Aside from barking, our four-legged companions also try to communicate through different ways, one of which is howling. However, howling is often seen as something scary and that it comes with negative beliefs. One of the famous superstitious beliefs about dogs howling is that if a dog howls and breaks the silence of night it is an omen of death. Another one is if a dog howls for no reason, it means that he sees spirits.
There are a lot of myths circling around the real meaning behind a dog’s how. In this blog, we will talk about the real reasons why our canine companions produce that deep, resonant, and eerie sound.
Accordingto PetMD, some dog breeds are genetically more likely to howl than others. An example of this would be Beagles. Beagles use howling to alert others during hunting and play. In addition, Huskies and Malamutes, which are some of the famous breeds known to howl, communicate with other dogs through howling because that’s the way that they were bred for work.
Why Do Dogs Howl?
- Communication: Dogs can howl to communicate with other dogs over long distances. They can also howl to express loneliness or respond to certain sounds or stimuli.
- Social Connection: Howling is a known form of communication which helps our four-legged friends connect with each other. It is their way to communicate their presence, location, and emotions to other pooch.
- Separation Anxiety: Our canine companions are pack animals and may howl whenever they feel anxious about being away from their family members. This is their way of expressing distress and trying to reconnect with their owners.
- Response to Sounds: Some of our canine companions howl in response to specific sounds, such as sirens, musical instruments, or other high-pitched noises. This behavior may be a response or an attempt to join in the sound that they hear.
- Instinctual Behavior: Our fur babies, no matter how big or small they are, share a common ancestor with wolves. Howling is known to be an instinctual behavior from wolves, which our fur babies inherited. In the wild, wolves use howling to communicate with their pack members and establish territory.
- Attention Seeking: Your canine buddy may be howling to get your attention. Some pooch are known to howl to get attention from their owners and it was also noted that when they receive a response when they howl, they may continue this behavior as a way to seek interaction and attention. (Be careful!)
- Medical Issues: Aside from attention seeking, a howl can mean something more serious. Sometimes, our fur baby may howl if they are in pain or discomfort due to a medical condition. If you suspect any medical issues, it is essential to rule out any health problems if your pooch’s howling behavior changes suddenly.
- Reproductive Behavior: An unspayed female pooch may howl during their heat cycle in order to attract a male pooch. Moreover, an unneutered male pooch may also howl when they detect the scent of a female in heat.
- Territorial Behavior: Your canine companion may howl to signal their presence and claim or defend their territory. When multiple dogs are together, they may howl to show they belong to the pack.This is especially common in breeds with strong guarding instincts such as Bullmastiff, Cane Corso, Belgian Malinois, and the likes.
- Boredom: No matter how much we love them, our fur babies can be pretty dramatic sometimes. Did you know that sometimes, when deprived of stimulation, some pooch may howl out of boredom?
- Frustrated greeting: Dogs may howl in unison with another dog or siren to signal that they hear something big and are ready to join in.
How Do I Stop My Fur Baby From Howling?
Persistent howling can be annoying to you and the people around the area, especially if it happens during the wee hours. Before deciding to just put a stop on your pooch’s constant howling behavior, make sure that you have addressed the cause of the behavior appropriately. Is it due to insufficient exercise, anxiety, loneliness, medical problems, or more? Here are a few tips on how you can stop your fur baby from howling.
- Ignore Their Attention-Seeking Behavior: According to WebMD, If you are sure that the howling is due to an attention-seeking behavior you can try to ignore your fur baby’s howl and make them feel invisible. This way, your fur baby feels that their attention-seeking behavior does not work.
- Reward for Being Quiet: Another tip shared by American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is to reward your fur baby for being quiet. You can randomly give your pooch dog treats and attention whenever they are not making any noise.
- Find Professional Help: You can always ask for professional help if you can’t handle your canine companion’s howling under control. Asking for a professional to assist you can make the process easier for you and your fur baby.
Always be on the lookout for something unusual in your fur baby’s actions. It is important for dog owners to observe their pets and understand the context of their actions, in this case, howling. If the behavior is sudden, excessive, or accompanied by other signs of distress, it is advisable to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues. Additionally, training and positive reinforcement techniques can be employed to modify excessive howling behavior, especially if it causes any disruption or concert.