Dogs are continually communicating with us and other animals. Sometimes it can be a challenge to know what a dog is trying to say. After body language signals, barking is probably one of the most common forms of dog communication. However, dogs howling is also a way for a dog to express himself.
I’m sure you can picture the lone wolf howling at the night sky. But, why is that wolf howling in the first place, and how does it relate to our domesticated canines? Dog behavior theories are always rampant on the Internet and with experts, so I will just toss in my two cents.
Why Do Dogs Howl?
It depends. Oh, come on. You knew I was going to write that. Dog behavior is never cut and dry. To truly understand a dog and what he’s trying to say to us, we must explore what his current environment is telling us.
Obviously, a dog or puppy who is howling isn’t trying to hide. Quite the opposite. A howling dog is trying to alert others to his presence. I believe to call others in for company or backup. I don’t feel it’s a threat of any sort.
Your dog may be howling because he feels alone, isolated, scared, or needs your assistance. Maybe your puppy is crying and howling in his crate because he feels alone and wants the comfort of his family members. Or maybe he’s just trying to tell you he really has to pee!
If howling is a new behavior for your dog, you may need to run him in to the veterinarian or emergency hospital. He could be howling due to distress from pain. A new behavior or behavior out of the blue typically warrants a good exam and possible blood work.
Why Do Dogs Howl with Sirens?
I believe they think they are other dogs calling out. If your dog howls at sirens or other high-pitched sounds, he may be responding to what he thinks of as other dogs. He’s letting them know he’s there listening.
So, the next time your dog starts howling, try to figure out the reason to ensure his needs are being met. If it’s just at sirens or musical instruments, then if he’s not stressed. Don’t worry about it.
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