Why does our dog whine when we give him a new toy?
July 12, 2006 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Why does our dog whine when we give him a new toy?

We have a one year old male pug who has always had the odd habit of whining for about 5-10 minutes after we give him a new toy or a bone or something of the sort.

He just picks it up in his mouth and either sits there and stares at us and whines (with it in his mouth), or his walks around our house whining with it in his mouth.
posted by JPigford to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Awww, he's saying thank you!
posted by Sara Anne at 12:48 PM on July 12, 2006

My terrier does this too. He is stressed out because he can't find a place to hide it.

Eventually something pops out at them and they can hide it there - but it's just their natural instinct to hide it for later.
posted by jimmy0x52 at 12:52 PM on July 12, 2006

Maybe his initial instinct is to keep it away from you or bury it and he's whining because he's frustrated. Then he adapts and all is good again.
posted by iconomy at 12:52 PM on July 12, 2006

Stop getting him toys made of broken glass.

I second the "thank you" idea.

And I want to see video. This sounds unbearably cute.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:53 PM on July 12, 2006

Seconding video!

posted by timetoevolve at 12:54 PM on July 12, 2006

Why does our dog whine when we give him a new toy?

'Cause it's not the one he wanted?
posted by lekvar at 12:57 PM on July 12, 2006

Whatever the reason, he's whining because he's generally insecure -- nowhere to hide it, don't know what to do with it, etc. This is relatively easy to train out of the dog, but if there's no other problem, it's not a big deal.
posted by frogan at 1:00 PM on July 12, 2006

My lab gets excited when he gets a new toy to the point he may start shaking a little bit and breathing hard and "whining". He's the most vocal dog I've ever seen though- not barking, but groaning and whining and makeing strange noises when he's happy.

So it could be he is just super stoaked about getting a new toy!
posted by gus at 1:46 PM on July 12, 2006

Response by poster: In response to hiding...he's never hid anything...ever. He just doesn't hide stuff.

And it's more "interesting" than a "problem" for sure. Just wasn't sure if there was some reason dogs do that.

As for a movie, the only movie I can give you is of one when he was about 2 months old and snoring his little face off: check it out :)
posted by JPigford at 2:01 PM on July 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

Mine does this too, but it's always the hiding issue.

Generally he stops after a few, disappears for about 5 minutes, resurfaces happy as can be and later that evening, I generally find it in our comforter on the bed or worse, I don't find it and hop into bed and jab myself on a Greenie.
posted by jerseygirl at 2:22 PM on July 12, 2006

When dogs get really excited, they don't quite know how to express it.

Mine goes sproinging around in circles, shaking the toys so hard they go flying across the room. If I wander off or stop paying attention she bonks my knee with them.

Your dog's behavior sounds slightly less... hazardous. (With enough velocity, a stuffed octopus to the face hurts!)
posted by cmyk at 3:41 PM on July 12, 2006

JPigford, thank you so very much for that little clip. That is dang adorable. And funny. :)
posted by shifafa at 3:57 PM on July 12, 2006

That video needs to be sent to cuteoverload.com.
posted by joannemerriam at 4:39 PM on July 12, 2006

I can't find a link to support this, but I swear I read this was a behavior common among pugs and is tied in to what several folks have mentioned - the inherent desire to hide the toy.

It is entirely possible that your pug doesn't even know that hiding the toy is an option (especially if he never saw an older dog doing it). He does, however, instinctually know that there is something he is supposed to do with the toy but can't figure out what that might be.

That all being said, this is an adorable and endearing behavior and most likely causes no harm to your doggie. I encourage you to enjoy it every time he does it and show it off to your friends like a trick. And absolutely get a video of it.

On a related note, many labs share a similar behavior in that when a new person arrives at their house, they want to pick up a toy and carry it to them. An adorable and very social way of greeting a new person, I've always thought.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:46 PM on July 12, 2006

JPigford, I promise you that he is whining because he feels the instinctive need to hide the toy. I have a two-year-old pug, and she has also recently developed this behavior. At age one, she did not do it at all, with anything. At 18 months, however, she started doing it with rawhide chews, although she would eventually chew them. Now, at two years, she will not even chew the rawhide. She simply "buries" it - cracks on the couch, in her toybox, under my pillow - or abandons it out of frustration. She will seriously just carry it around for a while, and if she doesn't bury it, she just drops it in the middle of the floor, and gives up.

I thought that the theory was bunk, too, but after I personally saw it develop in my pug, I am a believer.

PS I trust that you will name your next pug "J. Pugford."
posted by MrZero at 5:14 PM on July 12, 2006

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