Pet parent or not, you would have experienced howling dogs irrespective of where you lived. While it may annoy some and get others worried, there are reasons behind dogs unleashing their inner wolf. We may not quite understand it, but in reality, howling is a dog’s way of communicating besides barking. Some dogs howl louder, some milder and others longer. No matter their breed, age or temperament, all dogs howl. Since they are part of human families, it is important for us to understand what they are trying to convey and respond appropriately.
Some basic messages that are interpreted from their howling means:
- I’m right here! Come to me
- I’m alert and aware of my environment
- I need some attention
- I’m scared
- I don’t want you close to me
But there’s more to it. Communication could be in the centre of it and sometimes it is more than trivial. Dog howls become signals that there are issues with them. Here are a few reasons for you to decode their howls better, the next time.
- Separation Anxiety
When dogs are left alone at home for longer hours, they suffer from separation anxiety. They express their need for love and attention from their owner through howls. All you need to do is to simply spend some time with them. Play with them, hug them, take them out for a walk and they are back in spirits.
- Health Problem
By howls, they may be trying to say something about a physical problem that is bothering them. Louder the shrieks, aggravated is the health issue. Look for injuries or take them to the vet, at once. Howling is their way of alerting their human friends of an injury or physical discomfort.
- Certain noises and sounds
Certain sounds like fire-engine sirens, ambulances, heavy instruments or crackers unsettle dogs. These sounds prompt them to sit up and howling may just be a response to environmental triggers.
- Alert discovery
Some dogs also howl to alert you of a discovery that they made. It is a happy howl and know that they want to share their joy with you. Domestic hunting dogs are especially trained to howl when they find a new treasure, either in the backyard or in the attic.
Howling is therefore a primal reaction of your paw friends. Besides the howl and bark, some dogs also bay. Beagles for instance, often bay. Whether barking or shrieking out loud, don’t ask them why they are doing it. Rather try to listen and understand what it is that they are trying to tell you. Remember not all howls are stressful, some are pure joy too!