Why Do Huskies Howl and What Does It Mean?

by Stuart | Last Updated:   September 21, 2020

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Huskies are one of the most sought after dogs in the world. They have incredible personalities, their personality is complimented by their intelligence and charm.

Our Huskies, as smart as they are, can sometimes behave strangely and this raises a few questions. One of the most common questions is “why do huskies howl?” Well, let’s get into it.

The reason why huskies howl so much is because of their close genetic make-up to their ancestors, the wolf. It is used as a form of communication as it was by their ancestors. Huskies usually reserve barking as a form of aggression or to convey something to their owner.

You are most likely reading this post for one of two reasons. Maybe you are here because you have a Husky and are looking for answers regarding their strange mannerisms.

Or maybe you are looking at getting yourself a Husky. Regardless, in this article, we will be discussing you everything you need to know about why Huskies howl.

husky howling in middle of winter field

Are Huskies Descended From Wolves?

To understand the personalities of Huskies, more specifically, why they howl, we need to understand where they come from. 

Huskies were bred a few thousand years ago. They were bred to be working dogs in the harsh arctic conditions of Siberia.

While almost all dogs can trace their lineage to the Gray Wolf, it is thought that huskies might have a different ancestor. Studies indicate that Huskies and similar breeds are descendants of the extinct, Tamyr Wolf.

Why Do Huskies Howl?

As we mentioned, Huskies howl as their main form of communication. This is a trait that is passed down from their wolf ancestors.

While almost all dogs share the same ancestors, we need to understand that huskies have been living and working in different ways to most other dogs.

Like their ancestors, Huskies work as a team. This is what they were bred for. Most other dogs were domesticated as companions and/or guard dogs. So Huskies and other working dogs have kept the howling trait as their main way of communicating.

I want to go a little bit more in-depth with this. We are going to look at some of the reasons your Husky is howling.

The reason Why your Husky is Howling

There can be various reasons why your Husky is howling, below is a list of reasons and explanations.

They are announcing themselves:

If your Husky is randomly howling at nothing in the garden, he is most probably just announcing himself to other dogs in the area. 

They want attention:

This is not in the sense that we normally say “they are just looking for attention”. We need to remember that like their ancestors, Huskies have been working in packs for thousands of years. It is in their genes to be around family. If you leave your Husky alone or if you don’t give them attention, they will start howling so that you can hear where they are and hopefully come to them.

They are trying to tell you that it is time for something:

This could be for food or for an activity like walking or any activity that you normally do with your dog.

They want you to see something:

If your Husky decides that something needs to be looked at by other members of the pack, in this case, you, they will howl to get your attention.

They are talking to other dogs in the area:

Don’t think of this as a conversation. The way dogs communicate is often through the tone or sound of their howl or bark. They could be signalling or responding to just about anything. Or, again, they could be announcing themselves.

Separation anxiety:

Again, Huskies are pack dogs, they don’t normally like being separated from the pack. You and your family are their packs and you are their family. They will often howl when someone from the family is not home at a time when they are usually home.

Those were just a few possible reasons why your Husky starts howling. There could be many more reasons.

Funny Husky Howling Compilation

Should You Be Worried If Your Husky Howls?

Well, if he or she seems aggressive then maybe you should be but in general, no you should not be worried. You might actually want to feel pretty chuffed, here’s why.

Huskies tend to reserve their howling to communicate amongst the pack. If your Husky howls at you, it means that you are part of their pack.

This means you are family and when an animal does that, it is a compliment.

If your dog seems anxious, you might have to see if something is wrong. Try and think of any changes that have taken place in your home that could be making your dog anxious.

In my experience though, if something is wrong, your husky will actually stop howling. That takes us into our next section.

Why Your Husky Is Not Howling

Hey, so maybe you have just brought a Husky to your home to become a new member of the family and he is not howling. Or maybe your dog has been with you for a while and just suddenly stopped howling.

There might be a few reasons, some that need more looking into than others. Here are a few reasons why your Husky is not howling.

They are not comfortable with their surroundings:

This will be especially true if your Husky is still new to the family. It will take some time for the dog to get comfortable and accept that you are part of the pack or for them to consider themselves as part of the pack.

Depression:

Dogs can be very sensitive, especially to change. Maybe you are spending less time at home or you have a new person/pet in the home that the Husky does not like. This one should be obvious but Huskies do not react well to the loss of a friend or family member.

Injury and/or sickness:

Howling can consume a fair amount of energy and if a dog is not feeling well, it can reserve its energy in case of emergencies. If you think your dog is ill, go see a vet.  They should be able to tell you what is wrong with the dog. 

Previous training:

This is generally for older dogs. Your Husky might have been trained not to be noisy. If you are adopting an older dog, it is best to get as many details as possible about the dog first.

I know that it could be stressful trying to find out what is wrong with our dogs but the best thing you can do is be patient with them. If there have been any changes around the house, give them time to adapt.

If you are spending less time at home, consider getting the dog a companion.

If you do decide to get a new companion for your Husky, you might have to give it some time for the Husky to accept the new family member. This is because, like their wolf ancestors, they don’t easily just accept strangers into the pack. 

Conclusion

Our dogs can sometimes really be our best friends. They put up with so much from us and sometimes we need to remember to put up with them.

Dogs can be some of the best teachers of unconditional love, and we humans can learn a lot from their compassion and kindness. 

If your Husky howls, a lot, and your neighbours are complaining, you can always get proper training, like this course here, but if not, just enjoy it.

Understand that they are part of your family and also need to communicate with you, just like everyone else in the family.

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Continue Reading:

  1. Flea Shampoo for Huskies
  2. Do Huskies Shed?
  3. Foods for Husky with a Sensitive Stomach
Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.
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