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Can dogs be trained to stop howling?

My neighbor currently has 6 dogs in her house. Any time she walks out the door for anything (taking out trash, turning off water sprinkler, going to work) they start howling and it continues for several minutes. Is there any way at all to get them to stop howling? They're also horrible barkers - will bark at anyone they see regardless of how far away they are from the house. It's at the point that the entire neighborhood is fed up with the dogs and my neighbor. Does anyone have any suggestions of how the situation can be improved? I love my neighbor dearly and don't want her to end up dealing with animal control.


Asked by Happywith2girls at 11:50 PM on Aug. 25, 2009 in Pets

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Answers (3)
  • The short answer: not really.

    The long answer: Many dog breeds are bred to bark. Hounds are bred to bark and howl, and many guard dog/watch dog breeds are bred to bark as well. It is basically impossible to try to train a hound to not howl, as it is in their nature. They are doing what they are bred to do.

    If we assume that these dogs are not howling breeds, my guess would be this: the owner does not present herself as the "alpha", so the dogs feel an obligation to "be on duty", so to speak. Often, when the owner is unmistakably "alpha", the dog will recognize this and relax, knowing that they do not need to be in charge. As there are six dogs in this situation, I'd guess that the owner isn't necessarily "alpha".

    I think this behavior could only be changed by one of two things:

    1. Obedience classes for all of the dogs.
    2. Anti-bark collars (which deliver a small shock per bark).

    Sorry I couldn't be of better help =(

    Answer by Mousuke at 11:58 PM on Aug. 26, 2009

  • Dogs will howl but with patience you can train them to be quiet when commanded. Howls are ways to communicate over a distance. They are generally triggered by a sound. Mine howl at fire sirens but not police sirens. And when one dog starts... we call it singing.

    Answer by DogsMom at 11:05 AM on Aug. 27, 2009

  • I wish I could suggest obedience classes to her, but she works as a trainer and she just ignores the barking and howling. One of her dogs ran out of the house and bit my husband who was standing in the street with me and our children and she never even apologized. It's getting harder and harder to have friendly feelings about the dogs. If they were quiet more, that would go a LONG way to making it easier. :)

    Answer by Happywith2girls at 1:11 PM on Aug. 27, 2009