Dogs use howling as a form of vocal communication. Dogs howl when they want to announce their presence, contact others, or get attention. Moreover, you’ll see dogs howling in response to high-pitched sounds like musical instruments and emergency alarms. Most pet owners don’t know why do dogs howl, especially the new dog owners?
Therefore, we have decided to share the reasons here. So, stick around with us so that you can understand this dog’s behavior.
Table of contents
- 7 Reasons Why Do Dogs Howl
- What to Do About Excessive Dog Howling?
- What If Still Failed After I’ve Done Everything?
- Final Words
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
7 Reasons Why Do Dogs Howl
1. Community Organizing and Homing Beacon
Do you have ever visited the wild? If yes, you must have noticed that they howled to bring their scouts back when the dog came back after the hunt. Dog howling lets other members understand the location of the pack.
When we talk about household pets, they howl to call their owners to come back home. You must have noticed it when you stay away from their eyes all day; they start howling.
2. To Defense Mechanism and Boundary Demarcation
Dogs howl to let their pack members understand that the area they’re trying to enter is already occupied. Moreover, they alert their community about the circumstances through howling. It means dogs use it as a defense mechanism to ward off potential predators. Furthermore, it helps them ensure the pack’s safety.
When we talk about domestic dogs, they howl when they see strangers or a new car entering their home. The purpose is to let owners know about the situation.
3. To Get Attention
Dogs know how to get the attention of their owners. They howl to attract attention. They start howling when they want to play with you or spend time with you. When you respond to their howling a few times, they’ll understand that it’s the best way to grab your attention.
4. To Express Anxiety
Another reason is to express anxiety. It happens when you leave them alone for extended periods. They suffer from separation anxiety. When dogs remain alone, they become sad and depressed. So, it is a protest when you leave them alone.
Just imagine if you’re locked in a room for the entire day, you’ll start howling too. Therefore, the best practice is to provide them with stuff like puzzle toys, treats, and other essential supplies so that they can entertain themselves in your absence.
5. In Response to Environmental Triggers
When dogs listen to a fire engine, ambulance, or police sirens, they get provoked and start howling. They howl because the pitch of the sirens awakes their genetic memory.
They also howl when they listen to music sound at the party, the sound of musical instruments, or a popular television theme song. Do you know, that some people enjoy dog howling and start doing the same with them?
6. To Alert Their Owners
Another reason is to alert their owners. They do this when they get hurt or want to express pain. Moreover, when they discover something, they start howling. For example, hunting dogs howl to signal the pack about the prey.
7. When They Need Something
As mentioned earlier, dogs howl when they want human attention. Similarly, they use howling as a verbal communication tool to get what they want. For example, they howl when they want to get treats or toys. Moreover, when they need a potty break, they start howling.
What to Do About Excessive Dog Howling?
1. Ignore It
Excessive and persistent howling can be annoying for neighbors and dog owners. The best practice is to ignore your dog’s attention-seeking howl. When you make them feel invisible, they’ll think that this trick doesn’t work.
2. Make Arrangement
When dog howling is due to separation anxiety, make arrangements so that your dog can feel secure at home. Ask any family member to spend time with your dog when you’re away.
You can also reward your dog for staying quiet. Moreover, when your dog stays quiet and isn’t triggered by outside noises, reward your dog with treats. In this way, the dog will learn how to get your attention.
4. Desensitization & Counterconditioning Training
When you want to discourage howling due to certain noises, try the behavior-conditioning technique. Desensitization and counterconditioning are the best practices. Start with a lesser form of noise and then slowly increase the volume in subsequent sessions. It will take time, but eventually, the dog will lose interest in the noise and stop howling.
5. Spend Time With Them
Dogs are social animals, and they don’t want to live alone for a long time. Therefore, if you want your dog to quit excessive howling, start spending time with them. If you can’t spend all day with them, at least give them attention when you come back from work.
6. Outdoor Activities
You can take them outdoor for a walk, spend time indoors, and teach them new tricks. It will not only stop them from howling but also strengthen your bonding with your pet.
7. Consult Pet Doctor
Sometimes dog howling can be because of medical reasons. For example, when your dog is in discomfort or pain, they howl. Check for signs of distress and if you’re unable to find the cause, take your pet to the vet to rule out injury or illness.
What If Still Failed After I’ve Done Everything?
When you try everything but fail to stop the dog from howling, don’t hesitate to contact Certified Professional Dog Trainer. It can help you get your dog howling under control. Experts can suggest the best treatment or solution.
Dogs howling is a common query by dog owners. We tried our best to share all possible reasons. More importantly, we have shared ways to stop this behavior. So, if your dog is howling to communicate something, it’s fine. But if howling is excessive and disturbing you and your neighbors, try to stop it through the ways mentioned above.
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