Why Do Dogs Howl?

Why Do Dogs Howl?

Apr 24, 2022
10 min

You might have heard your dog howl and wondered why the sudden switch from barking to howling. Howling is another way dogs communicate besides shrieking and barking. Regardless of the age, breed, or temperament, all dogs howl. However, some dogs howl more than others, and some also howl longer and louder than others. In this guide, you will learn why your dog howls and the benefits of howling.

Reasons Dogs Howl

1.    Dogs Howl to Seek Attention

One of the major reasons dogs howl is to seek attention. If your dog has been barking to get your attention, he/she might switch to howling. Nothing gets the attention of a dog’s owner quite as fast as a loud howl. Some dog owners also see their pet’s howling to be entertaining or funny, so the dog might always howl to get positive attention from them.

Your dog might also howl loudly when they want to play with you. If you repeat this routine for an extended period, your furkid will learn that howling is the most effective way to get your attention. There is also another side to this. If your canine notices your absence for an extended period, they might howl to express separation anxiety.

Dogs without toys or items to keep them entertained while you are away can get lonely, sad, and depressed. Hence, your dog could be howling in protest of being alone. As such, whenever you hear your dog howl, it might be that they need your attention or feel lonely.

2.    Dogs Howl as a Defense Mechanism and to Demarcate Boundary

As mentioned earlier, howling is another means of communication for dogs. Your dog can howl at other dogs to inform them that the area they are infringing on has been taken and occupied. They can also howl to warn outsiders not to enter their territory. When dogs howl, they announce their presence and establish their dominance. Hence, your dog’s howling might be a defence mechanism to ensure safety and ward off predators. It is pretty much the same as when the dog barks to mark their territory when strangers approach; some dogs will bark, while some will howl.

3.    Dogs Howl When Nervous

Our dogs focus on our activities. They make a great deal of our departures and arrivals. Sometimes, they are so dependent on us that they become nervous when we are not around them. That anxiousness can cause a dog to howl, and the howling might only stop when you return to them.

4.    Dogs Howl When They Are Hurt

Another common reason dogs howl is to tell you they are hurt. If your normally quiet canine starts howling nonstop, chances are he is in severe pain. Dogs usually howl to let their parents know they are injured and in pain. Hence, your dog might howl continuously to tell you that something is physically wrong with them. We recommend you take your furkid to a vet in such a situation.

5.   Dogs Howl to Respond to Certain Noises

Your dog might respond to certain noises by howling. Sirens and other sharp sounds are common triggers for dogs to howl. This type of howling is dependent on when the trigger starts and stops. Hence, your dog might not stop howling until the trigger stops. Besides sirens, security alarms, horns, and loud dog bells can make them howl. Some dogs even howl loudly to the sound of a gunshot.

Benefits of Howling

Since howling is another means of communication for dogs, they can use it to express different things to their owners. One of the major benefits of howling is that it quickly draws your attention to your dog’s needs. Many dog parents are used to their dogs barking profusely, so they might ignore the barking even when the dog is in dire need. In such cases, howling will get your attention faster than barking.

Your dog can howl to experience pain, anxiety, fear, and sadness. Since they do not howl as regularly as they bark, you are more likely to run to their aid when they howl. Another benefit is that they might howl to warn you of danger. Your dog might be seeing what you are not, and the most effective way to warn you is to howl.

Should I Worry About My Dog’s Excessive Howling?

An occasional, natural howling is nothing to worry about. In fact, some pet owners find it entertaining. However, excessive howling can be an issue, especially in your neighborhood. Fortunately, there are several ways to handle this issue. Before taking any measures to stop your dog’s excessive howling, ensure it is not connected to any medical issue.

If you have taken away or resolved the trigger and your dog is still howling, you should ignore the howling and reward your dog only when they are quiet. Do not give them treats and attention when they are howling excessively. Lastly, provide distractions like toys to keep them engaged.

Interested in weekly doses of Pet tips?
Subscribe to our newsletter for your weekly dosage of pet tips! Let’s learn more about how we can be the best pet pawrent to out pets!
Why perromart?
Best Price Guaranteed
Wide range of products
1-3 Working Days Delivery