A husky howl can be enough to make your heart stop. The eerie sound the dogs make is not only incredibly loud but also sounds almost human at times. If you have ever wondered why huskies howl so much, then read on.
Huskies are large working dogs that originated in Siberia. They were bred to be sled dogs and were sometimes used for hunting as well. Even though the breed is known mainly as a sled dog, the husky has also served as an excellent companion.
Huskies are not the only breed of dog that howls. Howling is a natural behavior for dogs and other canines. The first thing to remember about why huskies howl, like many other types of dog breeds, is that they were domesticated as working animals. Unlike our modern-day pets, dogs in the wild have to work together to survive. One of the ways they do this is by communicating with each other through vocalizations.
Possible Reasons Why Huskies Howl
There are several reasons given by experts. Huskies are notorious for their howling, but there are actually plenty of reasons why they do it. The best time to observe a husky is during their active times. You can expect to notice them howling more often when they are hunting, playing, or mating.
Huskies’ howl serves as a warning to other dogs or potential predators. A husky’s howl can be quite loud and may startle intruders. Huskies, like wolves, will often howl as a method of communication. For example, if you’ve ever been out camping, your dog may have howled at sirens from nearby towns or cities because they recognize the sound as coming from animals outside of their pack.
Huskies may also howl when they are left alone too long. This is especially true of litter husky pups, who may cry when their mothers leave the den after giving birth. The mother’s departure leaves them without protection or comfort, so they will instinctively try to call their mother back by howling.
While some huskies have a tendency to howl when they are left alone, others simply want to make sure their owners are still there and will howl when the owner has been gone for a long time.
They may react to a high-pitched sound. A dog’s hearing is much more sensitive than a human’s. When you talk, sing, or whistle with your husky, their ears will pick up on the sound and they may howl in response.
They may be trying to express excitement or happiness. When your dog is really happy, whether from re-uniting with you after time apart or from receiving a treat, they may howl to express their happiness and contentment.
Dogs may howl from pain if they have a medical condition such as spinal cord compression, a slipped disk, or arthritis. Other reasons for pain howling may include injury, infection, or cancer. When dogs are in pain, they can’t tell us how to make it better. They do the next best thing by expressing their discomfort through howling.
Your dog may be bored. This is another form of separation anxiety.
Husky puppies may howl more than mature dogs. Puppies are still learning how to control their emotions, so they may cry due to excitement, fear, or loneliness. They are also dependent upon their mother and littermates for comfort. If you have adopted a husky pup from a shelter or rescue, be prepared for some howling as they adjust to their new home.
What Can I Do to Stop the Howling?
Several possible reasons why huskies howl, but each dog will have his or her own personal motivation. If you want to stop your husky from howling, then consider the first step of determining why he’s doing it in the first place.
Boredom howling can be solved by providing the dog with plenty of exercise, playtime, and attention. Dogs who are left home alone for long periods of time may benefit from enrolling in doggy daycare or hiring a dog walker.
If your dog is howling as a result of separation anxiety, then try leaving the radio on when you leave the house to provide background noise. Leave the TV on when you are gone, along with a light. If your dog is crate trained, place a long-lasting chew toy in his crate so he has something to occupy him while you are away.
Medical problems can be solved by consulting your vet. If your dog is in pain, the vet can prescribe medication or recommend other treatments that may help. Behavioral issues may require the help of a professional trainer. However, it is very difficult to stop an adolescent husky from howling once he has begun.
You can train your husky to stop howling, but it’s not always that easy. One of the easiest ways is to distract your dog into doing something else whenever you hear him start to howl. Before you know it, your dog will learn that if he wants your attention, he’ll need to do something else other than howl.
However, you can teach him to stop howling on cue. When your husky is quiet, say “good husky” and give him a treat. Once he understands the command, you can use it whenever he starts to howl.
If you are having a difficult time, hire a professional trainer who may be able to offer more advice on your particular issue. However, some dogs will never stop howling completely, or they may only do it at certain times throughout the year.
Understanding context is key to understanding huskies, and it’s no different when trying to decode why they howl. By taking into account all of the potential reasons why your dog may be vocalizing, you can better address the issue and potentially stop the behavior.