Why do dogs howl?
A dog that howls in the middle of the night is certainly not fun especially if the howling would make other dogs follow suit. Of course when other dogs in the neighborhood howl you will not have irate neighbors as their dogs are howling as well.
- Why do dogs howl?
The howling of a dog on an eerie dark moonless night would make your hair stand on end. It's as if the dog is warning you that something sinister is about to happen. Superstitious beliefs are associated with the howling of a dog.
- Sarah's Dogs
Breed profiles and answers to dog behaviour questions.
Howling dogsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Beliefs behind the howl
The howling of the dog has many superstitious connotations. The howling is associated with something evil and ominous. When dogs howl on moonless and rainy nights you can almost picture zombies walking in the streets. It is also believed that when a dog howls, the Reaper is near and someone is about to die. All these beliefs are really baseless and there are other reasons why dogs howl.
Howling…an inherited trait
Domesticated dogs have descended from the wolves. These canids are howlers. Howling is the frequently used form of verbal communication of wolves. Wolves howl to gather the pack especially when there is an imminent danger. Wolves probably know that howl travels much farther than a bark. The human family is considered by the domesticated dog as its pack. A dog may not need to gather the pack but the howling trait kicks in from time to time.
Reasons why domesticated dogs howl
Howling is considered to be one of the verbal communications used by dogs. A dog may howl when it is trying to get the attention of its pack which in this case is the human family. The dog may be hungry, thirsty or uncomfortable. The dog may be bored, lonely or suffering from separation anxiety. Dogs that are cooped inside the house all day or one that is leashed in the backyard would howl. Dogs are social animals. Unlike cats that are quite independent from their owners, dogs would constantly need the attention of their human family. Dogs need to be petted or cuddled. Some owners even speak to their dogs using dog baby talk. This is how dogs are loved. It is not surprising if the pet would howl and pine for its family. As the howl is carried for miles, the dog may be trying to establish contact with its missing master. The howling could stem from a medical condition. Dogs have different personalities. While some dogs have a great tendency to howl other breeds never howl at all. A rather “silent” pet that has suddenly taken to howling should not be ignored. The howling can signify that the dog is in pain.
In spite of all the studies done on canine behavior, the reason why dogs howl is not exactly clear. It would then be up to the owner to see what is wrong with the dog. The dog may be howling because it is unhappy. On the other hand the howling may be the dog’s way of joining the family’s fun.
Howling dog hubs
- What to do if your dog attacks you
A dog attack would always be a scary and traumatic experience. Dogs have been domesticated for thousand of years. A strong bond is formed between humans and dogs. Human and dog would provide each other...
- What to do if your dog has diarrhea
Diarrhea is such a common illness in dog. In most cases the dog will be cured without any treatments given by the owner. However, ignoring the signs can have irreversible effect on the health of the dog....