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Why Do German Shepherds Howl

Howling Due To Loneliness

Why does my German Shepherd dog Howl?

Have you ever noticed a chained up dog howling desperately? You might think that the dog is signalling you to go away, but the reason might be something else. The dog might feel lonely, and thats why it is howling.

As unfortunate as it may seem, certain people do not give their German Shepherd the love and attention it desperately seeks. Instead of giving them a home to get a lot of attention and love, they chain the dog outside of the house or business premises to deter the intruders.

Some dog owners do not think dogs can be more than just a defence barrier against intruders. Therefore, they neglect to give attention to the dogs that they need. In these situations, the German Shepherds keep howling as they feel incredibly lonely.

Howling In Response To A Sound

You may have found that your GSD often howls in response to another sound. While it is amusing to watch and listen to, you dog isnt doing this just to be cute.

You know how it goes with German Shepherds they will begin with their famous head tilt, followed by that look in their eyes, you will then notice their lips began to quiver a bit and you know whats coming next!

While you do is indeed enjoying himself, there are actually reasons why your dog will howl. Lets take a look at a few below.

The Best Training Program For Beagles

If you havent trained your beagle properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether its barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs youll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog wont listen, youll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, thats given proven results. Not to mention the fact, youll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether theyre going to be well-behaved or not, youll only have to worry about how much fun youll have with them!

And in most cases its still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your beagle completely and never worry whether theyll be naughty or not. Instead, youll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOURE NOT.;

Recommended Reading: Golden Retriever German Shephard Mix

Why Are German Shepherds So Vocal

As a herding breed that tends to be protective and territorial, the German Shepherd can be excessive in barking, groaning, whining, and moaning. But these German Shepherd behaviors may also be triggered by positive situations and other breed-related temperament traits such as its friendly family-dog nature.;

Also, leaving your dog consistently alone at home and for long periods may cause him to be vocal. The German Shepherd is among the top 10 dogs most prone to separation anxiety. As such, your GSD may also groan, whine, or moan to express his loneliness.;

As a rough guideline, your German Shepherd may manifest any of these behaviors for one or more of the following ten reasons shown on the table.

German Shepherd Behavior

Why Do German Shepherds Lay Down To Eat

Why does my German Shepherd howl at sirens and thunder?

Some people will say fatigue, aging, pain, and injury are reasons for this German Shepherd behavior. While these are valid, there is one reason that seems to be a more logical explanation of why your GSD lays down to eat.

In their wild nature, before we domesticated them, dogs had to hunt their food and protect it from intruders. This meant that keeping sight of their prey from the hunting stage to when the prey was ready to eat was important. Hence, dogs lie down to eat so they can see who is approaching from the front while they enjoy the fruit of their labor.;

Below is a photo of my German Shepherd displaying this dog behavior.

What is most interesting is that a dogs natural laying position while eating is better for his health.

Feeding your German Shepherd from his usual bowl can affect your dogs oral and spinal health. This is because eating involves not only a dogs teeth but also other bones and muscles.

Eating the unnatural way can cause misalignments in these bones and muscles and disrupt the bodys acidic pH, which explains the health risks to the spine and the tartar, gingivitis, and loose teeth.;

Next time your German Shepherd eats lying down, just smile and say, Well, my dog is being natural today!

For a more in-depth article on this behavior, check out my article, 5 Reasons Why German Shepherds Lay Down to Eat.

Read Also: How Big Do German Shepherd Beagle Mixes Get

Getting Your Dog To Stop Howling

Now if your dog howls too much and youd like him to stop the first step is finding out whats triggering the howling to begin with.

If your dog is howling for your attention while youre at home youre going to learn to start ignoring the behavior and reward him when hes quiet. We often spend too much time focusing on correcting bad behaviors that we forget to praise the good. When you consistently praise your dog for doing something theyll know that theyre doing the right thing, and with proper encouragement theyll be more likely to continue that behavior.

If your dog is howling when hes alone it could be from separation anxiety or being lonely. Does your dog also pace around and act nervous when you leave the home? If so it might be .

If you suspect your dog is howling because hes lonely try spending some extra time with him. Create some simple boredom busters for him, give him more mental stimulation, and give him plenty of games to play inside.

Anxiety At Being Isolated

Similar to your dog howling if he is seeking attention from you, an isolated dog, too, may howl to get someone to relieve his loneliness.

Dogs are pack animals, so they normally live with others. A dog that is left alone in your home or backyard may resort to howling to let you know that the situation is terrible for him.

