Dogs howl to communicate with their owners and with other dogs. It is part of their primal instincts that come from wolf ancestry. We’ll explore why dogs howl and what it means. We’ll also give tips on how to get your dog to stop howling.
What Does it Mean When a Dog Howls
If your dog howls, is it usually from one of these five reasons:
Dogs may howl to get their owner’s attention or the attention of other dogs. This is the most common reason dogs howl. It is a way for your dog to identify and announce themselves to others, and it can be a way for them to bond with other dogs or pack members.
You may have witnessed when one dog howls, any dogs around may join in the howl to signal where they are and to join in solidarity. To stop your dog from howling for attention, you must ignore your dog until the behavior stops. Otherwise, you are reinforcing the behavior.
To Alert That There’s Danger
Dogs will howl when there is danger or alert their owners because a howl carries farther than barking. It also uses a different tone that can signal danger to others. If your dog begins to howl, you’ll want to assess the situation.
If your dog is howls during a dangerous situation, this isn’t something you should discipline because it will be situational. You may want to train your dog to respond to the “quiet” or “hush” command to stop the howl.
Respond to Sounds
High-pitched sounds or frequencies can affect your dog’s ears and can trigger a howling response. For many dogs, a siren can trigger your dog to howl. The dog will generally stop howling when the sound is over.
If you can control the sound, you’ll want to stop it from stopping your dog. If you can’t control the noise, you’ll just have to wait until it stops. To reduce their howling, you can expose them to lesser forms of the sound where it doesn’t trigger howling. Then slowly increase the volume.
Always reward your dog with a treat when they are calm for positive reinforcement.
Related Link: 10 Dog Breeds that Bark The Least
When a dog is left alone at home or has been separated from its owner for too long, it may howl to express its anxious feelings. They may also pace, scratch, or dig.
If your dog has separation anxiety often, you may want to talk to a Veterinary Behaviorist. The behavior specialist can teach you techniques for calming your stressed-out dog. Dope Dog treats can also help your dog stay calm when you’re not around.
Related Link: 9 Best Ways to Calm Your Dog
Medical Issues or Pain
Sometimes a dog may howl if it is physically in pain or suffering. This type of howl generally sounds more like a shriek, and you should check your dog for injuries. If the howling persists, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you know the underlying physical condition causing your dog to howl, you may want to consider CBD oil to help with your dog’s pain management. Dope Dog offers a variety of treats and oils to soothe your dog.
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What To Do About Excessive Howling
If your dog howls all the time, The ASPCA recommends one of these behavioral treatments:
- Try desensitization and counterconditioning to teach your dog to be quiet.
- Ignore your dog until they stop howling if they do it for attention.
- Reward your dog when they are calm and quiet with attention, treats, or a favorite toy.
- Get training help from a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB).
Are Dogs Sad When They Howl?
In some cases, such as separation anxiety, loneliness, pain, or injury, a dog may be howling because they are sad. If your dog is howling, you should assess the situation for the possible cause.
Some dogs howl in response to loud noises or possible danger, which isn’t connected to the feeling of sadness.
Why Do Dogs Howl at High Pitch Noises?
As part of their inner wolf instincts, dogs howl at high pitch noises to communicate that they heard the sound, signaling to others that they heard it and are ready to make noise. More often than not, it is an auditory trigger that compels your dog to howl.
Why Do Dogs Howl to Music?
Just like with loud or high pitch sounds, dogs howl to music to signal that they hear it and want to join in—similar to a wolf pack joining together to bond and acknowledge one another through howling.
Simply turn off your music to stop your dog from howling. Although if they continue to howl every time you play music, you may want to consider training them to stop howling.
Why Do Dogs Howl Together?
Because it is a form of communication, dogs will often howl together to get attention, announce their presence to other dogs, or just to bond with the other dogs. It’s part of their wolf instincts to signal to other pack members. Or, in this case, other neighborhood dogs or playmates.
Why Does My Dog Howl When I Howl?
If you howl and your dog follows by howling with you, it is to communicate and bond with you much like a wolf howls to a pack member. If they howl with you, they more than likely want to be in your pack.
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Related Link: How Long Can You Leave Your Dog at Home