Posted 3 months ago ago
Have you ever been belting out your favourite song and found your dog has started to join in?
Did you then find yourself questioning whether it meant they were singing along or howling for you to stop?
Well, TeamDogs has got the answer to that very burning question.
We spoke to nutrition and behaviour expert Anna Webb to find out whether we really are in tune with our dogs.
Anna, who is also the host of A Dog’s Life podcast, told us: “It’s them tuning in a hard-wired genetic code that makes them predisposed to howl just like their ancestors the wolf. Huskies are famous for howling with hundreds of YouTube posts showing them almost literally ‘singing along’.
“Other breeds may turn a howl into a bark to acknowledge their excitement as you get excited, this is another hard-wired canine response as social, closely-knit, pack animals. If this behaviour is a problem for you or your neighbours, distract your dog with a high-value chew to keep him busy, and settle in his bed.
“Or turn howling / barking onto your terms by teaching him to howl to a cue like a hand signal. This helps you control when your dog howls/ barks as well as curbing excessive vocalisations, it makes for a fun party trick.”
Dogs also howl as a way of communicating with each other as well as with us. But did you know they also do it when they’re bored or lonely as a way of entertaining themselves.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that it could be a sign of anxiety.
Dave Tweedle, Clinical Director at Natures Vet Group, Bath Vet Group and Clinical Board Vice Chair at the UK’s leading network of veterinary practices, My Family Vets said: “Dogs can howl in some cases because they’re feeling anxious. If you’re not sure whether your dog is feeling anxious, have a look at their environment.
“Is something going on that may cause anxiety or stress? A dog barking outside for example, or something going on in the house like a big move of furniture or a lot of guests. The first thing to do if you think your dog is anxious is to remove the source of it.”
If you’re concerned your dog may be anxious then you should seek advice from your vet.