Can a dog learn to howl on command? Yes, they can! The first thing to do is to identify the exact sounds that make your dog howl and reinforce the behavior.
By implementing specific techniques and methods, you can train your dog to howl until they get their fill—but only when you give the command.
Keep reading to learn how to get your dog to howl or teach a dog that howls too much to stop when directed.
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Why Do Dogs Howl?
Particular dog breeds howl more than others, but how do you teach a dog to howl? It depends on you ascertaining the precise triggers and repeatedly reinforcing the howling behavior.
Interestingly, dogs howl primarily as a function of calling out to other dogs. Learning why dogs howl, to begin with, can go a long way when trying to teach your dog to howl on command.
Communicating With Other Dogs
Similarly to barking and whining, howling is a way that canines communicate with one another. For instance, dogs may call out to other dogs who’ve gotten separated from the pack. Your dog likely looks at you as the pack leader, which is why some dogs howl at their owners when they leave home.
Pack howling is a kind of howling viewed as a bonding ritual among the group members—similar to how humans sing together.
To Alert or Send Warnings
Maybe your dog instinctively howls when they see a stranger approaching your home, which is their territory. A dog will howl to warn other dogs of a threat or notify others of their presence.
Hunting dogs howl to send signals to their human hunting companions or other dogs when they’ve succeeded in cornering or capturing prey.
Response to Music and Other Sounds
Specific sounds can make dogs bark or howl reflectively—like the sound of sirens. When your dog hears the high-pitched sounds of a musical instrument or a siren, it will likely respond with a howl. Due to howling in response, your dog will probably stop howling when the stimulant stops making noise.
Distress or Loneliness
Which Breeds Are Known To Howl a Lot?
Certain dog breeds have a penchant for howling more than others. German Shepherds, Huskies, and many Hound breeds are likely to howl more than other canines.
As previously stated, dogs will howl to high-pitched sounds such as harmonicas, other dogs barking far away, ambulances, or even someone singing a song.
How To Get Your Dog To Howl?
Getting your dog to howl may require you to try a few different techniques to find out which is most effective for you. It may feel like trial and error, but stick with it when you find something that works. Here’s how you get your dog to howl:
1. You Go First
You may have luck getting your dog to howl by leading by example. Once you begin howling at your trusted companion, there’s a great chance that they may start howling back at you.
You can practice howling at one another every day, being sure to give a verbal cue before commencing. This practice will allow your dog to associate howling with a verbal cue. With some luck and discipline, you’ll be able to cue your dog to howl on command.
2. Play a Musical Instrument
Dogs may be highly interested in musical instruments like the drums, the piano, the guitar, or the flute. They could feel encouraged to join you by making their own tunes. To test this theory, try playing multiple harmonies and tunes with the instruments to see which one your dog enjoys the most.
Perhaps specific notes you hit will make them feel relaxed and at ease, while others may bring out the rockstar, making them bounce and jump around to the music.
You’re going for those exceptionally high notes that elicit a howl from your canine friend. If it works, you’ll just play those notes whenever you want your dog to start howling away.
3. Create a Verbal or Non-Verbal Command
This step is particularly for dog owners who hear their furry companions howl repeatedly and want to associate it with a command. An example would be saying “howl” in an assertive tone. You could use a hand gesture if you prefer.
For example, if you randomly hear your dog howl or use another step on the list that gets him to howl, you would create a cue that lets him know you want him to do it again. That way, you wouldn’t have to find your instrument each time you want him to howl or put on a music video.
An excellent way to reinforce the behavior is to do an enjoyable activity like rubbing his head or tummy when he follows the directive. Or, you could give a healthy dog treat instead. Ensure you don’t punish your dog when he doesn’t perform as you want.
4. Try Stimulating Sounds
Stimulating sounds might do the trick when trying to encourage howling. Audio clips with wild animals making sounds, cat noises, birds, and more can make your dog howl; it could serve as inspiration.
Hearing another animal call out could signal to your dog that they should also assert themselves. If this tactic is successful, you can play these clips anytime you want to engage in a howling session with your buddy.
5. Use Howling Videos
One of the easiest ways to get your dog to howl is by letting him hear other dogs howling. If you can find videos of dogs and wolves howling, he could easily be inclined to mimic the behavior. It may become an enjoyable activity for him when he wants to feel like he’s in camaraderie with them.
If you turn on the howling noises and they seem confused, you do it first, and then they may follow. Videos are often the last resort because your dog might enjoy this a little too much and howl incessantly whenever they hear another dog barking or howling.
How To Get the Howling To Stop?
Once you finally get your dog to howl, you can anticipate them doing it when you don’t want to hear it. That’s why teaching your dog how to stop howling is equally important.
It’s simple to discourage howling by not praising them the way you do when they howl following a verbal or cue, or a physical gesture. Ignore the behavior, which may not get them the attention they want, and cause them to stop.
Or, place them in the kennel when they do it repeatedly until they stop. Then, let them out. It teaches them to understand the importance of following cues. It’s sort of the same as when you’re teaching your dog when and when not to bark.
There are numerous ways to solve the issue of how to get your dog to howl, but we think these are the best methods.
Following these tips will have your dog howling in no time, and it’s pretty cool to watch them tap into that wolf ancestry! Remember that you shouldn’t punish your dog when it won’t howl following one of the tricks on the list.
It could take some time, and it’s not a necessity. Also, be ready to deal with it getting annoying, but take your time in both cases—encouraging and discouraging the behavior. Have fun with it, good luck!