As A Response To Environmental Triggers
This is less common than dream-motivated howling, but dogs may also howl while asleep due to factors and ambient sounds in their environment that cause them to do so.
A dog howling while asleep, especially in the SWS stage, may be viewed as a response to another dog howling nearby, a response to car alarms, truck sirens, and even tornado warning systems.
Howling While Asleep Usually Means The Dog Is Dreaming
It may sound unbelievable, but dogs, just like humans, typically dream while sleeping. In fact, the canine sleep cycle, as obtainable with humans, is divided into two main stages – the Slow Wave Sleep (SWS) stage and the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage.
The SWS stage is the first stage of sleep in dogs, and it is characterized by a reduction in brain activities, with the pooch still maintaining an active muscle tone. Consequently, dogs can easily be awakened during the SWS stage.
However, as a dog’s sleep becomes deeper, the pooch typically transitions into the REM sleep stage which is characterized by faster, irregular brain activities and rapid eye movements behind the pooch’s closed eyelids. It is during this stage of increased brain activity that dogs usually dream, thereby leading the pooch to either howl, whine or breathe rapidly.
Howling is intended to be a social appeal
When canines need to locate other members of their group, they howl.
This is the reason behind wolves’ howling. They are calling out to each other in order to locate one another.
There’s no reason for your dog to howl if he or she isn’t among other dogs.
Similarly, if your dog isn’t separated from his pack on a regular basis, he won’t howl.
But, if you separate your doggo from its canine best friend, it may start yowling.
On a lighter note, your pup can also do the same if you start howling as well.
Why Dogs Howl At Night?
As a concerned owner, you might feel worried when you hear your poor pooch howling in his sleep. After all, nightmares are no walk in the park for humans, and that also goes for your canine pals. Dreams are a common part of the canine life, just as with people.
If you hear your dog howling the night away, dont rule out the possibility of dreaming. Dogs indeed do dream. When it comes to sleeping, canines experience similar phases as to humans, only they go through them at a more rapid pace. Their most intense dreams typically happen during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which starts roughly 20 minutes after they initially shut their eyes. Strangely enough, tiny dogs tend to dream more often than their bigger counterparts. When the big guys do dream, though, their dreams usually are lengthier.
When your pooch is in the middle of a frightening or otherwise unpleasant dream, you might hear him loudly howl or even bark or growl. Other common indications of a dog who is wrapped up in a dream world are tail movement, jerky motions of the legs, fast breathing, chewing and quivering. All of these actions might point to a pooch who is currently experiencing some kind of emotion in a dream, whether apprehension or enthusiasm.
Avoid waking up your dreaming dog and allow him to continue with his sleep cycle if at all possible, although you might have no choice from time to time if hes keeping everyone in your household up all night. Dreaming isnt hazardous to canines, just like it isnt hazardous to people. The behavior, simply put, is no cause for alarm, so relax — and allow your sleepy pet to get back to it, too.
Dont always assume that nighttime howling is a sign of a dog who is sound asleep. Your dog could also be awake and howling. Some common triggers for nighttime howling in canines include nervousness due to isolation and the desire for attention. In some cases, it can even be an indication of a health issue. If your dog howls a lot at night, check up on him to make sure that hes not suffering in pain or discomfort, whether due to sickness or a brand new wound. If the howling is from a medical problem, the veterinarian is calling your dogs name.
If the howling seems excessive, dreaming or otherwise, a vet appointment also is a good idea. Inordinate howling is often fueled by intense nervousness and frustration. If your pet is experiencing these types of problems, he might need the prompt assistance and guidance of a professional pet training expert.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.