The Siberian Husky is not typically a very noisy breed. In fact, they are often described by their owners as quiet.
They may have a chat with you occasionally if you’re not paying them enough attention but other than that you won’t hear much from them. Which is why the below question is so interesting!
Siberian Huskies originally howled as a method of communication, which is what they may be doing now. As you perhaps know, this howling sound travels a long way! If you own two Huskies they may howl to communicate with each other.
Sometimes a husky howl is for other reasons including boredom, anxiety or illness. So don’t ignore it; try to determine the underlying cause.
What Does a Siberian Husky Howl Sound Like?
Did you know that the howl of the Siberian Husky can travel (it is said) can be heard from 10 miles away! Let’s hear what the Siberian Husky sounds like:
When Does The Siberian Husky Howl?
The Siberian Husky howls nowadays for different reasons to when they were wild and in their natural habitat. Why they felt the need to do so in their natural environment is difficult to say. Some think it was used as a way to let other Huskies know that prey was nearby, though surely howling would have alerted the prey of their presence!
Maybe they were just bored and wanted to call their pack to play?
When we hear them howl now, it’s for different reasons. So when does the Siberian Husky howl?
- When left alone
- Because it’s feeling bored or ignored
- It has heard a dog-like sound
- It’s feeling unwell
These reasons are explored in greater detail below.
Reasons Why The Siberian Husky Howls
These days the Siberian Husky will usually howl for one of these four reasons:
- Anxiety-Related – Most dogs do not like being left alone and after a short time, anxiety-related problems will occur. The amount of time that passes before these problems become noticeable varies but mostly depend on the breed of dog. How the anxiety affects them also depends on the breed. For instance, some dogs will adopt a destructive personality and start biting all your furniture to pieces. Some will show obvious signs of depression. The Siberian Husky can show many of these traits especially howling. If you leave your Husky alone for long periods of time then you may start getting complaints from your neighbors! There are many videos on YouTube with cameras in the living room where Huskies are seen howling as their owners have gone out and left them.
- Other Sounds – If your Siberian Husky hears a sound that seems similar to another dog howling, a high-pitched sound from the television, for example, this may trigger a reaction. If this reaction is a howl it usually stops as soon as the sound that has caused it stops.
- Attention Seeking – If your Husky isn’t getting any attention or the right kind of attention then it might howl. The Siberian can be quite a stubborn beast and wants things to be done at certain times and in a certain way. If you usually go out for a morning run but for whatever reason one day you can’t, they may howl to get your attention. It’s their way of saying, “Come on! What are you waiting for, I’m ready to go!”. There may be other reasons though. If it feels it’s just not getting enough attention, for whatever reason, again you may get a howl as a reward.
- Illness – Your Siberian Husky may howl if it feels unwell. This is less common and you will probably spot the signs of illness in other behavioral traits before it reaches the point of it howling.
Can I Do Anything to Stop the Howling?
Firstly, you need to ask yourself if you should try and stop your husky howling. If you’re trying to stop it because you’re worried that it is howling because it feels stressed, that’s good.
Get to the bottom of the problem and your Husky will be less anxious and happier, which should, of course, make you happier too. So, what can you do to stop the howling? For some of the reasons, there are easy solutions.
Are They Being Left Alone?
For instance, if you know your Siberian Husky is howling when you’re out then you need to ask yourself what you can do about it. Firstly, the Husky shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time and (not trying to be condescending) but owners should know this before they buy a puppy.
There are some breeds that do better when left alone than the Husky but most dogs do not like being abandoned for several hours.
Try not to leave your Husky for more for 30 minutes or so but if you do, consider a crate. If they are large enough, these will actually reduce the anxiety levels of the Husky whilst you are away but even with these, try not to leave them for more than around three hours.
If you’re worried about not going on vacation anymore, don’t be – you can take them with you! Obviously, this means you won’t be able to get on a plane but there are so many dog-friendly hotels cropping up, they can have a holiday with you. It sure beats putting them into a kennel for a week or two.
If you do have to go out and want to check on them whilst you’re out, a lot of people are investing in a Pet Camera. They are easy to set-up and these days cost next to nothing, if you’re interested – check out my personal recommendation here.
Is Your Siberian Husky Bored?
If you think that they may be howling due to a lack of attention, think about the time you’re spending with them each day. Is it quality time? How much exercise do they need each day?
They should be taken out a couple of times a day and ideally for an hour in the morning as well as a sizeable outing in the afternoon/evening. Although, to be honest, the Husky could stay out all day if you were able to keep up with it!
The Siberian Husky is a breed that thrives on social interaction and if it doesn’t have a four-legged friend to play with then it’s going to have to rely on us, the inferior, two-legged variety! It’s not just about the daily walks though.
It will want your attention during the day. The Husky has a lot of energy and unless it can use at least some of that, it’s possible that their anxiety levels will rise and the howling may start.
The key thing to remember here is to not ignore it. Actually, anyone who can ignore this breed must have a screw loose, their appearance and personality is something that you can’t become complacent with over time.
If you think they are becoming bored during the day then give them more of your time – or consider another four-legged friend but if you’re going down this route, think about it carefully. You can’t just stick two dogs together who don’t know each other and expect them to get along!
Sounds Triggering Howling
This isn’t specific to just the Siberian Husky but many dog breeds may howl if triggered by certain sounds. It’s just that the Husky does it so much better 🙂
For us, it was a theme-tune to a children’s tv program – every time it came on his nose would point to the ceiling and the howling would start and only end once the music stopped. To be honest, it seemed to me like he enjoyed it but we don’t really know.
Why they do it, we can speculate and as I mentioned above it may be because something in the music sounded like another dog howling perhaps.
If this is causing the howling then it really isn’t a problem as it can be totally controlled. Just make sure they don’t hear the sound – no point wasting any more of your time talking about this one.
Illness Causing Howling
This and the anxiety induced howling due to boredom are the scenarios to be vigilant of. The anxiety-related howling can lead to further mental and health problems.
However, the point we’re discussing here could indicate they already have a problem. It is likely though that you will become aware of the problem before it manifests in howling.
They may have an injury or some other condition that is causing them discomfort. Obviously, if this is in one of their legs and they are limping, you’ll notice it pretty quick. However, if they have stomach problems or something else internal then it may be more difficult.
If, for instance, your Husky is panting more than you think it should be then do take a look at my article here. Other problems relating to illness could be more obvious and seen in their eyes (for example) – for more information on this take a look here.
If you suspect they may be howling because they are in discomfort then look for other signs. Check their bowel movements and ensure they are eating and drinking as normal. If not, this could be a sign that your suspicion is correct.
If they’re not eating for more than a day then don’t dwell on it, give your vet a call and talk to them explaining the symptoms and the howling. They’ll probably want to perform a physical examination so prepare for a vet visit!
If there is also a nasty smell associated with your Husky then do have a little look at my article all about this here (opens in a new window).
I think the thing to take away from this is that it is not abnormal for a Siberian Husky to howl. Although they are generally a quiet breed of dog, this behavior can usually be predicted and observed in certain circumstances.
Although not all will howl (they are all individuals after all) most will at some point. The majority of the time it will occur when they’re left alone for an extended period or when you’re not paying them enough attention!
Finally, if you’d like more information about the Siberian Husky then do check out my Complete Guide here.