If your dog howls when you howl, you might be wondering why, this post will show you common reasons why they do it.

So, why does my dog howl when I howl? The most likely reason why your dog howls when you howl is that it is doing it to communicate with you and to bond with you. It could also be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for doing it.

There are a number of reasons why it might do it. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it. Once you have a good idea of the main reason, it should become a lot easier to figure out what to do about it.

Why your dog howls when you howl

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

Bonding

The reason why it does it might be that it is bonding with you. Howling back at you could be its way of letting you know that you are a part of its pack. This would be more likely if it only starts doing it when you howl and if it does not do it at other times as well.

Ancestry

The cause could be that it is in its genes to howl when it hears high pitched noises. In the wild, dogs and wolves would howl to alert other dogs and wolves of their position and when they hear other dogs howling they would start to howl as well. This could be why your dog howls when it hears you howling. It would also be more likely to be the cause if it also howls when it hears other sounds such as sirens or other dogs howling.

Rewarding the behavior

It could be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats, when it howls back at you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Reacting to your own emotions

It could also be the case that it does it because it is reacting to your own emotions. This would be more likely if you tend to behave very differently when you are getting it to howl and if it shows abnormal behavior itself such as being anxious. In this case, it would help to be calm with it. However, it is more likely that it does it because it is in its nature to howl when it hears howling.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why it has been doing it.

What is different when your dog does not howl

If it does not always howl when you howl, it would help to consider what is different when it does not do it. For example, if it only does it before it has gotten something such as exercise or food, it might be doing it to let you know that it is ready to get fed or given exercise.

If your dog howls at other times as well

It would also help to consider if it howls at other times as well. For example, if it also howls at sirens, it would be more likely that it has been doing it due to ancestry and to communicate with other dogs nearby.

The body language it shows

It would also help to consider the body language it shows when it howls back at you. If it shows more relaxed body language, it would be more likely that it does it due to bonding, learning that it gets rewards or nature. Whereas, if it shows signs of being anxious, it would be more likely to be doing it due to being anxious.

What to do about your dog howling

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Let it howl

Since dogs naturally howl as a way of communicating, it is likely that your dog howls naturally as a means of communication especially if it only does it when it hears other high-pitched sounds. With that being the case, the best option would likely be to let it howl when it wants to unless it is doing it excessively.

Avoid encouraging it

As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for howling. If you don’t want it to howl all the time, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it howls and to reward it when it does not howl instead.

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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.