The Veterinary Network video on reasons dogs howls suggests that this is not uncommon behavior if a dog is left chained in the yard or is otherwise neglected or ignored. The video also points out that this type of howling is as sad as you might think upon hearing it.

Also Check: Can A Chihuahua And A German Shepherd Mate

Expressing Pleasure Or Elation

Often times, when something feels good to our dogs, they express their pleasure with a groan.; You may have noticed that when you rub your dogs tummy, or scratch behind their ears just right, they start groan uncontrollably.

Groaning under these conditions is just their way of expressing their elation, relaxation, and pleasure from something good happening.

What Does It Mean When My Dog Howls Like A Wolf

Why German Shepherds Howl? #shorts

Some dogs howl because theyre lonely, especially if theyre left alone or kept outside for many hours at a time. Dogs, like humans, are very social animals and need regular interaction with their human families. If your dog howls often when by himself, you may need to spend more quality time together.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop My German Shepherd From Jumping On Me

Clinginess Vs Separation Anxiety

Being clingy and separation anxiety;are the same in the sense that dogs want to be with you all the time. However, they differ in their response whenever you leave them:

A clingy dog just follows you around when youre home. They dont mind when you leave them.

Other symptoms of a clingy dog include the following:

  • Follows you around the house.
  • Knows when youre getting up.
  • Wants to be beside you all the time.
  • Wants to keep an eye on you all the time.

A dog with separation anxiety, on the other hand, panics when you leave. Especially within the first 30 minutes of your absence.

Reason #: Environmental Triggers

Possibly the most easy-to-spot reason on the list would be environmental triggers!

Weve all seen it before: cyclists, loud cars, severe weather, sirens, parades, music, other dogs- theyve all received a reaction from a nearby dog!

Your German Shepherd is no different, and they may just be howling because the firetruck just drove by your house.

Theyre particularly attuned to high-pitched sounds due to their wolfy DNA and may be responding more to sirens than your average dog!

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Environmental And Communicational Reasons

German Shepherd Dogs can react when some environmental noise occurs especially those sounds that are like sirens. Through howling, German Shepherd Dogs signals their presence in a certain place or gives warning to communicate that there is an approaching danger or to prevent intruders from entering a territory.

Some Breeds Are More Likely To Howl Than Others

German shepherd howling

While howling is common practice among dogs in general, some breeds are more likely to howl more frequently than others. Those who are more likely to howl include the German Shepherds, huskies, dachshunds, beagles, Alaskan malamutes, American Eskimo, basset hounds, bloodhounds, and others in the hunting and herding breed group.

Recommended Reading: How To Potty Train A German Shepherd Dog

Why Do German Shepherds Roll On Their Backs

Dogs may roll on their backs on different occasions. This German Shepherd behavior might occur when he is playing with you or other dogs.;The dog in the below photo is clearly having a super time playing in the snow.

We will often interpret a roll on the back during dog play as being submissive. However, research has shown that rolling on the back is a winning rather than a losing position. Your German Shepherd will roll over when playing with other dogs for two key reasons:

  • To avoid a nape bite
  • To launch an attack

But German Shepherds will also roll over to scratch their back since they cannot reach it with their paws. This could just be normal scratching, but it could also result from a flea/tick infestation. Check your dog and take measures if you find out that they are rolling over because they have fleas! Also, ensure their flea prevention treatment is up to date.

When playing with you, dogs will roll on their back to get a scratch on their belly. Granting his desire reinforces your GSDs behavior. So, avoid it if you do not want him to always ask for it!;

German Shepherds that rest or sleep on their backs for a short while feel very relaxed with their environment and are at ease exposing their belly. They feel safe and secure in this position.

Other reasons that dogs may roll on their backs are when attention-seeking, as an expression of joy, or a show of confidence. They may also display this behavior to regulate their body temperature as it helps them to cool down.

Why Your German Shepherd Barks Howls And Cries When You Leave

Each of the different reasons why your GSD does it will likely come with a number of clues.

Below, I will explain why it might be doing it and what would make each of the possible causes more likely.

You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips about how you can train your GSD.

The reason why it does it is likely to be because it has separation anxiety. This is where your German Shepherd does not like being left alone and the prospect of being left alone causes it to become anxious.

This would be more likely to be the reason if it shows signs of being anxious when you are about to leave by doing things such as pacing, becoming destructive, whining and barking, howling or crying.

It would also be more likely if it acts differently while you are away by doing things such as destroying things, howling or becoming very anxious.

You have inadvertently rewarded the behavior

It might be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to become noisy when you are about to leave. If you tend to give it things such as more attention, treats or toys when you are about to leave then it could have learned that being noisy will get it what it wants so it does it more.

