Crying dogs

Dog howls

The dog howls when the master leaves? Or is your dog howling in its sleep? Here we clarify questions about howling and what you can do when it gets out of hand.

When dogs whine: meaning

When your dog howls, this is initially a normal utterance by the dog and has a communication function. It serves, for example, the cohesion in the social association: One dog starts to howl, the others join in. (By the way, this often also works with master or mistress!) It can also be a warning sound, for example if the animal has perceived something threatening and wants to warn its group members. Even with fear or stress, for example through being alone, some dogs howl and howl in the hope of an answer. Territorial defense or contact between a male dog and a bitch in heat can also cause the dog to howl.

These are behaviors that were given to the dog from the descent from the wolf. Due to domestication and breeding, not all dog breeds show this behavior to the same extent; it is observed above all in Nordic dog breeds.

By the way: Puppies that grew up isolated from other people and animals in the first few weeks of life and that have not been exposed to environmental stimuli are more prone to fear and stress reactions when they then come into a "normal" living environment. That is why it is so important to get used to many different things (driving a car, other dogs, different people, being alone) in the first 14 weeks of life.

Dog howls: What do I have to pay attention to?

Does your dog whine all the time? Pay attention to the situations in which he does this. How does it affect you, is it excited or stressed? Perhaps the neighbors tell you that your dog howls when he is alone? Do you feel like he's not coping well with breakups? Or does he howl to greet you or can you even encourage him to do so? Did the yowling creep in slowly or did it occur suddenly?

If your dog is howling in certain postures or situations, such as: B. when eating or if you stroke him on the back, this is a warning sign of severe pain.

Dog howls: what can I do?

If you are very annoyed by howling or if you have the feeling that your dog is not doing well in these situations, please consult a specialist as soon as possible. This can be a qualified dog trainer or veterinary behavioral therapist. Often, however, they will send you to the veterinarian first to rule out an organic cause for the malaise in advance. A thorough physical examination, possibly also a blood test or diagnostic imaging (X-ray, ultrasound) if a disease is suspected, can provide information about the dog's state of health.

Dog howls: physical causes

Sudden severe pain can cause the dog to howl.

If your dog whines while eating, dental disease or injuries in the mouth and throat area can be to blame. Dental problems also cause pain when playing, e.g. B. a toy is put in the mouth: The dog suddenly howls when he z. B. grabs the stick, maybe he drops it again immediately or refuses to fetch something because it causes him pain.

Vomiting, an arched back, tense stomach, shallow breathing, yowling and a lack of defecation can all indicate an obstruction of the intestine.

Your dog suddenly howls, stumbles and loses control of its hind legs? He limps and limps and doesn't want to be touched on the back? This is an indication of the spinal disease known colloquially as "dachshund paralysis", comparable to the herniated disc in humans. If you see these signs, see a veterinarian right away!

If physical causes are unlikely to cause the howling, targeted training can help. The sooner it is started, the better: The new behavior is not yet implemented and can be replaced or reversed more quickly by another.

Dog howls: behavior training helps

Your puppy howls when you leave the room? Or does your dog howl when absent or in other situations? Does your dog hide often? If a physical cause has been ruled out, please contact a dog trainer or behavioral veterinarian. Together you will then look for the triggering factors and how you can stop your dog from yowling. Be persistent when your dog is howling and you want to turn it off. The measures to change behavior must be implemented consistently, otherwise their effect will fizzle out.

A distinction can be made between yowling, which simply bothers you but is not a problem for the dog, and yowling, which also burdens the dog because it is stressed. The latter should be taken seriously for animal welfare reasons!

Dog howls: Conclusion

There are various physical and psychological disorders that cause dogs to whine a lot. Above all, however, it is a completely normal behavior with a social function. If it is stressful for you and / or your dog, get help from veterinarians and dog trainers - a significant improvement is usually possible!


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