3 Ways to Stop Dogs from Howling

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3 Ways to Stop Dogs from Howling
3 Ways to Stop Dogs from Howling

Dogs can howl for many reasons - some because of separation anxiety, others for some environmental factor (such as thunder and sirens), and there are those who do so out of habit or to get the owner's attention. If howling is a nuisance, it is possible to employ techniques to reduce anxiety or counter-conditioning the animal.


Method 1 of 3: Training the Dog Not to Howl for Attention

Stop Howling Dogs Step 1

Step 1. Ignore the howls

Some dogs howl for attention or for food, treats, toys, etc., behavior that can be avoided if the animal understands that howling is not a means of attracting attention.

Do not punish or punish the dog - as he may see this as a means of getting attention. Just don't touch, talk or look at the dog when he howls

Stop Howling Dogs Step 2

Step 2. Reward him for being silent

This is a great way to reduce excess redheads. Keep some snacks or toys handy and try the techniques below:

  • Do not offer the dog anything (food, treats, toys) unless he has spent the last five seconds in silence. This will make you associate silence with the rewards you earn. If he howls when he's expecting something, ignore him until he's been silent for at least five seconds.
  • Give the dog treats at random intervals when he is silent. The unexpected will also help you fix good behavior.
Stop Howling Dogs Step 3

Step 3. Train the dog to be silent when ordered

Just as you train a dog to bark, it is also possible to train him to understand that he should stop howling or making other sounds. After training him according to the steps below, just say the command "quiet" when he starts to howl:

  • Say "bark!" to force the dog to make noise (you can reinforce the command by clapping, for example).
  • Praise the dog when he obeys, but don't give him a treat.
  • Say "quiet!" and wait for it to be silent for a few seconds.
  • Praise him again, this time also offering a treat.
  • Repeat the above steps several times, gradually increasing the time the animal needs to keep silent to get the treat.

Method 2 of 3: Treating Separation Anxiety

Stop Howling Dogs Step 4

Step 1. Learn to recognize behavior

If you have discovered that your dog howls in your absence, perhaps he is suffering from separation anxiety. In this case, the habit of howling will be accompanied by other vices, including:

  • Walk in circles;
  • Destroy objects;
  • Urinate and defecate in inappropriate places;
  • Salivary.
Stop Howling Dogs Step 5

Step 2. Try to counter-condition it

Separation anxiety can be overcome. The simplest technique is counter-conditioning, whose goal is to make the dog associate the owner's separation with good things. Implementing the technique may stop him from howling, if the case is not too serious.

  • Whenever you leave the house, leave a toy with the dog. The best alternative is something that will keep him busy for a while - for example, there are puzzles the dog has to solve to get food that can keep him busy for 20 or 30 minutes, maybe longer. Look for a toy like this at the nearest pet shop.
  • When you return home, keep the toy so that the dog can only associate it with periods he spends alone.
  • Repeat these steps consistently, and over time the separation anxiety-as well as the howling habit-should lessen or disappear.
  • In addition to counterconditioning, you can also train the dog to get used to the crate.
  • Regardless of which method you choose, never punish a dog who suffers from separation anxiety. Instead of suppressing the howling, this will only make the picture worse.
Stop Howling Dogs Step 6

Step 3. If problem and howling persist, seek professional help

More severe cases require advanced methods of training and desensitization - which usually involve a short period of separation that is systematically prolonged. Discuss training techniques, medications, and other options with a veterinarian, animal therapist, or professional trainer.

If you choose a trainer, look for one with experience in counterconditioning and desensitization, as knowledge in these areas is not required for professional certification

Stop Howling Dogs Step 7

Step 4. Spend more time with the dog

Dogs need a lot of attention from people, especially those who spend several hours of the day alone. Taking time to play with your pet every day alleviates separation anxiety and lessens howling. Play, offer snacks and exercise with your dog every day.

As long as the dog is healthy, playing (fetching the ball, pulling a rope, jumping, etc.) and walking half an hour a day will do him good. Discuss with your veterinarian the appropriate activity time for your dog, which varies by age, presence of wounds and injuries, and other specific characteristics

Method 3 of 3: Dealing with Other Possible Causes

Stop Howling Dogs Step 8

Step 1. Find out if an environmental factor is related to howling

Many dogs howl in response to external stimuli - sirens, thunder, other dogs. Check for a factor common to every time he howls.

When an environmental factor is the culprit, the dog stops howling as soon as exposure to the stimulus is over. If occasional brief howls aren't a problem for you, there's no reason to try to suppress them

Stop Howling Dogs Step 9

Step 2. Change the way the dog reacts to the factor

If exposure to the factor is so excessive that the howling disturbs the neighbors, for example, it is possible to change the dog's behavior with desensitization and counter-conditioning.

  • The dog can be desensitized to factors that are under the owner's control. If he howls at the sound of the hair dryer, for example, try to calm him down while leaving the utensil on. At the end, offer him a snack. Increase this period gradually, as long as he can stay quiet. After some time, the dog will not be affected by the stimulus and will stop howling.
  • It is possible to counter-condition the dog to factors beyond the owner's control (sirens, thunder, etc.). Calm the dog during exposure to the stimulus and, if he is silent, offer a treat when the exposure ceases. Repeat this consistently, and the dog will associate the stimulus with a reward rather than the need to howl.
Stop Howling Dogs Step 10

Step 3. Treat the dog if he is sick or in pain

Since it is impossible to establish the howl's connection with an obvious cause (such as environmental factors and separation anxiety), it may be related to a health problem. Ask a veterinarian to investigate if the animal has any injuries or illnesses.

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