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Why Do Huskies Howl? Awoo!

While howling can be a trait of many dog breeds, it is a common behavior in huskies.

Naturally, dog owners adore their pets and tend to be fairly tolerant of their husky’s howling, but the loud noise can become irritating at times and lead dog owners (and their neighbors) to question both the reasoning behind the excessive howling and how to make it stop.

Although howling is an instinctual behavior derived from the close familial relationship with wolves, there are several triggers that can result in the howling of a husky.


Why Do Huskies Howl?

Huskies may begin howling as a means of expressing certain feelings such as pain, anxiety, or even happiness. But, there are often instinctual reasons for howling, such as the ability to be heard across long distances. Huskies also howl as it is their primary way of communicating. Additionally, huskies will often howl when they hear sounds that are loud or high-pitched.


Huskies Howl to Express Their Emotions

Huskies howl to express a full range of emotions from fear to excitement, so when your husky begins howling, you may question whether a threat may be approaching or if they are simply happy to see you.

Fortunately, when you observe a husky’s body language in conjunction with the howling, it is possible to better understand what they are trying to tell you.

When a husky is howling with their tail wagging back and forth as they jump up and greet you, obviously the howling is an expression of happiness.

The same goes if your husky howls when they are offered a treat or a leftover piece of steak.

However, huskies also howl as a way to warn those around them that a threat is approaching.

This is similar to how most dogs bark when a stranger knocks on the front door, except huskies often begin howling instead of barking.

When warning of potential danger, a husky will emit an especially loud howl coupled with a stiff posture and a cold stare towards the direction of the approaching threat.


Huskies Howl to Be Heard Across Long Distances

Even though it’s unnecessary for domesticated huskies to be heard across long distances, this is a long-held instinctual behavior that may be difficult for your husky to break.

Of course, they don’t need to howl to get your attention, so you walk from the living room to the kitchen to fill their food bowl. And yet, they do.

Blame it on genetics. A husky‘s tendency to howl is a trait that was passed down from wolf ancestors that often needed to communicate with members of the pack that were several miles away.

While barking is the default method for many dogs, huskies have continued to prefer howling as the sound produced is louder, easier to hear, and more likely to echo.


Huskies Howl to Communicate

Just as human beings talk, all animals have their own method of communication.

Sure, you’d likely prefer for your husky to have a slightly quieter way of talking, as the howls are almost the equivalent of screams, but this is simply how huskies once communicated with other members of the pack, and it’s now the way that they communicate with you.

The howling may be their way of telling you that they are hungry, sick, or in pain.

It may simply be how they tell you that they are glad to see you walk in through the door after work.

Although the sound may make you cover your ears at moments and scold your husky, the howling may one day warn you of a burglar or house fire, and subsequently save your life.


Huskies Howl When They Hear High-Pitched Noises

As a dog owner, this may be your first suspicion when you hear a husky howl.

Even dogs that have a higher propensity to barking than to howling are still known to howl at the sound of fireworks before hiding underneath the bed.

Although huskies howl for many other reasons, it is pure instinct for them to howl when they hear loud, high-pitched noises like a baby crying.

From an ancestral perspective, huskies would howl to signify when they were distressed or had strayed from the pack and become lost.

The loud echoing howl would be emitted to notify the other pack members of their location.

True, your husky doesn’t need to tell you where they are every time an ambulance drives by the house, but the loud noise from the siren may hurt their ears, and cause them to feel momentary distress.


Frequently Asked Questions About Why Huskies Howl


Are Huskies Sad When They Howl?

Possibly, but not necessarily. They often howl to communicate with other dogs and with their owners, who are now considered to be their ‘pack’. If another husky is present, your husky will likely emit a howl as a means of identification with the other dog. However, huskies do howl to express their emotions, but you have to read the accompanying body language to completely determine how your husky is feeling.


How Do I Stop My Husky From Howling When Left Alone?

Behavioral modification is the short answer. If you pretend that you are about to leave your house and offer a treat provided the howling doesn’t begin, eventually your dog will learn that not howling means that they will be rewarded and they’ll discontinue the behavior.


Why Doesn’t My Husky Howl?

Huskies don’t begin howling until after they are several weeks old, so if your husky is still a pup, that’s the likely reason. Prior training, sickness, discomfort, and simply being a mild-natured dog are also possible explanations for the lack of howling.



Most dogs bark, but only howl occasionally. However, with  huskies, howling is the norm.

Although it is possible to reduce the howling through training and behavioral modification, howling is an instinctual behavior of huskies that is to be expected.

Just consider yourself lucky to be a valued member of ‘the pack’ that your husky finds important enough to communicate with and protect when necessary.

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