You’ve probably been here before: You’re leading your dog around the neighborhood on a typical pack walk when suddenly there’s a siren far off in the distance. You barely notice it, but your dog’s ears immediately perk up. As the sound gets closer, she becomes more agitated and excited until, finally, as it nears you and passes by, your pooch lets loose a glorious howl with head thrown back like she is a wolf out in the desert. Even though you coax her to stop, she continues to howl until the siren has passed by and can no longer be heard.
Does this sound familiar?
Dog howling is a normal behavior in dogs, but it has most likely led you to ask the question, “Why do dogs howl?” Whether it’s when a vehicle drives by or when you’re getting ready to head out the door, your dog’s howl is a unique form of communication that can be triggered by practically anything. Learning the meaning behind dog howling can greatly aid in helping you understand what’s wrong and how you can fix the problem.
If you’re seeking the answer behind why dogs howl, you have come to the right place. Today, we’ll explore key reasons to the common question “Why does my dog howl?” so that you can give the best care possible to your pup.
Key Reasons Why Dogs Howl
There are a number of key reasons why dogs howl. Although some of these causes are natural and part of your dog’s ancestry, others could be a sign of health issues and should be addressed right away. By learning what makes dogs howl, you can better understand the care you need to give to your beloved pup.
While dog howling may be annoying, it’s important to realize that it’s a way dogs communicate with us. Your canine may howl when he’s bored, excited, injured or even when he’s happy. Because dog howling can also be a sign of dog sickness, it’s important to find the answers to the question, “Why does my dog howl?” so you can determine the best possible treatment.
Are you ready to learn the answer to “Why do dogs howl?” Here we’ve gathered a list of the key reasons why dogs howl. Let’s dig in and explore!
As you’ve listened to your dog howling, has the thought ever passed your mind that she sounds a lot like a howling wolf? That’s probably because dogs are distantly related to wolves, and hence the answer to the question “Why do dogs howl?” is that it’s in their blood.
Sometimes dog howling is done for a specific reason while, other times, dogs howl simply because they’re excited. Whatever the reason may be, howling is part of your dog’s ancestry and totally natural as long as it’s not chronic, pervasive or invasive.
Another reason why dogs howl is that it’s a form of dog communication. Once again, this is part of dog ancestry. In the wild, wolves howl to tell a lost member of their pack where they are or to ward off another animal that’s encroaching on their territory. For domesticated dogs, this may translate to howling at certain sounds, objects or other dogs. (Read “Pomeranian Puppy Howls Along With Wolves.”)
A common behavior you may have noticed with your dog is his howling at certain sounds like sirens. If your pooch does this, you have most likely asked yourself the question “Why do dogs howl at sirens?” Although there are several causes for dogs howling at high-pitched noises, one reason is that your dog may think there is another dog in the distance. Another reason for dogs howling at sirens may be that your dog is protecting you from what he believes is a threat. His howling is a way of communicating with you to let you know there is danger in the area.
Howling used as dog communication should be expected and isn’t anything to worry about as long as it isn’t accompanied by aggression toward other dogs or people. If, however, your dog is showing other symptoms of illness, it may be a sign of dog injury or sickness.
Dog Sickness and Dog Injury
In some cases, a dog sickness or injury may be expressed through howling. Dogs who are ill or injured likely will howl frequently or in a shrieking manner. Additionally, your dog may experience other symptoms such as loss of appetite, labored breathing, weight loss or constant licking at his wounds.
If you think your dog is howling due to medical causes, it is best to take him to a vet for a checkup. Dog howling could be a sign of a dog injury or dog sickness and consequently should be taken seriously.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs
If your dog tends to howl every time you leave the house, it is most likely a sign that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. Unlike a joyful, excited howl, a dog with separation anxiety will persistently howl as soon as he senses you are leaving him alone. Dog howling can be triggered in both severe and mild cases of separation anxiety in dogs.
How do you know when dog howling is being caused by separation anxiety? Unlike howling caused by a certain noise or person, dog howling because of separation anxiety in dogs will be accompanied by other symptoms, including destroying things, pacing the floor, escaping his crate or eliminating inside the house. Howling of this kind will take time and consistent effort to overcome.
We hope this article has answered your question “Why do dogs howl?” and helped you understand the meaning behind your dog’s vocalizations. Remember, some forms of dog howling are due to dog ancestry, while others may be a sign of dog sickness or even separation anxiety in dogs. If your dog is showing other symptoms besides howling, it is best to consult with a vet. In some cases, howling is their way of communicating with you about an injury or illness.
Is your dog a howler? Tell us about it in the comments!