Jessie is a great dog. He is smart, loyal, and a beautiful canine, despite having some odd habits. When you take Jessie on his walks, he is extremely well-behaved and he receives a lot of attention because he is a Dalmatian. Yet, when you are at home, Jessie frequently howls. You wonder if certain people or cars are driving by your house or if something is wrong with your Jessie. You cannot figure out why he sometimes acts like he is a wolf howling at the moon. This odd tendency has become bothersome and you now want to discover why Dalmatians like Jessie love to howl.
The Root of the Behavior
Dalmatians are beautiful animals. In fact, you don't see many Dalmatians walking down the side of the road and when you do, you probably will stop and stare because they are magnificent dogs. However, they do have a tendency to howl. When a car drives by or a stranger approaches, Jessie may bark and it probably seems normal because all dogs bark. But he shouldn't howl, should he? Well, he does and there is a good reason for it. Dalmatians primarily howl to communicate. They want to let you know that they are here or that someone else is around. In the wild, wolves will howl to let each other know their location and it is no different with Dalmatians because Jessie is largely connected to his ancestors and he has a wolf-like tendency, even though his howls may only be a response he lets out from a siren or from a familiar dog that he sees nearby. Yet, as long as Jessie is safe, there is no harm in letting him howl once in a while.
Sometimes, your dog's howling may seem different than normal. Jessie may howl because he misses his best friend and his howl may be an expression of his hurt. If you feel like your dog is howling out of sadness, it may be because your dog is dealing with some heavy emotions. Dalmatians will howl if they have separation anxiety from their owner or from other animals. If your dog does howl out of anxiety, there may be other symptoms accompanied with it from pacing to chewing and they may even yell out a bark or two. It is important to remember all howling is communication of some form, but the communication may be your dog letting you know that they are not feeling too great. If your dog has anxiety or illness, you will notice their howl to be a bit different and their body may show other symptoms. Are they sad? Are they lethargic? Are they lonely? Are they hiding in the corner? You want to pay attention to all symptoms and all forms of communication, even if your Jessie is in a great mood and just wants to sing along with the radio.
Encouraging the Behavior
You cannot take the bark and howl out of a canine. It is their way of communicating and it is one of the most well-known ways dogs express their needs. In fact, dogs bark and howl all the time and although you can minimize your dog's barking and howling through training, you do not want to take away their primary mode of communication. Any bit of noise that is active around your dog can trigger howling. Your dog may be worried, they may be alerting you, or they may be responding to noise.
Dalmatians are known for howling and they are extremely smart animals. In fact, it is why Dalmatians were specifically chosen to help with the fire department because they quickly can use their howling, their knowledge, and their skills to help clear people out of the way during chaotic moments. Therefore, if you find that Jessie howls frequently, there is nothing to worry about because it is just a part of how he is. But you do want to make sure that Jessie's howling does not get out of control. Make sure you monitor Jessie's howling and watch what he is responding to and listen to your dog when he howls because he could be needing something or he may be communicating an important message.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Some dogs just love to howl. If your dog's howling does not bother you and he seems to be okay, then you should just let your dog howl. Yet, you still want to watch over your dog's behavioral habit. If you desire to limit your dog's howling, there are some training techniques to try. Experts suggest that you not respond to your dog's howling every single time. If you desire to minimize the howling, you may want to ignore your dog when he begins and after he stops, you can reward him with positive reinforcement. Secondly, if you give your dog more physical activity and attention, he will not howl as much. A lot of times howling is communication for love, attention, and boredom.
When you brought Jessie home for the first time, you probably never thought that he would be a big howler. However, now he is and although it can be bothersome at times, it is a part of how he communicates to his outside world and there is no harm in that. If you feel like you need help managing your dog's howling, you can contact a behavioralist or a veterinarian.
By a Golden Retriever lover Erika Seidel
Published: 04/26/2018, edited: 01/30/2020