Dog howling: what are the meanings of the different sounds?

Howling dogs can communicate a wide range of emotions and information.

Understanding how dogs communicate will help you to better understand them, treat them better and form deeper bonds with them.

Let's see what different howls dogs can use and what they can mean!

  1. Long, high-pitched howls

A long, high-pitched howl is typically a sign of loneliness, anxiety or boredom. If your dog howls frequently when you leave him alone, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.

  1. Low-pitched, soft howling

A low, soft howl often indicates pain or discomfort. If your dog suddenly starts howling like this, it's a good idea to take him to the vet to check if there's a medical problem!

howling dog

  1. Sharp, short howls

A sharp, short howl usually indicates surprise or a frightening experience! If your dog suddenly hears a sharp, short howl, it's likely that something unexpected has happened to startle him.

  1. High-pitched, excited howl

A high-pitched, excited howl usually indicates excitement or joy. If your dog howls in this tone when you come home or when it's time to play, it means he's very happy and excited!

  1. Long, whining howls

A long, whiny howl indicates an important need or desire. For example, your dog howls like this when he really wants to get the ball you're holding or when he wants to go for a walk.

However, it's important to remember that dogs are different, and one dog's howl doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as another!

It helps if you already know your dog's specific communication and take the situation into account.

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Howling is only one part of the communication that dogs use.

Dog communication is complex and includes body language, smells and behaviour. To get a full picture of your dog's feelings and intentions, always consider the whole context!