How To Stop A Husky From Howling: 5 Reasons They Howl

If you want to learn how to stop a husky from howling, you’ve come to the right place.

There are two ways to stop huskies howling; the first involves training them to stop howling by command, and the second is to meet their other needs so howling becomes less likely in the first place. It isn’t sensible to stop a husky howling completely, though, as it is a natural behavior for them to exhibit.

In this guide, I’ll take you through the two ways you can use to stop your husky from howling and also explore the reasons why you shouldn’t stop them howling completely.

Let’s get into it.

5 Why Huskies Howl In The First Place

When it comes to stopping your husky from howling, it’s important to understand why they are howling in the first place.

This can help you understand if there is a problem or if your husky is stubborn, making it easier to deal with the howling appropriately rather than simply commanding them to be quiet.

1. Communication

As one of the closest descendants to the Taimyr Wolves who used howling as one of their primary forms of communication, it’s no surprise that huskies also use howling to communicate.

Howling is used to attract attention, make contact with others, and announce their presence, amongst other things.

In a domestic setting, howling might seem pointless, but it is still a big part of a husky’s identity.

2. Separation Anxiety

A common reason for excessive howling is separation anxiety.

Huskies are particularly prone to separation anxiety, a condition where they can develop destructive or unwanted behaviors like howling or chewing when left alone for long periods.

This one is important to remember because you need to deal with the problem by making your husky more comfortable spending time alone.

3. Vocal Breed

Many dog breeds howl, but huskies are one of the most vocal.

Not only do they howl, but they also cry, whine, and even talk to their owners. Anyone who owns a husky will know exactly what I’m talking about; sometimes your husky will howl, cry, or talk to you simply because they want to – there doesn’t always have to be a specific reason.

A husky sat in the snow howling

Hearing a high-pitched sound or certain songs can get them riled up and set them off howling.

4. Excitement

Huskies are a very excitable breed because of how much energy they have. It’s easy for a husky to get excited about something as small as their breakfast or going for a morning walk and then start howling to express their excitement.

They can also be easily encouraged to howl by their owners. You can try this yourself: walk up to your husky, give them lots of praise, get them excited, and then start howling, there’s a good chance they will copy you and howl.

5. Tantrums

Huskies throw tantrums pretty often, and one sign that your husky is throwing a tantrum is if they start to howl excessively without listening to you.

Tantrums can be caused by lots of things, like hunger or thirst, or they can be due to boredom or even anxiety.

When Howling Can Become A Problem

Howling becomes a problem when it is excessive and hard to tell your husky to stop.

If your husky doesn’t listen to your commands, you’ll find that they will continue howling until they’ve had enough, which is not an ideal outcome.

When you combine this with how stubborn huskies can be and how strong their pack mentality is, it’s a recipe for the excessive howling to continue over a long period.

In these cases, learning how to stop a husky from howling is crucial.

How To Stop A Husky From Howling

Stopping your husky howling when it becomes excessive is an important skill to learn if you want to have success keeping huskies.

It will also save you a lot of stress further down the line. Here are two methods you need to know for stopping your husky howling.

Method 1 – Addressing Howling When It Happens

When your husky starts to howl, ignore them completely.

A lot of the time, huskies will howl for your attention, and they will be expecting a reaction. If you don’t react at all, it will condition them to not howl as much for attention.

After a while of doing this, you can start to practice a ‘Stop’ command. If your husky is howling, go up to them and say ‘Stop’ and wait for them to be quiet.

Once they have been quiet for a few seconds at least, reward them with their favorite treat and lots of praise.

This can take a while to get the hang of, especially with huskies, which are not the easiest dog breed to train to start with.

Keep practicing this, and eventually, your husky will figure out that they are rewarded for stopping howling and being quiet. This, combined with ignoring them at first, will gradually discourage them from howling in the future.

Method 2 – Making Howling Less Likely

Once you’ve trained your husky to listen to you when you tell them to stop howling, it’s a good idea to address other problems that might be causing them to howl in the first place.

This will ensure that you address any underlying issues your husky might be facing, rather than telling them to stop howling every time they do without giving it a second thought.

Here are some tips for doing that:

Meet Their Mental & Physical Needs

If your husky is physically and mentally satisfied, they won’t resort to howling as a means for getting your attention as often.

Huskies do love attention, but it’s essential to give it to them in healthy ways.

Make sure they get at least 2 hours of exercise each day and include other mentally stimulating activities like obedience training or puzzle toys to play with.

Help Them With Separation Anxiety

If your husky howls excessively when left alone, they likely suffer from separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is quite complex, but you can ease their symptoms by giving them lots of toys and ensuring they are mentally and physically tired before leaving them for long periods.

You can also slowly build up the amount of time they spend alone to help them get used to spending time on their own.

You can find full details of this in our guide on husky separation anxiety here.

Why Distraction Isn’t Good For Long Term Success

I’ve seen dog owners do this often because it is ‘easier’ – your husky starts howling, so you distract them with a treat or their favorite toy.

This does work well in the short term, i.e., it gets them to stop howling, which is the primary goal, but it can also reinforce the behavior.

However, from your husky’s point of view, they are being rewarded for howling. One moment, they were howling, and the next, you give them their favorite treat or toy.

Using a command in between and waiting for them to be quiet counteracts this and reinforces them being quiet and following the order rather than being rewarded for howling.

Why You Shouldn’t Stop Your Husky Howling All The Time

You shouldn’t stop your husky howling all of the time because it isn’t fair to them.

Howling is natural and one of the main ways huskies communicate; in the wild, huskies would howl very frequently.

If you stop your husky howling every time they do so, they may become more reserved and unhappy. It also makes it difficult to tell when they are howling just because they feel like it versus when there is an actual reason.

What If My Husky Doesn’t Howl At All In The First Place?

If your husky doesn’t howl at all, this should be a cause for concern.

Some huskies can be quieter than others due to their personality, but not howling at all can be a sign of anxiety or trauma from past experiences.

In Summary

If your husky howls excessively, it’s important to figure out what is happening in the first place.

As long as there isn’t an underlying issue like separation anxiety, you can start training them to stop howling under command.

Meeting their exercise needs and providing mental stimulation will reduce the likelihood of them howling in the first place, as well as ignoring them when they start to howl and not giving them attention.

Remember, it’s natural for huskies to howl, so don’t be too hard on them for it.

Photo of author

About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

Read More

Leave a comment