There is nothing more wonderful than adopting a Husky whose appearance is similar to the beauty of the wild – the wolf. But do you have a good insight into how to take good care of a Husky, or have you ever wondered “why do Huskies howl?”
Either you’re an expert or just a dog lover who is currently raising a Husky, it’s good to know more about one of Huskies’ renowned habit: howling.
Why Do Huskies Howl?
“Let Me Tell You Something …”
Like all canine creatures, Huskies whine, bark, howl, etc. to communicate, alert, or warning. Huskies howl to announce their presence, that they have arrived, are going for a hunt, or trying to warn their peers of some intruders encroaching on their territory.
Dogs’ howling sound has various pitches, like melodies, and is usually farther echoed than a barking sound. While most dogs bark, Huskies will howl to tell you about what they see, feel, and fear. With Siberian Huskies, their howls can clearly be heard up to 10 miles away.
The Call of the Wild
As introduced above, Huskies are extremely close to the wild wolves. Therefore, some of the latter’s natural traits still remain in the former’s gene. So, it’s not a big deal if your Siberian buddy howls you an impromptu song at night.
Moreover, Huskies are known to be exceptionally talkative. So, they might howl to answer high-pitched sounds, such as sirens, musical instruments or your rising voices, showing that they are not alone.
Due to the ancestor’s nature, your Husky can howl when he is bored out of his mind and needs some attention. The same goes for when he either feels lonely or wants to find friends. In those cases, the answer for “why do Huskies howl?” is much simpler: They’re using their own “songs” to entertain themselves.
“Ooh… I Miss You So Much!”
Dogs are loyal and affectional (check the list of most affectionate dog breeds for more details). They prefer spending their whole lives staying in one place and with those they love. That’s why when you introduce your new Husky to a new inhabitant (e.g. your house), you would hear him howl woefully for the first few days (and nights). This can be explained as he is missing his familiar shelter and former owners.
However, if your Husky howls ceaselessly every time while you were away and you find him distressing, dispiriting or destroying the furniture even when you’re home, he may be having separation anxiety disorder (SAD) and needs closer supervision.
Self-Preservation and Protection
It’s been recorded that, when their dens are approached by danger, even confined wolves would still howl to make it sound as though there are a lot more of them than there are in reality. And this trait is fixed in Huskies’ blood, too. Therefore, your Husky will howl to scare off strangers if he sees unfamiliar individuals roaming near his domain (i.e. your house).
Medical Attention Required
Just like us who shout or cry out when in pain, dogs sometimes howl if they’re ill or hurt. That’s why whenever your Husky suddenly howls (or louder, more incessant than usual), it may be the sign of him feeling unwell or injured somewhere.
How to Restrain Huskies from Howling?
Even though howling is a part of Huskies’ nature, this is not welcome in some cases, particularly, when you need peaceful, quiet moments. Some Huskies can succumb to this instinct, but many cannot. So, you will need to train them. And here are what you can do:
The “Quiet Lesson”
You’re raising an expressive Husky and his howls really annoy you. Well, it’s time to teach your dog the “Quiet lesson”.
Whenever your blue-eyed fluff starts his howling orchestra, clap your hands loudly and say “Quiet!” in a clear voice. Then, after 3-5 seconds, give him a little treat to encourage his obedience. Repeat the lesson and steadily extend the time he has to keep quiet.
However, you must remember not to yell at your Husky when he begins howling because he might assume that you're cheering for him and wanting to join in his orchestra.
To Husky pups, howling is an important communicating lesson. So, don’t force these little, adorable creatures to shut up completely, or else, it’d be like taking away a baby’s right to talk and learn.
Find a Dog Trainer
If your Husky always howls in response to SAD, you may need to consult a professional dog trainer or a vet. Remember to ask him about Systematic Desensitization and Counterconditioning. These methods require your dog to confront his fear of being separated from you for a short while, then gradually increase the limit time until he is used to your absence and not howling anymore.
Assure Your Dog
Don’t react to your Siberian pet’s howling because these silly dearies sometimes assume that howling is the only way to get their owners’ attention, treats, entertainments, etc. You must show your dog that making high-pitch noises will get him nowhere.
Instead, show him that he doesn’t have to howl to get your affections. Before the howling bout begins, provide him with warmth, care, interaction, and love. Lest the fluffy darling should ever feel insecure and unloved, then ultimately resort to dramatic howling every night.
Tire Him Out - It’s Bonding Time!
Have you ever feel too exhausted that you don’t have the strength to answer the phone at night? Well, perhaps your chatty Husky is also in need of lots of exercises so that he could burn off his energy.
Siberian Husky is a working dog breed. They are born primarily for activities. That’s why it’s a brilliant idea to daily tire them out with 1-hour walking and outdoor games. So, instead of answering the instinct to howl, now he (and you) would have a good night sleep.
Not to mention, the time you spend with him will contribute greatly to the bond between you and him. Also, playing will help to reduce boredom, stress, and SAD for the chatty ball. That way, he will be less prone to howling.
In case howls are signs of health-related problems, you must always keep calm and check for visible injuries first. Your active Husky may have hurt himself playing outside or ingested something he shouldn’t have. Neither should you omit the possibility of someone intentionally upsetting him, or that the kid next door feeding him with chocolates.
Unfortunately, if the reason behind your beloved Husky’s howling is indeed a sickness, then there’s no choice but to seek professional aids at once.
Since relinquishing the free life in the forest and mountain to become men’s best friends, domesticated dogs have gradually replaced their wild instincts with more loving, loyal and attaching to humans. However, certain parts of their ancestors will forever live in them and be their dominant instincts.
Such instincts are often stronger in the case of the Husky breed. Some of which include the inclination to choose den-like nooks to inhabit, and howling. Unless they are being seriously ill and employ this method to tell you that, whenever you wonder “why do Huskies howl?”, just remember it is their way to declare their love for you.