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Understanding Why Dogs Howl 

Does your dog howl frequently? Are you starting to wonder if your pup is half wolf? Howling is one way that your dog communicates with you and with other dogs. A howl will quickly grab attention and the sound can carry for a great distance. Many dogs start to howl when they hear a certain noise such as a siren from an ambulance, fire truck, or police car. Other dogs howl when they hear music. 

Howling Due to Separation

A dog might howl while you are at work or any time you leave the dog home alone. Howling when alone is a form of separation anxiety. The dog might also pace while howling or become destructive due to distress. Howling during separation anxiety is quite common. Many owners puzzle when they are told by neighbors that their otherwise quiet dog howls any time, they leave the house. The howling is the dog's way of trying to verbally reach you over a great distance. 

Medical Problem

If your dog is in pain or sick, the pup could start to howl. If your dog starts to suddenly howl for no reason, then you might want to take the pet to the vet. The dog could have sustained an injury that you cannot see. 

Howling With Other Dogs

Dogs will often howl as a response to other dogs who are also howling. Have you ever heard every dog in your neighborhood howling? This is a normal response. The howls of one dog will trigger the howls of another. It is the canine's form of communication and how they send out an alert to other pack members. 

Grab Your Attention

A dog will often howl simply as an effective way to grab your attention. The dog knows that you will respond to the howling and come over to the dog to see what is wrong. If you always respond to your dog’s howls, then it will quickly learn that all he must do is howl a couple of times you will come running. 

Dog Breeds that Like to Howl

Many dog breeds simply enjoy howling. It is second nature to them and encoded deeply in their very DNA. The dog will howl and even sing howl in a very lyrical fashion. 

Dogs that enjoy howling include:

  • Huskies 
  • Alaskan malamutes
  • Beagles
  • American Eskimo dogs
  • Bluetick hound
  • Reddick hound
  • Black and tan coonhound
  • Bloodhound
  • Native American dogs
  • Dachshunds
  • Foxhounds (both American and English) 
  • Basset hounds 

 

When your dog howls, remember that it is the animal’s way of expressing itself. If your child were speaking to you, would you silence the youngster? Dogs are much the same way. You need to pay careful attention to what your canine companion is trying to tell you because clearly, they felt it was important enough to loudly howl about. 

Of course, as with every action, there is an appropriate time to howl. If your dog howls every time you leave for work and disturbs your neighbors, then you’ll need to explore ways to alleviate the pup’s separation anxiety. Also, if your dog is howling due to pain then you need to promptly take your pup to the veterinarian for a complete evaluation.


2 comments

  • Sometimes Lady (a pitbull) howls when she’s happy to see someone. :)

    Linda
  • My cockapoo Mosby occasionally howls in his sleep. He is 6 years old. Do you know why?

    Susan Hillman

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