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What Makes Dogs Howl?

What Makes Dogs Howl? 0

Some dogs howl as people sing or play an instrument. Some others' serenades are set off by babies' cries or a TV program's theme song. Sometimes, these canine carols are quite funny and entertaining. However, when the howling goes on for too long, it can be bothersome.

If your dog's howling is incessant, you might need to stop it. To do so, you must first understand what causes your furry friend to howl.

Why Do Dogs Howl?

Like barking, howling is one of the many communication modes used by dogs. Animal behavior experts think that dogs howl for the following reasons.

Communal Activity or Defense Mechanism

In the wild, dogs howl to inform pack members of their location. Howling acts as a vocal homing signal that guides other dogs to them. If you have been away from home, your dog could be beckoning you back by howling. Dogs also howl to warn others off their territory.

Sense of Belonging and Awareness

Dogs howl when they hear some high-pitched sounds, such as sirens or music, and in response to other dogs' howls. This shows that they hear the sound and are ready to participate in the action. If your dog howls when you sing or play music, your canine friend most probably wants to join in your activity.

Separation Anxiety

If your dog howls when you are away from home, the cause might be separation anxiety. Other symptoms of separation anxiety, such as pacing or depression, accompany this kind of howling.

Seeking Attention

Some dogs howl because they need attention. They howl even when people are present because they want food, toys or treats.

Illness or Injury

Dogs, especially older ones, howl because they have some physical discomfort or are confused from loss of their senses. If your dog howls continuously, illness or injury could be the cause.

Discovery

Some dogs, particularly hunting dog breeds, alert others by howling when they corner prey or discover something.

Dreams

Dogs dream just like humans. They may twitch, roll their eyes, or even howl. Unless your dog is ill, an occasional howl at night may not be anything serious.

Breed Characteristics

Some dog breeds howl more than others. Breeds known for howling include Alaskan Malamutes, huskies, most hounds, and almost all hunting dogs.

Tips to Stop Excessive Howling

  • If dogs howl when alone, spend more quality time with them. Enroll them in training classes where there are other dogs to play with and they get rewards for good behavior. Buy them personalized gear and toys. When you leave dogs alone at home, ensure that these items are near them.
  • Often people pay attention to dogs only when they are naughty. If your dog howls just to attract your attention, ignore the behavior. Dogs find attention rewarding, be it positive or negative. So, refrain from looking, touching or speaking to them. Also, don't reprimand them.
  • Train your dogs by first prompting them to bark or howl and then introducing a command to be quiet. When they are quiet, praise them. Reward them with treats when they remain quiet for some time.
  • Check if a specific trigger, such as sirens, music, or thunder, causes your dog's howling. If so, the howling will stop when the triggering stimuli end. If it continues or becomes bothersome, you can try to change your dog's behavior by using desensitization and counterconditioning techniques.
  • Dogs may howl in mourning if their companion dogs pass away. In such cases, consider getting another dog.
  • If dogs howl without any apparent cause, they could be ill or hurt. Take your dogs to a veterinarian to determine if their howling is health-related. Ensure that they get enough nutritional supplements that help maintain their health and vitality.
If you cannot control your dog's excessive howling, seek professional help from veterinarians or certified professional dog trainers (CPDTs).
  • Dana S
10 Tech Gifts That Will Make Your Dog Jump for Joy

10 Tech Gifts That Will Make Your Dog Jump for Joy 0

Think of how tech products enhance your everyday life. You perhaps have a watch to monitor your heart rate, an app for avoiding traffic, and a mobile wallet for buying stuff.

You probably even use technology to waste time (Temple Run, anyone?). Why not let your furry friend enjoy the same sort of benefits that you do from technology?

After all, you want your dog's days to be filled with joy and exercise. Here are the 10 best tech gifts for your dog!

1. A Camera for Facetiming

If you get a two-way audio and visual camera, you can directly face-time with your pup. That comes in handy if you and your dog miss each other while you're at work, running errands, or traveling.

