Undoubtedly you have heard a dog communicating at some point or another. They can easily do this by howling to signify their location for others. Considering dogs are direct ancestors of wolves; this behavior truly comes as no surprise. However, there are those breeds of dogs that are not known to howl. So if you have a dog that is not a known howler, then it may be necessary to take your dog for a veterinarian checkup if this is behavior they start without any warning.
Do not worry too much about your dog howling if you have a breed such as a bloodhound, Eskimo, malamute, or sheepdog because they are known for singing more often than not. However, if you find your dog is howling, and this is a new behavior, then you may need to ensure they are not suffering from anxiety, depression, or other medical issues. You can easily assess the situation to see if anxiety is inducing your dog to howl. If they are panting, pacing, or destructive, then you need to consider ways to lessen your dog’s separation anxiety when you are away.
However, if you find your dog is perfectly fine, then consider the fact that they learned to howl from another dog. Often times, this behavior will trigger the attention your animal is asking for. Just the same as if your child were to approach you and say pick me up; your dog is simply saying here I am. Dogs are very intelligent and inquisitive creatures by nature. They learn very quickly and often times will pick up traits of other animals; rather you like it or not. It is important you do not overreact to the situation. However, if your dog’s howling is causing trouble or provoking unwanted attention, then you may consider trying a few tricks to cease the behavior.
An easy method to determine this form of behavior is called silence training. It will be necessary for you to get your dog to howl or bark, and then you tell them to be quiet. Once they have remained silent for a few seconds making sure you give them a treat, as well as praise to tell them they are following your instructions. It may take some time to get your dog to control their howling or barking, but stay persistent in your efforts, and you will eventually achieve your goal.
Just make sure you consider the breed of dog you have when you are trying to get them to break what you may consider being a bad habit. After all, you do not want to stop your dog from communicating the only way they know-how. When you have a dog that howls by nature; many reasons are genetically present within your animal that provokes the need to speak. For instance, consider the fact they are on high alert, bored, or possibly even injured. Often times your furry loved one is trying to warn you of what they consider to be a dangerous situation. It may simply be a siren from a passing emergency vehicle that triggered their need to speak, but nonetheless, they are telling you of the dangers they assess.
If you find that your dog howls out of boredom, then it is necessary for you as the owner to ensure they are stimulated and entertained properly. Take them on a walk or go play fetch. This will help not only lessen their anxiety but help to get the unwanted howling under control as well. Just remember to evaluate your dog’s situation before you automatically silence or correct them. Most dogs will not simply howl and bark just because they feel like it. It is necessary to consider the fact that they have learned the behavior, but do not simply accept this as the reason for your dog’s newfound love of howling.
When you are considering bringing a dog into your home, make sure you know which breed is more prone to howling. You do not want to find yourself with many sleepless nights before you realize the breed you chose is not right for your home. The majority of the howling breeds seem to fall under the category of work dogs such as hunting, herding, and sledding. With these types of dogs, communication is necessary, and this is often achieved by letting out a long howl. It is also important to consider if you are bringing home a pack animal per se. For instance, a German Shepherd is very close in lineage to their ancestors the wolf. This is a sure sign you will have a howling dog on your hands.
If you do not want to deal with the stress or disruption that may accompany owning a howling dog, then it is necessary to choose a breed of dog that is not known to howl. However, just because a dog is small does not mean it has less of a chance to howl. This is why it is pertinent for you to speak with a knowledgeable individual when you are considering a new addition to your family. Do not find yourself caught off guard, or even worse, fighting to silence the natural nature of your dog.
Do not feel like all is lost if you somehow find yourself dealing with a dog that howls. Just remember to take the time to train them properly, and curb their desire to howl at passing disturbances. It will be necessary to ensure your dog gets plenty of exercises. After all, most dogs that howl are very active by nature. Remember they are the dogs that have helped with jobs such as transport and protection in lineages past. It is in their blood to communicate, and honestly, it is hard to determine their genetic traits. However, it is not impossible to get them to learn a new behavior.
Make sure you take your dog for a walk every morning and each night before bed. This sounds time consuming basically because it is. Although, this is necessary if you want to provide efficient exercise for your dog who may be prone to boredom and anxiety. It would also do you some good as well. When you incorporate daily exercise into both your pet’s life, as well as your own everyone will feel far less stressed. You will find that your pet is far less destructive, more relaxed, and even less likely to howl at any given sound. If this does not help lessen their desire to howl, then you may want to make an appointment for a veterinarian checkup just to verify your pet is okay.
Understanding Your “Howler”
It is important to understand when your dog is howling, they are attempting to protect you and communicate with you or other dogs nearby. Each time they howl, it is as if they have picked up the telephone and are speaking to a friend or foe. This is not a behavior that should be punished, but rather curbed if disrupting your neighbors.
Do not sacrifice your sanity, or give up hope if you just can not get your dog to stop howling. As I stated earlier; size is not the best way to ensure you are not bringing home a dog that is known to howl. Even chihuahuas and schnauzers are known to howl, and they are some of the smaller breeds. There are also miniature or teacup dog breeds that would easily surprise you with a loud howl. So to make sure you choose a breed of dog that is best for your family, make sure you familiarize yourself with dog breeds that are known talkers. Your best bet is to steer clear of certain lines such as Bloodhounds and Huskies if you want to lessen your chances of bringing home a dog that will howl by nature.
If you find that you have unwittingly brought home a dog that howls or your dog have learned how to howl all of a sudden, then take the time to train them following your desires. Make sure you give them plenty of exercises, stimulating toys or tasks, and you introduce them to the world around them. A dog that understands that a passing siren is not necessarily a threat will react less to the noise over time. This might take some time and help, but the better your dog understands the environment in which they are in; the more relaxed they will feel in their world.
Just like when you are stressed, you may lash out, scream, or even cry; consider the fact that your animal may be doing the same thing. Do not punish them for the discomfort they feel. It may be necessary to train them if their behavior disrupts the neighborhood, or you may find yourself howling at the moonlight, and finally understand why your dog loves to howl so much.