Is your Husky close to beating Mariah Carey’s whistle note? Often regarded as the “most dramatic dog breed”, Siberian Huskies can be quite vocal in the slightest hint of inconvenience. It can be during bath time, when left alone for a few minutes, or when you don’t give in to their advances. This makes us wonder: why do Huskies talk so much?
In this post, I will discuss the reasons why Huskies vocalize so much and what you can do about it.
Why do Huskies talk so much?
Siberian Huskies rarely bark, but they are fond of one thing: howling. It will become a big problem later on once your neighbors can no longer stand the noise. If you’re wondering why this breed is too vocal, here are the reasons for their “complaints”:
= It’s in their breed.
Every Husky owner knows that this breed can give you an earful you never expected. It’s in their genes to talk, which is largely rooted as Wolf Ancestor. Your Husky can start with random whining and then progress into a full-blown howling serenade. And for a breed of this size, it’s enough to annoy the neighbors.
With that, you can’t fully stop a Husky from voicing out its “concerns”. The least you can do is train the pooch to howl on command or desensitize them to stimuli triggering the noise barrage.
= They are bored.
Huskies are bred to be companions, so if you leave them alone, they will get bored. With nothing to do, the doggo will use its vocal chops to pass the time. Unfortunately, the “singing” can also be accompanied by chewing and other destructive behavior.
This is why aspiring Husky owners should know that this breed isn’t an apartment dog. They also need a companion who will keep them supervised at home. Otherwise, you’re brewing a furry problem.
= They are communicating.
Huskies howl and talk toward their humans to communicate something. It’s a form of communication in tonal pattern. Experts suggest that domesticated dogs learned to howl or bark toward humans to communicate their needs. It’s an adaptive behavior that dogs learn over the years.
Moreover, many Husky puppies will vocalize to get the attention of their owners. And since many of us react to the howling, our pets think it’s a rewarded behavior. It doesn’t matter if your reaction is positive or negative. The fact that your Husky succeeded in catching your attention is enough of a motivation.
= They want food.
Huskies can be voracious eaters, too. Some will whine and beg their owners for food beside the dining table. Most of the time, this is an enforced behavior. Your Husky keeps vocalizing because he knows that you’re going to toss food to shut him up.
It’s important to nip food-begging in the bud before it branches out to other problems. Tell your family to stop tossing table scraps and always stick to feeding schedules. It’s also crucial to keep your Husky busy in between meals so that it won’t turn into a banshee.
= They mimic sirens or high-pitched sounds.
My Huskies always mimic the sound of sirens on the road whenever an ambulance or fire truck passes by our house. It’s fascinating and is probably due to the high-pitched sounds they perceive.
Huskies will also respond to high-frequency sounds that are no longer audible by humans. This may cause confusion on your part, but always remember that dogs have a heightened sense of hearing.
= They feel anxious.
Another notorious reason behind a Husky’s talking is separation anxiety. You’re not supposed to leave this dog alone at home for hours. If you do so, they will become extremely anxious, and the only way to ease the stress is to howl all day long.
Again, Huskies aren’t good guard dogs. You can’t expect them to be independent and brave when locked up without a companion.
= They are in pain.
Any dog that’s in pain will vocalize to let you know that they are suffering. This is especially true for Huskies who are already naturally talkative. So before you dismiss your Husky’s howling as mere noise, you should observe it for other symptoms.
If vocalization is accompanied by lethargy, reluctance to move, panting, diarrhea, or vomiting, you should bring the pooch to the vet right away. This is often a sign of an underlying illness that requires immediate treatment.
= They are being playful.
On a less serious note, Huskies will vocalize when they want to initiate playtime. This is often accompanied by playful gestures like bringing a toy to you or play-biting. It’s usually a harmless scenario, but I still won’t tolerate howling and whining as playtime triggers. Huskies can learn this tactic easily and abuse it later on.
= They are frustrated.
Lastly, Huskies howl and whine when they are frustrated. It’s possible that you didn’t give in to their demand for playtime, or you didn’t let them outside. Like sulky toddlers, Huskies will complain and act upset.