Instead of giving it things that it wants, when you are leaving and its being noisy, try to reward it when it is being well behaved, to ignore it when it is not if possible and to follow the tips below.

It wants to pee or eat


Related post: Why is my German Shepherd afraid?


Read Also: German Shepherd Puppy Biting

Dog Howling Is Boundary Demarcation And Defense Mechanism

Howling signals to other dogs that the area they are entering has been claimed and occupied. It is a warning to outsiders that encroachment risks the threat of violence. Howling dogs announce their presence and alert their community to changing circumstances. In this context, dog howling functions as a defense mechanism, warding off potential predators and ensuring the safety of the dogs in the pack.

In a domestic setting, some dogs bark, others howl when a stranger comes to the door or a new car pulls up in the driveway.

Howling To Gather The Pack

Dexter the German shepherd is howling in his sleep

While your dogs ancestors, wolves, would use howling as a way to signal a pack meeting, your dog has a pack also. However, as previously mentioned, your dogs pack doesnt consist of other dogs, or wolves for that matter. Your dogs pack consists of perhaps just you, or you and your family.

So if you return home from work and your dog is expressing himself by howling, he is simply showing you his excitement and joy that the pack has once again reunited. Even you being gone for a short time can seem like an eternity for your dog, so it is overjoyed every time the pack reunites.

Recommended Reading: Good Companion Dog For German Shepherd

Dogs Howl In Response To Stimuli And Bonding Exercises

Dog howling can be a response to environmental triggers. Common provocations include ambulance, police or fire-engine sirens. The sound of these noises were the only times that my dog ever howled. The distant sound of approaching sirens always prompted her to sit up and join in the wailing. The reason remains uncertain, since she never howled at the sound of other dogs howling. Perhaps the pitch of sirens awoke some otherwise-dormant genetic memory.

Much of our research confirms that dog howling occurs when certain sounds are perceived. The prompts and triggers can be anything: music on a stereo at a party, popular television theme songs, or the sound of musical instruments. People who enjoy dogs howling even seem to encourage their dogs by howling themselves! It would seem that one reason dogs howl is the experience of community or of bonding. Why do dogs howl at sirens? Why do dogs howl when you howl? Perhaps its to join in and be a part of the action.

Bonus: Female Dogs Whine When Theyre In Heat

Its the time of the year again.;

Male dogs, yet again, come up to your house.;

Sniffing. Searching. Wondering where the prettiest female dog lives.;

As the males look for their mate, the owner of a female German Shepherd gets sleepless nights.

Their dog whines non-stop. She pleads, hoping she can come outside to meet her Dog Charming.;

They want to mate.

This goes on for about two weeks. 12 nights of constant barking and whining.;

Good grief.;

Twice a year, female dogs go through the heat cycle . When this occurs, female dogs can get pregnant if they are not spayed.

Read Also: When To Start Training German Shepherd Puppy

Dog Howling: 7 Videos To Make Your Dog Howl

If you want to teach your dog to howl check out the following videos. Heres 7 videos that are guaranteed to make your dog howl.

Dogs reaction to guaranteed to make your dog howl video.

This one comes with a guaranteed to make your dog howl.

Boxer howling at siren noises.

German Shepherd howling.

Dueling Huskies I dont know if Id love to have two Huskies or instantly regret it.

Another video guaranteed to make your dog howl.

My personal favorite.

Photo via Matt Elsberry

Howling To Communicate With Other Dogs

Why Do German Shepherds Howl?

This is one of the most common reasons that your dog will howl to communicate with other dogs. As we all know, dogs are incredibly social animals, and they crave interaction with other people and other dogs.

You may have noticed if you live in a neighborhood that has dogs, you often hear one dog howling followed by the next, and then perhaps the next, and the next, and so on.

This resembles a chain reaction, not dissimilar to prisoners communicating from cell to cell. This is not to suggest that your dog is a prisoner, but only to illustrate how communication is made when your dog is kept in a fixed place and is unable to physically contact another dog howling is the next best thing.

Howling is also a very effective way to communicate, as it casts a pretty wide net of sound. How wide this net is cast will depend on a number of different factors, including the dogs breed, the surrounding terrain, and the weather.

But think about it the next time you hear a dog howl at night. Give some thought to how far away you think that dog is. If youre out in the country and you hear it, I think a fair estimate would be a mile or more. And chances are that there are certainly other dogs within that mile who are picking up on it.

Also Check: Why Does My German Shepherd Bark So Much


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