As much as I love the sound of my dog singing, there are definitely times when others aren’t in the mood to hear him serenade the world! So how do I stop my dog from howling? Check out these tips!
The mesmerizing symphony of your howling dog—what dog lover would not love such a captivating melody? Have you seen those howling dogs on Facebook, a true internet sensation…right? But, in reality, many pet owners may dread the sound of excessive howling. So, why do dogs howl? and how can we stop excessive howling? In this article, we’ll discuss the howling dog and how you can deal with that lovely noise.
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Why Do Dogs Howl?
Understanding why dogs howl is crucial if you’d want to train them to stop it. Howling is a completely natural behavior seen in our canines ancestors—the wolves.
In the wild, wolves may often howl as a means of communication towards their pack members—or simply for territorial purposes. Now, your dog may how for many other reasons, these may be:
- your dog is seeking your attention
- they may be howling as a means to communicate with you or other dogs in the home
- Separation anxiety
- Territorial purposes
Now, an important point I’d like to add here is that dogs do howl in response to high-pitch sounds. Because their hearing is a lot more sensitive to ours, veterinarians believe that a high-pitch sound, such a siren may actually be quite painful to a dog’s ears.
Therefore, a dog who howls to a siren may do so as they may be “warning the siren away.” But, this is still something animal behaviorist are trying to figure out!
What Does It Mean When A Dog Howls In The Middle of The Night?
So have you ever wondered why your pooch seems to howl at random in the middle of the night? or perhaps their howling in response to other dogs or sounds?
According to a national geographic article, howling is not exclusive to “night-time”—but rather has been associated with night due to popular culture.
The actual fact remains that any member of the Canidae family howls for the purpose of simply locating their pack members or are essentially warning other wolves in the area about their territory.
Now, the reason your dog may be howling at night is simply that they may be intuned with their natural instincts. By this I mean, that wolves are actually nocturnal and so are generally active at night. Similarly, this is a trait many dogs still do possess—but, because our dogs live with us, they have adapted to our routine.
How can you stop your dog from howling?
I personally believe that howling is a natural behavior that should not be shunned because we choose not to tolerate it. However, if your dog is howling simply to seek your attention then you can definitely choose to train him out of this.
Teaching your dog not to howl—for the sake of attention, is the same as teaching your dog not to whine for attention. So, here’s what you should do!
- IGNORE HIM! Yes, it’s as simple as that. I have to credit this to Ceaser Millan as we’ve used this tactic on our Doberman—Khal. This tactic suggests that you should simply not acknowledge your dog’s presence.
- Do not get angry, yell, or scream! Now as much as you would like to tell your pooch to “BE-QUIET”, it’s not going to work! Yelling will simply frustrate you even more. Dogs do not understand the meaning of the human language. So, instead, the next time Fido decides to howl simply correct him by saying “shss-hh” and, then physically correct him.
Watch this pawesome video of how Ceaser Millan corrects a dog’s inappropriate behavior.
How To Stop A Dog Howling When Left Alone
Dogs who howl when left alone are likely suffering from separation anxiety. This means that you can actually use pretty much the same training tactics for if your dog was whining if left alone.
Here’s what you should do if your dog howls when left alone:
- First I want you to keep your dog in an enclosed area. So restrict him to the basement, living room, or garage.
- Now, before you leave the house, do not acknowledge his presence. This might sound harsh, but you should not look at him, pet him, or speak to him.
- Leave the house for 3 to 5 minutes, if he begins to howl then correct him behind the door ( stay behind the door and say “No!”). Make sure you follow through.
- Gradually, increase the time spent away from your pooch.
- When you do come back into the same room as your dog, then do not acknowledge him.
Chances are he’s going to be really excited to see you! You should not get excited to see him, you need to let him calm down. Once he is quiet and calm, then acknowledge his presence by giving him loads of hugs and kisses.
Top 2 Tips on How To Stop A Howling Dog!
- Tire Him Out: Before you head out to work, be sure to walk or run your dog till he is physically tired. A tired body equals a tired mind, and therefore a “less-stubborn mindset”
- Turn on radios or the TV: Some dogs simply hate being alone, in fact, a common and easy trick I’ve used in the past is to simply turn on the television before I leave home. This allows my dog to think that someone is actually home.
Howling is A Natural Behavior
I think the big takeaway message here, is that howling is a natural behavior our dogs have inherited from the wolf!
Remember, generally excessive howling may be linked to excitement, anticipation, attention-seeking, or separation anxiety. So, in these cases, I would urge you to try some of my training methods listed above.
However, I do highly suggest that you seek help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist if the howling persists.
How do you stop your dog from howling? Share your tips and stories below!