I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s howled at my dog, hoping she would join in and howl along with me, right? Some of you might have dogs that like to howl, like scent hounds or wolf-like dogs such as huskies, but Haley’s not one of those dogs. No matter how much I sacrifice my self-respect in attempts to get her to join me, she’s not having it. She barks, she whines, she yips, she yawns, but…no howl, no way! [pardon the pun]
Long ago, some cultures thought dogs had psychic abilities and the howl of a dog meant someone was about to die, yikes! The truth is a lot less dramatic, howling is just a form of communication and here are a few different ways canines use howls to relate information to each other.
Why Dogs Howl
The Haley Howl
I’ve only heard Haley howl one time and I didn’t get to witness it in person. A few years ago we set up a video camera for a short time to observe Haley’s behavior when we weren’t at home. Towards the end of a Christmas holiday when my son and daughter-in-law were heading back home, they said goodbye to Haley and we all left the house to have lunch together before they left town. Here’s what happened after we left the house.
I was shocked when I watched the video! Was that really her, howling? I wish she would have been standing in the camera’s view but she was looking out the window and probably hoping to call her pack back home. They say each wolf has a distinctive howl that’s like a vocal fingerprint, acoustically calibrated to carry over long distances. Maybe this is Haley’s vocal fingerprint which includes blowing out air and yawning. I did mention she wasn’t good at howling, right?
If you want to teach your dog to howl, try these ideas!
How to Make Your Dog Howl
The last idea was the only one that worked for Haley. She tries really hard but either she needs some howling lessons or I could use some of your suggestions. I’d love to hear her howl again, so share your secrets for how you make your dog howl.