The natural instincts of dogs have been a topic of interest for years.
Their adaptations over the years have probably changed drastically, but in some breeds, you can definitely recognize those traits from their ancestors.
Hi dog moms and dads! My name is Bri, and I am a loving dog mom to my American Bulldog, Bruce.
While I do not know much about his lineage, I can only imagine that his ancestors were chubby and sleepy all the time.
Huskies are definitely one of the dog breeds that carry traits from their ancestors to this day. Digging holes in the yard to burrow in, playing in the snow, and especially howling.
When I owned a husky, she loved to howl. She was one of the most vocal dogs I have ever owned, and would howl whenever she was excited, wanted to go outside, or just wanted attention.
Little to my knowledge, this is something that is very common in the breed! I knew Nala loved to howl, but I never really knew why.
Nala was the only Husky I ever owned, so it made me wonder if howling was something I accidentally taught her or if it was something she was able to learn on her own.
I did a little research and found out that Huskies know how to howl from the day they were born!
It takes a little practice, but howling is in their DNA. Let’s take a look at where Huskies and howling started.
History of Huskies
Huskies originated in northeastern Asia where the intense winters made life much harder for locals. The dogs were able to carry loads of supplies, making their chances of survival much higher.
The first Huskies were domesticated in this area and were crossed with wild wolves. Eventually, they were bred entirely as domesticated dogs.
They took what they learned from their wolf ancestors and used that in their own packs. In those cold, harsh winters, it could be hard for dogs to communicate.
High winds made it impossible to hear a short bark, but howling carried the sound for miles so they could hear each other.
This was especially helpful when a dog would get separated, or if a person was returning to a settlement and got lost.
Eventually, sled races gained popularity and Huskies became famous for their speed and agility in these races. However, some are still used to carry loads like they did in the old days.
Now, huskies are popular companions all over the world not just for their love of winter sports, but also for their companionship and fun personalities.
Why Do Huskies Howl
Huskies are closely related to wolves, possibly even closer than any other dog breed. Their howls are how they communicate with other packs.
Howls carry sound further than barking, which helps wolves figure out where the howl is coming from.
While Huskies do not necessarily need to communicate in that way anymore, it is part of their natural instinct to communicate by howling.
Some Huskies will even respond to other noises that sound a bit like howling. My dog would always respond to sirens in the area, just like the dog in this video below!
Similar instances happen when babies cry, or when people sing. Husky puppies especially try to howl to communicate, and it can be incredibly cute to watch them try for the first time.
Basically, communication in dogs is done in many different ways but Huskies just prefer to howl! It is part of their personality that makes them so unique.
Types of Huskies Howls
I remember my Husky having different types of howls for different reasons. Her howling at sirens sounded much different than her howling to let me know she wanted to go outside.
She would also have a fainter, vibrato howl when she just wanted attention. There are many ways in which huskies howl, and most of them you can hear a big difference in!
You can tell the difference of when the dogs are standing by the door and multiple ones are howling at once from when one is just sitting on the couch asking for love.
I called Nala’s attention howling singing, because it was not as forceful of a howl as her normal voice.
When Huskies are excited, their howls seem to be shorter and not as loud.
However, when they are trying to communicate with each other or hear other dogs howling, that seems to be when they really draw out the howl for a nice long hello!
The last video I want to share is probably my favorite, because it shows an entire family of Huskies communicating with each other by howling. They are adorable and I couldn’t help but share!
Why do Huskies Talk?
So obviously Huskies do not actually talk, but there have been instances where it sounds like they do! Huskies are famous for being able to say “I love you” to their owners, like the dog in the video below!
I do want to point out how that dog’s owner sounds when he is trying to get the dog to respond. If you notice in the beginning, he is talking in a normal voice and the husky does not respond.
However, when he makes his voice higher and more “song-like,” the Husky starts to respond. Huskies will mimic the sounds they hear to try to communicate, which is likely what is happening in this video!
Can you Train a Husky to Howl?
Absolutely! While it is already a natural instinct, often there are times where Huskies need to be sort of reminded that they can howl. Especially if they are the only one in the home.
The best way to train a Husky to howl is to howl at them! They normally will respond by howling back, and you can then reward them so they associate the treat with the howling.
Once you get them familiar with howling, you could be surprised at just how much they start to howl for your attention. Especially when treats are involved!
It is best to start this training when your Husky is young so they learn the trick right away.
However, with how prominent this trait is in Huskies, it is not impossible for them to start howling later on in life if they do not already do it on their own.
Can you Train a Husky NOT to Howl?
Honestly, I do not know why anyone would want to train their dog not to howl. However, with some patience, it is definitely possible.
The best way to do so is to ignore their howling. They howl for a reason, most likely for attention or to be let outside.
By not rewarding them when the howl and teaching them other methods of communication, you can help train them not to howl when they want something.
Other methods you could teach them is to sit by the door when they need to go outside!
Eventually, your Husky will stop howling when they realize they are not getting the attention they want. That is when you should reward them!
They will soon associate their behavior with yours, and this could help them stop howling. However you definitely need to be patient with them.
Howling is something they are naturally inclined to do, so it might take a while to break that habit.
Final Thoughts on Why Do Huskies Howl
Huskies have some of the most playful personalities and love to be vocal.
Their communication with each other is always entertaining for us, but it really is interesting to see how they have carried this trait with them for generations.
Some dogs bark to communicate which is completely normal. But Huskies have learned this form of communication for decades, and probably will continue that trait for decades to come.
If you like the thought of a vocal, singing dog, then a Husky could be a great fit for you! However if you prefer a quieter dog, than this breed might not be the best choice.
Either way, hopefully this helps you learn a little bit more about why Huskies howl! Happy Pup Parenting!