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Why Do Dogs Howl?

why do dogs howl - young beagle male howlingWhy Do Dogs Howl

All is serene and you are enjoying the moment, when a soulful sound startles you out of your quiet zone. As you scamper to find out what could have disturbed the tranquillity you can’t help but wonder – why do dogs howl?

Rushing on, you find Butch on his rump howling his heart out as if in some state of transcendental meditation. Having not gone through this experience before, it almost raises the hairs of the nape of your neck.

There is just something about the howling that makes you think some other-world being will materialize before you as your best buddy is calling out. And maybe he is.

Read on to discover the mysteries behind howling.

Why The Chorus

So you may have heard the neighbourhood dogs all howling together as if in some choir still in the early stages of practice. Every dog in his compound joins in and they make this noise which can be a pain sometimes and you wonder why they are doing this.

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Why do dogs howl - wolf howling at the moonWell, deeply entrenched in them is the instinct to be in the great outdoors. And however much you’ve domesticated Roger, he still has the instincts all close to the surface.

When dogs get to know each other in the neighbourhood, they will start to relate to each other with a pack mentality. Most likely when they chorus together, it is to simply announce to any rival pack that they own that turf.

But that’s not all! Dogs howling together are also seen as a behaviour done to express a spirit of camaraderie. All the dogs in the neighbourhood are just talking to each other saying ‘hey, we’re still together and going strong’.

Dog howling is supposed to give warmth in the pack as they engage in song. Think of tribal hums in the jungle while sitting around a bonfire.

Now if you see Fido starting to howl when strangers come over or he sees strange cars pull up, that is just a way of saying ‘Careful guys. This turf is owned.’

GPRS Enabled

Why do dogs howl - wolf howlingSo this is to help you understand that GPRS was discovered, not created. And this is the proof.

Before any global positioning system was made, wolves still used to get home after a hunt to a welcoming pack. How, you ask?

Well, it was simply using the beacon otherwise known as howling. The howling kept the hunters in a straight path home so that they would never lose their way.

So why do dogs howl in this age? Maybe, as the alpha of the pack, Roger is just giving you ‘global positioning’ of where the den is.

Then There Was Karaoke

Then there was that jingle playing on telly and Sally was up and howling her heart out. You had to laugh because it was the cutest thing you’ve seen in a long while. The thing about dogs howling is the sincerity they do it with.

why do dogs howl - music notesHave you ever seen a tiny child singing their hearts out? It might not be perfectly musical, but it does warm your heart. Now you can understand why your heart warms so when Sally howls.

But why do dogs howl when certain sounds play?

These sounds act as a trigger awakening the howling instinct in many dogs. The sound of sirens or certain musical instruments can bring out the singer in your dog. And he will howl along to his heart’s content if you let him. And who said a dog can’t just sing and get away with it?

If you’ve never heard your dog howl, try howling yourself and see what happens. You might just be surprised when he joins you just to express how he feels about you in song!

Depression Defined

You may have found that when you are just about to leave, or when you are some distance away Fido starts howling and it evokes some sadness in you. This might be an expression of sadness for him as you leave him. It might be that you leave for extended periods of time and he is mostly always alone.

Without the company which makes him glad to be alive, depression can set in and make him a howling dog in need of company. This can be a symptom of separation anxiety. You can solve this by finding ways to keep him engaged. Spend more time with him or even hire company for him. You could also exercise him well before you leave, and leave him with some creative toys he can play with when you are not available.

The Perfect Attention Getter

Why do dogs howl - Dachshund howlingDogs howling undeniably invoke attention. Curiosity might always get the best of you to go see what your pooch is up to every time she howls. Well, this might be exactly why do dogs howl – to get that attention.

Some of these pooches are smart enough to know they will get your attention when they howl away and they will do that to their advantage. They may just want to spend some time with you or simply to see you attend to them.

A Call To Action

You will also find dogs howling when they are in dire need and need to be taken care of. This might be when they have gotten hurt, are in pain,  and need help. Dogs will howl as an SOS to tell you where they are and that they are not okay.

This might not just be when relaying some bad news. Dogs also howl when they have found a prized possession like a rabbit. This is if you have hunting dogs or dogs that have such heritage in their blood.

And Of Excessive Howling

Well, you may have been asking yourself the question why do dogs howl because it has simply gotten to you. If you are in the kind of predicament of needing a way to limit or stop howling dogs, then you should consider training them to know when they are allowed to howl and when they are supposed to be quiet.

‘Speak’ and ‘Quiet’ commands will come in handy in this part where you will train your pooch about when he is to be quiet. This will give you some peace of mind.

Also be aware that it may be separation anxiety that is causing the howling. If so, you need to resolve the root cause of the problem.

Freddy and I hope we have answered your question ‘why do dogs howl?’

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You’ll be so glad you made the effort, and you’ll have a much better friend.

Freddy Sig - why do dogs howlFreddy says ‘Woof!’