Puppyfilter: 9 month old lab. Will this habitual whining get better with age?
This is Moose
. See how sad he is? He's so sad. You could be scratching behind his ears right now, but nooo... you're checking your email. You cruel, cruel dog owner. How could you? Whimper! Whimper! Oh, the dogmanity!
This, intermittently, is our life with the new puppy. We adopted Moose two months ago, and for the most part, he's chill and incredibly well-behaved; housetrained, good with other dogs, loves his crate, doesn't destroy our stuff, and sleeps through the night. My last dog was a lab adopted at age 4, so this is my first time doing the puppy thing. Moose gets long daily walks, frequent trips outdoors, and has someone home all day. He can happily sleep in his crate for 10-12 hours on weekends, but as one of us gets up in the morning - even if it's just to go to the bathroom at 6AM and go back to bed - the whimpering starts.
It's not constant, but it is habitual. He doesn't seem to be hugely distressed or increasingly frantic - it's more than he whimpers because he's lonely. (I let him out of his crate this morning and he was perfectly fine to wait around for 10 minutes while I got ready for work before taking him out or feeding him breakfast, for instance.) Sometimes the loneliness is laughably pathetic - like whining because we have our backs turned, or while lying otherwise-contentedly in his crate with the door open when we're sitting on the sofa. (I suspect he wants us to come pet him, but is too comfy to get up. We try not to indulge this.) Other times it'll be because a dog outside is barking and he wants to go play.
We've pretty much fixed his issues with us leaving the house (peanut butter kong, you're a lifesaver!), but I'm at a loss what to do with what seems to be nearly conversational
whining. On a weekend, I'd say we get 8-12 whimpering episodes a day that last 3-5 minutes. In the mornings, it keeps going until you let him out - and we have shared walls, so uninterrupted doggie tantrums aren't an option. Is this normal for a dog his age? Will it go away with time? Should we be doing more to correct/not reinforce it? I've looked through a lot of old Asks, but they seem more geared towards dogs who are uncomfortable with crates or dealing with severe separation anxiety. I'm looking for advice, suggestions, anecdotes and reassurance from your own dog experiences.
(PS - While Moose would love it, a second dog isn't an option for us.)