Why do dogs howl? It’s Not Death Omen, Here Are the Real Reasons!

Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Woody Pet

A dog’s howling often comes with a negative connotation. To some, it’s synonymous to death omen. They believe the animal is trying to bring a message that someone is dying. But this is just a superstitious belief and there are no explanations from veterinarians as to why do dogs howl in front of a dying person.

What could be the scientific explanation behind this belief? It’s not that they only howl when they feel like a person is dying. If that’s the case then every dog in the world will not stop howling because millions of people dry everyday. You might have heard your dog howl in the middle or out of nowhere. Some dogs do it when they are alarmed or shocked.

If you want to stop your pet from howling, it’s important to know why do dogs howl. There are many possible reasons behind this behavior. Here are they and here are our suggestions on what you can do about them.

Why do dogs howl?

5 Reasons Behind Your Dog’s Howling

Why do dogs howl

Dogs howl to win over people’s attention

When the howling sounds more like a cry or a whine, your pet is probably trying to get your awareness. Do note that dogs who often get ignored by their owners may also resort to howling. As a pet parent, make sure you spend enough time bonding with your dog. It can be a simple walk outdoors or a quick play in the yard.

A dog howling all of a sudden might be doing it to get noticed by its owner especially when there are guests at home. As early as puppyhood, teach your pet that only behaved dogs will get the reward. Give her some treats when she’s silent and ignore her when she’s trying to get your attention through howling. Instruct others to do the same if your dog keeps howling around them.

Howling is your pet’s way of connecting with other animals

Wild dogs howl to call other members of their pack. The leader of the pack howls when he’s looking for other members. The same may be true for domesticated dogs. Some dogs just happen to have a high-pack drive. 

Why do dogs howl at night? In many cultures, mournful howling is often associated with paranormal activity. It’s believed dogs can feel if something worse is going to happen to a sick person. One study suggests domestic dogs are not packed animals, at least not the way wolves are. But they may turn to other dogs temporarily mainly when scavenging food.

They do it to give notice of their existence

The howling could be your dog’s way of establishing her presence. It’s like her way of telling you, “If you will ignore me then I might as well howl.” That can be annoying, so it’s important to train your dog that howling is not the best way she can do to announce her presence.

This can explain why dogs howl at night. Howling is like a primitive form of GPS that helps them connect with other dogs. It’s like a signal to them. It may not be because they see ghosts or other entities so you don’t have to be afraid when you hear your dog howl in the middle of the night.

They howl as a reaction to high-pitched sounds

Why do dogs howl at sirens? Dogs are creatures with an extreme sense of hearing. In cases like this, you don’t have to worry about anything. Your dog will eventually stop as soon as the sound stops. Your dog may perceive the sirens as a signal from other dogs and they howl as a reaction.

But did you know that there are other reasons why do dogs howl at sirens? Hearing the sirens can be painful for them. On average, a dog can hear up to 60 cycles per second, twice the hearing range of a human. The sound may be causing pain to their ears and they respond to it through howling. 

If the howling will not stop after the loud sound is gone, try to calm your dog in this situation by petting her or giving her a massage. There are also calming treats you can offer your dog in these particular situations.

Your dog may be suffering from pain or injury

Did you get a tip from your neighbors that your dog kept on howling when you were not around? If your pet only does this when she’s home alone, you might want to determine if it’s separation anxiety. Dogs have different responses to being left alone. While some develop destructive behaviors, some only express their sadness through howling.

When you have no choice but to leave your dog alone, consider leaving her with toys like bully sticks and puzzles. You may also turn on the radio or TV so your dog will not notice you’re not around, especially if you’re going to be quick with your errands.

If it’s not separation anxiety, it can be any medical condition. Your dog might be feeling stressed or anxious lately and she howls to get help. Check for any signs of injury or observe your dog’s behavior. 

Why do dogs howl in conclusion?

Dogs have various ways of communicating with humans. Because they can’t talk, they do it in other forms such as crying, whining, and howling. Contrary to myth, dogs don’t howl because they see ghosts or they foresee death. However, they indeed have a heightened sense of smell and hearing and these senses could be the reason why they can predict when someone is dying.

Howling can mean many things, such as an expression of pain, loneliness, or a way of announcing its presence. A dog howling all of a sudden may do it after hearing loud sounds like sirens, clock alarms, fireworks, and thunder. 

Domestic dogs share many characteristics with dogs in the wild and one of these is howling to search for their pack members. While domestic dogs don’t form packs the way wild dogs do, they are still eager to be accompanied by other dogs.


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