Behavior

My dog howls constantly. What’s the deal?

Dog Howling Constantly  Dog howls constantlyIt’s a common conversation between doggy parents and irate neighbors.  “We can’t sleep, your dog’s howling all night!” “My dog howls constantly. ”  Why do they do…

 

We all know how it goes.  Our dog may keep the neighbors up.  Their sudden baying may startle us every five seconds. Yet we still can’t stay mad!

Still, even the most tolerant pet parent might need to reign in a howling pooch.  It’s important to remember, though, that howling is a fundamental part of canine communication.

Why my dog howls constantly

This is a question with a couple answers.  Part of why dogs howl constantly is that they never run out of things to howl about.  That’s because howling has a variety of meanings.

Howling is a genetic level activity for all dogs breeds.  In other words, it’s a trait that traces back to the wolves from which our fur babies are descended.   That’s why there’s really no chance it’s going to just go away.  There are some breeds that are known for howling more than others.  If you’re the proud parent of one of these fur babies, howling is going to be part of your canine experience for long time to come.  In particular, hounds and other hunting breeds are most known for howling.

Here’s a few options as to why your  fur baby may be constantly raising a ruckus.

“Hey! Listen!”

Sometimes, a dog is howling to get your attention.  It’s a useful tool for dogs, howling.  That howl you hear may be your fur baby telling you they hurt themselves.  It could also be your fur baby telling you they found a particularly interesting piece of offal.  Or that they just really miss you and wish you were home right now!

In the first case, your fur baby is asking for help if they begin to howl more than usual, or howling out of nowhere, a trip to the vet may be in order.

LOOK!! It's right over there! Let's go roll in it.

LOOK!! It’s right over there! Let’s go roll in it.

In the last case, it’s known as separation anxiety howling.  You guessed it, if your dog howls constantly while you’re at work, it’s a sign your dog has separation anxiety.  Separation anxiety in dogs is a subject worthy of a post in and of itself.  But one thing is certain: you’ve got a fur baby who misses you a whooooole bunch.

 

Listen to this song I just wrote!

Sometimes your dog’s howling is set off by other noises.  Sirens, alarms, even singing can set a dog to howling.  The trick in this is the way sounds get louder as they come closer.  AKA, the Doppler Effect.  Because the effect makes sounds like sirens go from lower to higher as they come closer, as well as the innate nature of the siren,  it imitates the low-to-high sound of a dog’s howl.  If your dog howls with the sirens, they’re singing along with their friend.  If your dog howls constantly when sirens go by, just wait for the siren to pass.  They’ll stop.

Speaking of which, plenty of dogs are known to join in the constant neighborhood howling jam sessions.  That’s pretty standard behavior.  In fact, it’s quite literally canine karaoke.  Dogs often howl as a way to socialize and build their canine community.

If your dog’s howling is excessive (i.e. you dog howls constantly), the best answer may be to seek some training help.

 

(Via Canine Journal, WebMD Pets, and Dogster)



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