The reason your dog howls when you sing is because your voice reaches a pitch that makes it sound like you’re howling. As a result, your dog will howl back at you in an attempt to communicate with you.
You probably watched many funny videos of dogs howling at the strangest things. Some of the funniest videos are when dogs howl while their owner sings. It’s almost like they’re trying to sing along.
As funny as these videos are, have they ever made you wonder why some dogs howl while their owner sings?
Is the dog trying to sing with you? Are they trying to communicate with you? Or is some other instinct kicking in?
What You'll Learn
- 1 Why Dogs Howl When You Sing
- 2 How To Stop Your Dog From Howling
Why Dogs Howl When You Sing
The answer is simple…your dog thinks you’re howling, so they’re joining in on the fun. However, it goes deeper than that. Dogs communicate different messages based on the pitch of their howl. This means when you sing, you might be hitting pitches that communicate different things to your dog.
Here are a few things your dog might be communicating back to you when they believe you’re communicating with them.
Announcing Their Location
Wolves, the animal which dogs descended from, howl to announce their location to their pack. By howling, they’re letting members of their pack know their location.
Dogs still have this instinct from wolves, although it’s not quite as strong. This genetic tendency varies from dog to dog, but all dogs have it to some degree.
This is a common reason puppies howl when they get trapped or lost. Even if they aren’t lost, they still whine and howl to let their mother know where they are.
When singing, your dog might think you’re trying to let someone know where you are, so they join in with a howl to help.
Dogs are social animals. A lack of interaction with dogs and humans will make them lonely, and in some cases, even depressed.
If your dog is howling along with you while you sing, you may have hit a pitch that communicates you’re lonely. Your dog might be howling back to you, letting you know you’re not alone…Pretty cute, right?
Some dogs howl because they’re bored. Humans have a similar habit. When humans are bored, they may hum or sing. Dogs do this, but instead of humming, they howl.
If you notice your dog howls back playfully while you’re singing, they might be inviting you to play with them.
To a certain extent, all dogs are protective over their home and family. In the wild, howling could indicate harm. When you sing, you might hit a pitch that makes the dog think something is wrong. If they seem slightly aggressive while howling back, they’re letting you know “they’ve got your back.”
Although this may be irritating to some people, your dog is trying to protect you. Protecting their home turf is a natural instinct.
Although dogs rarely show when they’re in pain, some dogs will howl if they’re in pain or don’t feel good. They’re letting the “alpha” know they’re hurt or that something is wrong.
Your dog may interpret your singing as a cry for help. When they howl back, they’re letting you know they’re here for you.
A Learned Behavior
When you sing, your dog may howl to get attention and affection from you. This is a result of your pet associating howling with attention from humans. Once they associated those things, your dog will continue to howl whenever they want attention.
How To Stop Your Dog From Howling
If you don’t like your dog howling while you sing, or howling at all, there are several ways to teach them to stop howling.
1. Find Out Why They’re Howling
If your dog is howling, you first need to find out the cause of the howling. Dogs howl for many reasons such as separation anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and so much more. To prevent your dog from howling, you should find out why your dog is howling so you’ll know how to fix it.
In this case, they’re howling because you’re singing. We can check step one off the list!
2. Positive Reinforcement
Like most behavioral problems, positive reinforcement can help mold the type of behavior you want to see from your dog. In this case, whenever your dog doesn’t howl when you sing, you will reward them with a treat.
Positive reinforcement works so well because the dog will eventually make a connection between not howling and a treat.
Positive reinforcement won’t work if your dog is howling because they’re in pain. This is a good thing. As a dog owner, you want your dog to notify you when they’re hurting.
3. Spend Time With Your Dog
If your dog has separation anxiety or seems to be lonely all the time, try spending more time with them. Not only will they appreciate it, but it may keep them from howling during your absence.
4. Make Sure Your Dog is Getting Plenty of Exercise
Everyone knows that dogs need exercise – and a lot of it. Since they’re social creatures, dogs need interaction with humans and other dogs as well.
Take your dog on walks more often or drop them off in a dog daycare on your way to work. This way, your dog will be too tired to howl at home since they’ve already exerted themselves through exercise.
5. Buy Your Dog New Toys
If your dog is home alone all day and has nothing to do, they’re going to get bored. Bored dogs will howl every chance they get. To combat this, buy your dog some new toys. Even if they already have a lot of toys, new toys will bring a new stimulus which will prevent boredom.
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