Staffies are often known to be a chatty breed of dog. This can range from dog to dog. My Staffy is a little more on the quiet side, but she does still whine and cry on a regular basis. Over the years I have figured out the various reasons why my Staffy does this and have been able to address it accordingly.
Why do Staffies whine and cry a lot? There are several reasons why a Staffy will whine and cry. Excitement, seeking attention, anxiety, frustration, boredom, hunger, pain, or general learned behavior. Staffies can be a vocal dog, and there are ways to lessen the noise and give them what they need.
A chatty Staffy can be cute, but they can be a little annoying at times too. A Staffy that whines and cries a lot is doing this for a reason and you can address this behavior. I have experienced all of the different reasons why Staffies whine and cry and in this post I will help you identify each. Let’s dig in!
Are Staffies Loud, Talkative, Vocal, And Noisy Dogs?
As a whole Staffies are fairly vocal and talkative dogs. They can be loud and noisy at times whether through barking a lot, or whining and crying. The level of noise varies from Staffy to Staffy. While some seem to always be making noise, others are generally quiet.
Figuring out the reasons why your Staffy is being talkative, loud, and generally noisy will help you better understand your dog. This allows you to better serve their needs and give you some peace and quiet.
Reasons Why Staffies Whine And Cry
When you Staffy is whining, crying, and being generally vocal one of these is most likely the issue. Below I explain the most common reasons. I also go over some tips and techniques I have used with my Staffy when she whines and cries.
It may sound strange but one of the reasons a Staffy will whine and cry is out of pure excitement. I know my Staffy does this everytime we have someone over at the house. She loves having visitors and her excitement comes out in the form of whining and crying.
Other Staffies may do what I call the Staffy chatter sound when excited. This is the same thing, just a different way of expressing the pure joy they are experiencing. This kind of noise making can be fine. It is important to try and calm your Staffy down if it becomes persistent.
Redirecting your Staffy to a chew toy, or gaining their focus to communicate to them to take things down a notch are options. Elevated states of excitement can be unhealthy and annoying. Training with your dog to be able to lower their excitement is important.
Staffies are masters of attention seeking behavior. My Staffy will whine and cry when I am not paying attention to her. When she is looking for me to sit on the couch with her, or give her some affection she will whimper and sulk until she gets what she wants.
I typically will ignore this behavior in the beginning. My Staffy needs to understand that making noise will not get a response from me right away. Once she has made her initial whine and cry for attention I wait for her to stop before I proceed with any sort of response.
Though she still does this whining and crying for attention, it is far less and far less frequent than before. My approach to ignoring the behavior reinforces the idea that whining and crying doesn’t mean she gets attention, only when she stops. It’s not perfect, but for a Staffy it is pretty good.
Stress & Anxiety
Staffies can be on the anxious side. Separation anxiety is a real thing with many Staffies. Whining and crying is a direct result of this stress and anxiety. Training with your Staffy to help alleviate any forms of separation anxiety should begin the day you bring them home. Things like crate training and desensitization training are very important.
I could write an entire article on Staffy stress and anxiety. In fact that is exactly what I did. To better understand your Staffies stress and anxiety, and ways you can help calm them. Check out my full article below.
Frustration & Boredom
Staffies are high energy and very intelligent. They require a good deal of daily physical and mental exercise to keep them well balanced and content. Whining and crying can be a result of under stimulation resulting in frustration and boredom.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers need a good 60 – 90 minutes of exercise each day, along with some mental stimulation. Trick training, food puzzles, games, and brain activities are needed. A frustrated and bored Staffy will whine and cry, and possibly get into mischief through destructive chewing, digging, and other unwanted behavior.
Exercise your Staffy every day and provide them with the mental stimulation they need. This will reduce general frustration, boredom, anxiety and whining a great deal.
Hunger, Thirst, And Other Resources
My Staffy always lets me know when it’s time to eat or if I forgot to top up her water bowl. This form of whining and crying is something I don’t mind and will respond to if it is in fact meal time. I can lose track of time and a gentle Staffy reminder is fine by me.
Where it becomes a problem is when it is not meal time and your Staffy is seeking treats, extra dinner, or just being generally fussy. I keep a strict feeding schedule with my Staffy and she knows that whining and crying for food at 3pm won’t get her an early dinner.
If you keep to a strict feeding schedule I suggest you do the same. Reinforcing the whining and crying behavior by rewarding it through early snacks and meals will only make the noisy behaviors worse. Feeding your Staffy should be done at the times you set, not the times they set.
Pain & Illness
My Staffy has terrible allergies and can get very uncomfortable. When she is suffering from itchy skin or feeling discomfort she will let me know through whining and crying. This type of whining and crying breaks my heart. I try to make her as comfortable as I can when she has a bad few days and baby her as much as I can.
Things like injuries, illness, and general discomfort can be hard to detect with some Staffies. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a high pain tolerance and certain ailments can go undetected at first. When they do cry out of pain or discomfort you know it is real. Consult with a vet immediately and get your Staffy the care they need.
Staffies are very clever and can learn certain behaviors very quickly. When a Staffy discovers that whining and crying will often get them the attention or snacks they are looking for, they will repeat this behavior.
This is why it is important to be able to identify the reasons why your Staffy is whining or crying. Teaching them to behave this way in order to get what they want will be picked up fast. If you are looking to avoid your Staffy whining and crying so much, don’t reinforce the behavior by giving in to their demands.
Discovering why your Staffy is whining and crying is important in establishing a well balanced dog and lines of communication with you the owner. Recognizing the difference between a Staffy crying for attention, whining for snacks, or reaching out because they are in pain is crucial.
I have lived with my Staffy now for almost 11 years. The nuances in her whines and cries are subtle, but after all these years they are easy to identify. I now know when to address her vocalizations and when to ignore them. This has been a vital part of our bond and maintaining a healthy well balanced dog.
When your Staffy whines or cries try and identify first the reason why. Have you forgotten their dinner? Is it time for your usual walk? Are they excited to see someone? Do they seem ill or injured? Knowing the reasons and acting accordingly will help address the issue and improve the life of your Staffy and the peace and quiet of your home.