Still, some Huskies are quieter than others. It all boils down to the specific personality of your dog and how you raise it.
When your Husky’s vocalization becomes a problem
Most of the time, owners find a Husky’s vocal antics amusing. However, as you tolerate and inadvertently reward the behavior, it will take a worse turn. Your Husky will be whiny and demanding.
Remember that a Husky’s vocalization is so ear-piercing it can go through the walls. So if you’re living in a duplex or apartment, this breed can put you in a lot of trouble.
You shouldn’t wait for your neighbors to file a complaint against you. Below, I discussed potential solutions that will help reduce your Husky’s affinity for howling.
How to reduce your Husky’s vocalization
If your Husky’s vocalization is getting out of hand, there are workarounds you can try. Patience is important as this breed is quite stubborn and training them is a challenging task.
= Assess why your Husky is vocalizing
Remember that there’s always a reason behind a Husky’s howling. By finding out what’s triggering your Husky’s howling, you can formulate the right approach to the problem. This can either be external or internal.
= Stop reinforcing the behavior.
You should also stop reinforcing your Husky’s howling behavior. Reacting to your pet’s howling will only make them do it more. Instead, you should start with training, which I discussed in length below.
It’s also important to talk to your family about addressing your Husky’s noisy behavior. For example, if your Husky starts howling when you arrive, don’t pay attention until it calms down. This will teach your dog that howling isn’t a rewarded behavior.
This process requires patience, but it’s necessary if you want to put a stop to your pet’s howling.
= Give your Husky ample exercise.
Another thing that will help in curbing your Husky’s affinity for vocalizing is ample exercise. Draining the dog’s excess energy will deprive it of the motivation to howl when you’re away.
Aside from physical exercise, you should also provide mental stimulation to your canine. Siberian Huskies are active dogs, so they need something to get busy at physically and mentally.
Here are some of my proven hacks in keeping a Husky busy:
- Update your dog’s toys. Huskies are finicky dogs, and they can get tired of their toys over time. I suggest buying new ones that aim to engage your pet’s mind. Puzzles, sniff mats, and tug ropes are just some of the good choices. Just remember that these dog toys require your involvement as the pet owner to yield results.
- Schedule walks. This is a pretty basic tip, but many pet owners don’t realize the benefits of walking a Husky. This canine is hungry for physical activity, so a 30-minute to 1-hour walk would be an easy way to drain its howl-inducing energy.
- Let them out in the yard. If the weather permits, it’s a good idea to let your Husky roam the yard. However, always supervise them as these canines can be sneaky escape artists. Also, they love digging under fences, which is something you should keep in mind.
- Consider doggy daycare. If there’s no one to accompany your Husky at home, you should consider enrolling it in a doggy daycare. This is similar to daycare for kids, where your Husky will receive physical and mental stimulation. The good thing is that the dogs would be grouped based on their temperament and size.
- Hire a pet sitter. If your Husky doesn’t thrive in a daycare setting, you can try hiring a pet sitter. A pet sitter will care for your dog inside your home. They can also take your Husky for potty breaks and daily walks. Depending on your preferred setup, pet sitters can drop by at specific times or stay the night when you’re away.
- Set up a dog camera. While this will not eliminate howling, dog cameras are a great way to distract your Husky once it starts vocalizing. Some dog cams are also equipped with bark alerts, which will send push notifications to your phone once your dog starts making noises. If paired with the other hacks I mentioned here, dog cameras are a great tool to interrupt negative behavior remotely.
= Train the Husky not to howl
Above all, training is necessary if you want to curb your Husky’s vocalization for good. However, you should know that this process takes a lot of time and patience. Some pet owners consult professional dog trainers, while others are brave enough to wing it on their own.
As a long-time Husky owner, here are some points I recommend:
Determine a cue word
The first step is to decide what cue word you’re going to use to command your dog. In my experience, a simple “Quiet!” works well. Just make sure that you use a single command word consistently to prevent confusing your dog.
Also, never use this command to stop other negative behavior. Cue words should be exclusive to each behavior you want to correct. This will prevent confusion on the part of your Husky.
