If you thought the moon was the only cause of howling, think again.
Puppies are known to howl relentlessly—especially during the first few days of being with their new owners.
If you’ve had your puppy for longer and it’s still howling, you may need to consult a dog behaviorist for help.
Before you adopt a puppy, understand why your puppy howls and how you can prevent it. Here’s some advice from someone who’s been there—many, many times.
Understand Why Your Puppy Howls
There are some biological reasons why your puppy howls. Once you understand them, you’ll find it less frustrating when howling takes place.
– Your puppy is anxious
– Your puppy is lonely and thinks it may be lost
– Your puppy is joining other howlers
– Your puppy has heard a high-pitched sound and is responding with a howl
Some of these are serious, and some aren’t. If your puppy is anxious, you’ll want to nip that in the bud immediately.
Some puppies are just anxious as part of their personalities. If you have an anxious puppy, you may experience howling or continuous whimpering.
Some puppies grow out of their anxiety by building confidence over the years with trustworthy owners. But others never change.
But anxiety simply cannot be expressed through howling, as this will disrupt your lives. See a professional dog behaviorist for advice on curbing this problem.
A puppy that’s been taken from its mother too soon is more likely to howl. This separation anxiety causes your puppy to call out to its mother—especially when you, it’s new friend—are not around.
If you haven’t adopted your puppy yet, please wait the appropriate amount of time (approximately 8 – 10 weeks) before taking your puppy way form its mother.
Set Your Standards and Stick to Them
Howling also occurs when your puppy feels out of place. If your puppy doesn’t feel like your home is its home, it may develop howling as a coping mechanism.
Set your expectations for how you want your puppy to live in your home, and remain consistent in those ‘house rules’. This will curb anxiety somewhat.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
– Is my dog an inside dog or an outside dog?
– Is my dog allowed on the furniture?
– Will my puppy be allowed to sleep in my bed?
– What is my dog’s feeding and sleeping routine?
– How often can my puppy expect me to walk him?
– How often will I be home with my puppy?
Answering these questions honestly will set you and your puppy up for success from the start.
And a happy puppy isn’t usually one that howls.
Reassurance Mitigates Howling
As I said, constant howling is a sign of anxiety.
So how do you mitigate that anxiety?
Reassurance at Night
This section is for you if your puppy has a designated sleeping area away from you.
The last puppy I had howled loudly and constantly. He was extremely anxious, but soon grew out of it when I implemented reassurance techniques.
Let your puppy howl for a while at night. It needs to go through this unpleasant adjustment, but also needs to know that it’s not doing so alone.
Go and reassure your puppy every half an hour. Sit with it and try get it to sleep. When it does fall asleep, quietly slip away. Your puppy may wake up and howl again, but if it learns that you’ll always come back, it will do so less over time.
Guarding Against Fireworks and Lightning
Many people ask me how to condition their puppies against frightening noises.
It’s actually so easy!
Keep your puppy’s absolute favorite treat with you during thunderstorms or firework displays. Every time there’s a loud noise, feed your puppy the treat.
To this day my dog doesn’t even notice fireworks or lighting storms. They just don’t bother him at all!