You can also use the camera to see what they're doing (hopefully nothing mischievous!).

2. Calming Device

Separation anxiety affects 20-40% of dogs, with many others having anxiety continuously. This means most dogs require something to deal with the disorder.

Calming devices, like a calming collar and speaker that plays soothing sounds, can help your pup feel at ease.

3. Automatic Ball Thrower

Dogs need 30 minutes to two hours of exercise per day, according to petMD. An automatic ball thrower can ensure they run and have fun as they should, even if you're busy or tired.

4. LED Glowing Ball

Have a dog that likes to play fetch all day and night? This kind of toy was made for them.

5. Virtual Assistant

Well, this is more for the dog owner. Life can get busy, as you know. Having a virtual assistant allows you to quickly order the dogs all the necessary things on the go.

From multivitamins for staying healthy to shampoos for staying clean, you can get what your dog needs by just telling Alexa.

6. Cooling Collars and Pads

As veterinary experts note, heat strokes can kill dogs. And when you go out in the summer, your dog still has that layer of fur, while you have a cozy t-shirt and shorts.

To help avoid overheating, get a cooling pad and a cooling collar. This, along with avoiding overexertion and drinking water, will reduce the potential for a heat stroke during those hot summer days.

7. Paw Cleaner

Dogs get dirty. It's part of having a blast!

Instead of doing all the paw cleaning work manually with a towel, get a paw cleaning bucket. These buckets are lined with gentle silicone bristles that scrape mud and debris off your pup's paws. This way, your home doesn't get messy.

8. Automatic Dog Feeder

Every dog has a preferred diet pattern. An automatic dog feeder enables you to customize eating schedules, regardless of where you are during the day.

Plus, if you see that your dog has been behaving well, you can use these automatic feeders to give your loved one a treat. Just remember: Treats should only make up 5-10% of your pup's diet.

9. Dog Treadmill

Looking for a way to keep your dog active during bad weather days? Consider a dog treadmill.

You could even go for a run alongside your furry pal (and be workout buddies!).

10. GPS Tracker

The ASPCA® estimates 15% of dog owners have lost their pet at some point. 85% of those owners recovering their loved one, but that's still a lot of people losing their dog.

To prevent such a terrible situation, get an advanced GPS tracker on your dog. Your pup will hardly notice it, and you'll be able to locate them quickly if the unfortunate happens.

Making the Most of Tech for Your Dog

The nifty pet gadgets on the market today can improve your dog's physical and emotional health, as well as make life more enjoyable for you.

To enhance your dog's life, even more, get the best dietary products. Health supplements, such as multivitamins and hip and joint supplements, can make them feel better on a daily basis. That will ensure your pup lives a happy and fulfilling life and can make the most of all these awesome tech gadgets you have for them.

  • Dana S
5 New Tricks You Can Teach Your Old Dog

5 New Tricks You Can Teach Your Old Dog 0

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but is that really true? Sure, puppies and younger dogs might learn faster than a senior dog, but many older dogs are still puppies at heart and are just as eager to please. Let's take a look at some new tricks you can teach your senior dog. You'll both have fun in the process and what's more, learning new things is great for mental and physical agility and could even prolong the life of your best friend.

1. Target Training Using Touch

This is a great one for less mobile dogs as it's really simple and doesn't require any agility on their part. The outcome of this trick is to get your dog to touch something with his nose. It could be your hand, a toy or even a light switch if you want to get fancy. The great thing is that you can start off really simple and then add complexity as you and your dog get more confident. Start with your hand as the target. Call your dog and hold your hand out to him. His instinct will be to sniff. As he does so, his nose will come into contact with your hand. At this point, you can use a clicker and small treat to signal he has done a great job. Repeat a few times with the word "touch" so that he understands what you want him to do each time.

