Why Do Dogs Howl?

Why Do Dogs Howl and How to Stop Dog Howling

Belgian Malinois Dog BreedDog's howl is quite widely spread behavior of dogs that may disturb family members. In addition to personal discomfort your howling dog may cause troubles to your neighbors. The reasons of dog howling lay in close relations of dogs with wolves from which they inherited this habit. Let's view the main reasons that cause howl and the means to manage it.

Dog howl is the main means of communication

Dogs usually use it for identification of their location. The modern dogs inherited this habit from wild wolves. Carnivores dispersed in woods and sometimes lost each other from sight that's why they began howling to message their dislocation or ask other members for coming.

This habit is widely inherent for puppies. When they stay alone their instincts make them start calling their congeners by sound howling. A small puppy got used to be in a company of his mother and other puppies, that's why the first days after leaving to a new family you will hear his voice quite often.

Why do dogs howl?

One more reason is answer to sounds of other animals that human ear cannot perceive. It is proved, that dog's ear is much more sensitive and may perceive even the lowest vibrations. In spite of almost the same range as human (8.5 octaves) our pets are able to distinguish the notes with variation even in 1/8 of a tone.

This explains why pets are so great with coming to the sound of whistle of a shepherd.

Besides, dogs howl has many accents and dialects. For example, eastern dog breeds use more monotone and low sound in communication. American dog breeds use higher pitch and repeat it faster. We may define dog's origin by the character of its howl.

Physiological aspect

Many scientists agree on the fact that dogs howl is a purely physiological phenomenon, that is affected by the Moon phases. In the period of New Moon the Moon and The Sun have equivalent influence and we observe gravitational equilibrium and sound sleep. In the period of the Full Moon the powers of both celestial bodies come into interaction and gravitational ground becomes unstable.

Even human body that is not very sensitive in this relation reacts to these cosmic deviations that may result in insomnia. Dogs feel these powers even more sharply. The Full Moon for them is an accelerator of cheerfulness, animals do not sleep and become aggressive (that inherent to people with insomnia as well).

Our pets feel danger under the influence of the Moon and express their emotions by fear and irritation. In the result they howl. Scientists underline, that the majority of dogs living in apartments tend to express their voice in the period of the Full Moon only.

Ear for music

Sharp ear of dogs allows them not on;y distinguish sounds on distance but also react various musical works. In the case of approval your dog begins to howl or whine. Unfortunately, the voice of dogs is developed not as well as ear that's why they are not able to sing with music.

But by their whining they express affection to the music that hear and try to repeat its sound. If a dog does not like music playing in a room he will most likely just go out silently.

Pets have excellent sound sense that perceives various changes in the surrounding space. Dogs perfectly hear if an electric saw is working far, a sound of a moving train, a ringing phone of your neighbors or a car going along the street. That's why they may start howling to signal about the movement behind the house. In this case our pets perform a function of a guard.

Social reasons for dogs howl

  • Spiked Dog Collar for BullmastiffThe period of growing up. In the age when dog is growing actively dog's organism changes greatly. In this case dog's howl is the reaction to constant changes and new senses. This behavior is temporal and may last till 4 months. If you are not willing to bear puppy's howling you may punish him for it in a reasonable way.
  • Lack of attention. Animals may express their voice if they feel lonely. Pets who get used to constant caress react very bad when the owner is absent. They begin to call him and try to attract attention. There are many dog breeds that cannot stay alone due to their specific character. When being isolated they start "crying". Howling is also the characteristic of nervous dogs. They start to cry at once you close the door leaving. This way dogs express their objection.
  • Sharp contrast. Dogs that are chained for a long time howl much more frequently that dogs living in apartments. It is explained by a simple wish of a dog for freedom.
  • Natural instinct. As all the other living beings dogs need reproduction. An adult dog is able to smell a female dog in hundreds of meters. Without a possibility to realize the wish a male begins howling. Any punishment is inefficient in this case. it is recommended to be patient and forgive this difficult time for your beloved guard.

The whining of a male dog will stop if he will have mating regularly.

Expression of joy. Yes, dog howl may be not only the result of a trouble, but of a joy as well. If an owner have been absent for a long time a dog will probably meet him by loud barking. Animals have their emotions, and one of the way to express it is howl.

What may calm down a dog? Other reasons for dogs howl

  1. How to stop dog howlingIllness. It is difficult to define that a dog is ill. Dogs tend to behave as if everything is all right and many dogs hide the signs of thickness intentionally. But there are cases when a dog expresses his pain howling. It is recommended to consult a veterinarian immediately.
  2. Physiological reasons. May be you just forgot to feed your dog before sleep or to change his water in a bowl? He might feel cold or wet under rain outside? Whining is also a means to ask you for help and care.
  3. Warning of thread. Dogs feel special sense that makes them predict future events. Even scientists agree the fact that a dog may notify of somebody dying soon. For their special nose they feel changes in the smell of a dying person. Well-developed 6th sense makes our pets warn us of fire and other accidents.

In the next article we will tell how to stop dog howling and whining.

Read here about other dog bahavior issues: