If your dog never howls, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why dogs, sometimes, don’t howl and what you can do about them.
So, why doesn’t my dog howl? Possible reasons why your dog doesn’t howl are that it naturally does not want to howl, bad previous experiences with howling, previous training, you might have encouraged it not to howl or illness or injury.
Since there are many possible reasons why your dog does not howl, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become a lot easier to figure out what to do about it.
Why doesn’t my dog howl?
Below are some common reasons why dogs do not howl and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has not been howling.
It could also be the case that it does not howl naturally since a lot of dogs do not howl much naturally. Despite that, if your dog does bark often then this is less likely to be the case but it could just be more prone to barking than howling. It would also be more likely that it does not howl naturally if it is a breed that is not known to howl often.
It hasn’t figured it out yet
If your dog is still a puppy, it’s likely that your puppy hasn’t figured it out yet. If your puppy doesn’t live with other puppies then it might just take a little longer for it to start howling.
The cause could be that your dog has had bad experiences with howling in the past so it doesn’t do it anymore. If your dog is a rescue dog then this is more likely to be the case.
It could be the case that it was trained not to howl in the past. This would be more likely if it had previous owners.
Illness or injury
The cause could be that it is feeling unwell or it is injured. This would be more likely if it has stopped howling suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being ill or injured such as vomiting or limping. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
As dogs get older their hearing gets worse. When this happens sounds that would previously have provoked it to start howling might not anymore since it can’t hear them as clearly as it used to.
In some cases, it could actually be that the dog is depressed and that it does not feel like doing anything. If this is the case then it’s unlikely that your dog will be howling much.
It can be hard to figure out if this is the case but symptoms would include changes in appetite, spending more time sleeping, a lack of interest, excessive paw licking, and avoidance or hiding.
If you think that depression could be the cause then you should get the help of a vet.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has not been howling.
If your dog used to howl
If your dog did howl in the past but it stopped doing it suddenly, it would help to consider what else happened when it stopped doing it. If it did stop doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as learning that it gets rewards for not howling, learning that it gets punished for howling or illness or injury.
If it does howl sometimes
If it does howl sometimes, it would also help to consider what is different when it does howl. For example, if it does howl when you encourage it to howl, it might simply be the case that it does not howl because it prefers not to do it.
How to get your dog to start howling
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to howl start howling.
Teach it to howl
One option would be to get it to howl by imitating it yourself or playing noises that are likely to get it to howl.
The first thing that you can do is to start to imitate howling your self. When wolves howl in the wild it will normally be in a group and once one dog starts howling the others will often start to as well. By imitating a howl yourself you’ll often be able to encourage your dog to start howling as well.
Instead of trying to howl yourself an alternative would be to play a high pitched noise such as sirens, an instrument or a whistle.
Another easy hack that you could try is to play videos of dogs howling on Youtube. By doing this you might be able to get your dogs to naturally start joining in with the howling as well.
Make sure nothing is wrong
If it seems like it could be ill or injured, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your dog and to rule out the possibility of medical causes.
Give it training
Another thing you could try is to train it to howl with the use of positive reinforcement training.
You can do this by getting a treat that it loves, giving it a piece and then giving it more when it starts to howl.
If your dog doesn’t howl much naturally then you’ll find that it will do other things like sitting, laying down, rolling or even barking before it begins to howl.
But, you should be patient and reward it when it starts to show signs of howling.
When you do it it’s important to only reward the dog when it howls on your command otherwise you’ll risk having the problem where it thinks that howling when it wants will get it what it wants.
This won’t be good since a dog that howls all the time can be more troubling than one that doesn’t howl.
You can watch the video below to see what I mean. But, instead of rewarding barking, you reward the howling.
Train it to only howl when it should do
If you want to train your dog to howl more often then you should make sure to train it to only howl when you tell it to. If you don’t then you’ll be risking ending up with a dog that makes lots of noise when it wants things which may not be at the same time that you want it to be noisy.
Give it a wide variety of ways to communicate
If your dog is naturally quiet then you might want to give it other ways to communicate. This can include things such as hanging bells attached to strings attached to doors that it can scratch when it wants to come in.
Do dogs learn to howl?
Dogs have the ability to howl naturally, it is not necessary for them to be taught how to howl. If your dog does not howl, it would be more likely that your dog does not think you want it to, it prefers to communicate in different ways or that it just does not like howling.
Can all dogs howl?
All dogs do have the ability to howl. However, some breeds are more prone to howling than others. For example, the Siberian Husky is a lot more prone to howling than most other dog breeds.
Is it cruel to make your dog howl?
Howling can be part of a bonding exercise so it is not necessarily cruel to make your dog howl. It depends on the way that you do it. If you try to use forceful methods or you try to make your dog howl constantly then it would be cruel.
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