Why do dogs howl?
Dogs howl to attract attention, to make contact with others and to announce their presence.
Understanding a dog's behavior can be a daunting task! Researchers admit that howling behavior in dogs is still largely a mystery. So, when your pooch goes wild at the sound of sirens or other dogs, you believe that it is because his ears hurt. But, that is not true! To a dog, that sound is howling coming from another dog from a distance and he is just being polite by answering the other dog's call.
Howling is just one of the many forms of communication that dogs have. They do whine, whimper, bark and growl, but howling is the thing that captures the human imagination! As we associate it with loss and sadness. Howling is also a form of long distance communication between dogs, which was left over from their wolf ancestry. Once one dog starts howling, there are several other dogs in the neighborhood who answer the call.
Also, as you are part of your dog’s life, when you are gone, they may howl. If they continue howling for hours, it may be because they may be feeling separation anxiety. You can confirm this, if there is pacing, destruction, depression or any other behavior that signals distress.
Dogs don’t use howling as a frequent form of communication. They do howl in response to certain sounds, especially an ambulance or police siren; when the sound stops, their howling stops too.
Howling can also indicate if your dog is sick or hurt. If a dog howls continuously for no reason, it is best to take it to a veterinarian so that one can rule out unseen injury or illness.
Loneliness is also a major reason dogs howl. Dogs enjoy the attention from humans and they deserve it. You can play games with them, train them, take walks and, if possible, get another dog as a companion. If you have to leave you dog alone for long periods, make sure he has lots of toys to chew on to pass the time.
Sometimes, when certain music is played or someone starts singing at the piano, your dog may feel inspired to join in. After all, the dog is part of your family group and should be able to join the fun if they feel like it. Howling can also be a sign of happiness. For dogs it is just their way to interact with their environment. So, make sure that your dog is howling but happily!!