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Does Your Dog Howl? The Top 5 Reasons Dogs Howl

Reynold Krieg
Reynold Krieg

Feb 07, 2017

As most of you know the SportLeash dog, Griffey is a Siberian Husky.  What you've probably learned about Siberian Huskies is they're full of energy....and they love to run around in spastic bursts of energy.  Now most of you probably aren't as fluent in...is the husky language.  

Griffey talks on command with us now, but it wasn't always the case.  He and most dogs innately will howl for many reasons.   

 

1) Their DNA

If your dog sounds like a howling wolf....that's because he's technically a distant relative of the wolf.  And as you know wolves the urge to howl is embedded throughout the DNA of all wolves.  Half the time wolves (and dogs) are howling without any purpose at all...they bumble along howling back and forth at each other.  If your dog is doing this it's completely normal as long as it's not chronic, pervasive, or invasive.

2) Communication

Their ancestral wolves howl to tell lost members of their pack where they are or howl.  This translates to domestic dogs today howling at sirens ("I'm over here!!!").  Wolves also will howl at other animals to fend them off from their territory which in the domesticated dog translates to the "That's close enough there pal..." to an encroaching dog.  Neither of these are unhealthy unless they are paired with aggression. 

3) Separation Anxiety

Just like wolves howl to find lost pack members, sometimes dogs will employ the same tactic when you take off.  As many of the home cameras have shown over the last few years, tons of dogs howl the day away when their owners go to work.  It's definitely not pleasant for neighbors, and not fun for the dogs, but unless this is paired with other issues this is a normal behavior.  The sad part is seeing your dog go through that much anxiety...the good part...that means he certainly loves you! 

4) Sickness & Injury

One of the signals you want to pay attention to is if your dog is suddenly starting to "talk" more than normal.  Dogs will express that they are hurt, sick, or not feeling well by howling or vocalizing in other ways.  If you notice this it's time to reach out to a vet for a professional opinion. 

5) To Alert Their Owner to Danger

Like you might have probably seen in some of the viral videos online, they say dogs can sense earthquakes just before humans...this causes them to be more expressive and vocal than normal.  Similarly, or more frequently, may be a "threat coming to the door" (ie the mailman).  These behaviors are completely normal and fortunately for you, in your defense...meaning your dog likes you. 

Does your dog talk? What/when does he say?  Let us know below in the comments!

 

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