Beagle Howling: How To Stop It Now
A few months ago I was hit like a ton of bricks by my beagle howling. I remember it very well because I was watching the evening reruns of one of my favorite shows, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
In the faint distance, I could hear police sirens in the distance droning closer.
My dog, Skyler, and my neighbor’s dogs were both outside in their respective fenced-in areas.
As the police sirens rapidly approached then blazed on by; suddenly my beagle Skyler, let out a bellowing howl of likes I’ve never heard before.
Which lead me to wonder: Why do beagles howl, and how do I correct it?
The Reasons A Beagle May Be Howling
Being descendants of wolves, dogs howl as a method of communication and as a compass, if you will. In the wild, wolves and feral dogs howl to bring scouts back to the pack after a hunt. Dogs who remain behind howl to provide the location of their base. They may simply be expressing this instinctual behavior when prompted by something.
Injury or Discomfort
Problem: Just like humans, dogs howl to vocalize pain or sickness. Ever stubbed your toe on the coffee table? Exactly. Maybe they are too cold or too hot. Adjust the environment accordingly. Maybe bedding is soiled. Give him a clean, dry blanket. Perhaps they’re crated and really have to go to the bathroom.
Solution: Be mindful of your beagle’s bathroom breaks. Check on their overall comfort. They will make it very clear if something is amiss. However, If your beagle starts howling much more than usual, you should probably consult your veterinarian just to rule out any potential medical issues.
Problem: Hunting dog breeds that have plenty of energy such as beagles, howl to signal the pursuit or apprehension of prey. If a dog has treed, cornered or caught something, he may howl to alert his owners to the location of the prize. Good dog!
Solution: A busy beagle is a happy beagle, so give your dog some work to do. It could be as simple as learning to catch a Frisbee in midair, or as serious as search-and-rescue training. The idea is to keep your beagle’s mind and body busy with whatever task you choose. Obedience, agility, flyball, musical freestyle and tracking are great calorie-burning activities for you and your dog, whether you do it just for fun or decide to enter a competition. And it will give your beagle something to concentrate on besides howling.
Problem: Dog howling can be a response to environmental triggers. Common provocations include ambulance, police or fire-engine sirens. The sound of the police siren was the first and only time that my dog has ever howled.
Solution: Because this situation tends to be unpredictable, it is a little bit harder to control.
However, keeping or bringing your dog indoors if you know there will be noise outside that causes him to howl always helps. Use a fan or play music to provide white noise to combat outdoor sounds. Distract your pup with treats or with play, is always their favorite option.
Problem: Just like a kid, a howling dog may simply want attention. Some dog owners know that dogs can be as emotionally manipulative as any human. The sound of a dog howling attracts the attention of his owner. Maybe you dash across the house to see what’s wrong, only to find yourself greeted by a dog who wants to be played with. Go through this routine enough times and the dog will learn that howling is an effective way to bring you running.
Solution: The key to controlling this problem is to ignore it. Every time you give your dog attention when they howl, you teach him to howl when he wants something. You must be extremely consistent on never responding if you want to get it under control.
When they howl, don’t acknowledge them in any way. Turn away, look up or walk away if needed.
Be sure to immediately reward them, as soon as they are quiet. It can be hard to remember to do this, but when he’s being quiet is the time for attention and treats.
Problem: Beagles that don’t have toys or sufficient things to entertain them in your absence get sad, lonely and depressed. This kind of howling is usually accompanied by at least one other symptom of separation anxiety, such as pacing, destruction, elimination, depression or other signs of distress. Ever come home to a wrecked house? That may be a clear sign of anxiety.
Solution: The key to how to stop dog howling all centers around controlling anxiety. In minor details, simple distractions may be suitable. In severe cases, medication may be needed. Working with an animal behavior specialist may also help.
Problem: Beagles 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, like your home; some dogs howl when a stranger comes to the door or a new car pulls up in the driveway. The same principle applies.
Solution: Limit your dog’s ability to see or hear other people and animals. Use removable plastic film or glass coatings on windows and doors and use opaque fencing. Keep your dog indoors when you know there are others outside.
What Else Can Help Me Control My Beagle’s Howling?
Another option would be a dog-training collar, such as the Dog Care’s Dog Training Collar (on Amazon).
Of course, this doesn’t take place of proper training. This is to be used in conjunction with it.
For my beagle and I personally, I find that the beep and vibrate features are extremely effective. I also like that the vibrate or shock intensity is adjustable. Each feature acts independently of own another.
Determining what triggers your beagle howling will help you figure out how to minimize or stop the problem. To reduce what we consider “nuisance” howling, you first have to figure out why your beagle is doing it. It will take time, consistency, patience, and persistence to get the issue under control.
Just remember, it’s unrealistic to expect your dog to completely stop, especially a beagle. It may simply be just a part of them, you know?
And frankly, would you want them to stop vocalizing? I didn’t think so.
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