It’s happened to most dog owners. One minute their puppy is sitting peacefully, and the next they’re howling like a wolf.
Many people don’t know what to make of their dog’s howling. Is it a cry for help? A way to communicate with other dogs?
Dogs are social animals that use a variety of barks and howls to communicate. But it can be hard for humans to make sense of all of this, and they often don’t understand why their dog is howling.
Here’s everything you need to know about canine howling.
Dogs use howling for a variety of reasons. And howls are often not the same as barking or baying.
Here are the main types of noises made by dogs, and how they’re different from one another.
Unlike a bark, a howl is one, continuous noise. Some dogs howl by emitting a long, high pitched sound, whereas other dogs howl with a low pitch.
Howling can be used for a number of reasons. Some dogs howl when they’re bored or in pain. Others do it to get your attention or tell you where they are.
Unlike howling, barking consists of short, low pitched sounds. It’s often used to warn people or other dogs to back off, or to get your attention.
Baying is much rarer than barking and howling, and not every dog breed will do it. It’s a long, low sound that is used by hunting dogs to tell their owners, “Hey, I found something!”
What exactly is your dog trying to say with all of their howling? Not every howl communicates the same message, so you’ll have to use context to understand what your dog is trying to say. Here are some common reasons dogs howl.
When dogs are injured, they will often howl to show that they’re in pain. This is a behavior that they inherited from wolves, who will also howl when in pain.
The howling that a dog does when they’re hurt is usually high pitched, and it can go on for a long time.
To Get Your Attention
Dogs like to vocalize when they get bored. It’s a way of drawing your attention if they think they’re being ignored.
Not all dogs will howl to get your attention, with some preferring to bark. If your dog does howl, it could be a sign that they’re not getting enough attention.
When dogs get anxious, they like to make noises to tell others how they’re feeling. This often comes out as a high pitched howl.
Dogs may also howl when they’re afraid of something in particular. If your dog hates vacuum cleaners, they may start to howl whenever you turn one on.
Telling You Where They Are
This is another behavior that’s left over from a dog’s past as a wolf. They will often howl to help you find them.
For example, when you get home, your dog may let out a long howl. Although this can be annoying to you, your dog thinks that you need extra help to track them down.
Showing You Something
Just like barks, dogs will often use howls as a way of pointing something out to you. This is most common with breeds that have a history as hunting dogs. When they find something interesting, they let out a low howl to let their owner know.
Howling, like barking, is a natural behavior for dogs, so you won’t be able to put a complete stop to it. But there are some steps you can take to make your dog howl less.
Before you can stop your dog from howling, you need to know why they’re doing it in the first place. Once you’ve identified the main cause, you can start training your dog not to howl.
Praise And Reward Silence
Dogs learn best when treats are involved. Use this to your advantage to teach them that howling is not acceptable behavior in most situations.
Use a basic training routine where you reward your dog only in situations where they don’t howl. Your dog will soon begin to think, “I only get treats when I don’t howl,” and will change their behavior to get more rewards.
When training, be consistent. If you give them treats out of frustration to keep them quiet, you’ll undo a lot of the progress you’ve made with training.
Don’t Give Them Attention
Ignoring their dog is hard for a lot of people. It can be painful to hear your dog cry out. Dogs know this, and take advantage of it to tug at your heart strings.
To teach your dog not to howl, you can’t reward them with attention. Even if you just turn to your dog to tell them to be quiet, you’re giving them attention, which reinforces the bad behavior.
If your dog starts to howl to get your attention, try your best to ignore them and let them howl it out. Soon your dog will learn that howling is an ineffective way of getting your attention.
Again, it’s important to be consistent. If you ignore your dog’s howling one day, and then pay attention to it the next, you’ll send your dog mixed messages. The still won’t understand that howling is bad, and that they need to be quiet to get your attention.
Make Sure They Get Plenty Of Exercise
Sometimes your dog has a point. If your dog is howling at you, this could be a sign that they’re bored and not getting enough stimulation.
Try to make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise every day. At least an hour of play and walking is recommended per day, although high energy breeds may need even more.
Feed Them Regularly
Dogs will often start to howl if they don’t know when they’re next meal is coming. To prevent this, keep them on a regular feeding schedule so that they don’t get anxious about food. Take them outside on a consistent schedule as well.
You should also make sure that their dog food is made from natural ingredients, and that it has all of the nutrients they need for a balanced diet.
CBD Oil For Anxiety
Howling can be a sign of excess anxiety. If you believe that your dog has anxiety problems, they may need medication to help them manage stress.
CBD oil is one of the most effective ways of managing anxiety in dogs. It can help them feel more relaxed, reducing the likelihood that they’ll start to howl.
Speak to your vet if you plan on giving your dog CBD oil for their anxiety, as the required dose will vary depending on their breed, age, and size.
Although howling can be annoying, it’s a natural behavior that you’re occasionally going to have to live with. If you try to stop every howl, you can interfere with your dog’s normal way of communicating.
When should you be worried that your dog howls too much? That depends on context. If you notice that your dog is howling a lot without any clear reason, this could be a sign that they are bored, anxious, or scared.
By understanding the reasons dogs howl, you can better communicate with your dog. It also makes it easier for you to know when something is wrong and needs to be dealt with.
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