Five Simple Steps to Stop your Collie Whining

Nothing is more heartbreaking than hearing your beloved collie whining and not being able to understand why, or how to stop it.

A whining collie is usually a symptom of a larger problem that needs to be addressed, but it’s not always obvious what the root cause is. They may need additional exercise or calmness training, or they may be suffering from separation anxiety or loneliness.

The best way to stop your collie whining is to find the reason they are whining in the first place and solve the root cause of the problem so that they have nothing to whine about. Common causes of whining in collies include boredom, lack of attention, loneliness, stress, excitement, and pain or discomfort. If your collie is whining compulsively, they may also need some calmness training.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the reasons collies whine and learn what you can do to help them overcome their whining problems! Helping your dog to stop whining will improve their quality of life and yours!

1: Do a Body Check

Whining is usually not a major problem, but it can also be caused by pain and discomfort. Before looking at any training, it’s important to rule out any physical injuries that may be causing your collie to whine.

The first step is to give them a good once over to make sure nothing is causing them any pain or discomfort. This is especially important if they whine while doing certain things or if they’re refusing food or you notice them having trouble going to the toilet.

To give your collie a body check, look at them and pet them all over. You’re looking to see if they’re uncomfortable with you touching areas they usually let you touch, or if you feel anything abnormal. Take a close look at their paws and skin, check that there’s nothing stuck in between their paw pads, that a claw hasn’t grown too long, and that they aren’t suffering from any ticks or fleas.

If you notice any change in their eating and toilet habits along with whining then it’s time for a vet visit. If you notice anything is different, even if it only looks minor, take them to see the vet in order to rule out any serious problems.

Eliminating this concern means you can move on to looking at training and behavioral exercises to find the root cause of the whining.

2: Additional Exercise

Now that you have ruled out any physical injuries, the next step is to make sure your collie’s needs are being met. Collies need a lot of exercise and some additional exercise may be just what your collie needs.

Keeping a close eye on your dog while they’re out walking can also help you spot any common health issues collies face, such as ticks or fleas, or overgrown claws.

More walks, harder walks, playtime at home, and mental games at home are all great for exercise and will help your collie feel happier if they are whining due to boredom, loneliness, or lack of attention.

If your collie is getting stressed in the house then more exercise outside will help, but you may also need to check what’s going on at home and eliminate the source of that stress.

Collies are emotional dogs with a lot of energy, so leaving them home alone where they have no company and no way to exercise is extremely cruel and may result in them developing compulsive behaviors and other mental issues.

Keeping toys around they can access at all times is a good way to help your collie feel less bored when they do have to be left home alone.

A collie/whippet crossbreed playing in a verdant meadow
Collies need a LOT of exercise. They can not cope with being locked inside all day, and need large, open spaces where they can run and play for several hours every day.

3: Work with a Professional Dog Trainer

It’s difficult to know the exact cause of whining but talking with a professional dog trainer who is used to working with collies will help you identify the source. They can also help you find the best way to help your dog with anxiety and stress-related problems such as whining.

Finding the cause of the anxiety, fear or stress can be difficult but outside help from a professional makes it much easier.

Whining can be caused by all kinds of things including loud noises, bad past experiences resulting in a phobia, trauma from past events including natural disasters, a new animal in the house, a new human in the house, and much more. A dog trainer will be familiar with these problems and can help you isolate the issue.

4: Teach them when it’s Acceptable to Whine

Sometimes the whining can become a habit and breaking this habit is key. Assuming they are not in pain, discomfort, or experiencing any mental health issues, there’s no harm in teaching them when it’s acceptable to whine.

Giving them a quick and easy command such as “sit” will distract them which gives you a chance to start a quick training session with a reward at the end. Praise them for being quiet and calm as well as for when they whine correctly.

When your collie whines to get outside to go to the toilet, that’s an example of a good time for them to whine. The same is true if they whine because their water bowl is empty or for any other similar reasons. Always use positive reinforcement to reward them for this type of positive behavior so that they don’t think they can never whine.

It’s important to keep the situation in mind. If your collie is suddenly whining and constantly touching you in the same spot then it might be time for you to see a doctor since dogs are much more perceptive than us and have been known to pick up on pregnancies and certain illnesses in their owner even before their owner noticed!

A border collie whining, resting her head on her owner's lap begging for food
Your collie might be begging for food or attention. As long as their needs are being met, it’s important not to positively reinforce any negative behaviours like whining or begging as it can be difficult to correct learned bad habits later.

5: Don’t give in to begging whines

Assuming they aren’t in pain, discomfort, or are experiencing mental health issues then there’s a chance they want you to do something that isn’t essential. For example, they could whine for a treat or to get access to closed rooms or furniture they shouldn’t be on.

This minor issue could become a major problem over time if you capitulate to their whining demands.

Even occasionally giving in when your collie is whining will reinforce that whining will get them what they want. This then develops into more whining for other things and it spirals from there. Collies are super smart and once they learn a technique that works, you better believe they will use it again and again.

You need to teach them when it’s acceptable to whine and redirect their attention to something else instead. Don’t give in to this type of whining, but do still investigate if their whining is out of character to make sure there isn’t something more serious at play.

About the author:

About the author:

Hollie and Border Collie

 Stuart MacPherson

Colliepedia Editor

 Stuart MacPherson

Colliepedia Editor

I'm an experienced collie owner from Scotland. I started Colliepedia to share everything I know about collies. All the pictures you see on colliepedia are of my beloved collie Luna

Learn More about me and Luna's story on the about page!