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Why doesn’t my Labrador howl?

Why doesn’t my Labrador howl?

If your Labrador does not howl you might be wondering why and how you can get it to howl. This post will show you a number of reasons why it might not be doing it and how you can get it to howl.

So, why doesn’t your Labrador howl? If your Labrador is still young then it likely just hasn’t figured out how yet. There are a number of other possible reasons including a quiet personality, a lack of comfort with its environment, previous training, illness or injury, and boredom or sometimes depression.

There are actually a number of different reasons why your Labrador might not be howling. There are also a lot of things that you can do about it.

Reasons Why Your Labrador Doesn’t Howl

Below are a number of reasons why your Labrador might not be howling much and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.

It hasn’t figured it out yet

If your Labrador is still young then it’s likely that your Labrador hasn’t figured it out yet. If your Labrador doesn’t live with other Labradors then it might just take a little longer for it to start howling.


It could also be the case that it does not howl naturally since a lot of Labradors do not howl much naturally. Despite that, if your Labrador does bark often then this is less likely to be the case but it could just be more prone to barking than howling.

Previous Experiences

It could be that your Labrador has had bad experiences with howling in the past so it doesn’t do it anymore. If your Labrador is a rescue dog then this is more likely to be the case.

Previous Training

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.


Labradors are meant to get exercise on a daily basis. If your Labrador isn’t getting lots of exercise then it’s possible that your Labrador is bored and is not in the mood for howling. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day.


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 Labrador is depressed and that it does not feel like doing anything. If this is the case then it’s unlikely that your Labrador 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.

How To Make It Start Howling

Below are some things you can do to get your Labrador to start howling more.

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 Labrador starts howling the others will often start to as well. By imitating a howl yourself you’ll often be able to encourage your Labrador 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 Labradors howling on Youtube. By doing this you might be able to get your Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador 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.

Things To Consider

Below are some things to consider about your Labrador not howling much.

Avoid physical measures

Using physical means to get your Labrador to start howling is something that is less likely to work and more likely to lead to other much worse problems. If you use physical measures to persuade your Labrador to start howling then you’ll be risking it becoming scared of you, less trusting of you and becoming less happy.

It could just be in its nature

It is likely that it is in its nature not to howl much since this is not uncommon in Labradors. This would be more likely to be the case if it has never howled a lot and if it has not suddenly stopped howling.

Train it to only howl when it should do

If you want to train your Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador 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.