We have all heard our dogs howl for what seems like no reason at all. As it turns out, howling has certain functions for a dog although it may be a sign of a problem. Some of the common causes of howling include communication with other dogs, response to certain sounds, stress and anxiety, and other problems.
Reasons for Howling
The moment this starts, you have to rule out anxiety or any medical issue. If your dog howls when you are away (such as at work), then there is a good chance that separation anxiety is the cause. Normally, howling is not the only symptom of anxiety. Others include pacing, any kind of distress, destruction of things, and others.
If you rule out the above, you also have to ensure that medical causes are not the reason. Some of the medical reasons that may induce howling include injuries, illnesses, and others. The remedy here, as with anxiety, is to see a vet for a recommendation on the solution.
Another reason for howling could be communication. Studies show that dogs have some relationship to wolves, which is an animal that is known for its howling tendencies. In the wild, wolves howl to relay messages to other wolves depending on the situation. In the case of dogs, the message could be to warn off intruders or announce their position. Sometimes, it could be possible that their wolf ancestry compels them to howl without them knowing why. Normally, anything under this category is not cause for alarm unless it is chronic.
Addressing Stress and Anxiety in Dogs
You are advised to visit a pet for recommendations to the above problem. However, there are some strategies you might try for yourself in case you cannot see a vet. These strategies include:
- Ignore your dog’s howls as soon as he or she starts to beg for your attention. This strategy sort of weans the dog teaches them independence.
- Use reward techniques for quietness. On the other hand, be careful that you do not scold him or her because scolding may make the howling worse.
- Spending a little bit more time with the dog may also help with dealing with loneliness. Remember, dogs are social animals.