Skip to Content

Revealed: 9 Real Reasons Why Dogs Whine When They See You

Why Do Dogs Whine When They See You

Your dog isn’t able to speak with you through words…

And so, they found a way:

They will whine as a way of telling you something.

Exactly what are they saying?

This article would translate those whines for you…

Read on to discover:

  • 9 reasons why your dog whines when they see you.
  • How to curb your dog’s whining for attention-seeking.
  • 5 types of incidents that could cause your dog to whine when you’re in sight.
  • And many more…

Why do dogs whine when they see you?

Dogs whine when they see you as a greeting or display of curiosity or excitement. Its also due to fear, anxiety, boredom, pain, hunger, or frustration. Other times they whine to alert you of something.

9 reasons why dogs whine when they see you

#1: It’s a form of greeting

Ever get that feeling where you can’t wait to go home?

It’s not just the comfort of your own house you’re missing…

It’s your pupper, too. You miss them and wonder what they’re doing…

Fast forward to the time you’re finally going home…

Once you’re in front of your house, you can already hear your pup whining.

And so, you move quickly and open the door as fast as you can.

The door’s open and…


Your pooch charges towards you and whines.

They continue to whine even when you’re already inside.

That makes you feel a little bad for leaving them for the day.

It’s because your pooch cried when you left, too. Then, now you’re home, they cry and it looks like they’ve been lonely.

They indeed have been lonely when you’re gone.

However, you don’t have to worry about this situation. That’s because it’s perfectly normal for dogs to react that way when you get home.

Moreover, whining isn’t a message for loneliness.

Your dog is just greeting you and is happy to see you!

Those whines could translate into, “Welcome home, hooman! I missed you…”

#2: Excitement

Let’s relate this to a situation that you might have experienced…

Imagine you’re at a restaurant:

You’ve ordered your meal, and now you’re waiting for it

Moments later, you see the waitress with your food.

This gets you so excited on the inside…

But you tried to remain calm, of course.

Well, your pooch relates to this situation, too.

Sure, the setting for your canine is different…

But Fido knows the feeling of excitement when food is about to arrive on their bowls.

Want to know the only difference?

Your canine can’t hide it the way you can.

You’re the waitress in this situation. That’s why your canine whines when seeing you…

Food isn’t the only factor that could get your dog enthusiastic.

The sight of you with their leash or toy could create the same effect on your dog.

They know they’re about to get something they love from you. With that, let’s translate those whines, and it becomes:

“I can’t wait…I can’t wait…I can’t waaait!”

Additionally, the excitement towards the food could also be accompanied by drooling.

Let’s talk about the widely known…

The famous classical conditioning

Ivan Pavlov was a Nobel prize laureate. In the 1890s, he accidentally made a discovery

That discovery revolves around classical conditioning. Moreover, it involves dogs.

Initially, he’s investigating the increased salivation of dogs. He hypothesized that that happens in the sight of food…

Along in the experiment, he discovers something else…

And it’s the fact that the subject dog already drools at the sound of his technician’s footsteps.

That’s because his technician is the one who brings the food for the experiment.

He used a metronome as a stimulus for food. Every time that metronome clicks, the canine receives their meal.

With that, the dog became conditioned to salivate in the sound of the metronome.

This experiment is still widely appropriate. That’s because the stimulus can’t just be footsteps or the metronome clicking…

In modern times it could be:

  • Opening a bag of food.
  • Using a can opener on their wet canned food.
  • The rustling of their dry kibble on the container.
  • The sound of you opening the cabinet where you keep their food.

#3: Fear and anxiety

Your Dog Whines When They See You Because Of Fear And Anxiety

It’s a widespread belief:

Whining is equal to crying.

It might be true most of the time. Moreover, it’s caused by some factors that could be of concern…

It’s like a child crying to their parents. Kids want to let their parents know that something’s wrong…

Your pooch might be doing the same. And so, in the sight of you, they begin their complaint…

“What made my fur baby cry?”

They fear something

Fear is the natural reaction to an actual or perceived threat.

Your dog reacts with fear if they experience something unpleasant, too.

When they feel this way, you become their go-to person. That could be why they start to whine when they see you…

What causes fear in dogs?

The MSDVM gives us a list as an answer:

  • Loud and sudden noises.
  • Being put in a new environment.
  • Irregular surfaces for your dog, like wooden floors.
  • Odd visual stimuli. Examples are umbrellas and mirrors.
  • Other dogs, especially those that they meet for the first time.
  • New and unusual people. By unusual, it means that your dog’s not used to seeing people dressed or looking the way they are.

Phobias in dogs

PetMD describes phobia as the repetitive and extreme fear of a specific stimulus.

Say that your dog experiences a phobic event.

Once that happens, anything close or even thinking about it could trigger fear in your dog.

This type of condition disrupts your dog’s daily life.

Lastly, the most common phobias in dogs are due to loud noises, like fireworks.

They have anxiety

On the other hand, anxiety is the anticipation of fearful situations.

