When people think of huskies, one of their first thoughts is usually their loud, talkative personality. However, that’s not always the case.
Huskies are usually very vocal dogs, for better and for worse. If your husky has suddenly stopped howling, it may be worth looking into, as it could be a sign that they are sick or depressed. However, there’s nothing to worry about if you have a naturally quiet husky. In fact, you may be grateful!
Read on to discover why huskies howl, the top reasons huskies don’t howl, and ways to get your husky to howl.
- Do All Huskies Howl?
- Is It Bad That My Husky Doesn’t Howl?
- 8 Top Reasons Why Your Husky Doesn’t Howl
- Can You Make Your Husky Howl (or Howl Again)?
- In Summary
Do All Huskies Howl?
Huskies are one of the closest descendants to Taimyr Wolves, who commonly used howling as a mode of communication.
So, as most husky owners know, huskies tend to follow this pattern; howling, crying, whining, & barking (sometimes) to tell you how they really feel.
However, contrary to popular belief, not all huskies hold this trait. Although it is ubiquitous in the breed, some huskies seem to miss this personality trait.
Is It Bad That My Husky Doesn’t Howl?
In short, it’s not always a bad thing if your husky doesn’t howl.
Just like how some huskies have a lower tendency to run away, or some are less stubborn, some huskies are naturally less talkative or vocal. Your husky could have been lower in the pack, which led them to be shy or quieter than their bossy siblings.
However, the long answer to this question is that it depends on why your husky doesn’t howl. Read below for the top reasons that huskies don’t howl.
8 Top Reasons Why Your Husky Doesn’t Howl
There are many reasons why your husky might not howl or has stopped howling.
Let’s go through the eight most common reasons so you can figure out why your husky isn’t howling.
1. Individual Personality
As stated previously, some huskies are just naturally quieter.
Some owners would actually call this lucky! If your husky is quiet, just make sure they are still happy, playful, and energetic. If this is the case, then they are likely healthy but quiet.
Some experts believe this is a good personality trait because when they are vocal, you know it will be for something important. This is unlike other huskies, who can sometimes be quite dramatic.
2. Not Comfortable in Their Environment
A large reason huskies stop howling is that they are unsure of their environment. Just like a wolf in an unknown territory, your husky needs to feel comfortable and confident before they start announcing themselves.
If you recently changed your environment, routine, or family structure, expect that your husky’s behavior will change.
Huskies are incredibly susceptible to changes, which can be quite stressful for them. Because of this, they may be quiet until they feel more comfortable with the change.
3. A Sign of Age
Whether your husky is a young puppy or an old chap, they may not howl.
Although it can take longer, husky puppies usually begin howling from 4-8 weeks. What usually starts as a high-pitched howl slowly grows into a full-strength howl.
On the other side of the spectrum, old huskies may slowly stop howling in correlation with their declined ability to hear.
Usually, huskies howl in response to triggers in their environment, be it a siren, you getting their food, you waking up, someone walking a dog, etc. If they can’t hear very well, they won’t respond to stimuli as strongly.
As your older husky’s health begins to decline, they may stop howling in response to this as well. Read below to see how health affects a husky’s ability to howl.
Imagine you aren’t feeling well. How likely are you to bolt out a Mariah Carey song? The same goes for your husky.
A husky’s decrease in howling, especially combined with other symptoms like lethargy or lack of appetite, could be a sign of an underlying health issue and should be checked out by a veterinarian.
Huskies are prone to depression, as they are very energetic and intelligent dogs.
Depression in huskies can be caused by many things, like grief, change of routine, change in environment, insufficient exercise, boredom, etc.
Because boredom and depression can lead to lethargy in dogs, your husky might have stopped talking because they feel unhopeful. Read on to see how to fix this and return your husky to its happy, “howly” self.
6. Previous Experiences
There are a couple of previous experiences that would stop your husky from howling.
- You’ve trained them to stop talking without realising it. If you reward them when they are quiet, your husky might eventually learn that being quiet is a good thing. They are a very intelligent breed, so this is quite likely.
- They’ve had a bad experience with howling in the past. If your husky is rescued, they may have learned that howling leads to punishment. Therefore, they are more likely to be quiet.
7. Lack Of Energy
Sometimes your husky might simply be too tired to howl.
This can happen from time to time, especially after a long walk or run, or other intense physical exercises.
Make the most of this time, as it’s likely the only time you’ll get a break from your husky!
8. Vocal Cord Strain
If your husky is an excessive howler, they might overdo it and damage their vocal cords.
This can happen from time to time and usually lasts for a day or two, but if the problem persists, we recommend getting in touch with your veterinarian.
Can You Make Your Husky Howl (or Howl Again)?
Unless your dog has been previously punished for howling, you can likely get them to do it again. Here are some ways to do it:
For better or worse, you can always train them. However, it may come with unintended consequences, and you may start a habit that you’ll soon regret.
The best way to train a husky to howl is through positive reinforcement. When they howl, reward them (treat, affection, etc.). Eventually, they will combine howling with a positive output and begin doing it more.
A good way to start your training is by imitating a howling sound or playing a high-pitched noise. Sounds like sirens, other dogs howling, or high-pitched instruments will likely make your husky howl.
You are playing with fire with this technique, though, because if your husky responds well to the training, you may encourage excessive howling.
If they’re young, you may want to wait it out. Puppies go through two fear stages in their development where things are scarier than before. Therefore, your husky puppy may not be feeling brave or confident enough to share their opinions.
In addition, they may not know how to howl yet. Especially if you got your husky really young (which is not recommended), they might not have learned that behavior yet. Use the training methods above to teach them.
Keep them Happy
Huskies are one of the most demanding breeds, as they are highly intelligent, stubborn, and energetic. The best ways to keep your husky happy are to:
- Exercise them for 2 hours a day. Try to make it intensive and interactive so they work their muscles and their minds. You can find tips for tiring your husky out here.
- Give them time to adjust to new situations or surroundings.
- Give them mental stimulation. Through training and mental stimulation toys, your husky will be kept happy.
- Don’t leave them alone for too long. Huskies are notoriously bad at being alone for too long, so try not to leave them alone for more than 4 hours at a time. Hire a dog walker or visit them during your lunch break to break up time spent alone.
Take Them to the Vet
If you haven’t recently made a change in your routine or environment and your husky has stopped howling, you should probably take them to their vet.
Changed behavior like howling is alarming and, when combined with other symptoms, can be a sign of something serious.
Huskies can be quiet for many reasons, some worrisome while others are entirely normal.
If you have any concerns, it is best to talk to a registered vet to get to bottom of it.
Most of the time, it’s not a big deal, but if your husky has suddenly stopped howling completely, there is probably more to it, and a vet can point you in the right direction.