Dog Howling: Why Does Your Dog Do It?

Do you have a dog who loves to howl? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to stop this unwanted behavior? Are you looking for more information about what might be causing your dog’s howling in the first place?

Dog howling

6 Common Reasons for Dog Howling

If you’re dealing with a howling dog, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explain some of the most common reasons why your dog is howling so much and let you know if there’s anything you can do to cut back on this behavior too. Read on to find out more.

6 potential reasons that explain why your dog’s howling include:

Pain or Illness

Dogs may howl if they are in pain or are very sick. If your dog is in so much pain that he’s howling, you can probably tell that pain is the cause by looking at him. He may have a serious injury or could be very badly ill.

In this situation, you need to take your dog to the veterinarian right away. Don’t wait if it’s after-hours; go to the emergency vet instead. A dog who is howling because of sickness or pain is in bad shape and needs to be treated by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Howling at Sounds

Many dogs howl in response to sounds. If your dog only howls when he hears a siren or when someone is playing the piano, then this isn’t really anything to worry about. If he stops when the sound stops, this is simply normal dog behavior, and there’s nothing much that can be done about it.

You may be able to train your dog not to howl at sounds by encouraging him with positive reinforcement. Every time he is quiet for a few seconds, give him a treat. Soon, he’ll learn which behaviors get him a treat and which ones don’t.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs may develop separation anxiety easily. They become very attached to their families and may be upset when they’re left alone for long periods of time. If your dog has separation anxiety, you may get complaints from neighbors about how much he howls when no one is at home.

To help your dog work through separation anxiety, you may need the assistance of a trainer. You might also need to give your dog anxiety medication to help him deal with the stress of being left alone, although some dogs respond well to training only. However, you should always talk with your veterinarian before giving your dog any kind of medication.

Attention Seeking

Dogs who are lonely may start howling because they want your attention. If your dog begins to howl, you probably respond by telling him “No,” but this is still attention. In his eyes, the howling worked to get you to look at and talk to him for a little while, so he’s going to do it again in the future.

Although it can be very difficult to do so, it’s best to ignore your dog if you know he’s howling to get your attention. Purposefully turn around so you’re not looking at him, and don’t talk to him. This will let him know that howling won’t get him what he wants.

Boredom

Similarly to attention seeking and anxiety causes, your dog’s howling behavior may be related to his boredom. Are you spending enough time with your dog every day? Do you need to do more to help provide mental stimulation and physical exercise for your pet?

If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise and play time with the family, then he is likely to start howling because he has nothing better to do. Spend plenty of time playing with him and taking him on walks to encourage him to be quieter during the downtime throughout the day.

Being a Puppy

Puppies generally howl more frequently than older dogs. Many times, dogs will simply grow out of this behavior. However, if you have a puppy who loves to howl, it’s a good idea to get started early working on curbing this behavior so it doesn’t continue throughout the rest of his life.

You can train a puppy to stop howling the same way you would train an older dog. Just remember that you do need to have more patience when working with a young puppy.

What to Do if Your Dog Keeps Howling

Howling may have a wide variety of underlying causes, but it’s important to figure out what the root of the issue is so you can determine how best to address it. The sooner you work on training your dog to stop howling, the more likely you will be to have a well-behaved dog throughout the rest of his life.

If you have any other questions or concerns about your dog’s behavior, don’t hesitate to ask your vet. The vet may also be able to recommend a good quality dog trainer in your area who can help you work through behavioral issues such as excessive dog howling, too. For more information about this behavior, or if you have any other questions about your pet, call our team at The Village Vets today.

Recent Posts

Dog tail wagging
Dog Tail Wagging: 6 Interesting Facts About This Behavior
What colors can dogs see
What Colors Can Dogs See?
Cat yowling
Cat Yowling: What is Your Cat Trying to Say?

About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

Share This Post

Recent Posts

Dog tail wagging

Dog Tail Wagging: 6 Interesting Facts About This Behavior

What colors can dogs see

What Colors Can Dogs See?

Cat yowling

Cat Yowling: What is Your Cat Trying to Say?

About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.