Whining is one of the first behaviors your cavalier king charles puppy learned shortly after being born.  Just as a baby cries to communicate, puppies whine for essentially the same reasons.  Contrary to what some may think, a king charles will whine because it wants or needs something.  Dogs do not make this pathetic or mournful sound for the sake of annoying you.  In fact, dogs do not always whine because they want attention either.  

Why does a cavalier king charles puppy whine?  Your pup may cry because he is…

  • Scared
  • Hurt
  • Upset
  • Hungry or thirsty
  • In need to eliminate
  • Stressed
  • Bored
  • Lonely or suffering from separation anxiety
  • In need of attention

Since there are many reasons why your cavalier may whine, it is up to you to determine when his whining is appropriate and when it is not.  However, keep in mind that even at times when you do not find his whiny behavior acceptable, you should not punish him, because reprimanding him won’t work.  So what can you do if you do not want to condone your spaniel’s whining?

It depends on the situation, but here are some tips:

Physical needs – Keep your cavalier king charles puppy on a routine to prevent him from whining for food, water and the need to relieve himself.

Lonliness/separation anxiety – cavalier king charles spaniels are by nature a highly sociable dog, and they want to be with their owners all of the time.  They do not like to be alone, and require plenty of attention.  Unfortunately, there is no way you can be with your dog 24/7, so your king charles puppy is going to have to learn to cope with your absence.  You can help him by:

  • Putting on a radio
  • Leaving on a light
  • Providing him with a few favourite toys and a special treat
  • Exercising and playing with him prior to leaving and when you get home
  • Not making a fuss over him before and after you leave

Boredom – Play with your dog if you haven’t paid him much attention or take him for a walk.  If you do not have the time, supply him with good toys.

Attention – If your cavalier king charles puppy is clearly whining because he wants your attention, ignore him; do not look at or talk to your dog.  As soon as your puppy stops whining and goes to play by himself, lies down, etc., engage him in play and lavish plenty of affection and attention on him.  This will help him understand he is rewarded when he doesn’t cry at you.

Fear – Depending on what your spaniel is afraid of, you may be able to remove what is scaring him, or take the dog out of the environment he fears.  You may find that providing him with a crate or another safe place to escape will help him calm down.  Just remember that you will want to remain calm and affectionate towards him, but not coddle or praise him, because you don’t want him thinking his fear is something you approve of.

Pain – If you should ever suspect your cavalier king charles puppy is whining because he is in pain, immediately take him to the vet to be checked for injury or illness.