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What to Make of Your Dog’s Howling

September 15, 2020

Does your dog howl sometimes? This is something that many of our canine friends do. It’s especially common in certain breeds like Beagles, Bloodhounds, Coonhounds, Foxhounds, Alaskan Malamutes, Dachshunds, and Huskies. What’s behind this unique behavior? Read on to learn more about Fido’s singing, and whether or not it’s a cause for concern.


W  hen Howling is Normal

Your pup’s ancestor, the wild wolf, used howling as a way of communicating with other pack members and warning other animals to keep away from their territory. So, most of the time, your canine buddy’s howling is an instinctual behavior related to communication. Fido is a pack animal, after all!


Our furry pals often howl because they’re responding to stimuli in their environment, such as an ambulance siren, another dog howling, or the mailman approaching your front door. Or, Fido might howl when he’s found something really exciting, like a bone they buried in the flowerbeds last summer. It’s also possible that your pooch howls to “warn” other people or animals away from his territory, just as wild wolves might do.


When Howling is Bad

Although howling is perfectly normal most of the time, there are reasons why it might be a bad thing. One of these is stress. Separation anxiety is common in dogs, and often causes loud vocalizations, including howling. If your canine pal has separation anxiety, he or she will probably exhibit other signs when they are left alone, like eliminating in the house and destroying furniture or other property.


Another possible option is that your dog is howling as a response to pain, perhaps caused by a physical injury or a medical problem. This is especially likely if you notice other signs of pain accompanying the howling, like sensitivity to touch, unusually aggressive behavior, or excessive panting. If Fido never howled before, but has suddenly started, pain could be the cause.


What to Do if Fido Won’t Stop Howling

If you can’t get your canine buddy to stop howling, pay a visit to the vet’s office. First, you’ll want to have any medical concerns dealt with if they’re present. If howling is purely a behavioral issue, your pooch might need training or even anxiety medication. Ask your vet for more information.


Set up an appointment at our veterinary office if you’re concerned about your dog’s health or behavior. We’re always here for you! 

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