Dogs often bark and shriek for multiple reasons but when they howl it can be concerning for some pet parents and might even bother your neighbors. Barking can be defined as a loud yet short explosive cry. Bay on the other hand is a prolonged bark that can be towards, say, for example, a thief. Howling sounds like a wolf’s sound or can be defined as a long doleful sound. There can be a variety of reasons why your dogs might be howling.
If you are getting regular complaints about your dog howling, there might be some things that you might want to rule out before you proceed to train your dog not to howl.
Separation anxiety: One of the most common reasons why dogs howl could be because of separation anxiety. Separation anxiety in dogs occurs when your dog is left alone at home for long periods. This howling is never just howling in one place, it is often accompanied by other symptoms of separation anxiety such as pacing back and forth. Other symptoms include scratching and digging. Spend quality time with your dog, add elements such as cheap dog toys that you find online, or get dog training tools and play with them in the park.
Medical conditions: Howling is often used by dogs to inform them and they are sick and might be facing some sort of discomfort medically. If the howling and shrieking become more and more frequent, there might be a physical and mental condition. You should take your dog to the vet if you notice this.
What can be the other reasons for your dog howling?
Your dog might be howling to simply get attention if they feel like they are lacking it. It is also possible that the dog might be trying to alert the owner about something. Dogs might howl around other dogs to contact and play with other dogs. If you live in a place where there is a lot of noise around, howling might be your dog responding to the noises that they hear.
How to take control of your dog howling? There are some steps you can take when you want to train your dog not to howl so much.
Sounds: If your dog is howling as a response to the sounds that are there in the environment, this type of howling can be solved when the dog stops hearing these sounds. Check what these sounds are. If a festival or a celebration is going on, it will reduce eventually. There is nothing much to worry about.
Desensitize: For fear and anxiety, there is a treatment called desensitization. This means that it is not possible to immediately stop their howling by distracting them. There might be reasons which are connected to the motivation and how the dog feels. Focus on the underlying reasons that might be there. You can get a professional to help you with the same.
Attention-seeking howling: If your dog is howling only to get your attention, make sure that you do pay attention to them. If you do, they might feel that by howling they get what they want. Do not give your dog negative or positive attention. Instead, ignore them when they are howling and treat them when they are quiet and calmer. This will direct their mind into being calm in order to deserve a treat tomorrow.
These are some of the things you need to keep in mind when training your dog on how to not howl. However, a good idea would be to make a comprehensive observation about their howling behavior.