My Husky Keeps Howling – Why?

One of the defining characteristics of Huskies for many people is just how much they howl. You won’t often hear this breed howling, but you sure will hear them howling and making other ‘talking’ noises.

But why is this? Well, it partially comes down to the fact that it’s how they communicate. Just like many of us communicate through talking, Huskies will talk to those around them by howling. It’s something that makes them very similar to their wolf ancestors.

Another animal in the distance will find it easier to hear howling than barking, and this would help wild dogs to find other members of their pack.

Therefore, Huskies will keep on howling and talking thanks to the fact that it’s what their ancestors would do.

Of course, most domesticated Huskies do not need to howl – it’s not like they are trying to communicate with other creatures through tough terrain like forests and snow.

There are a number of things that you can learn by listening to your dog howling and figuring out why they do it, however.

For that reason, we are going to do a deep dive into some of the main reasons why our Huskies try to talk to us, and how they do it. 

Why Might A Husky Howl Like A Wolf? 

In general, the short answer to this question is because Huskies are descended from wolves. If you look at a Husky next to a wolf then you will see just how similar these two animals are.

Wolves are basically just like slightly older cousins to the domesticated dogs that we know and love.

For that reason, if you want to know why your Husky is howling, it’s a good idea to figure out why these creatures would howl in the wild.

If a wolf is away from the pack, then they will try to determine where the pack is by calling out to them through howling. Sure, they could bark – it’s often loud enough.

Because the sound is so short though, wolves don’t really have enough time to figure out where that barking sound actually originated from. 

Because a howl is a long, sustained sound, the noise can carry much more easily through the air, this means that other animals will have an easier time trying to pinpoint where the sound has come from.

It’s basically like man-made ships. They use foghorns, right? You won’t hear a large ship using small beeping sounds because it’s just too hard to hear that sound from a distance. If you hear a foghorn then you can usually figure out where that sound has come from. 

The howling noise is very similar to this. The sound of a long howl can be heard easily because the noise carries through the air. This then helps other members of the pack to figure out where it has come from.

In summary then, a Husky will howl instead of bark because the sound is capable of traveling much further, meaning that other pack mates can hear it without much trouble. 

Why Is My Husky Howling At Crying Babies And Sirens?

If your dog listens to one howling dog, then there’s a good chance that they will start howling too. You can even try it – play a sound on youtube of a howling Husky (like the video below) and yours will almost certainly join the chorus.

Of course, other dogs aren’t the only thing that will make your Husky start singing!

If a siren starts playing from far away, then there’s a good chance that your Husky is going to start making whining and howling sounds in return.

Okay, so why does this happen? This is usually because it’s in their instincts to do so. Your dog may interpret that siren as a member of their pack trying to call to them. As such, they call back to basically tell what they think is another dog where they are. 

This is one key example of a Husky’s animal instincts coming into play. Picture a Husky out in the wild – he’s gotten lost and he’s alone. He starts calling out by howling to tell the other huskies where he is.

If another Husky hears it, they will then call out too so that the lonely dog knows how to find its pack mates.

Of course, as human beings, we are usually well aware that a siren is a man-made sound – not an animal out in the wild. The same cannot be said of a Husky. A Husky will consider that sound to be another dog, they don’t know that a siren is an artificial sound. 

You can also think about this when keeping in mind what happens when a Husky starts to hear a baby crying. You may be a little confused about why your Husky has started howling when they hear a baby crying, but it does happen and there’s a reason for it.

There are some animal experts that declare that your Husky will look at your baby like another member of their pack. Of course, they are aware that a baby isn’t a dog. They will still consider the baby to be a part of their pack though.

You may have noticed that a group of Huskies will usually try to howl in tandem. They may be thinking that your baby is howling, so they are doing the same to join in.

It could possibly be because your Husky has interpreted that crying as an indication of distress, so they start to howl as a result of that.

Naturally, we cannot get into a husky’s head. As such, it can be hard to know what they are actually thinking when they start howling at the sound of a crying baby.

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that your Husky does realize that the crying is likely occurring because the creature in question is in distress.

It could possibly be because your Husky is trying to alert you to the crying child. They are trying to tell you that your child needs your assistance – they are helping out!

