Top Tips on How to Make Your Dog Howl Whenever You Want

Do you know how to make your dog howl? Do certain noises that trigger howling in your dog? For me it’s as simple as howling myself — that always gets my dog going. She also has the habit of howling in her sleep — but that’s a story for another post.

But making all dogs howl isn’t quite that easy. Some seem to howl much easier than others. For those dogs you’ll probably need to try out a few different noises until you find out which ones get your dog going. Here’s 5 tips on how to make your dog howl. (Plus 7 videos at the end designed to get your dog howling)

Related: how to teach your dog to roll over

Why Do Dogs Howl?

So why do dogs howl anyways? Howling is a normal behavior in dogs, and it’s one of the natural instincts leftover from their wolf ancestors. Howling in dogs is a form of communication just like barking and whining. Dogs howl to make contact with others, get attention, signal distress, and to announce their presence. The most common reasons for dogs to howl are:

  • To make contact with others
  • To attract attention
  • In response to high pitch noises
  • To sound an alert to others

See more: how to teach your dog to dance

Like barking and whining, howling is just another form of communication for dogs. It can mean they’re looking for some extra attention, or it might mean they’re on high alert. It’s one of the many ways in which they communicate with one another. In some cases your dog howling may indicate an injury or illness.

Some dogs howl much more than others. There are certain breeds of dogs that are more prone to howling than others. Huskies, German Shepherds & many hound breeds tend to howl more than others.

A lot of dogs will howl to the high pitched sounds of harmonicas, ambulances, dogs in the distance, or their owners singing. Some dogs, like Huskies, are known to be more vocal than others, so getting your Husky to howl may be a lot easier than getting your Chihuahua to start howling.

More vocal breeds—like huskies and most hounds—are more prone to howling in general, and thus would be likelier to wail along to music than say, a bichon frise.  – Why Do Dogs Sing Along to Music?

5 Ways to Make Your Dog to Howl

If you want to make your dog howl the first step will be determining what noises they respond to. Some dogs will howl to high pitched noises such as alarms and sirens. Sometimes the sound of another dog howling in a video is more than enough to get them going. For my dog I just have to start whistling to get her to howl.

Here’s 5 ways you can make your dog howl:

  • Sing/Howl yourself
  • Play a musical instrument like the harmonica
  • Play siren or alarm sounds
  • Whistle for your dog
  • Play videos of dogs howling (see examples below)

After you find which method gets your dog howling you can promote the behavior further. Give him a treat when he howls and tell him he’s a good boy, just as you would with any form of trick training.

With enough practice and encouragement you’ll be able to get your dog to howl on command, just as you can get him to sit or lie down.

Getting Your Dog to Stop Howling

Now if your dog howls too much and you’d like him to stop the first step is finding out what’s triggering the howling to begin with.

If your dog is howling for your attention while you’re at home you’re going to learn to start ignoring the behavior and reward him when he’s quiet. We often spend too much time focusing on correcting bad behaviors that we forget to praise the good. When you consistently praise your dog for doing something (in this case being quiet) they’ll know that they’re doing the right thing, and with proper encouragement they’ll be more likely to continue that behavior.

If your dog is howling when he’s alone it could be from separation anxiety or being lonely. Does your dog also pace around and act nervous when you leave the home? If so it might be separation anxiety.

If you suspect your dog is howling because he’s lonely try spending some extra time with him. Create some simple boredom busters for him, give him more mental stimulation, and give him plenty of games to play inside.

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