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9 Fast & Easy Ways To Make Your Dog Howl (+ Is It Cruel?)

How To Make Your Dog Howl

You notice your pooch not howling at all.

And you’re looking for ways to make them do it.

Look no further…

This article is exactly what you’re looking for.

Continue reading to find out:

  • If making your dog howl is cruel.
  • 9 easy and fast ways to make them howl.
  • What kind of sounds trigger them to do it.
  • Whether it’s good to howl with them or not.
  • And a lot more…

Is it cruel to make your dog howl?

It’s not cruel to make your dog howl because it’s part of their natural instinct. They also do it to communicate and get attention. However, they shouldn’t be forced to do it because it will only make them feel stressed.

How to make your dog howl – 9 ways

#1: Try singing

Ready to do a singing duet with your beloved pup? It’s one of the easiest ways to make them howl.

Try singing a song with high or long notes. Or something that has a pitch or tone that sounds like howling.

An opera song might be able to do the trick. Make sure to belt it out while your pooch is around.

If they become curious, they might sing along with you.

And if they do, it may look like they’re competing in a vocal contest.

But they’re only doing it because they think you’re howling as well.

There are certain dog breeds that might be able to do this quickly.

These breeds also tend to be more vocal than others.

Some of them are the following:

  • Beagle.
  • Foxhound.
  • Dachshund.
  • Bloodhound.
  • Basset Hound.
  • Siberian Husky.
  • Alaskan Malamute.
  • Bluetick Coonhound.

One pet parent shared that their dog would howl whenever they sing “Happy Birthday”.

So try doing that too and you might just hear your pooch joining in.

Interesting fact: Researchers proved that dogs have a good sense of pitch.

#2: Play a song

Play A Song To Make Your Dog Howl

If your singing skills won’t do the trick, try playing a song instead.

Certain types of music can trigger their howl.

Play random songs and take note of which one your pup will respond to the most.

For example, a fur mom shared this in a forum…

Her fur baby would howl when specific songs were played.

One of these was the song “Duran Duran Hungry like a wolf”.

Another mentioned that the opening theme for the Daily Show would trigger his dog’s howl.

In fact, one study proved that dogs have their own musical preferences.

3 types of music were studied. These were pop, heavy metal, and classical music.

Pop music made no significant reactions. Heavy metal made them anxious.

While classic music had a calming effect. 

There’s also another research that says music can help reduce stress for dogs found in shelters.

They also found that soft rock and reggae songs can also make them feel relaxed.

#3: Howl at your dog

Another thing you can do is to howl at them. Making howling noises might make them “ahrooo” back at you.

Teach them how to do it by mimicking how they sound. 

Dogs tend to copy their owners so doing this might do the trick. 

Plus, it’s also a great way for you to bond.

One paw parent shared that he loves howling with his 1-year-old German Shepherd.

The pup also enjoys it that he’ll eagerly wag his tail. And he only howls when his owner does it with him.

Another shared that her family encouraged their Beagle to howl back.

So whenever they do it, the Beagle would sprint to them to join in.

But there are also dogs who will be confused and won’t respond.

Just like the case for one fur mom who has a Chihuahua.

She said that her Chi looks at her like a crazy person when she tries to howl. And instead of howling, the little pooch would bark at her.

Each dog will respond differently. It could depend on their breed or personality.

But don’t lose patience, you can do it repeatedly until they understand what you want them to do.

Knowing why they howl may also help in teaching them how to do it.

Why do dogs howl?


One main reason they do this is to communicate.

In the wild, wolves howl to guide a lost member of their pack back to them.

That’s why some domestic dogs would bay loudly when their fur parents are away.

They do it with the hopes you’ll hear them. And that you’ll find your way back to them.


They may also howl due to boredom. They do it to get your attention.

And they want you to know that it’s time to play.

However, try to ignore their howls when they do this.

If you give them attention, they might do it again when they get bored.


They also howl as a sign of warning. They might do this when they sense someone is coming to your home.

Dogs who are protective of their homes are the ones who would be more likely to do this.

This is a behavior they got from their wolf ancestors.

In the wild, wolves would howl to warn their pack from potential threats.

Alert signal

Hunting dogs would howl when they want to alert others to what they found.

Those with high prey drives also tend to do this. They may howl to alert you about a prey they saw.

A cry for help

In other cases, a howl may also be a sign of distress. They may do it to tell you they’re in pain.

Always be aware and check any signs that may indicate they’re hurt.

If you notice anything wrong, bring them to the vet immediately.

Responding to a call or sound

Lastly, they howl to respond to a call they are hearing. It could be the horn of a car or the siren of an ambulance.

These sound similar to a dog’s howl that’s why they instinctively howl when they hear them.

You may also notice that when one pooch howls, others would follow along.

 This is to let the other canines know that they’ve been heard.

Read next: Why Does My Dog Howl When I Howl? 7 Surprising Reasons

#4: Whistle at your dog

A whistle could also make your furry friend howl. It’s a sound that would easily get their attention.

Keep doing this until they understand that it’s a cue to howl.

But take note that although a whistle isn’t harmful, it could still cause discomfort to your pooch.

According to AKC, dogs can hear sounds up to 47,000 to 65,000 Hz.

While adult humans only have the ability to hear up to 20,000 Hz.

Since they have a better sense of hearing than us, whistles may get painful to them when abused.

This is why we shouldn’t whistle too close or too loudly to their ears. 