Sometimes, crying babies are even soothed by the sounds of Husky howling too. Pretty neat, huh? 

When Will A Husky Begin To Howl?

You will usually find that your husky begins to howl when they are very young. They tend to howl when they are puppies. When Huskies are still puppies, they tend to find it a lot easier to communicate via howling or whining than they do to bark.

Of course, any howl coming from a Husky isn’t going to be nearly as powerful as their adult counterparts, but it’s certainly something that you are going to notice.

You will notice that your Husky puppy will start to howl at a wide variety of different things, including crying babies, sirens, other dogs, or sometimes even musical instruments.

Sometimes Husky puppies even as young as 7 weeks old will howl – sometimes younger! They may struggle to formulate the sound as well, but otherwise, it resembles an adult’s howl.

What Does It Mean When My Husky Howls?

A Husky will start to howl for a wide variety of reasons, it ultimately depends on the situation. For this reason, it can often be a challenge to figure out why your husky is howling.

For instance, they may sometimes howl when they want to eat, when they want your attention, when they are bored, lonely, feeling playful – you name it. It’s ultimately best to look at the situation and work it out from there.

If you notice that your Husky is howling and you have just come home from work for instance, then it’s most likely because they are happy to see you. It’s because they are no longer alone and they want to spend some time with you.

If you are leaving the house and your Husky is howling though, then it certainly isn’t going to be because of excitement. 

In summary, the howl doesn’t mean one particular thing. It’s a way of your dog communicating with you and you will notice that the howling can occur in lots of different situations. You will learn to decipher what the howls mean when you have spent more time with your dog.

How To Handle When Your Dog Howls More Than Usual

Howling is one of the main forms of communication that Huskies use. Others will do things like barking, whining, or ‘talking’ though. 

Huskies can communicate in all of these different ways, but a lot of dogs will howl all the time instead.

A lot of Huskies are quite quiet and only howl every now and again, but some are much noisier than others are. There are a few ways that you can handle excessive howling in huskies.

The Context

If you want to know why your Husky is howling all the time, you are going to need to figure out the context. For instance, is your Husky primarily howling during the night, or is it all the time?

Some Huskies may howl because they want food, or because they want your attention. It’s important to figure out the reason behind the howling.

If you are noticing that your Husky is howling more often than usual, then a change in routine can often be helpful for minimizing the howling.

Try to remove any particular concerns – if they’re howling because they are bored, ensure that they are well stimulated throughout the day. If the howling begins to stop then you know that you have done the right thing. If the howling still continues then you can speak to an expert for help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Huskies sad when they howl?

The answer to this is ‘sometimes.’ As we have established, Huskies can howl for a number of reasons – it isn’t always because they are sad. Sometimes it’s because they are hungry, happy, excited, or anything else in between.

Why isn’t my husky howling?

Sometimes a Husky isn’t very vocal – that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it could just be because they are young – if they are still a puppy then it may be that they are howling because they simply haven’t learned how to do so yet.

They may also not be howling because they are naturally quiet, or because they aren’t used to their environment. It could be that they have been trained not to, or because they aren’t feeling good. It’s best to figure it out based on the context.

Can you train a husky not to howl?

Yes, but you may find this difficult. It’s because a Husky is quite vocal in nature, so it’s normal for them to howl. You may need some extra assistance with making your Husky stop howling, so if it’s important to you then it’s a good idea to speak to a dog trainer. 

Read All About Huskies

We’ve got a stack of interesting articles for you to read more about Huskies.

Jennifer

Jennifer's best four-footed friend is a husky mix called Humphrey Bogart who goes by "Bogie" for short. They first met at a local animal shelter, where Bogie, then Kevin, had been turned in with an injured paw. He and Jennifer hit it off right away, and newly-minted Bogie went home the same day. In spite of his one floppy paw, Bogie's a speedy runner who loves to be off his leash, when his owner lets him. He's full of energy and enjoys playing fetch when he isn't busy chasing the rabbits that frequent his backyard. On hot summer days, he swims in the river, but winter is his favorite season. Every time the snow falls, Bogie sprints out of the house and dives in.

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