Why Does My Australian Shepherd Howl?

If your Australian Shepherd is howling, then you are one of the many owners that face the same problem. Howling is one of many forms of dog‘s communication, same like barking, circling or whining. Don‘t worry, there are more than one way to deal with it, but you should arm yourself with patience. Howling is really unpleasant sound, so the problem needs to be addressed not only to make the dog feel better but also to avoid possible problems with neighbors. So what are the reasons for howling and what can be done to keep the dog from yelling?

Possible Problems Why Your Australian Shepherd Is Howling

  1. Dogs often howl out of pain. Such a voice means our pet is hurt. We can notice this when we accidentally climb on his paw or tail. If we cannot determine what is bothering the dog, we should definitely contact his veterinarian.
  2. Another cause of a dog‘s howl is a reaction to a stimulus associated with so-called genetic memory. When a dog hears a signal from an ambulance, police or fire rescue, his instinct is awakened. He remembers having that kind of communication. Howling is a manifestation of a sense of community, a need to respond to other people‘s signals. So as soon as one dog in the area starts howling, the whole choir contributes.
  3. Improper trainings can cause a dog to howl. We caused ourselves a trouble if he barked and did not listen to us, and we gave him a treat to stop him. He learned that howling pays off because he has a reward – a treat.
  4. Separation anxiety is quite common situation. A dog may howl if it feels lonely – such a howl usually occurs when the owners are not at home. The reverse option is also possible – the dog is howling when there is an owner at home. In this case, the reason for howling is likely to be joy.
  5. Sometimes dog can howl if they feel hungry, cold or maybe contrary – it‘s too hot for him.
  6. Another reason for dogs to howl is the lunar phase. These dogs are extremely sensitive to the full moon, so at this lunar phase in the middle of the night dog can really start to howl.
  7. And would you have thought that your Australian Shepherd can sing? Yes, this may be the case – some dogs start to howl when there is music playing at home. Some owners noticed, that their dogs even start howling when phone starts ringing. And this habit could be self-learned, to react to the sound or even imitate it.

However, whatever the cause of the howl is, it is necessary to find a solution and eliminate it.

How To Solve The Problem Of Howling?

First the owner should try to figure out the problem. Watch your dog carefully and try to understand carefully what exactly triggers this behavior. Longing or boredom can be easily fixed, but incorrect removal of such behavior can only increase howling. It should be kept in mind that howling in many situations is due to dog‘s natural needs and instincts. So it is the best to start with a visit to the vet. The doctor will examine your dog for any physiological cause of howling, such as illness.

If veterinarian does not find any health problems, then take other actions. If your dog is howling only when he is left home alone, he needs to get used to be alone. In most cases, this is not difficult to learn. Get out of the house, wait outside the door until the dog starts to howl, and then enter the house. Stay a few minutes and leave again. The situation will recur. So do this a few times, until the dog realizes that the owner will definitely come back. To make it more fun for Aussie to stay alone – leave him some chew toys. Keep in mind that there is no need to create farewell scenes with the dog when you leave. When you return, don‘t jump from the doorstep to greet your lovely dog and don‘t let him jump on you. you can just calmly let the puppy sniff your hand to calm him down.

Sometimes dogs howl when they want something, such as treat. However, in such situations it is better not to react and then he realize that he will not achieve what he wants with such behavior.

Create your dog a quiet atmosphere at home. For example, make sure he has a safe personal area – room, dog bed or cage. If you‘re using cage – do not close it, leave it open. Let him be in it as if it is his own apartment, a separate space.

Also, do not play active games at home, so the dog will associate the house with the rest area and leave games outside.

While Do Australian Shepherds Howl In Their Sleep?

Dogs, same as humans – dream while they are sleeping. So it is not uncommon for them to bark a little during their sleep, move their legs or even howl. However, in this situation there is nothing to worry about, unless you notice other, stranger sleep disorder.

A Little History

Although dogs are adapted to live in our daily lives, they still have many wolf traits. Howling for wolves is very important and thats how they communicate between members of the same wolf family. Same with dogs, usually they howl when they feel lonely and waiting for its family or want to defend their territory.

Final Thoughts

To wean a dog from howling will be easy for some, but could take a lot of patience from others. But weaning this behavior will help your dog and yourself. However, if you have more complex case, and you can‘t solve the problem within a few weeks, it would be smart to entrust its solution to specialists who will identify the exact cause of the dog‘s anxiety, howling and will suggest effective ways to solve it.

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