Why Dogs Bark, Whine, and Howl?

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Why Dogs Bark, Whine, And HowlEvery species in the animal kingdom communicates, including canines. For our four-legged friends, that communication can vary; for instances, when your furry pal wags his tail, it’s likely that he’s telling you he’s very happy; when the hair along his back stands up, he might be telling you that he’s afraid or defensive; or when he snarls and shows his teeth, chances are that he’s saying he’s ready to attack.

In addition to these non-verbal forms of communication, canines can also be extremely vocal; barking, whining, and howling are the three most common forms of verbal communication among our furry friends. Some pups seldom make noise, while others can spend their entire day talking away. Whether you’re pup is generally quite or a loud mouth, wouldn’t it be nice to know what the noise he makes mean?  Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common causes of barking, whining, howling and a few tips that you can use to settle your furry pal.


For some dogs, barking, whining, and howling is a cry for attention; maybe he wants something he can’t access on his own, or perhaps he just wants some TLC. When he starts being vocal, investigate to see what he wants. For instance, he may be barking because he wants to go out, in which case you can strap on his dog harness and head out for a walk. Or, maybe he wants to play; if so, you grab some interactive dog toys, puzzle toys for dogs, or a rope and tug toy and just have some fun with your pooch.


Canines are very protective of their territories and their pack members (which of course, includes you). If your pup believes that something is infringing on his territory, he might start barking or howling to assert his dominance and scare of whomever is invading his space. For example, Fido may start yapping when someone walks past your house, near his dog house or dog crate, or even when a leaf falls on your yard. To avoid protection barking, try to limit sight and sound by installing window treatments or a privacy fence, for example. You can also teach your canine companion to associate the presence of others with something positive by offering him dog treats or by giving him some extra play time with you and his favorite plush dog toy, for example.  

Anxiety and Fear

If your dog barks, whines, or howls when you leave the house, he may be suffering from separation anxiety or fear. Try offering him some medications for dogs or CBD oil for dogs to help ease his fear and thus, his anxiety. Or, simply offering him a dog blanket or an article of clothing with your scent on it may help to calm him.

These are just some of the reasons why your furry family member might be barking, howling, or whining. To accurately determine the root cause for all the commotion and to learn ways you can help your puppy pal get a handle on all the noise, speak with your veterinarian or a pet trainer.

Image Source: Dogster