What Does It Mean When Your Dog Howls? (The Best Way To Stop This)

Have you ever been woken up in the night to the sound of your dog howling? Or maybe there are certain sounds that seem to set your dog into a howling fit. I know my husky mix loves to randomly burst out a blood-curdling howl at what seems like the most random times.

I have often wondered why some dogs do this and have set out to do the research and bring the answer to you. So, what does it mean when your dog howls? Let’s find out!


Wild Ancestors

dogs and wolves are relative

Just about everyone knows that most all canines are descendants of wolves. While the relation to the wolf is distant, the compulsion to howl is still deeply embedded in their DNA. Sometimes, even the dogs don’t know why they are howling. They just know that something is telling them they are supposed to.

Howling can be a totally normal part of your dog’s behavior just so long it isn’t excessive or chronic. Some breeds are more likely to be howlers. Dogs like my loving husky mix and working breeds like border collies and Australian Shepherds can be the worst when it comes to howling.

Here is an interesting video on why dogs howl! 

Several Answers To One Question

There are many reasons for your dog to howl. Here is a list for you.

Separation Anxiety

If you find your dog howling when you are about to leave for work or your neighbors complain of the noise while you are gone, your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety.

This type of howling is usually associated with other symptoms of separation anxiety such as; pacing, destructive behavior, going potty on the floor, and depression. Watch out for any other signs of distress and contact your veterinarian for advice on the matter.

Medical Injury

If your dog is howling more frequently without any obvious reason, you may want to contact your local vet to rule out any kind of illness or injury. If the howling is paired with excessive whining or yelping, your dog may be in some kind of pain.

Sound Response

Sometimes dogs like to try to mimic howling sounds around them such as a neighbor dog’s howl or a passing police siren. The same types of sounds usually trigger them. While this is normal, it can be a little annoying and there may be ways to help your dog learn to be quiet.

They Just Want to Communicate!

Your sweet puppy dog may just be trying to shoot you a friendly hello or antagonize you into playing with him. I know that my husky will do this from time-to-time. I’ll talk more about teaching your dog to shush in the next part of the article.

What To Do If Your Dog Is An Excessive Howler

vet will help your problem to be solved

Like I said above, if you feel like the condition of your dogs howling could be serious, it is of crucial importance that you contact your vet and set up an appointment. If things like simple redirecting their attention doesn’t work, call your vet about the treatment mentioned below.

Systematic Desensitization And Counterconditioning

train your dog to stop howling

This is a method which helps you stop your dogs howling problem at the root cause. It is hard to try to just train your dog to stop howling. Some pet owners resort to spanking their dog when they howl. I sincerely urge you to not go down that path as it can hurt your dog psychologically and make the problem worse.

If you can try to understand what your dog is feeling when they howl, it can be easier to make the stop. This is what this treatment is designed to do, sooth their feelings. If you can remove the negative emotions associated with howling, you finally get your dog to calm down and be quiet.

It usually takes expert veterinarian treatment to use Systematic Desensitization and Counterconditioning, but if you would like to try it on your own, here is a helpful link on the subject.


I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful! Please remember to call your local vet for help if you cannot get your dogs excessive howling under control. Also remember to please not use harsh punishment on dogs, this never works and may make them unhappy and even louder.

Feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions. We love to get feedback and talk with our readers!




Anna Sakila

Hi, I’m Anna Sakila and I love to give my friend the best of everything. I started this blog so I can also share my experiences with you. Take a tour through my site to see helpful stories and useful information on the best ways to care for your lovely dog.

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