2. Putting Toys Away

Even grown-up doggies need to tidy away their toys when they are done playing. It's also a fun game that your dog will love to take part in. Start with an empty box that your dog could easily drop his toys into. If you have a small dog, a shallow tray may be best. Take one of your dog's favorite toys and encourage your dog to come to you to play. Drop the toy on the ground and let your dog pick it up. Move the box closer to him and if he drops the toy near the box, give him lots of praise. As you continue to play around the box, give him lots of praise if he drops the toy into the box, even if it is by accident. Repeat with the command "tidy time" and give your dog a treat every time he manages to put his toy away.

3. Yawning on Command

This is a cute trick that your dog can learn. This one is all about capturing and encouraging behavior using clicker training. It's very much like the target training touch trick, but you will have to wait for your dog to yawn to capture the desired behavior. Whenever you catch your dog yawning, say a keyword like "yes" or "good boy" and click once on your clicker. Reward your dog with a treat or his favorite toy. Once your dog learns that yawning gets him a reward, you can start to encourage him to do it on command. Use a fun command like "take a nap" or "sleepy time" to really take this trick to cuteness overload.

4. Ring a Bell to Go Outside

This is a trick that all owners will love! With the bell trick, you will always know when your dog needs to go outside to play or do his business. Tie a small bell to a piece of string and hang it on your door. The idea is to get your dog to nudge it with his nose every time he wants to go outside. If he's already mastered the touch trick, great! If not, start with the touch trick and gradually work up to the bell. He'll soon learn that nudging the bell brings him the reward of being let outside.

5. Find It

This is a great trick for dogs of all abilities, even those that might be less nimble or have sight or hearing problems. The "find it" trick teaches dogs to use their noses with purpose to find a hidden toy or treat. Start with one of their favorite toys. Don't hide it the first time. Put it somewhere your dog can see it and then say "find it" with enthusiasm. As soon as your dog picks up the toy, give him a treat. Do this a number of times before you hide the toy. Your dog will start looking around for the toy and eventually use his nose to flush it out.

Reveal Your Dog's Inner Puppy

It's amazing how much your older dog can do with a little encouragement. What's more, learning together is a fun and rewarding experience that will benefit you and your dog in so many ways. Above all else, have fun experimenting with your dog, push his limits a little and stop when he's had enough. You'll find his inner puppy in no time!

  • Dana S
Acclimating a New Dog With the Dog You Have

Acclimating a New Dog With the Dog You Have 0

Many people have dogs as pets and for those who think of their dogs as family (and well they should), sometimes it's better to have more than one. You probably have plenty of room in your heart for another dog but does your current dog feel the same?

Here are some tips on acclimating a new dog with the dog you have.

Take It Slow

Allow plenty of time for your dogs to get to know each other and do it in a safe environment. Always have control over both dogs - even if that means having someone help you. Allow them to see each other but don't rush things. And never just let your dogs loose together before they get along.

Use Neutral Territory

One way to preempt any fighting over territory is to have the two dogs meet on neutral ground and while leashed. Take both dogs for a walk and allow them to be near each other on a leash, away from home. Walk to a park, or with permission, use a neighbor's yard. Just keep them out of the house for a closer meeting at first.

If you feel they are getting along well, try it with the leashes dragging. Do this only in a secure place but allow plenty of room for them to get to know each other from a distance, if necessary. Always be ready to grab a leash at any time. And don't be off-leash in public places since it is typically against the law to do so.

Home Sweet Home

Once things are going well, try to let your dogs meet closer at home. First, try the yard if possible and then move into the house if things seem to be working out. Make sure the meetings aren't long at first. Short and sweet is the ticket to a more natural acclimation to each other. If you see the first signs of discord, remove the dogs from each other's space. The key is to be aware of how they are reacting at all times.

Continuing Acclimation

Once you have the dogs getting along, give it more time. Don't leave your dogs together without you being there. A fight can break out and you wouldn't be there to stop it. This doesn't have to be forever, just till the dogs are fully comfortable with each other and there's no growling, attacks, or fighting. This is where crates or even separate rooms come in handy.

  • Jennifer M