So why do dogs howl?
Dogs. They love to bark, they love to play, they love to cuddle. But it often comes as a surprise to people when they find that their dogs are howling. Do I make it stop? Is it a warning sign? Is my dog a werewolf?
Well, we’ll have you know that howling is one of the many ways that dogs verbally communicate with each other. And no, the full moon has nothing to do with it.
Dogs were originally domesticated from wolves, but ever since humans befriended these furry little angels, dogs have become our lifelong companions. So, it’s natural for dogs to still howl, as it’s part of the evolutionary process.
However, it’s not so usual for dogs to howl frequently. While superstition has it that dogs howling is a sign of impending or oncoming death, there are actually more trustworthy reasons as to why your dog howls. Read on more to find out why, and what you could do to alleviate the matter if needed.
Did your dog recently receive a medical checkup?
Howling could also be a physical sign of distress. If you find that your dog is howling more than once a week, then take your dog to a vet for a medical checkup. Your dog could be in pain from either an ailment of an injury that you’re not aware of, and so they are howling to try to verbally express themselves. Receiving a medical checkup will help diagnose and treat the symptoms and triggers that are causing your dog to howl.
Is your dog often left at home alone?
Dogs are very social creatures and love to mingle with humans or other dogs that they’re compatible with.
If you spend a lot of times in the outdoors without your dog, you might find that your neighbors are approaching you with complaints about the noise your dog makes throughout the day.
You can also find out by lingering around your house after you’ve left for a couple of minutes to see if your dog starts to begin howling for you to come back home.
You could also set up a video at home when your dog is left alone to find any signs. If so, try to find a way to make your dog to be more included in your life.
If you find that it’s difficult to be around your dog all the time because of work-related reasons, then you could always make sure to give your dog as much attention as possible when spending time at home.
Make sure to make your dog included in your social activities, and make sure that your friends and family don’t display any negative behavior towards your dog.
Also, giving your dogs some games and toys to play with will help keep them entertained enough until you’re’ back home.
Do you live in a noisy home or neighborhood?
If your dog seems to be physically fine and isn’t left alone for long periods of time, then perhaps your dog’s howling could be a response to noise. Howling often times is triggered by a high-pitched noise, like a police, ambulance or firetruck siren. There are even certain pitches that are impossible to hear for the human ear that dogs find to be awfully irksome. For dogs, that certain pitch sounds similar to a dog’s howl, and so since they are social mammals, that will trigger your dog to respond to the pitch.
If so, then you can find desensitization and counterconditioning (DSCC) techniques to make your dog quieter in a safe manner. DSCC involves treating your dog for anxiety, fears or phobias that could cause your dog to feel negative.
Is your dog begging for attention?
A dog howling isn’t necessarily an urgent verbal communication.
Sometimes, your dog is simply trying to seek your attention to get you to pet them or feed them. Your dog may have noticed that you only respond to them when they start howling, or, like children, they might resort to wailing and howling in order to get their reward. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to teach your dog that they don’t need to howl in order to get attention.
You can treat this by ignoring your dog when he/she starts howling, waiting until they calm down before you give them attention again. That way they’ll learn that howling does not give them the attention that they’re yearning for. Make sure that you give your dog a reward when they stop howling for a while. Doggy treats will help, and a little high five can do the trick in making your doggo feel significant.
Are there any new dogs in your living space?
If you’re a dog owner, then you probably already know that these furry little canines love to establish their dominance. Usually, a dog would just pee all over the house to establish their dominance; however, some dogs may resort to howling.
Dogs and other canines can start to howl as a signal for other dogs, humans, or creatures to back off. If you live closer to the ground floor and you find packs of dogs trespassing your street, then your dog is warning other dogs of their presence to ward off potential threat.
None of the above?
Like we said before, dogs were bred and domesticated from wolves to become man’s best companion through thick or thin. And so, naturally, some certain breeds of dogs will still have the genetic tendency to howl for no reason other than their primate nature urging them to do so.
Dogs that like to howl, like scent hounds or huskies, are domestic dogs which belong to genus Canis that contributes to wolf-like dogs, like Alaskan Malamutes, Beagles, Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, and other dogs that belong to the hunting group.
This is because their evolutionary traits get your dogs to use their vocal chords to notify other dogs or human-friends of their whereabouts.
Do you want your dog to howl back at you?
Howling, for dogs, is a form of socializing or communicating with other dogs to express their feelings. With some dogs, if you howl at them, you’ll find that they instantly respond and howl along with you. This happens because of wolf ancestry, but does not occur with all dogs.
There are other prompts which could get your dog to start howling, such as the sounds of sirens. You could play the noise of sirens, or you could play a playlist of your favorite music and see if your dog responds to any specific genre or pitch.
A howl is not always a sign of distress and is sometimes communicated for the shared aspect of bonding together.
If you find your dog is howling a lot more than usual and at the dead of night, then be sure to try the above methods. You can also try training courses for your dog or purchase a sonic collar.
Check out some of our other popular posts below: