Why Do Dogs Howl?

Why Do Dogs Howl?

We love learning more about our dogs and why they do what they do. Like learning about why dogs whine and the reasons ranging from boredom to stress, or why dogs have the tendency to follow their owners everywhere.

In a previous blog post, we examined why some dogs bark a lot, which is summarized by this excerpt:

Why is my dog barking so much?

It is no secret that barking is just one form of communication that dogs use and it happens to be the most noticeable of their communication types. Your dog may be barking excessively because of one of the following reasons (or multiple reasons):

  • Separation Anxiety
  • Desire for Attention
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Fear
  • Protectiveness (Territorial)
  • Compulsiveness
  • General Communication

  • Now, we land on a different question, or series of questions. 

    Why do dogs howl?

    Does the list of reasons why dogs howl match the same list of reasons why dogs bark so much?

    Are howling and barking the same thing when it comes to communication?

    For the most part, the reasons behind howling and barking overlap a lot. According to the VCA Hospitals website, howling could mean any of the following:

    • Your dog is expressing that they are alert and aware of their surroundings. They are engaged with the environment. The VCA Hospitals explain, “Howling acknowledges that they hear the sound and express their readiness to respond or desire to join in the action. If your dog’s howling is triggered by auditory stimulation, chances are he stops when the sound stops (when you turn off the music, he stops singing along).”
    • They’re helping you or other dogs find/locate them.
    • They’re alerting you to stay away/keep away.
    • Your dog wants attention. The VCA Hospitals warns dog parents though of catering to their fur baby’s behaviors: “This verbal canine manipulation can become bothersome, so humans must learn not to reward vocal demands. Try to avoid eye contact and resist the urge to approach a howling dog. Don’t pet him or talk to him but don’t scold him either. Some dogs, like some children, will do anything for attention, even negative attention, so reprimanding your dog may make the situation worse. When he quiets down, give him the attention he craves.”
    • Your dog has separation anxiety. You can learn more at this link.
    • Your dog is really nervous.
    • Your dog is hurt.
    • Your dog found something.

    At the end of the day, dogs howl because it’s in their blood.

    Domesticated dogs originating from wolves are a strong factor to dogs and their howling. It’s in their ancestry!

    Should I be concerned at any point?

    Always pay attention to your dog’s behaviors. If your dog starts acting out of character and howling a lot, they may be in pain or ailing a different way. It’s best to seek attention from a trusted local veterinarian.

    What you’ve just read is a sampling of blog posts we offer at Joyride Harness. We cover current events, informational posts, interviews, and more! You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog at this section.

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