Everyone who lives with a dog has, almost surely, heard his dog howling. Many of our best friends’ behaviours remain a mystery to us, because we don’t have the chance to ask them why on Earth they do what they do and get a proper answer. While we don’t develop a way to teach our language to our dogs, we need to communicate and try to understand them the way they are. Have you ever wondered why do dogs howl? What are they trying to say or to show?
Why do dogs howl?
Ancestry is one of the most widely cited reasons. Dogs are distant cousins from wolves, and they sound alike when it comes to howling. According to this explanation, howling is a natural behaviour which seems to have no particular motive. It is a genetic legacy. If this is the cause of your dogs’ howling, there is nothing to worry about.
Sending a message
It is considered that dogs can howl to send messages to their specie companions. It probably happens because dogs want to mark their space and show to other dogs that place is theirs, adopting a similar behaviour of wolves. Your dog can also engage on a conversation with other dogs and start howling when he hears others doing it. It is a way dogs have to know where the others are and let them know where they are too. These are also possible reasons that should not worry you. Your dog is just being a dog.
Can howling be a bad sign?
There are some other reasons why dogs howl. They might be sick, for example, or they may show separation anxiety, which occurs when you leave home without him.
Howling because he wants you to stay at home
If your dog starts to howl when you leave home, it may be a case of separation anxiety howling. This behaviour often occurs in association with others like destructing things (furniture, for example), eliminate inside your house, agitation and distress.
If your dog howls whenever you leave home, he might be giving you signs of where he is, like he does when he communicates with other dogs and like wolves use to do when they want to inform other wolves where they are.
Howling because he’s sick
Dogs also howl because they feel sick or hurt. You must be very attentive to understand if your friend is in pain. If you think your dog might be injured or sick, take him to a veterinarian to find out what is going on before it’s too late. This is probably the best way he found to tell you he needs help.
Howling as a response
Sometimes, dogs start howling when they hear other dogs doing it or when they hear a siren. If there are many dogs in your street or if you live near a hospital, it is probably your dog howls for a few hours a day, which can be excessive and it can bother you and your neighbours. So, how can you solve the problem?
You will need some patience and time to change your friend’s behaviour. You can visit your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer if you want a good and professional advice on how to stop your dog’s howling.
As we have seen, there are many possible explanations for howling. Some of them are just natural and innocuous, but always be observant because your dog might be telling you he needs help.