Howling is a common attribute among Siberian Huskies, but there may be several reasons why Huskies howl instead of bark. All Huskies may howl from time to time, but some owners may find that their dogs howl more often than other dogs.
Table of Contents
- Why do Huskies howl instead of bark?
- Why Don’t Huskies Bark Much?
- Why Huskies Howl Like Wolves
- Why Don’t All Huskies Howl
Why do Huskies howl instead of bark?
Huskies howl because they may be descended from prehistoric wolves, which howled as a way of communicating. Some other reasons why Huskies howl may be in response to another howl or high-pitched sound to make sure their sound carries over a long distance and when they are anxious.
In this guide, we can help you find out why Huskies howl, why they don’t bark very much, and why don’t all Huskies howl.
As a dog lover, I have cared for a variety of breeds of dogs, including Huskies, and understand their traits and behavior. If you are concerned about why your Husky howls, this guide can give you some peace of mind.
Why Don’t Huskies Bark Much?
Unlike most dog breeds, Huskies don’t bark much. It is completely possible for your Husky to bark, but this behavior is not very common in this breed.
Typically, barking is a type of territorial behavior. Dogs will bark when something or someone unfamiliar comes in close distance to the dog, its family, or its owners. In this case, barking is often a vocal warning.
Huskies, however, are not territorial dogs and do not have heightened protective instincts like other dogs. This is the reason why Huskies don’t bark very much.
Also because of these reasons, Huskies are not the best guard dogs. If someone comes uninvited into your property, your Husky won’t bark. In fact, since these dogs have a very friendly nature, they might just as well befriend the intruder.
Why Huskies Howl Like Wolves
It is believed that Siberian Huskies are a breed of dogs that are closely related to wild wolves. The analysis of Husky DNA shows that it shares some of its genes with the North Asian Taimyr wolf which roamed the continent about 27,000 to 40,000 years ago.
Aside from their genetic heritage, there are various reasons why your Husky can decide to suddenly start howling.
Responding to Another Howl
If your Husky hears another Husky or dog howling, they may startle you by suddenly howling themselves. If you want to experience this phenomenon, then you should play a video of a Husky howling and see how your own dog responds. It can be quite fun.
It is instinctual for Huskies to howl to get themselves known to another Husky. Just as wolves howl to provide their location to other wolves, your Husky will likely do the same.
Responding to High-Pitched Sounds
Another reason a Husky will howl is if they hear a high-pitched sound. This is because a high-pitched sound signals a call for help for them. As such, if you have a baby at your home, your Husky may howl if the baby starts to cry.
All of this is due to their instincts. Even if your puppy was born in a shelter and has never experienced life as a dog pack, they are genetically ingrained to respond this way.
It’s not just a baby crying that can trigger these responses. Your host may also start howling if they hear the siren of an ambulance, police car, fire engine, or emergency alarm.
Better Communication in the Wild
The prehistoric wild wolves used to communicate with their pack over long distances by howling. Unlike barking, a howl lasts for a longer time, is louder than a bark, and takes less effort to make.
It is also less likely to echo so other wolves could hear it from far away and will know the approximate location of the wolf that was howling.
Because of these things, wolves developed a strong instinct to howl when in danger or when they needed the protection of other wolves.
Although Huskies no longer need to howl to communicate in the wild, this instinctive trait is still coded in their genes.
Signs of Anxiety or Ill Health
If your Husky is howling on a constant basis, it may be a signal that it is in pain or is stressed or anxious. If you cannot determine the cause, you should take your dog to a vet and get them checked for any health issues.
Huskies may be susceptible to genetic and chronic diseases like eye diseases and hip dysplasia. If the Husky is experiencing pain from a stomach ache or an injury, it may also start howling.
Huskies require a lot of TLC from their owners. If the owner of a Husky is away from their pet for a long time, your dog will start to feel lonely and abandoned. This is particularly true for Huskies since they are very sociable. That is why it is not a good idea for busy people to adopt Huskies.
If your dog feels abandoned, it may result in a sense of anxiety, which will result in howling to call the owner back home.
These dogs are very outgoing so they require a close bond and lots of love from their owner and thrive in a family environment.
Sign They Are Happy
The thing with Huskies is that they do not just howl when they are in pain or anxious; they also howl when they are happy. If your Husky makes a high-pitched howl, it means they feel happy.
You will notice that if they see a dog or a person they are familiar with after a long time, they will howl happily. However, you can differentiate this behavior from pained or anxious behavior by seeing the big smiles on their faces. The howl itself also sounds different from a howl of pain or loneliness.
A Signal of Danger
Huskies, like all dogs, have a well-honed sixth sense when it comes to danger. This may be due to their heightened sense of hearing and smell.
When Huskies sense danger, they may try to alert their master by howling. In this case, the howl is meant to get the attention of the owner and lead them away from the danger zone. Even though Huskies don’t make great guard dogs, they have very high adaptive intelligence, which means they are very capable of spotting a threat.
When this happens, they will alert their family, instead of attacking the culprit or protecting their owner.
Why Don’t All Huskies Howl
Although howling is a common trait of the breed, it is not necessary that all Huskies howl. This could be because your Husky does not feel the need to communicate or is not in pain or anxious.
In addition, dog vocalization is genetic. Since the Husky is a popular breed of dog, you will find many genetic differences even in one single breed.
This means that some lines of Huskies will be more genetically predisposed to howl than other lines.
To find out whether your Husky will howl, ask your dog breeder whether the parents of the puppy howl, at which age they started to howl and when you should expect your own Husky to howl.