Just imagine a loud sound blaring at you. It will hurt and you might even hear a ringing sound.

Make sure to be cautious about how loud the whistle is. And know when your pooch is showing any signs of pain.

PetMD mentions the following:

  • Panting.
  • Trembling.
  • Arched back.
  • Flattened ears.
  • Twitching muscles.

Going to a vet for advice on how to whistle properly at your dog can also help.

#5: Play alarm sounds

Playing alarm sounds like a siren is another way to trigger a howl.

High-pitched sounds will make them believe that another canine is howling nearby.

And if your pup responds, they could be doing it to tell others where they are.

Some may think the sound will cause pain in a dog’s ear.

But unless they show signs of stress, they’re not really bothered by it.

To know if the sound is distressing to them, look out for these signs:

  • Hiding.
  • Pacing.
  • Panting.
  • Cowering.
  • Lip licking.

Before playing any high-pitched sound, it’s also important to know which noises scare them.

You wouldn’t want to frighten your dog with a random sound you play.

So take note of the following noises that might stress them out.

These are:

  • Fireworks.
  • Gunshots.
  • Jet airplanes.
  • Thunderstorms.
  • Vacuum cleaners.
  • Construction noises.

Some dogs can also have fear in noises. 

VCA mentions that ⅓ of the canine population is affected by this.

Mild fear in dogs may lead to destructive behavior. It also causes them to panic and attempts to escape.

But don’t worry, there are things you can do to avoid phobia in dogs.

And that includes:

  • Early socialization.
  • Try classical conditioning.
  • Prevent exposure to traumatic experiences.
  • Avoid pampering them when they’re scared.

#6: Play a musical instrument

Playing a musical instrument can also make your pooch howl.

Try playing different notes and see which one they’ll respond to.

Who knows? You and your pup might become the internet’s next musical sensation.

A guitar and cello can also make them “sing” along.

But wind instruments can particularly compel them to respond.

Some of these include:

  • Horn.
  • Flute.
  • Clarinet.
  • Trumpet.
  • Harmonica.
  • Saxophone.

A certain tone from these instruments could trigger them to go baying for the moon.

Just watch this video of a Labrador howling while the owner plays her flute:

#7: Play audio of howling

Letting your canine companion listen to the sound of other dogs’ howling may also make them do it.

There are a lot of howling videos on the internet that are available for you to use.

If they listen to the exact sound of a canine’s howl, they might likely follow.

This would make them feel like they’re communicating with an actual dog.

Do you know that some believe that a howling dog means a bad omen?

They say that when a dog howls twice, it means the death of a male. While howling thrice means it for a woman.

And when they howl in front of you, it means bad luck. 

Of course, there’s no scientific proof of any of these.

Dogs howl not because of these superstitions, but because they’re responding to something they hear.

You might also want to know: Why do dogs howl at 3 am?

#8: Let them listen to other animal sounds

If making your pup listen to howling sounds does not work, try making them listen to the real thing.

Maybe they don’t find the audio convincing so they need to hear the actual sound.

They probably need another furry friend that could teach them to do it.

So try going to a dog park or ask a friend who has a pup that knows how to howl.

Letting them see a real dog howl might actually make them join in the fun.

What’s interesting is that in one study, they showed that different canines have different howling sounds.

The canines they compared were dogs, wolves, and jackals.

They found 21 types of howl which they call “howling dialects”.

This helps them differentiate which canine is baying. 

#9: Wait for them to do it on their own

If all else fails, it’s better to wait for them to do it on their own.

Different sounds around your environment could be able to trigger their howl.

Or they might be able to instinctively do it without your help.

The most important thing is to never force them to do it. This will only stress them out. 

What you can do is to find out the reason why they’re not howling.

It could be because of their personality. They might not be so vocal because they’re a quiet breed.

Some breeds that are known to not howl much are:

  • Bulldog.
  • Basenji.
  • Whippet.
  • Great Dane.
  • Scottish Deerhound.
  • Bernese Mountain Dog.

It may also be because of a traumatic experience.

They may avoid howling due to a past owner punishing them when they do it.

You may also want to check if they have problems with hearing.

This could be genetic or it could develop as they age.

If you suspect deafness is the cause, make sure to visit your vet for a proper diagnosis.

People also ask:

What triggers dogs to howl?

A dog is triggered to howl when they hear certain high-pitched sounds. This can be a siren or a sound from a musical instrument. Hearing other dogs howl could also trigger them to respond.

When they howl, it shows that they acknowledge what they heard. 

This is also one way for them to express their feelings.

Also, remember that each dog may have different responses to the sounds.

And their howl could also have different meanings.

They might be doing it to join in the fun. Or they could be annoyed by the noise they’re hearing.

How do I make my dog howl on command?

To make your dog howl on command, train them to respond to a cue word. It could be “howl” or “speak”. Reinforce the behavior by giving them a reward when they do it.

You can do this by first getting to know what sound triggers them to howl. 

Before playing the sound that triggers them, say the cue word out loud.

When they do it, give them a treat or praise them.

As your training progress, you can slowly remove the trigger sound.

Keep doing this until they understand how to do it on command.

And they will eventually learn that saying the cue word means you want them to howl.

Is it good to howl with your dog?

It’s good to howl with your dog because it can be a great bonding experience for both of you. But make sure that they’re not showing any signs of stress while doing it with them.

You can also let other members of the family join in and you’ll have a choir of your own.

Also, be careful that the noise you make won’t disturb your neighbors.