For anyone who has lived in a neighborhood with a vocal dog, you’ll know that nothing disturbs your sleep quite like a pup that barks all night. Although barking is a dog’s main form of communication, excessive barking can be a problem and may also be indicative of a wider, more pressing problem with your pooch. But what about Siberians? Are they barkers?
While they are a vocal breed of dog, Huskies only rarely bark. Instead, your Husky is much more likely to communicate with you by howling or whining, or making a chirping sound that sounds very similar to talking! But just because your Husky may not be a barker, their howling and whining can still get on your nerves if not brought under control, and may also be a sign that something is the matter with your Husky.
In the rare circumstance that you have a Husky that does bark, you can use some of the tips, tricks, and information we share here to bring their barking under control. In order to help control your Husky’s more irritating sounds and noises, it is important to understand why they might be making those noises in the first place.
Why does my Husky howl?
Thought to be a throwback to their wolf-like ancestry, a Husky’s preferred form of communication is not a deep, throaty bark, but rather a low, long howl.
When your Husky starts to howl, he will throw his head up high and produce song-like howls. This noise can often sound quite haunting (although we suspect that it sounds very melodious to your Husky’s, and maybe their owner’s ears too!).
Just as barking is the main way that most dogs communicate, howling is the main way that your Husky communicates. And, just as barking is a perfectly normal behavior in the vast majority of situations, so too is howling for your Husky.
Your Husky could be hungry, or happy to see you. He could be suffering from a bit of separation anxiety, or he may need to go for a walk. You will become very familiar with the body language and other cues that your Husky is giving off in these situations, and be able to diagnose the cause of their troubles fairly quickly.
It is when this howling becomes excessive that it can signify an issue.
Excessive howling is howling that persists for hours on end and continues even when your Husky has no pressing issues such as hunger or lack of exercise. Besides being extremely irritating, it is usually a sign that there is something amiss with your furry friend.
Can I stop my Husky howling?
It is important to note that you can never completely eliminate howling in your Siberian Husky. Just like barking in other breeds, howling is your Husky’s main way of communicating. It is possible, however, to exercise some control over what causes your Husky to howl and moderate these situations accordingly.
Establish a firm command that will tell your Husky when it is time to tone down the howling. Issue the command – which could be as simple as ‘quiet’ followed by your Husky’s name. Give the command in a firm tone and maintain eye contact.
Just as when you were training your Husky to sit or be house trained, do not shout or yell at your Husky when teaching this command. At best, this may only encourage him, and at worst, may exacerbate the behavior as your Husky will believe he is being punished.
Whenever your Husky barks or howls, do not pay him any attention. Under the principles of positive reinforcement, he may think that he is doing the right thing, and he will use barking and howling as an attention-seeking mechanism. Instead, give the ‘quiet’ command until he stops. Be confident and demonstrate to your Husky that you are the leader and that he should do as you command.
Identifying the cause of troublesome howls
If your Husky is howling or barking for reasons outside the norm, it is important that you identify these as soon as possible.
If your Husky suffers from separation anxiety, it is possible that the very act of you leaving home may cause him to start howling. This loneliness can be dealt with in a couple of ways. You can ensure that you have provided plenty of entertainment for your Husky to keep him distracted while you are away. You can alter your routine slightly to ensure your Husky isn’t left alone for too long, or you can engage in specialist behavioral training.
If your Husky has not been sufficiently exercised, they may howl to let you know it! As well as signaling the need for a walk, howling may also help your Husky release some of that pent up energy.
Bring down the howling
In order to reduce the howling of your Siberian Husky, eliminate situations that will trigger this behavior. As mentioned above, you should bear in mind that barking and howling can never be completely eliminated.
If possible, train your Siberian Husky to bark and howl less while he is still young. Though, even a seasoned barker is still trainable with the help of a professional and a lot of patience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Siberian Huskies bark a lot?
Huskies don’t typically bark. While it is possible to get a Husky dog that does bark, it is much more common to have a Husky that howls, whines, or chirps.
Although they are a fairly vocal breed, your Husky will not howl excessively unless something is wrong. They are friendly dogs that are accustomed to being companion animals so, therefore, may have a bit more to say than your average four-legged friend!
Why is my Husky barking?
Just as with any dog, there are a variety of reasons that your Husky starts vocalizing. Most often, the usual way Huskies vocalize is by a howl, whine, or chirp, but they have also been known to bark on rare occasions.
Howling is a normal behavior for Siberian Huskies, and does not need to be a cause for concern. Your Husky may be barking because he wants to express some emotion, tell you he wants to go for walk, indicate that he is hungry, or simply to say hello!
Many dogs will bark because they are territorial. Huskies are not this kind of dog. In fact, Huskies are not considered very territorial at all. So, if you’re after a guard dog, look elsewhere!
How do I get my Siberian Husky to stop barking?
If you are worried that your Siberian Husky is whining, howling, or barking excessively, there are a few things you can do to try and determine the cause of the problem.
Firstly, consider when your dog’s excessive vocalization occurs. Is it when you leave the house? Does it start at night when you go to sleep? Is it consistently happening around feeding time?
Becoming familiar with the timings of your Husky’s howling or barking may provide a clue as to the reason for their distress. Once you have figured this out, you can try to mitigate the issue by embarking on specialist training to break them of their noisy habit.
Will my Husky bark at strangers?
Interestingly, Siberian Huskies are a breed of dog that rarely barks at all, meaning they are extremely unlikely to bark at strangers. For this reason, they make absolutely terrible guard dogs!
Siberian Huskies are very friendly and were originally bred as companion animals as well as sled dogs. Guests are always welcome in a home that has Huskies – in fact, your Husky may welcome the additional love and affection that extra visitors may bring!
Do Huskies howl a lot?
For a Husky owner, it is perhaps useful to think of your Husky’s howling as a special type of barking. In most circumstances, you would never think much of your dog barking when he was hungry or happy to see you. Think of your Husky’s howling in the same way.
It may take some time to get used to the difference in sound, but Huskies do not howl any more often than other dogs bark.
If your Husky is howling excessively, and there appears to be no reason for his howling, you may need to consider professional advice or specialist training methods to help curb your Husky’s vocalization.
Can I howl at my Husky?
Many dog owners will want to teach their animal how to ‘speak’, or, in other words, bark on command.
It is entirely possible to teach your Husky to ‘speak’, but you don’t necessarily need to howl at them in order to make this happen!
Using any high-pitched sound, such as a whistle, siren, or even a recording of another Husky howling, prompt your Husky to howl and use the command word of your choice (‘speak’ is always a good option here). He will need to be alert, but relaxed. When he howls, reward him with the treat.
Continue this process until your Husky is able to howl on command without the treat. You’ve got a great party trick, and your Husky can become part of the conversation!