Top Experiences You Need to Know: Why Do Dogs Howl?

Pet Care


July 14, 2024

Most dog owners are probably curious about why dogs howl, especially at night. Did you know that dogs’ ancestors are wolves? In other words, dogs inherited one of the wolves’ characteristics, and that is howling.

Dogs communicate with others in various ways and one of the most common forms of their vocal communication is howling. As a dog owner, you must learn and understand why your dog howls. By reading this article, you will know some of the top reasons why dogs howl and other facts related to it.

  1. Top Reasons Why Dogs Howl
  2. Why Do Dogs Howl Excessively?
  3. Things You Can Do When Your Dog Howls Excessively
  4. Dog Breeds That Are Most Likely to Howl
  5. The Takeaway

Top Reasons Why Dogs Howl

Everyone can recognize the sound of howling from dogs. Note that dogs howl due to various reasons. By knowing the reasons behind it, you will also know what to do.

Moreover, there are a lot of things that you need to know and understand about your pet, such as separation anxiety howling and the medical causes of it. What if your dog howls excessively? After gaining knowledge about these things, you’ll know how to deal with it.

Vocal Communication

When dogs want to inform their family members about their presence and current location, they won’t hesitate to howl. In the case of a lost family member, howling would be the best and most effective way to find him. This behavior of dogs undeniably comes from their ancestors, the wolves.

Separation Anxiety Howling

Dog owners love their pets, not only because they are so lovely. Dogs are loved and cherished by many because of their loyalty and the fact that they’re so affectionate. There’s no doubt that both are easily attached and have a close bond.

When you are not around, your dog can feel a sense of separation. And howling is proof that your dog feels separation anxiety. As the owner, you should be able to alleviate that feeling of your pet. How? You can hug your dog and let him feel that there’s nothing to worry about.

Isolation Distress

Dogs usually feel isolation distress when left alone at home for a long time. Note that unusual habits can develop while you are not around. You have probably come home to find your living room has become messy. Not only that, you probably heard complaints from your neighbors.

Your neighbors might have heard your dog howling, which is a common issue with dogs. But it is how your dog expresses his or her feeling of isolation distress.

Feeling Upset or Irritated

Do you have musical instruments at home, like a mouth organ? When someone in your family plays that instrument, expect your dog to howl. And if he does, it only means that he feels irritated by the sound. Even the sound of an alarm clock will irritate your dog.

Medical Issues

When dogs have injuries or certain illnesses that mean he or she suffers from internal pain, you will hear your dog howling. If the howling becomes consistent, it is a good idea to take your dog to the nearest veterinary clinic.

Other top reasons why dogs howl include defense mechanism, territorial presence, pack separation anxiety, attention-seeking, success and excitement, and responding to high-pitched sounds.

Why Do Dogs Howl Excessively?

Now that you had an idea of why your dog howls, it is also necessary to know why some dogs do it excessively. There are numerous reasons why dogs howl excessively. Below are some of the reasons behind your dog’s behavior.

Response to Stimuli

When you hear your neighbor’s dog howling, expect your dog to do the same after a while. Unless the other dog stops howling, your dog will also do it excessively. Even when he hears the sound of a siren or an ambulance, you can hear your dog howling continuously until the sound stops.

Announce Potential Threats

Dogs howl excessively to keep their territory safe from predators or rival dogs. They will not stop howling unless they are sure that their territory is safe. If dogs howl excessively in your neighborhood, you shouldn’t feel irritated.

Express Physical or Emotional Pain

If your dog feels physical or emotional pain, you will hear him howling. And when you notice that your dog does it excessively, note that it is his way to seek your attention when he feels pain. Check on him even if it means you need to wake up late at night or early in the morning.

Things You Can Do When Your Dog Howls Excessively

The excessive howling of dogs should not be neglected or ignored. There are some effective things that you can do if you want him to stop howling. Here are some possible solutions for your dog to be quiet and no longer disturb your neighbors.

Desensitization and Counterconditioning (DSCC)

Since excessive howling is considered a behavior problem of some dog breeds, it should be addressed immediately. Whenever your dog feels afraid or anxious about something that makes him howl excessively, you have these two treatment options.

Teaching your dog a different behavior or skill is not enough to help him learn how to be quiet. Through desensitization and counterconditioning, the way your dog feels about something will be changed. These treatments were developed for dogs with fears and phobias.

These two treatment procedures are effective and need to be done by a trained professional. During the process, dog owners need to be patient because you will only see the results after a couple of months. Also, the result depends on your dog’s reactions.

Visit Your Trusted Veterinarian

And when your dog feels emotional or physical pain, visit your trusted veterinarian. If you don’t have any idea how to help your dog ease the pain, then let the experts check on your dog’s condition. They can figure out if your dog howls excessively due to feeling pain.

It is the best thing for you to do that could help him rule out pain. If you ignore your dog when he doesn’t stop howling, something unexpected could happen.

Dog Breeds That Are Most Likely to Howl

Some dog breeds are more likely to howl than others. Although howling is a common behavior among dogs, hound breeds usually do it.

Before you decide to buy a dog of your own, understanding every dog’s behavior is necessary. And one of the behaviors you will soon deal with is howling. If your type of dog is calm and quiet, you have many options except with the following dog breeds.


By knowing this dog breed’s information and personality traits, it will help you decide whether you want to have it or not. Although it is well-known for being cheerful and affectionate, this dog breed can be highly destructive and howl excessively, especially if left alone.


Are you excited to have a Siberian Husky? They are loved by many dog owners because of their good personality traits, such as being friendly and smart. This dog breed also doesn’t usually bark, but you have to deal with it when he howls.


If you need a loyal companion, the Dachshund would be among your best options. However, if you are avoiding dogs that are ranked high for destructiveness or even howling, then this dog breed is not for you.  


It is not difficult to appreciate a Bloodhound because of its patience and mild personality. But despite this dog breed’s positive characteristics, he or she might disappoint you. Having such a pet as this one can be quite a challenge when he or she howls.

Basset Hounds

If you want an easygoing dog, the Basset Hound is among your best options. But if you are not patient enough to deal with this dog’s stubbornness and howling, which can be excessive, it would be better for you to look for another dog breed.

The Takeaway

  • Learning about dogs is important for dog owners to understand their dogs better. Whatever dog breed you have, or if you are still planning to have one, you need to know all the information and facts about dogs.
  • As you learned through this article, howling is a common behavior of dogs. It is a dog’s way to express how he or she feels, and it is also for his or her safety. And some dog breeds are more likely to howl compared to others.
  • Howling can be annoying, especially with dogs that usually do it at night. This act or behavior of your dog might lead to arguments between your neighbors and you. Be a responsible dog owner and train your dog or check on him or her regularly to know the reason why he or she howls.
  • Seek help from professionals or experts if you find it difficult to stop your dog from howling.
  • Choose a dog that is less likely to howl, especially if you are planning to stay in an apartment.