If your dog has been howling in the morning, you might want to know why and what you can do to stop it. This post will show you common reasons why dogs do it and what you can do to get yours to stop.

So, why does my dog howl in the morning? Possible reasons why your dog howls in the morning are that it needs to pee, hunger, separation anxiety, it’s used to waking up at a certain time, or learning that the behavior is rewarded.

There are many different reasons why your dog might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Why your dog howls in the morning

Below are some common reasons why dogs howl in the mornings and what would make them more likely to be the reason why your dog has been doing it.

Needing to pee

The reason why your dog does it could also be that it needs to pee in the morning. This would be more likely to be the cause if it wants to go outside straight away to pee, if it is a puppy or if it is elderly.

In this case, it would be important to continue letting it out to pee quickly. It would also help to let it out to pee just before bedtime.

Hunger

It could be the case that it has learned that it gets food at a certain time in the morning.

This means that if you regularly give your dog breakfast at 6 am then it’s going to cause your dog to expect to get food at 6 am. This will cause it to wake up at this time and to get excited at this time.

This would be more likely to be the issue if your dog wakes up when you want it to during the week but it wakes up too early and howls on the weekend.

Separation anxiety

The cause could also be that it has some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and the prospect of being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely if it starts showing signs of becoming anxious when you are about to leave it at night.

Waking up at a different time

If you usually wake up at a certain time, but you have started waking up at different times, the cause could be that it is used to waking up at a certain time. Dogs generally like having a routine and it can cause them to behave abnormally when their routine is disrupted.

In this case, it would be likely that it is used to getting to pee and eat at a certain time in the morning and it is howling because it hasn’t been getting to do those things at the time it is used to. One option here would be to gradually wake up at a certain time or to continue waking up at the new time and to wait for it to get used to waking up at the new time.

Encouraging the behavior

It could be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to do it by giving it rewards when it howls in the morning. If you tend to give things such as extra attention, toys, treats or food, when it howls in the morning, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not howl in the morning and to avoid rewarding it when it does howl unless it is because it needs to pee.

Excess energy

It might also be the case that it has not been getting enough exercise and it has been causing it to have excess energy in the morning. This would be more likely if it tends to be calmer on mornings when it has gotten exercise the day before. In this case, it would help to make sure that it is getting the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.

Injury, illness or medication

It could also be the case that it has an injury, illness or medical condition that has been causing it to be in some discomfort in the mornings. This would be more likely if wakes up very early in the morning, it has started howling in the mornings suddenly, it wakes up at random times and if it has been showing discomfort when it is awake. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

It hears other dogs howling

Howling is something dogs do as a group, if you can hear other dogs howling, in the area, it would be likely that your dog has been howling because it can hear them howling.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

What else happened when your dog first started howling in the morning

If it did not always howl in the morning, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.

If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as you waking up at a different time than normal, illness, injury or a change in its normal routine such as if you stopped letting it pee before bedtime.

What is different when your dog does not howl in the morning

If it does not howl every morning, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not howl.

For example, if it does not howl on mornings when it has gotten a lot of exercise the day before, it might be a sign that it needs more exercise.

What to do about your dog howling in the morning

Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.

Let it out to pee before bed

It might be the case that your dog has been howling in the mornings because it needs to pee in the mornings.

The best option for you here is to try to give it water a bit earlier in the evenings and to let it pee just before going to bed. This way hopefully it won’t need to pee as much in the morning. It would also be an option to let it pee quickly in the mornings and then to quickly go back to bed.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it attention or other rewards when it does it. Instead, try to reward it when it does not howl, to wait for it to stop howling for a while before rewarding it and only to give it what it wants if necessary when it howls.

Crate training

If your dog is a puppy, while your puppy is still young, you might want to consider doing crate training. This can help your puppy to feel more secure and to make it less likely to cause trouble in the mornings.

Ensure it can sleep in a comfortable room

It would also help to ensure that the room it sleeps in is comfortable. It should be cool, not too bright, there should be space for it to lay down and not too loud.

Get help

If you can’t get it to stop or it has been howling excessively, another option would be to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see why it has been behaving that way and how to get it to stop effectively.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.