.
If their whining stops after you’ve done what you think they needed, that’s likely the reason for the crying.
8) Doggy Apology
If playtime got a little rough and your schnauzer accidentally bit you too hard or scratched you, they may whine as a form of doggo apology.
This is partially instinctive to them because their wolf ancestors could be kicked out of the pack if they break the rules.
So if they tore up a pillow and you’re asking them who did it and they respond with a whine, ears lowered, and tail between their legs, they could be apologizing.
They don’t want you to shun them from the pack and are attempting to say they’re sorry for what they did.
9) Separation Anxiety
If you notice your schnauzer whines excessively whenever you’re about to leave the house, they may have separation anxiety.
They may whine, cry, bark or howl to an extreme extent when they’re away from you which can be an indicator that they’re emotionally dependent on you.
If their crying happens for long periods of time after you leave, this could be a sign they have severe anxiety.
You may also notice destructive behaviors in addition to excessive whining and crying.
Top 5 Tips To Get Your Schnauzer To Stop Whining & Crying
1) Ignore Whines & Praise Being Quiet
Certainly easier said than done. But one way to stop your schnauzer from whining and crying so much is to ignore the behavior.
If you notice they whine or cry a lot when not in pain or afraid, they’re likely doing it for attention.
Which means you ignoring their cries for attention won’t put them in danger or at risk of harming themselves.
This is a surefire way to demonstrate to your pup that whining and crying won’t work to get your attention.
When you notice they stop and behave calmly/quietly, then you can give them an abundance of love and attention.
This will help cement in their mind that being quiet is how to get your attention.
If you’re watching TV and your doggo is being good and quietly sitting next to you, give them praise for behaving so well.
Soon they’ll learn that being quiet gets them what they want and crying doesn’t
2) Train The ‘Quiet’ Command
Whether you use the word ‘quiet’, ‘enough’, or ‘hush, isn’t super important. The important thing is to teach your pup a command that makes them be quiet.
Sprucepets shares a simple yet effective way to train a ‘quiet’ command.
Here’s how it looks;
Step 1: Do something to make them bark. Have a friend or someone ring the doorbell for example.
Step 2: Get your schnauzer’s attention to stop them from barking. You can use a toy or treat here.
Step 3: Once they stop barking, give them the toy or treat.
Step 4: Repeat steps 1 & 2 but gradually wait longer periods after your pup quiets down to give them their toy or treat.
Step 5: After they’ve quieted down a few times and have been rewarded, next time you get them barking say the command word. Continue to say the command word in a firm tone until they stop barking then reward them.
Sounds simple enough, but can sometimes take a couple weeks to get right.
The challenge is staying consistent with the training until it’s learned by your pup.
3) Take Them To The Vet
If after reading through our top 9 reasons you’re either still unsure, or think it could be because of pain, it’s important to take them to the vet.
For the most part, dogs will do their best to hide when they’re in pain.
So if your pup is whining a lot it could be something going on inside that’s hurting them.
4) Desensitize Them
If you’re able to find the trigger that’s causing them to feel scared, overly anxious, or otherwise stressed out, you can help desensitize them.
This means putting them in a controlled, safe environment along with their trigger to help them overcome their negative feelings.
This definitely takes time and patience, but is truly the only way to help them relax.
If they are able to come to terms that what once was a trigger for them, is no big deal anymore, they’ll be able to live a much less stressful life.
5) Downplay Greetings/Interactions
Overly excited hellos or overly sad goodbyes can be fixed by making them less of a big deal.
If whenever you come home you make a big deal that you’re home, your schnauzer may get so excited that they whine.
It’s best to come home calmly and do what you need to do when you come home.
Then, once you’ve settled, give them love and attention.
And when it comes to leaving, try to make it not obvious that you’re leaving.
Without knowing, you likely go through the exact same routine every single time you leave the house.
Which lets your pup buildup the fact that they know you’re going to leave soon.
If instead when you grabbed your keys you did the dishes or sat down and watched TV.
Or grabbed and put on your jacket but went and did laundry.
When you do this it will confuse your pup into not knowing exactly when you’ll be leaving.
And when it’s not obvious and you don’t make a big deal that you’re leaving, they won’t be able to get themselves all worked up.
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