And the award for the howling competition goes to…
You and your pooch!
(A.k.a. the best howling duo in the world.)
In this article you’ll find out:
- Is it cruel to make your dog howl?
- 7 reasons why your dog howls when you howl.
- 3 tips on what to do if your pooch loves howling with you.
- And much more…
Table of contents
Why does my dog howl when I howl?
Your dog howls when you howl for reasons such as it’s their way of communicating, seeking your attention, responding to a high-pitched sound, seeing howling as a bonding thing, being a vocal breed, having wolf ancestry, or you’re encouraging it.
People also ask:
7 reasons why your dog howls when you howl
#1:They’re talking to you
One day, you heard your dog howling their lungs out.
And because you’re curious, you also howled with them.
Hearing this, your dog freaked out for a second. And then slowly, they howled back at you.
In your dog’s perspective, you howl as a response to what they’re howling about.
You requested a howl. And they responded.
It’s true that dogs can’t speak to you using words.
But they can communicate with you with their body language.
Your dog can lick your face, jump on you, sit on your lap all the time, etc. to tell you something.
Aside from howling, your pooch can also bark, yap, and whine.
#2: It’s a response to a high-pitched sound
“My dog howls whenever I sing.
Do they think that I’m howling with them?”
The reason why your dog howls is because they’re responding to your voice.
But first, I’m gonna tell you a weird story.
So, have you ever wondered why your dog howls whenever they hear sirens?
Well, the thing is, old people in my hometown believe that dogs howling at an ambulance are bad premonitions.
It means that someone will die soon.
Whenever the old people hear howls, they’d say,
“Whoever’s inside that ambulance will die.
May they rest in peace.”
(And meanwhile, the person inside the ambulance didn’t know that people are already praying for their soul.)
Of course, this is just pure myth.
The truth is dogs are simply copying the siren’s sounds. And not because they can sense death or something.
You see, dogs like to imitate high-pitched sounds. It’s in their instinct to do so.
Your tone of voice may be melodic and high.
Which resembles the sounds and music your dog enjoys. Like harmonicas and classical music.
(Research shows that these kinds of music are therapeutic for dogs. Especially if they’re in a stressful environment.)
Of course, your pooch loves listening to your voice too.
That’s why your pooch howls back when you howl…
Oops, I mean sing.
#3: To seek your attention
Your dog might howl when you howl because they want your attention.
And they may also need something at the same time.
It could be that they’re howling because they’re bored. Or maybe they’re howling because they’re hungry.
And your howls when translated into dog language mean you’re hungry too.
Or it could also be possible that they’ve mistaken your sweet-talking or singing with a howl.
So they howled back to get your attention.
#4: Their wolf ancestry
“Why does my dog howl when I howl at them?”
The reason for this is because of their wolf ancestry.
Let’s take it back to their roots.
I mean, to where your sweet pooch came from, which are the wolves.
Dogs are known for their barks, while the wolves howl.
It’s one of the main differences between the two. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t do either of them.
According to Dr. Marty Becker, wolves can bark too, but not as repetitive as dogs sometimes do.
And dogs, well, they howl once in a while.
It’s in their genes to do this after all.
Why wolves howl
Study shows howling is one of the main communications of wolves.
These wolves have different types of howl, depending on situations and species.
For instance, wolves live in vast territories, right?
So to let their pack and other animals know of their presence, they howl. It’s a way for them to call out on their members after a successful hunt.
They also howl to let their pack know where their location is when they need help.
And lastly, wolves howl as a form of unity and to strengthen their bond.
It took thousands of years for wolves to evolve into dogs. But still, both of them share the same instincts.
(Some articles claim that dogs share 99.9% of their DNA with wolves.)
That’s why your dog still does some ‘wolf’ activities like howling.
#5: It’s a bonding thing
Your dog sees howling as a special way to bond with you.
Similar to wolves howling together to strengthen their pack spirit.
That’s why they howl whenever you do. It’s a fun activity and moment between you and your dog.
Howling can also mean that they’re excited.
When they howl, their body is releasing ‘happy hormones’.
“The family that howls together, stays together.” Like this video below.
#6: Your dog is vocal
Not only does your dog howl with you, but they also do it with other people.
They’re a howling machine that’s impossible to turn off.
It’s funny sometimes. But once they start to howl, they can’t stop.
And it can drive you (and your neighbor) crazy sometimes.
“Why is my dog so vocal?”
Your pooch may be one of the dog breeds that are known to howl more than the others. (They have the tendency to howl for leisure purposes.)
Like these dogs:
- Siberian Husky.
- Alaskan Malamutes.
- Redbone Coonhound
- American English Coonhound.
If you have one of these, you may want to buy yourself some earplugs.
#7: You reinforce it
It’s howling time!”
Your dog howls when you howl because you encourage it.
For example, your dog’s howling because of a siren. And then you howl along with them.
When they howled back at you, you laughed and gave them some petting.
Because of that, your dog thinks that they received a reward for howling with you.
They now perceive howls as good behavior that will earn them rewards.
Or, it could also be possible that you’re really training them to do this.
Perhaps you think that it’s a fun trick to show everyone at a party.
Dogs love being the center of attention after all.
They’re suckers for people giving them belly rubs!
There’s nothing wrong with this.
Just as long as you and your pooch enjoy howling as a bonding activity.
What’s not good is if your dog’s being forced to howl by punishing them physically.
This will cause them to become aggressive.
And they may also lose their trust in you, too.
3 tips on what to do if your dog howls when you howl
#1: Teach them the ‘Quiet’ command
Your dog has mistaken your singing as howling. And now, every time you sing, they howl back at you.
(Or they sing along with you.)
So what should you do in this situation? Stop your singing.
Okay, that’s just a joke.
But kidding aside, if you don’t want your pooch belting some tunes with you, you need to train them.
Teach your dog the ‘Quiet’ command.
(So that you can make them stop when your favorite part of the song comes.)
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Make your dog howl by howling/singing. Or playing a recording of a high-pitched sound.
Step 2: When they stop howling, give them a treat.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2. Then make their waiting/quiet time longer before giving them their treat.
Step 4: After they learned that keeping quiet gets them a reward, introduce the word ‘Quiet’.
Step 5: Once they howl again, say the command ‘Quiet’ and give them the treat once they stop. Repeat this training a few times a day.
#2: Refrain from howling
If your dog’s howling habits aren’t excessive, then there should be nothing wrong with it.
Especially if they only see it as a way to bond or communicate with you.
But sometimes, you may find their howls annoying and bothersome.
In this case, you should avoid howling with them.
I mean, your dog’s only responding to your howls, right?
So if you want them to stop, refrain from howling. 🙂
#3: Distract them
You only howled at your dog for fun, but now they don’t want to stop.
Once your pooch starts with their howling frenzy, it’ll be impossible to keep them quiet
You can’t fight fire with fire.
I mean, you can’t stop your dog’s howls with howling.
So to make them stop, you have to redirect their attention elsewhere. Interrupt their howls with something that will instantly grab their eyes.
For instance, you can bring out their leash to signal a walk.
Or you can give them a ball to initiate play.
Bonus: Ignore their howls
One reason why your pooch howls when you howl is to get your attention.
You howl to play with them, but sometimes they take it too far.
The only time they’ll stop from howling is when you give them some treats.
So to help curb this behavior, you have to ignore them when they’re howling.
Turn away from them. Or leave the room when they howl.
This gives them a signal that you don’t like them doing this.
And once they stop, that’s the only time you give them what they need.