Barking and howling in dogs and puppies is normal behavior and their way to vocalize themselves.
There are different reasons to why puppies howl and bark and you have to identify the trigger and cause before we get into how to stop puppy howling and barking:
First of all, you need to be sure that your dog is not experiencing any medical issues that could cause the vocal sounds.
Why Do Puppies Bark?
Barking is the most common sound that dogs make and often it has nothing to do with aggression.
Often it is a reaction to a certain trigger, like a loud sound from outside or if another dog is barking at them.
Why Do Puppies Howl?
Dogs mostly howl because they feel alone and want to call their pack.
I have added this problem to my free dog training guide which you can download here.
Natural vs Learned Puppy Howling
There is a difference between when your puppy is howling for real reasons and when he is not. This difference is not easy to tell for most dog owners. A puppy that whines, barks or howls could be in pain, hungry, anxious and a full bladder.
Now dogs are very smart and they can easily remember what exactly brings them towards your goals. If you have rewarded your dog in the past for making loud noises then he will have learned that howling and barking are actually great.
Rewards can come in any kind of form like attention, letting your dog outside the crate or even coming into the room while your puppy is whining. It doesn’t have to be positive attention, even negative attention has the same influence if he just wanted to be with you.
How to Solve Puppy Howling and Barking
If your dog responds to a sound or a general trigger, try to distract him with toys or treats to show him what he could do instead of howling or barking. The most common reason for a dog to howl is probably getting your attention.
Never ever give your dog the attention he wants from you while barking because he will quickly learn that it works and this will develop into bad behavior.
Ignore your puppy until he calms down and stops barking and reward him for being quiet.
Boredom can be cured by simply spending more quality time with your dog which you can read more about in my post: How to bond with your dog.
Generally speaking, a tired puppy is a good and quiet puppy. So provide your puppy with enough exercise and tire him out in the evening before bedtime.
Why Are Puppies Whining?
When you bring home a new puppy, you will most definitely be confronted with excessive puppy whining. It could be that he is just hungry or is being left alone in a room. When a puppy gets vocal, he wants to let you know that something is wrong.
But as I said before, you have to draw a line between actual puppy whining and learned to whine. If you have normally fed him, given him enough exercise and just let him out then he is probably crying for attention.
Puppy Crying at Night
Especially at night, when a puppy is being left alone in the crate, he will get vocal. If he has been properly crate-trained before then he will most likely be crying because of a full bladder or boredom. If you have let him out before while he was crying then you have given him a big reward and it won’t be that easy for you to train him.
If this happens within your first few days, this means that he is just frightened. Imagined being suddenly taken from your littermate and your mother to now living in a strange house that you have never seen before. A puppy needs lots of time to adjust and he is not used to being on his own.
How to Stop Puppy Crying at Night
First, you will want to make your puppy’s den as comfortable as possible so he feels safe in it. Let him sleep in his crate during the day and place it near the family in the living room. When it gets night time put the crate near your bed so your puppy doesn’t have to fear being left alone.
Most dog owners experience puppy crying at night when leaving the puppy in another room. I don’t recommend this to anyone. He will feel abandoned and anxious and he just arrived in your home which is not a good start. You are also not able to respond to him when he is crying for a serious reason.
Take your puppy out a few times per night and see how he is doing. If you have ensured that everything is okay and your puppy is still crying then ignore it and wait until he learned himself that nothing will happen to him. My puppy cried a lot and one day she suddenly stopped after a few weeks. It depends on your puppy how long this will take. For some more tips make sure to check out my article on how to survive your puppy’s first night.
Are you experiencing excessive barking or howling in your dog and have you been able to solve this? Let me know in the comments.