Why Do Dogs Howl?
If you’ve ever wondered why dogs howl, you are not alone. This is a common question that can be answered fairly easily.
It may seem that our dogs are howling for no real known purpose, but the experts say that it is not just merely senseless noise, they do have their reasons to do so.
Many people associate howling with characteristics of wolves and in the wild wolves naturally howl in order to communicate to other members of their pack. They do so in order to send messages to separated pack members to tell them their current location and to help guide lost members back home, they also howl to tell other packs that they are approaching forbidden territory and are essentially warning them to stay away.
Whilst wolves and dogs are known to howl both in groups and alone, wolves generally tend to howl for the specific purpose of communicating with their own group and other packs, whereas dogs appear to do so for other reasons.
There are numerous reasons that dogs will howl and many canine experts agree that it’s really just another form for them to communicate, just like barking, growling or whining.
The most probable motives that our domestic dogs howl, is usually as a direct response to nearly movement or sounds and not all dogs have an ability to differentiate a foe from a friend or a harmless noise from a legitimate source of concern, so they want to alert you of potential problems and intruders
It could be that they hear a loud noise (such as a police or an ambulance siren) which could actually be hurting their ears. However you may find some dogs howling along with loud music and this is either because the noise could be annoying them or because they want to fit in with the pack and they are imitating the behaviour of their group.
We also have to remember that dogs are social creatures and in many ways they are a lot like us. Just as us humans enjoy communicating with other people, they also like to do the same with other dogs, which is why you can often hear them howling out to each other at all hours of the night, back and forth, back and forth again and when one dog starts up (for whatever reason) other dogs nearby often feel compelled to join in.
Reasons why dogs appear to howl more at night than through the day is because they do become more territorial at night-time (which is probably an inherited trait from their ancestry) plus they can hear each other better as there are less human noises like cars, trucks, planes, shouting people and music, which can effectively drown out their ability to talk to each other more easily
As we know, dogs are naturally pack animals and can feel a strong sense of separation anxiety. When they are parted from their pack or any member of their pack (that’s you), they may be trying to call out to you to tell you they are missing you. If a dog is left alone for long periods of time they may feel isolated, this anxiety is a common issue for many dogs and they may start howling to try to get your attention or that of others.
Others reasons why dogs may howl could be due to medical issues. When dogs feel discomfort or pain they may also howl. If you find your dog doing this more often than usual, with increased frequency and if this is out of character, it could be time for a trip to the vets to rule out the possibility of illness or injury.
You may think it’s pretty cute or very annoying, depending on the time of day or night it happens and which dog is doing the howling, yours or someone else’s. Some dog breeds are known to howl more than others and we are really not sure why. So if you are looking to bring a new canine into your household and really dislike howling, then it may be best to stay away from the following breeds as these howl more than most; Beagle, Husky, Hound breeds, the Tamaskan Dog and the Alaskan Malamute to name a few.