In this condition, your dog gets anxious due to perceived threats.

This creates a fearful reaction in your dog. And they would whine whether they saw you or not.

Aside from whining, there are other signs of anxiety in dogs. They are:

Causes of anxiety in dogs include:

  • Aging.
  • Having illnesses in the past.
  • Lacking socialization during their puppyhood.
  • Being forced to experience frightening events.
  • Having a history of abandonment, if they have separation anxiety.

For further reading: 19 Proven Ways To Calm Your Anxious Dog (How-To Guide)

#4: Pain drives them to

When a child is hurt, they cry to let an adult know. 

Once a grownup hears that sobbing, they immediately check the kid…

Your dog sends the same signal that kids use…

Maybe, when you turned your back, Fido hurt themself…

Then, they finally see you and whine. They do so to let you know that they’re hurt.

The whining translation could be, “Hooman…I’m hurt…”

According to experts, here are the most common injuries on dogs. Also included are things that you could do if that’s the case:

Ingestion of a foreign body

Your canine is naturally curious…

And, they mainly answer this curiosity using their mouth.

With that, they’re bound to put their mouth where they shouldn’t.

Behind your back, your pooch might ingest non-food items.

Examples of these objects are:

  • Rocks.
  • Broken glasses.
  • Pieces of fabrics.
  • Fluff from their broken stuffed toys.

Those are just examples. Anything that fits into their mouth, they might eat…

The usual sign of this is vomiting.


Yet again, it’s caused by your pooch’s curious nature.

Your canine got their paws on things they shouldn’t ingest. Like:

  • Salt.
  • Medications.
  • Household chemicals, e.g., bleach, antifreeze.
  • Common human foods, e.g., onions, chocolates, or avocados.

The signs of poisoning are:

 If this is the case, the best response is to call pet poison control.

If no hotlines are available, take your dog to the vet immediately.


In this condition, your pooch injures their ligaments.

That body part connects one bone to another.

Altogether, it causes joint damage.

Causes of this injury:

  • Taking on hard falls.
  • Jumping on hurdles.
  • Wrongly stepping into a hole.


When your dog gets strains, their tendons are injured. That means the link between their muscles and bones is damaged.

Causes of this injury are:

  • Falling.
  • Slipping.
  • Jumping.

Dog bites

If you have numerous fur babies, this is plausible. 

Your dogs might have gotten into a fight when you’re not around.

The wounds for this type of injury are obvious. The signs are:

  • Cuts.
  • Bruising.
  • Skin laceration.
  • Bleeding wounds.

Warning: There might be internal damages to your dog’s body, too.

If the fight is huge, your pooch could have broken bones.

With that, the best way to be sure is to seek a veterinarian’s help.

Those aren’t just the plausible reasons for your dog’s pain. They could be feeling something internally…

They’re sick

Your dog might not be feeling well, and they’re trying to tell you. So, when they see you, Fido begins whining.

However, you’re still unsure. It’s because, so far, only whining is on the table…

Plus, you might not be a professional. That’s why you can’t quickly diagnose.

Regardless, take notes and watch out for these signs of sickness in dogs. It’s given to us by AKC, they are:

If your pooch shows one or too many of these signs, get them checked by a vet.

#5: They’re hungry

They Whine When They're Hungry

Imagine this:

You’re currently resting on your couch…

Then, you hear your pooch enter the living room.

As they see you, they begin whining…

“What do you want?” 

The only answer you get is continuous whining…

Which I will translate into, “There you are, hooman…I’m hunggy…”

This can happen anytime your pup feels hungry. They can whine until evening if they’re still hungry…

To prevent this from happening again, you must feed your dog the right amount. 

Moreover, you should provide them with food at a healthy interval.

Let me get into detail:

How much food you should feed your dog

There are many important factors to consider in this matter. namely:

  • Your pooch’s body weight.
  • Your canine’s metabolic rate.
  • The type of food you feed to your dog.
  • The amount of exercise your pup receives.
  • How many meals a day does your dog eats

Regardless, here’s a guide that you can follow:

Dog weightDaily food requirement
3 lbs (1.4 kg) to 6 lbs (2.7 kg)2.6 oz (74 mL) to 4 oz (113 mL)
10 lbs (4.5 kg) to 20 lbs (9 kg)6 oz (170 mL) to 10.5 oz (300 mL)
30 lbs (13.6 kg) to 50 lbs (22.7 kg)14 oz (400 mL) to 21 oz (600 mL)
60 lbs (27.2 kg) to 100 lbs (45 kg)24 oz (680 mL) to  36 oz (1000mL)

How many times you should feed your dog

You must feed your dog twice a day. You should give those meals between an 8 to 12-hour interval.

Risks of feeding your dog less than the requirement

If their nutritional needs aren’t met, your dog could face health issues.

According to PetMD, one of those issues is nutritional deficiency. And with that deficiency, your dog could develop diseases.

Vets warned us about the following:

  • Arthritis.
  • Skin disorders.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Cushing’s disease.
  • Shortened lifespan.
  • Reduced quality of life.
  • Congestive heart failure.
  • Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD).