Get a clicker
Clicker training is an effective method in curbing any behavior among dogs. The concept here is associating the rewarded response with the clicking sound. Over time, your Husky will recognize the click alone as the reward so that you can shed the treats.
Interrupt the behavior right away
The moment your Husky starts whining or howling, say your command word in a firm voice. If your Husky stops howling, click then follow it with a treat reward immediately.
Remember that the click and treat should be given in quick succession. The clicking sound is the sign that a treat is coming in, which is something you need to establish.
You need to keep doing this whenever your Husky tries to howl. After around 20 repetitions, most Huskies will show a positive response to the clicker. Consistency is important, or your dog will lose its training progress.
However, if your dog didn’t stop howling after repeating your cue word, you should withhold the reward. You can also put your dog in a separate room to teach it that ignoring your command is an uncalled behavior.
After five minutes, set your dog free and resume training. Over time, your Husky will associate quiet with rewards. Still, you should reinforce the training continuously to ensure that your pooch is reliable enough.
Once your Husky has reached a level of training, you now introduce howling triggers. This will help you ‘proof’ the training, so your Husky will be less likely to vocalize under specific conditions.
For example, if your Husky howls with the sound of a siren, you can try playing it at home. If your Husky howls, say your cue word with your palm on a ‘stop’ motion. When the Husky stops vocalizing, click then reward with a treat.
This desensitization process requires time and patience. You’d have to perform this drill on as many triggers as you can.
Never use violence
No matter how frustrating training can be, never resort to violence. This will only lead to more behavioral problems and even undo all your training efforts.
If you’re getting impatient, stop training and allow yourself to calm down. Remember that your Husky doesn’t understand human anger.
= Ask for the help of a professional
If all your efforts aren’t yielding results, you can ask a professional dog trainer to help you with your Husky’s incessant howling. A dog trainer will walk you through the process and explain to you what you’re probably doing wrong.
A dog trainer comes with a fee, which is something you should consider. Nevertheless, the added cost is worth it if you don’t have the time and patience to train your Husky.
However, you should be careful with self-proclaimed dog trainers with no clear track record. I suggest background-checking the trainer through local dog organizations. You should also ask for references for his past clients. The trainer should be able to discuss his methods skillfully.
People Also Ask
Q: Why are Huskies so dramatic?
A: Huskies are often dubbed as a dramatic vocal breed because of their penchant for howling and whining. They also have big personalities and stubborn dispositions. If they don’t get their way, they will vocalize so dramatically you’ll think they are being punished.
Q: Why does my Husky howl at me?
A: Huskies will howl toward their owners in an effort to communicate something. It’s also a sign that your Husky sees you as a part of the pack. These howls can also resemble human speech, which many owners find fascinating.
Q: Why do Huskies keep crying?
A: Huskies cry when they experience strong separation anxiety. But instead of tears, their cry manifests through howling. It’s a notorious characteristic of this breed, which aspiring owners should know before getting one. Many Huskies end up in shelters because their owners can’t stand their dramatic vocalizations.
Q: Why do Huskies scream so much?
A: A Husky’s howling often leads to ear-splitting screaming. It’s high-pitched and loud, which is often triggered by anxiety and stress. However, overexcited Huskies can also exhibit the same annoying screams.
Q: Why does my Husky make weird noises?
A: Huskies are one of the most vocal dog breeds. It’s normal for them to make weird and amusing noises. This is often an expression of their feelings, including frustration, happiness, anxiety, and curiosity.
Q: Will my Husky ever stop howling?
A: Howling is an innate behavior among Huskies. While some will start to calm down after two years of age, others will develop a worse case of vocalization. This is why you should dedicate time and effort to training your dog.
Why do Huskies talk so much? This vocal breed is known for its dramatic and noisy personality. It’s often due to anxiety, boredom, and lack of training. However, you should also rule out health problems that could be causing pain to your canine.
If your DIY training isn’t working, you shouldn’t hesitate to consult a dog trainer. Huskies can be pretty stubborn so professional help won’t hurt.
Do you have your personal tips to share here? Let us know below!