Huskies are some of the most friendly, joyful, and loving animals to keep at home despite their vocal nature of howling like wolves or jackals. Their natural howls are what makes them unique from the other dogs.
Huskies are vocal for many reasons, including their ancestry, separation anxiety, for defense, injury or illness, environment, boredom, attention, and much more. Knowing the root cause of their howling can help you take necessary measures to reduce or prevent the howling altogether.
But before deciding to keep them at your home, you need to understand why they’re vocal and how to train them to stop.
Why Huskies Are So Vocal
As mentioned above, huskies can be vocal for various reasons. They may howl because they’re lonely, want attention, are bored, hungry, excited, and feel playful, among many other reasons.
Huskies Have Sensitive Hearing
Unlike human beings, dogs have sensitive hearing. For this reason, your husky might be reacting to something you are unable to hear. Huskies also get distressed by everyday noises like power drills, vacuum cleaners, and high pitched sounds. These sounds are much louder to them, compared to human beings, hence the distress.
They Might Be in Pain or Discomfort
Some howls can be due to discomfort or in pain. Huskies howl when in pain or have an injury; however, this howl is different than normal. They might also act strangely from the discomfort. In such a case, ensure you see the vet.
Due to their active nature, huskies might be noisy because they are bored. Your dog needs to get enough stimuli from the environment. It could be howling because it needs to be active.
They Are Descended from Wolves
Huskies and wolves share similar traits. It is in their nature to be vocal and active. However, with a little training, it will get used to the domestic environment.
The howling of a husky can be too noisy for you to tolerate, especially if it’s a habit. If this is the case, a little bit of taming can do wonders for your pet. By tracking their behavior, you can stop this behavior and create a quiet, enjoyable home environment.
However, getting huskies to stop howling is not an easy task, since they are vocal by nature. It may take months of patience and persistent training to make them stop and allow yourself a quiet lifestyle.
If you are yearning for peace, quiet, and a good relationship with your huskies, you should spend plenty of time with them, assess their needs, and teach them to respond to your instructions. Exercise and rewards (treats and snacks) can go a long way to making your four-legged friends docile.
How to Deal With Vocal Huskies
Here are a few ways you can deal with your vocal husky:
1. Find Out the Cause
When huskies are howling or whimpering, they're trying to tell you something. The first thing you should do is to figure out what's making them howl, so you know how to fix it.
It’s possible that the dogs have a medical issue or have been injured and are crying for help. This is likely to make them howl at all times. Get them checked out by a vet.
On the other hand, if the huskies bark when people are around, they probably are looking for attention or warning you of what they perceive to be potential danger.
They may have also spotted a cat, possum, squirrel, or other wild animal near the house. If this happens, look around to see what is making them howl.
2. Tire Them Out With Exercise
Generally, huskies are quite active, and they'll love it if you take them out to exercise. You can walk them around the neighborhood or the park several times every day, or engage them in games like fetch, frisbee, rally obedience, agility, or flyball.
Have a daily schedule in place, with different exercises for each day. Let exercise be a routine they will adjust to easily. You can also give them a job, like pulling sleds and other heavy objects such as wheeled boxes and wagons.
Following a regimen after discovering what is triggering the howls can help you change the huskies’ routine and keep them preoccupied until they forget the howling. When you see no changes, tweak the schedule until they adjust properly.
3. Train Them to Obey Commands
Dogs are easy to train, and they'll listen keenly to your instructions if you take time to train them. However, you will need to put in a lot of patience and dedication to make them obey you.
You can start by making them stop howling. This you can do by commanding them to "QUIET" down when you catch them howling or about to howl. It will show them that howling is unwanted behavior that needs to stop.
4. Only Reward Them for Obeying Commands
One of the best ways to indulge your huskies is to reward them with treats when they don’t howl. Whenever they start howling, you should stop the rewards and ignore them completely. They’ll realize that you don’t condone bad behavior and stop howling.
Once they quiet down, you should continue with the rewards and provide playtime and affection. With time, they'll know that staying quiet attracts good things and adjusts to good behavior.
5. Try Changing Their Routine
When your huskies constantly howl during the day or night, you should try to eliminate all possible causes.
For instance, they may be howling because they're under-exercised. If this is the case, you will need to increase their workout and see if they'll change their behavior or change the routine. Doing things differently can help you discover if their being too vocal is a response to their environment.
If they stop or minimize the howling, you’ll know that your tactic of altering their routine and increasing exercise levels has worked.
6. Train Them to Overcome Separation Anxiety
Huskies howl a lot when they suffer from separation anxiety. Being naturally social animals, separating them from their pack to keep them isolated at home triggers the barking. So whenever you leave them alone at home, they’ll howl all day.
To calm them down, you can leave the television or an audiobook on and provide enough food and water supply for the day. This way, it’ll seem as if the house is occupied. If you are interesting to try, we recommend you to check "A Dog's Purpose" (You can play it on Audible for free if you get their free 30 day trial)
7. Employ Systematic Desensitization and Counter-conditioning
Sometimes huskies howl when something triggers them, like a nearby siren, the barking of a dog, or some other kind of noise. They only stop when the sound stops. Such vocal behavior can be excessive when the trigger is frequent. To curb this, you can employ desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques on the dogs.
Systematic desensitization and counter-conditioning involve changing the huskies' underlying reasons for their current behavior problem, such as their feelings and motivation. It includes treating the anxiety, fears, aggression, phobias, and any other behaviors that arouse the howling. Involve a certified professional to help you address this condition.
8. Spend Quality Time With Your Huskies
Sometimes those four-legged pals just need some companionship to shut up. They need to interact regularly with their new human families. If they are too vocal when left alone, just create time to spend with them.
Take them out for a walk, jog, sprint, or some sports. Bring them inside at the end of the day or take them to their training classes and have fun. When you have to leave them at home for any reason, provide plenty of chew items and toys to keep them busy.
Huskies can be extremely loud and stressful, but they are amazing companions. They are relatable and emotional which makes them a perfect addition to your family.
With the correct training strategy, you can easily tame and turn them into indispensable members of the family. All you have to do to make them adapt to their new environment is to:
- Determine their needs
- Solve their problems
- Train them to obey your commands
- Reward them for their obedience
- Get friendly