#6: Boredom

Every human has been tormented by boredom. That’s a known fact…

But that fact isn’t limited to humans. Animals experience it, too.

“How are we able to tell?”

Following the findings of this paper, it says that animals can care. And with the ability to care comes the tendency to get bored.

Your dog cares about a lot, including:

  • You.
  • Eating.
  • Playing.
  • Their toys.
  • Their belongings, like their bed.

If the majority are out of their reach, they might end up with nothing to do. And so, they feel dull…

The way to tell you is through vocalization like whining. So, when your pooch sees you, they do so.

It could translate to:

“Hooman…there you are…we gotta do something…”

As stated by AKC, there are other signs of dog boredom. Those are:

  • Digging.
  • Acting restless.
  • Jumping on you.
  • Barking excessively.
  • Destructive behaviors.
  • Tipping the garbage over.
  • Mugging you constantly for attention.
  • Chewing your belongings, like blankets, clothes, and shoes.

Here’s how you can ensure your dog doesn’t get bored:

Exercise them

Regularly exercising your dog could drain their energy.

Moreover, such activity would be great for their health.

Remember: If there’s not much energy to spare, there’s not much time to care!

Socialize them

Keeping your dog socialized is one of your responsibilities as a dog parent.

Socialization could help mentally stimulate your fur baby.

Note: All dogs of all ages need socialization. However, it’s most important during the early stage of their life.

Keep them productive

If exercise and socializing are done…

What’s still left to do?

It’s to keep your pooch productive at home.

Of course, they could regain their energy after resting. With that, they would need another healthy outlet.

Here’s the trick for that:

Provide your dog with interactive toys.

Such is mentally stimulating for your canine.

Try this dog-parent holy grail when it comes to interactive toys: the Kong wobbler.

Warning: Extreme boredom could push your dog to escape.

Your pup’s also prone to experiencing depression if they’re always bored.

#7: They’re alerting you of something

Your canine is naturally protective.

Moreover, they’re compelled to protect because you’re a part of their pack…

So, if your dog whines when they see you, they might be warning you of something. Their protective nature urges them to do so.

Whether you should be worried or not depends…


It’s because your pooch could alert you because of a simple lizard creeping around.

It could be a tip that a rodent’s on the loose in your neighborhood.

The more dangerous reasons are burglars, fires, or broken things around the house.

Also read: 19 Signs Your Dog Is Protective Over You (Check Out #7)

#8: Attention-seeking

All that whining could be your pup’s gambit. It aims for you to pay attention to them…

Dogs do this because they’re social animals. If left to their own devices, they would get bored and exhausted.

Moreover, your attention is one of their many treasures.

In fact, they love it so much, they can’t hide it!

Based on research, a dog’s facial expressions are affected by human attention. They produce more facial moments when you recognize them.

So, since you’re Fido’s person, they go to you…

They whine and hope that you notice them.

Experts tell us these other signs of attention-seeking in dogs:

  • Pawing.
  • Barking.
  • Jumping on you.
  • Nudging you with their nose.
  • Dropping their toys to initiate play.

As their dog parent, you don’t want your pup to feel neglected.

So how can you improve the situation?

Step 1: You must schedule frequent attention time for your dog.

In this, set a time in the day where all your focus is on your fur baby.

Here are samples of activities that you could do with your pooch:

  • Massaging them.
  • Cuddling with them.
  • Playing games like fetch.
  • Practicing new and old tricks.

Step 2. Remain consistent with this schedule.

Perform and follow the schedule by heart. It’s because your dog would do so.

Canines thrive in familiarity. That’s why they’ll know when to expect attention and when not to.

If you don’t remain consistent, your pooch might get confused.

And in the dog world, confusion is chaos. It might lead to more disobedience and unwanted behaviors.

Step 3. Ignore attention-seeking behaviors.

The reason why your dog practices such behaviors might be because of your reward.

Your pooch knows that if they do this or that, you’d notice them…

And so, they continue doing it. 

That’s why, if you want to get rid of such behaviors, you have to learn to ignore your pup.

After they show the undesirable behavior, wait for a while. Once they settle, that’s where you recognize them.

That’ll condition them to think that behaving gives more.

Continue reading: 9 Surprising Reasons Why Your Dog Whines When You Pet Him

#9: They’re curious

Not only is your dog greeting you once you come home…

The whining is also accompanied by jumping on you.

Then, as you try to settle inside your pooch begins sniffing your clothes. While they do, they continue whining.

“What’s wrong with you?”

Nothing worrying is going on with your pooch…

They’re just curious!

They want to know where you’ve been and who you’re with…

They’re more pressing than your strict parents.

And so, they sniff and investigate.

After all, they have a fantastic sense of smell.

According to VCA Hospital, dogs have 100 million smell receptors in the nose.

Moreover, they can smell up to 10,000 times better than humans…

With that, you now understand that your dog’s whining could be important detective work.