Why Do Dogs Howl and What Does it Mean?

Dogs howl to communicate with their owners and with other dogs. It is part of their primal instincts that come from wolf ancestry. We’ll explore why dogs howl and what it means. We’ll also give tips on how to get your dog to stop howling.

What Does it Mean When a Dog Howls

If your dog howls, is it usually from one of these five reasons:

For Attention

Dogs may howl to get their owner’s attention or the attention of other dogs. This is the most common reason dogs howl. It is a way for your dog to identify and announce themselves to others, and it can be a way for them to bond with other dogs or pack members.

You may have witnessed when one dog howls, any dogs around may join in the howl to signal where they are and to join in solidarity. To stop your dog from howling for attention, you must ignore your dog until the behavior stops. Otherwise, you are reinforcing the behavior.

To Alert That There’s Danger

Dogs will howl when there is danger or alert their owners because a howl carries farther than barking. It also uses a different tone that can signal danger to others. If your dog begins to howl, you’ll want to assess the situation.

If your dog is howls during a dangerous situation, this isn’t something you should discipline because it will be situational. You may want to train your dog to respond to the “quiet” or “hush” command to stop the howl.

Respond to Sounds

High-pitched sounds or frequencies can affect your dog’s ears and can trigger a howling response. For many dogs, a siren can trigger your dog to howl. The dog will generally stop howling when the sound is over.

If you can control the sound, you’ll want to stop it from stopping your dog. If you can’t control the noise, you’ll just have to wait until it stops. To reduce their howling, you can expose them to lesser forms of the sound where it doesn’t trigger howling. Then slowly increase the volume.

Always reward your dog with a treat when they are calm for positive reinforcement.



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