A question that is constantly asked is why do dogs howl? A form of communication that is sometimes used by dogs is howling.
Dogs howl for many various reasons which often include giving notice of their presence, communicating with other humans or animals, hearing certain sounds, or wanting to be noticed.
Howling is normal, however, excessive howling can be a sign of a serious issue your dog may be having.
Why Do Dogs Howl?
There are a few reasons that dogs howl. Here are some common ones.
Your dog may be howling because of medical issues. Some medical issues may include being sick or in pain. You should monitor your dog for excessive and unusual howling. If your pet continues to howl excessively, they may need to be seen by a veterinarian to check for injuries or sickness.
Your dog may be howling while you are away from your home. This type of howling is associated with separation anxiety. Your dog will behave this way because he is separated from you or is uncomfortable with being home alone.
Separation anxiety may cause your pet to exhibit other behaviors such as pacing or depression as well as destroying and damaging property or belongings.
Why do dogs howl at sounds? Sounds are another trigger for your dog to begin howling. Examples of sounds that may cause your dog to begin to howl might include loud sirens or other dogs they may hear. This type of howling is usually temporary as it only occurs for the duration of the sound.
Howling For Attention
Let’s face it, dogs are extremely intelligent beings! That being said, They come to understand that barking, whining, and howling can get your attention. They often do this type of howling in front of their owner to obtain something that they want or show love and affection.
Do all dogs howl?
Regardless of breed, gender. age or size, almost all the dogs howl. [Source] The only difference may be the volume and frequency of the howling. The good thing is you can control it with some specialized training from experts or yourself.
Seeking Professional Counterconditioning and Desensitization Training
Counterconditioning and desensitization are methods that can be used to teach your dog not to howl. Sometimes your dog may have conditioned themselves to howl. This may make it difficult to find a solution to your dog’s howling. Your dog must be reconditioned to give a better response and eliminate howling.
In order to change your dog’s response, you must help your dog by changing its mood by giving him positive motivation.
Your dog’s lack of motivation may be the reason he is behaving this way. The methods above work together by helping your dog get over any fears, phobias, anxiety, and negative behaviors that they may have.
A Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, or a Board Certified Animal Behaviorist, with deep training in the methods, can assist you in counterconditioning and desensitization of your dog.
Correcting Your Dog’s Howling On Your Own
You may be able to correct your dog’s behavior on your own. The first thing that must be addressed is that howling is not an option for your dog to get the things they want. Is secondly, your dog must realize that his obedience and quietness will earn him what he wants.
We all know how difficult it is to ignore our dogs, but it must be done in order for them to understand that howling is not the answer.
- Allow your dog to howl while you ignore him. When your dog sees that his howling is not getting your attention it will cause him to correct his behavior. Don’t get after your dog for his behavior and do not look him in the eye. Show him that you are truly ignoring him.
- Next, is to give your dog a treat or reward for not howling and good behavior. Giving your dog treats for good behavior will show him that being on his best behavior will earn him rewards. Anytime your dog is quiet, continuously give him treats.
- If at any time your dog begins to howl, repeat the steps by ignoring him again and refuse him any treats or rewards. When your dog stops howling, you can give him attention again.
- You can train your dog to understand simple commands as well. You may tell your dog to “howl” or “sing” and allow him to howl and give him no reward. You can also teach him to be quiet by saying the word “hush” or “silence” and reward him for his good behavior.
Repeating this cycle constantly is the key to teaching your dog not to howl. Be sure to extend the time in between your dog’s silence and howls giving him treats for longer periods of silence. As your dog learns to be silent you can eventually decrease the treats.
Why Is My Dog Howling All Of A Sudden?
The most important thing to remember is that your dog needs to have quality time with you in order to avoid these negative behaviors. Our pets get lonely too and much like their humans, require attention for proper health and happiness.
Your dog’s sudden howling or other strange behaviors may stem from the fact that they are not getting adequate attention from you.
Free up quality time on your schedule for your four-legged companion. Pets need interaction to remain happy. They get anxiety, depression, and phobias much like their human counterparts when they are left alone. Your dog likes to feel that he is part of your family.
Leaving your dog outside for extended periods of being away from home for too long causes him to howl or misbehave when he is alone.
If your dog is acting out and you feel you are not spending enough time with him, you should schedule some much-needed time together. Take him to the dog park, on car rides, walks, or even play fetch with your dog. This can make your dog feel much more secure as well as place him in a better mood.
When you must leave your dog for an extended amount of time, it is important to make sure that he is stocked up on various toys and items that can keep his attention while you are away.
If your dog is occupied, he won’t place all of his attention on the fact that he is alone. He will be less anxious and depressed and will exhibit better behavior because of these changes.