If your dog howls, when you sing, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you four common reasons why they do it and what you can do to get it to stop.

So,w hy does my dog howl when I sing? Possible reasons why your dog howls, when you sing, are bonding, nature, having learned that the behavior is rewarded, or it’s reacting to your emotions.

It is actually possible that there is a combination of causes at play. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.

Reasons why your dog howls when you sing

Below are four common causes and what would make each of them more likely. 

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 sing and if it does not do it at other times as well such as when there are sirens playing nearby.

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 singing. 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.

Encouraging 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 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 cause.

What is different when your dog does not howl when you sing

If it does not always howl when you sing, 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.

What else happened when it first started doing it

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 does it. If it shows positive body language signs such as having its tongue out, wagging its tail or being relaxed, it would be more likely that it is doing it more due to excitement. Whereas, if it shows signs of anxiety, such as pacing or crying, it would be more likely that it is doing it due to something causing it to be anxious.

What to do about your dog howling when you sing

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

Avoid encouraging the behavior

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. 

Give it a distraction

Another option would be to give it something to be distracted by while you are singing. Things to give it could include toys or a bone. However, it would help to avoid giving it any rewards after it starts howling since it will learn that howling results in it getting rewards.

Let it do it

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. 

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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.