Aug. 08.2020 | Updated: September 24, 2021

Why Do Dogs Howl?

why dogs howl

The howling of a dog, piercing, dreary, disturbing, frightening, has long been regarded by its people as a harbinger of misfortune, disease, and death, war. Is a dog capable of feeling misfortune, or is there nothing mystical about a dog howling?

The Main Reasons What Makes a Dog Howl

dog howl

Dogs have inherited the ability to howl from their wild ancestors, the wolves. Howling is well heard from afar, so the wolves communicate at a distance in this way.

For dogs, howling along with barking is a way of communicating with their kind. It is why all dogs in the area, both domestic and roaming, often respond to howling. Instincts dictate this behavior. Howling can also be used to communicate with people and attract their attention. A dog can howl for a variety of reasons related to external circumstances or his well-being or emotional state.

Expressing Emotions When Dogs Howl

why does my dog howl

Why do dogs howl at night? A dog most often howls over boredom at night when its owners are asleep. If a pet runs freely during the day and in the evening is forced to sit in a confined space, he is lonely, freedom of movement is limited, he pours sadness, complains about life, calls the neighbors to communicate by howling. Sometimes the dog starts to howl in response to the howling coming from afar, which is not heard by the owners.

Why a dog howls at the moon, especially on a full moon, is not identified. According to popular belief, it communicates with the souls of the dead, feels the change of weather. Scientists have come up with other versions:

  • The gravitational field of the moon not only causes tides in the Earth’s seas but also affects the well-being and mood of people. Dogs are even more sensitive to this influence: during the full moon there is an increase in anxiety, aggressiveness, emotions spill out with howling;
  • Dogs’ eyesight makes the full moon as bright as the sun. If your dog is in the yard or apartment windows are not covered by thick curtains, the moonlight will prevent him from sleeping.

During the day, he may howl if his owners leave, and he is left alone in a closed room. He can also yearn for other animals, ask to go for a walk. In this situation, your dog won’t usually howl too much to draw the owner’s attention to his problem and will shut up after it’s been resolved.

Fear is another reason for howling. Emotionally unstable dogs are frightened by loud sharp sounds, sirens, firecrackers, and unusual objects. A dog can also howl with joy, for example, when he meets his owner after a long separation and in other situations where barking is not enough to express his delight.

Disease and Physical Discomfort

Dogs’ howling is often analogous to the human moaning or screaming of pain. It can be caused by:

  • trauma or any illness accompanied by pain syndrome and other unpleasant, unusual sensations – itching, fever;
  • famine, and a pet dog that has not been fed on time, howls with resentment rather than physical discomfort;
  • an acute need to go to the bathroom. In this situation, the pet stomped at the front doors, rushing into the street.

What Does Howling Mean?

Dog howling can be caused by a fire that’s just starting or raging a few blocks from your home, the death of a neighbor, or other misfortune. There’s nothing mystical about it, the gift of foresight is not involved. It’s just smoke, cinders, gas leaks, and the smell of decay that dogs catch much earlier than humans. Many animals, including dogs, also feel the approach of natural disasters, hurricanes, earthquakes. They can also smell many diseases at an early stage, as pathological processes in the body are accompanied by a change in body odor that is invisible to humans. An unfamiliar odor causes anxiety and makes dogs howl. The heavier the disease, the more pronounced the smell is, so dog whine often heralds the near-death of a family member.

A Dog Can Also Howl

what does howling mean
  • when he wants to play, chat, and the owner isn’t paying attention;
  • from lack of physical activity, a prolonged stay within the four walls;
  • as a sign of distress through a series of unpleasant hygiene treatments or medical manipulations;
  • when music is playing, or someone is singing, some dogs like to “sing”;
  • to draw the attention of adults when the baby cries.
  • in response to various irritants that a person does not notice – smells, weak, distant sounds, ultrasound.

Look for the Cause When Dogs Howl

Dogs howl from excess feelings, more often negative, by fear and pain, but howl can also be an expression of delight, analogous to singing. Contrary to popular belief, a dog’s howling does not always foreshadow trouble; a dog can howl just from boredom or temporary discomfort that can be easily eliminated. But if he starts howling for no apparent reason, ask yourself “why is my dog howling all of a sudden?”. In some cases, howling is a warning of the real danger that should be heeded.

For dogs, howling has evolved from a means of communicating solely between dogs into a way of attracting human attention. Learn to understand what your pet wants to say.

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