If you’ve ever seen a movie with a wolf in it, then you’ve probably heard and seen the iconic image of a wolf howling at the moon or into the night. This is a famous trope of the wolf, and one that we see in many Hollywood movies.
What you may not know is that dogs can howl too, just like their wolf-like ancestors.
However, dogs do not howl as often as wolves. Some breeds do enjoy howling at every noise they hear, whereas others prefer to vocalize themselves through barks and woofs!
A howling dog may seem like an annoyance to some people, whereas other dog owners think that howling is a fun and interesting way to hear your dog communicate with you and others.
Some owners love to train their dogs to howl on command, and of course to be quiet on demand too! So, how do you even train a dog to howl on command? That’s what we’re here to find out. But first, let’s take a look at what it takes to trigger a dog to howl.
What Triggers Dogs To Howl?
Just like any other of your dog’s noises, a howl is a way to communicate and is a means of vocalization for your dog. The most common reason that a dog will howl is because they are stimulated by certain noises and sounds that are high pitched.
This can trigger them to start howling to try and match the pitch.
For instance, dogs most often howl at high pitched noises such as certain songs, sirens, sounds and music. They may join in with the sound by howling, and will attempt to vocalize themselves or harmonize with the sound.
This is much like when wolves howl as a group to communicate something.
Do All Dogs Howl?
Howling is not always a common occurrence for dogs, and some breeds will be more likely to howl than others. For instance, breeds such as Bloodhounds, Basset Hounds and beagles are more prone to howling, and will do so pretty much without any encouragement.
Other breeds such as Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes are also very prone to howling, whereas some breeds like Labradors are not interested in howling. That being said, all dogs are capable of howling, no matter what their breed, age, temperament is.
Some will just howl more than others, and will enjoy the sound of their own voices.
How To Train A Dog To Howl On Command
The great thing is that teaching your dog to howl on command is not all that difficult, as dogs naturally love to howl to communicate with one another. However, it is not a normal way for a dog to communicate with a human, so you may have to coax it out of them!
The best way to do this is to encourage it out of them. Just know that once they start howling, they will not want to stop, and you’ll need to also teach them to stop howling on command too!
The first step in teaching your dog to howl on command is to wait for your dog to start howling naturally, so that you can reinforce the behavior. This is often the part that requires some patience.
Your dog may be more inclined to howl if it hears sirens, alarms or other dogs howling, so you may have to play these sounds to encourage them to howl.
Once your dog does start howling, you will need to watch out for signs that your dog is about to howl, or play the sounds that make them howl. You can even try howling yourself to see if your dog mimics you.
By now, you should know what triggers your dog to howl. Then, you can start noticing the signs that your dog is going to howl and prepare yourself for when they are going to howl.
This is so you can say your chosen command such as Howl, right before they do it so that your dog can start to make the connection between the phrase and them howling.
Keep repeating this, by saying Howl or Sing a few seconds before you play the siren noises or before your dog starts to howl.
You will need to repeat this often, and frequently over a few training sessions until your dog is able to howl everytime after you say howl and your dog starts vocalizing.
Then, when the dog howls, you will need to give your dog a treat and lots of praise every time they howl successfully. With regular training, and treat giving, your dog will understand that they need to howl when you give the command in order to receive a treat.
You will also need to reinforce this behavior with praise and rewards for a few days or weeks until your dog grasps the concept.
The final step is to wean the dog off the treats. This is done once your dog is completely understanding the connection between the howl command and the action of them howling.
Then, you can gradually stop giving the treats once your dog howls on command every time without fail.
The same technique works for telling your dog to stop howling on command, but instead use the Quiet command, and reward when your dog stops making noise.
Top Tips To Get Your Dog To Howl
We also have some simple, quick and easy ways to get your dog to howl. You just have to try these methods out to find out what attracts your dog, and what makes them want to howl.
For instance, most dogs will howl at high pitched noises or sirens, so you’ll need to replicate these noises or play them on a speaker.
We’ve got 5 ways to make your dog howl:
- Howl/sing in a high pitch yourself
- Play siren or alarm sounds – like ambulance or emergency vehicle sirens
- Whistle for your dog – try to get higher and higher
- Play videos of other dogs howling
- Play a musical instrument that is high pitched like a harmonica
These are just some quick ways to trigger your dog to howl. You’ll also need to be incredibly encouraging and positive if you want your dog to continue to howl.
You will also need to say your chosen command word before they howl, reward your dog when they howl, to ensure that they learn to do it on command!
To summarize, some dogs just love to howl and wail whenever they hear sirens or alarms. You can even train your dog to howl on command with a little bit of guidance, positive reinforcement and lots of praise!
If you’ve got a dog that loves to hear the sound of its own voice, then why not try this command for yourself, and teach your dog to howl on demand.
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