Why Does My Dog Howl?

You may have either heard your own dog howl or witnessed another dog howl and wondered what the cause is of this wolf-like characteristic. While it’s hard to pinpoint an exact reason for this type of behavior, we can provide you with a few possible causes that might help explain why. It’s important to note that some reasons may be no big deal, but others may be a sign of something much more significant than you should promptly look into. But first, let us start with some common reasons that may be causing your dog to howl.


Howling due to anxiety

If you leave your dog alone at home for many hours throughout the day, this could be a factor that leads your dog to howl. This behavior may usually occur with other actions such as whining, scratching, or even pacing. If you believe that this could be a reason why your dog is howling, you should definitely look into possible remedies to help with your dog’s anxiety. This may include exercising your pet or possibly providing it with some sort of healthy distraction to keep it busy throughout the day. 

Howling due to medical reasons

Some types of dogs express the fact that they are feeling sick or hurt by howling. They may be attempting to let you know that something is wrong with them. If you notice your dog howling more than usual, it may be a good idea to get them checked out with a vet. 

Howling because of ancestry

Most of you probably know that dogs are in fact distantly related to wolves and the instinctual urge to howl is deeply embedded in their DNA. If your dog is howling due to this reason, then everything is totally fine. You have absolutely nothing to worry about and your dog may even be confused about why it is suddenly howling. As long as the howling isn’t continual or pervasive, your dog should be fine. 

Howling because of sounds

There are many different types of sounds that could trigger your dog to start howling. Some of these sounds may be another dog howling or possibly sirens. Although it may be annoying to you, generally speaking, you shouldn’t have a whole lot to worry about if this is the case. If it is becoming a serious nuisance, there are types of treatments such as desensitization that could help your dog but should only be attempted with clear guidance from a vet or trainer. 

Different types of howling

Believe it or not, there are actually a few different types of howling. Listed below are the three different types of dog communication.

  • Bark: A bark is a loud, sharp sound that a dog often makes to either draw attention to something or as a means of communicating. 
  • Howl: A howl is a long, loud, doleful cry uttered by an animal such as a dog or wolf.
  • Bay: A bay is a distinct vocalization that a dog makes that has a tendency to become more intense and enthusiastic the closer the dog gets to the desired thing (this term is more prevalent in hunting dogs).

It’s important to use this information and try and analyze what may be causing your dog to howl. If it is something significant like a medical reason, immediately get your dog checked out by a vet so as not to worsen their condition. It may also be something as harmless as just being excited to see you which should be no cause for concern. So, as always, use your best judgment when determining which further steps to take if your dog is howling.

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