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Why Dogs Howl: The Ancient Language of Canines

Ever heard your dog howl and wondered if they were channeling their inner wolf? Well, you might not be too far off! Here’s why your dog might be howling away.

Dog howling at the moon, illustrating the ancestral and emotional reasons discussed in Riverview Grooming's blog.

Connection to Ancestry

Howling is deeply rooted in a dog's ancestral DNA, a way to communicate over long distances with their pack.

Appreciate the call of the wild! A howl now and then connects your dog to their ancient roots.

Signaling Presence

Dogs often howl to alert other dogs of their presence, marking their territory without having to confront another animal physically.

If your dog howls at sirens or other loud noises, consider using positive reinforcement to teach them when it's appropriate.

Seeking Attention

Yes, your dog might be a bit of a drama queen. Howling can be their way of saying, "Look at me!"

If your dog is howling for attention, make sure they have enough physical and mental stimulation.

Emotional State

Some dogs howl when they are anxious, stressed, or even excited. Understanding the triggers can help you address the underlying issues.

Identify stressors that trigger howling and try to eliminate or mitigate them. Comfort objects or calming music might help.


From ancestral calls to seeking attention, the reasons dogs howl are as varied as the breeds themselves. Understand these, and you can better communicate with your four-legged friend.

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