Howling is a form of vocal communication that is used by puppies and dogs. Most dogs howl to attract the attention of others, to announce their presence, and to make contact with other dogs while others also howl to respond to high-pitch voices. Read on to know more about why your dog howls and how you can stop it.
Separation anxiety howling
In case your neighbors call you to tell you that your dog has been howling when you’re at work, the howling may be caused due to separation anxiety. This type of howling occurs when your dog is left alone or separated from the owner. It is usually accompanied by at least one symptom of separation anxiety such as destruction, pacing, depression, or other signs of distress.
Sometimes, dogs howl because they’re sick or hurt. If your dog howls more than usual, it would be better to take him to a vet and get him examined before anything severe happens.
What can you do to stop excessive howling?
Howling in response to trigger sounds
If your dog is howling when it encounters some kind of trigger, such as a siren nearby or another dog, he would probably stop once the sound stops. Generally, this type of howling isn’t excessive unless, of course, the trigger sounds occur frequently. If that happens, try the desensitization and counter conditioning dog training method to teach your dog how to not howl at trigger sounds.
Systematic Desensitization and counter conditioning
Systematic desensitization and counter conditioning are two common dog training treatments for anxiety, fear, phobias, and aggression, or basically any type of behavior that involves emotions or arousal. It will be most effective when you use the two procedures together to get the best results.
What can you do if your dog is howling to get your attention?
Some puppies and dogs learn that howling will get them attention from others. In case you notice your dog howling for this reason, it will usually be when it wants your attention, or desired objects like food or toys. There are things that you can do to make sure that your dog doesn’t howl in order to get what he wants.
- Ignore his attention-seeking howling
- Reward your puppies or dogs for being quiet
- Teach him to be quiet and stop howling when you ask him to
- Spend time with your dog
- Find professional help and have them train your dog