Posted by dogdaze24
Aug 28, 2010
My 20 month old female Westie whines when I leave her with anyone. She does not whine or do anything negative when I leave her at home alone & other people who know her can come in and take her to their homes without issue, but...I cannot seem to leave her anywhere?
It does not seem to matter how well she knows the people I leave her with (obviously I don't leave her with strangers :rolleyes...and when I leave her with 'friends with dogs' she is extremely happy about the playdate but apparently during any 'downtime' she tends to go to the door/window and does a bit of whining (then returns to playtime). Luckily none of my family or friends complain, but I do make a point of keeping aware of the behaviours...it has improved during the past year+, but very little.
Thanks for your input - Any suggestions on how to address/fix the problem would be welcome.

FYI: She is well behaved, follows most basic commands & gets along well with adults/kids/most other dogs. She has an unfortunate history of having allergies & she has been physically attacked by large off-leash/untrained dogs on 4 occasions-all at night, so she has some anxiety barking (using a bark-spray collar now). I have made a point of focusing on socialization with dogs and humans. I don't think these two issues factor in, but just in case, the info is there.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Aug 29, 2010
Hi dogdaze,

First off, is it just you and your Westie at home, or do you have a partner/anyone else living with you? Its been my (somewhat limited) experiences with Westies that they become attached to one person moreso than others, and while they're happy with other people, their primary person is their favorite.

It sounds to me like your Westie whines if she sees you leave her "alone". Its not the same as someone taking her from your place, its the act of you walking out the door from her, I believe.

That being said, since you can't be there to train her if you're gone (), the person who she is with should just ignore her completely when she whines. She's doing it for attention and to alert to your missing presence in a way, and if whoever she is with then turns and says "its ok" or something similar, or tries to get her attention, she'll only do the whining longer. When she goes to a window and whines, she shouldn't get any attention. If the person watching her has another dog they can try playing with their dog and making a big deal of the fun they are having, in an effort to show her there are better things to do than stare and whine, but they shouldn't actually call her over or anything like that.

When you leave try not to rile her up with baby talking or telling her to be good or the like. This sort of talking her up can lead to more anxiety/excitement for her about the situation and worsen the whining. Just say goodbye, give a "no" command if she starts whining as you're leaving, and get out the door! Don't draw out the process, the less time she has to wind up about being left, the better

Its hard to be able to do anything when she's all alone, obviously, but the fact that no one is there to pay attention to her while she's whining will help. I think with more experience of being left and not "babied" about it she will get better. Getting older with help her too, 20 months is a teenager stage for dogs and they can show behaviours like this that they'll soon grow out of.

Hope things improve!
Posted by dogdaze24
Sep 6, 2010
Hi: Thanks for the input. Yes I am pretty much the only one in the house, so there is obvious attachment. I learned from years of having a cat that simple exits are the best - whether leaving her alone at home or at a friend's home. My sister & her family live next door -so that is the place she spends the most time, but she also knows my sister will coddle her (her husband does not) for the most part. She is pretty good with the groomer (no nonsense lady), so I guess it continues to be a work in progress.
I am hoping that she eventually grows out of it & that regular practice might help to speed up the process.
Thanks again.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Sep 6, 2010
Hey dogdaze,

Maybe ask your sister not to coddle so much and try the ignoring technique to help speed up the process?

I think she'll quiet down soon enough