Here’s a little secret that all husky parents learn at some point: huskies love to howl, but they don’t bark very much. To those who are new to huskies, that might seem a little unsettling. But rest assured, it’s normal.
In this article, we’re going to help you understand all about why huskies howl. Plus, if the howling gets a bit excessive, we’ll show you a few quick tips on how to train them not to howl as much.
Let’s get started.
Why do huskies howl?
Let’s begin by understanding why huskies howl in the first place. If you look at the ancestry of a husky, you’ll find that they are descended all the way down from wolves. Try and compare pictures of huskies and wolves side by side, and you’ll discover plenty of similarities. Other than aesthetics, they also share their preference for howling as their primary form of communication.
Howling is an effective form of communication for animals like wolves and huskies because it’s easier for their ears to hear over long distances. Much like wolves, howling allows huskies to find each other even in the vast wilderness (or from the other side of the neighborhood!).
Why don’t huskies bark?
Huskies do bark indeed, they just don’t do it as much as other breeds. The reason for that is simple: they’re used to other forms of communication. Just as humans speak many different languages, dogs kind of do the same thing as well.
So, when it comes to huskies, they tend to howl, ‘speak’, or whine instead of barking all the time. They’re capable of barking as other dogs do, they’re just more used to howling instead.
Why doesn’t my husky howl at all?
Having said that, why do some huskies not howl at all? Don’t worry! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them. If your husky is still a pup, it’s possible that they haven’t had the chance to learn or practice howling yet. Or, they might just have a quieter personality, just like how some humans are introverts and prefer keeping to themselves.
However, if they’re slightly older and do not howl, it might be a symptom of another problem. Perhaps they’re uncomfortable with their environment or feel depressed. Injuries can also cause your husky to sit quietly.
If you suspect this is the case for your husky, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for more advice.
How to train a husky not to howl
If you feel like your husky is howling excessively, there are ways to train them to do it less. There are three basic methods that you can choose from: ignoring, redirecting, or exercising. Let’s take a closer look at each one:
With this approach, you essentially ignore your husky when they howl. Don’t acknowledge the husky’s behavior, stop all rewarding or attention-giving, and wait until they do something else. When the howling stops, then you can resume playing or rewarding them. That will signal to the husky that howling is not a preferred activity they should be doing.
Using this approach, you’ll train them to recognize an order to be quiet and associate it with a reward. Something as simple as telling the husky to be quiet after they’ve stopped howling and rewarding them for it will slowly condition them to understand the instruction. So, the next time they start howling, and you tell them to be quiet, they’ll interrupt their behavior immediately.
Huskies are an active breed, so they’re naturally quite energetic. Giving them plenty of exercise throughout the day will help to spend that energy so that they’re tired at night. As a result, they are less likely to howl into the night like their wolf ancestors often do.