Why do Dogs Howl at Night?

Why do Dogs Howl at Night: A dog sleeping suddenly starts howling. What does this indicate? Dog calls are a way to communicate with other dogs or their owners, but it can also indicate separation anxiety, fear, or boredom.

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Certain breeds like huskies and beagles are more likely to howl. Adequate training, exercise, and mental stimulation can minimize excessive howling. You can keep your dog mentally stimulated by offering interactive dog toys.

Animal behaviorists think that dogs howl to:

  • Warn off potential predators encroaching on territory (you know, like the mailman or the doorbell)
  • Call home lost pack members
  • Help the pack find them if they become separated
  • Call others when prey is cornered. Hunting dogs like basset hounds, foxhounds, and beagles have been bred to intensify this instinct.
Why do Dogs Howl at Night?
Why do Dogs Howl at Night?

Why do Dogs Howl at Night / What Are The Reasons For Dog Howling?

Why do Dogs Howl at Night: There are several reasons why dogs howl at night, including a response to certain sounds and an inherited instinct from wolves. Baying is a different vocalization used by hunting hounds. Dog calls to communicate with other dogs or humans.

Vocal Communication

A wolf’s howl is its natural way of vocally communicating in the wild. Wolves howl to send a message to their separated pack members, informing them about their presence and current location—this method helps them find each other. Dogs have inherited this behaviour from their ancestors.

Territorial Presence

Why do Dogs Howl at Night: Territorial conduct is another characteristic that dogs inherited from wolves. Like wolves, dogs live in a pack and defend their boundaries. When they observe or suspect a dog from another pack encroaching their boundaries, they trigger a howl to warn that dog and to inform their own pack members.

Why do Dogs Howl at Night?
Why do Dogs Howl at Night?
Pack Separation Anxiety

Dogs are naturally pack animals, and they have a strong sense of separation anxiety. When they feel separated from their pack, or when any member from their pack is missing, they trigger a howl as if to say, “I am here—where are you?”


Similar behaviour is observed in stray dogs. When they find themselves separated from their packs, or when they observe that any pack members are missing, they certainly do howl. You may have also noticed that stray pups start howling when they are waiting for their mother.

Owner Separation Anxiety

Why do Dogs Howl at Night: Dogs are loyal, affectionate and emotional companions. They are deeply attached to their owners and families. When they feel a sense of separation, they howl.

Normally, when you take your dog to a new place, he or she will enjoy the new abode as long as you are around. But once you leave your dog alone, he or she will feel separation anxiety and may start howling.

Why do Dogs Howl at Night?
Why do Dogs Howl at Night?
Attention Seeking

Dogs are always keen to get your attention. When they lack physical exercise or feel nervous, they may need even more of your attention, and sometimes they may do different tricks to get you to notice them.


If their needs are not being fulfilled, they can develop behavioural problems. Such behaviours may include a repetitious mild howl, which is your dog’s natural way of requesting your attention.

Your Dog is Experiencing Medical Issues

Why do Dogs Howl at Night: Is howling a recent thing for your dog? They may be letting you know they are sick or injured and responding to pain and discomfort. Check your dog for injuries and determine whether there is any change in their everyday eating habits or behaviors. Take them to the vet if you’re concerned.

Your Dog Needs More Food

Some dogs howl because they’re hungry. Check the ingredients of your dog’s food—perhaps they are not getting the right nutritional mix. 


Inexpensive dog food is full of carbohydrates and insufficient in protein, so switching to a natural diet such as Volhard’s Natural Diet Foundation will give your dog the ideal blend of protein and other vital nutrients! 

Why do Dogs Howl at Night?
Why do Dogs Howl at Night?
Too Much Energy at Nighttime

Why do Dogs Howl at Night: Dogs will howl at any time of day or night, but if they’re active at night, you can expect more howling after dark. One solution is ensuring your dog gets plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation during the day. Always have plenty of things for your dog to do with you, daycare, or a sitter. Wear them out during the day, and they’ll be too sleepy to howl all night.

Responding to Other Dogs 

Among dogs, a series of howls is a conversation. They inform other dogs that they are here, that the other dog is intruding on their territory, and that this particular patch of land is, in fact, theirs. Or perhaps they are greeting a friendly neighbor dog. 

Teaching the dog to be quiet and using the “Quiet” command will help reduce the late-night doggie phone calls. However, desensitization and counterconditioning may be necessary if the behavior becomes severe. 

Why do dogs howl when we leave?

Why do Dogs Howl at Night: Dog lovers know that every furry friend has unique attributes and personality quirks. Some may desire more attention than others or howl simply to complain.

Dog behavior can be confusing, and it can help to remember that dogs see their human families as pack members.

Dogs form strong social bonds and would much prefer that everyone in the pack stick together.


Your dog’s howl before or after you head out the door may be a sign they are nervous about your leaving. It may be a way to call you back home or alert others to their lonely state.

For a dog that might tend toward nervousness and separation anxiety, it can feel like a big deal when pack leader is leaving.

If you think your dog’s howling an attention or anxiety issue, read up on separation anxiety, and common treatments for anxiety in dogs. Arranging some socialization time at a doggy daycare a few times a week can also help alleviate these feelings of loneliness or even boredom.

If you believe the howling is a behavioral issue that requires more training, consult with a trusted dog trainer for tips about how to handle unwanted howling.

And of course, if your dog’s vocalizations aren’t excessive for you or an issue for the neighbors, you can always just take a video and enjoy.

Howling is in their nature, after all, and sometimes it’s so cute you can howl with laughter alongside them!

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