Why Do German Shepherds Howl? How To Make Them Stop?

Why do German Shepherds howl
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Many dog owners have experienced their pets howling, and they are very annoying. So, why do German Shepherds howl?

The extent they howl varies depending on the dog. There are methods to train them to stop if you can’t stand it anymore.

In this post, we’ll discuss this behavior among the dogs to develop appropriate solutions. Let’s dig into the details!

Why Do German Shepherds Howl?  

Your German Shepherd dogs (GSDs) may howl for different reasons. They feel anxious, painful, or lonely. In some cases, they want your attention. 

The real reason behind your pet’s behavior differs from case to case. Here are the most common explanations for the noises. 


In case a wolf is away from his pack, he will howl to tell us that he wants his pals to get back to him.

When your German shepherd dog screams while you’re away, it’s practically begging you to return.

In other words, he misses and loves you, and your disappearance makes him anxious, so he will want you to get back home. 

Moreover, if your pet howls when you are not around, and you come back, he will assume that you return because you hear his howls. 

What you see when you go home will help you determine if your pet is screaming because of anxiety. If a dog howls for this reason, you will notice more severe actions to arise.

Dogs need to express their feelings in some way. When they’re anxious, they usually chew anything up. If this is your case, take immediate action to fix the problem.

Take time to test the dog more frequently, or ask the assistance of some friends to see your pet to ensure that it doesn’t stay alone for too long. 

  1. The GSD may feel anxious (Link

Define its territory

When your German Shepherd howls, he warns other species that they invade his territory. He is ready to battle with them.

According to a study, howling is vital for keeping their pups safe from attackers and protecting their prey.

These animals use their howls to claim that their place does not belong to another species’ territory.

This behavior is necessary for the puppies’ survival and the storage of the food. If they collide, the unavoidable conflict will endanger their offspring. 


This sound is nearly identical to a kid crying out for your attention. Your pet may not yell for water, food, or any reason related to survival.  

Your pet may need attention because he feels ill. He wants your care and doesn’t know how to tell you. 

However, dogs may howl just because they want you to give them a look. In this case, wonder if you give your pet enough attention.

  1. He just wants attention (Link)

Response to sound

You have realized that your German Shepherd dogs frequently howl to react to other noises. Although it’s fun to see and hear, your pet isn’t acting cute.

Here are some familiar sounds that may activate your dog’s senses:

  • Sirens

You can note that when your dog detects a siren, he immediately pays attention to the sound. A common misconception is that the noise of a siren causes the animal’s ears to suffer. 

Sirens are quite loud, and listening to a rushing fire truck with blasting sirens may irritate us, humans.

Many people believe that because the dog has a far better hearing ability than us, these siren noises must be painful for them. However, this idea is not true. 

Consider whether your dog appears in pain when it howls in response to a siren.

So, recall that when your puppy howls at the sound, does he look like he is in pain? Most of the time, the answer is no. 

Your pet even wags his tail and seems to be having fun because he likes the sound and will enjoy himself. 

The reason for this reaction goes back to the GSD’s ancestors, the wolves. These animals use their howls to make contact. 

Most sirens fade away because the emergency vehicle is usually moving to another place rather than the dog’s home.

The GSD considers his endeavors to redirect the sound from the region an accomplishment. He then has the feeling of having achieved something.

This coincidental event causes your GSD to howl again whenever he hears any siren coming to his area.

  1. The sirens are loud and rushing (Link)
  • Singing

According to scientific evidence, canines can detect pitch. When some wolves are howling, and several other wolves arrive at that time, the wolf sounds will change.

Any wolf also wants their voice to be heard; therefore, they take careful steps to ensure they do not sound like some other wolves. Your dog behaves similarly.

When the GSD hears sounds, he picks up on the continuous pitch and sees it as a way to communicate.

At this moment,  your GSD just wishes to join. It’s up to you to interpret what your pet says, but it seems to be having a good time.

  • Musical instruments

When you’ve ever played musical instruments in front of dogs, you’ve probably realized that certain instruments evoke a stronger response from them than others.

Some wind instruments, as well as long violin notes, frequently cause these animals to howl more. 

Dogs can respond to different pitches. Besides, they may also act differently based on the genre of music.

  1. These animals react rapidly to some musical instruments (Link


Howls can also be a dog’s way of expressing pain. If your GSD howls and you can’t find the reasons, you should check it further.

Sometimes a puppy’s injuries aren’t easily apparent, and they need a closer examination.

If you believe your pet gets hurt, look for areas on his body where he may have been hit by someone or something.


Several dog owners see their pups as little more than a barrier against intruders. They fail to recognize that their pets want attention. 

Staying with such owners makes the animals feel lonely. They yowl to express their loneliness and try to get attention. 

Contact the animal control department if you see a neglected dog. Do not talk to the owner or solve the problem by yourself. 


If you live in a dog-friendly neighborhood, you’ll frequently hear one dog howling, joined by the next, sometimes the next, etc. This effect is similar to convicts communicating from room to room in a domino effect.

Howling is also an efficient means of communication since it creates a large noise net. The size of the net depends on different criteria, including the animal’s breed, the terrain, and the environment.

  1. The animals use their noises to communicate (Link

How To Stop Your German Shepherd From Howling? 

Howling is familiar if you raise dogs, but we all know that this sound is annoying. There are some things you can do to halt this behavior.

Ignore them

GSDs frequently howl when they’ve discovered that it’s a quick way to gain your attention.

Rather than disciplining them, ignore them and persist. The dogs eventually realize that their howls are no longer effective.

If this method doesn’t work, get out of the room, close the door, and don’t come back until the noise stops. This idea teaches your pets that the greatest way to get your love is to stay quiet. 

Play with them

If your GSD needs attention, being more serious about your time with him may help. Do it by spending more time with him, hugging, patting, and kissing him. 

These dogs receive enough attention and love. Hence, they won’t make any annoying sounds.

Train them 

Counterconditioning is a strategy for training your GSD to change their emotions while performing a specific action.

You can train dogs that howl when someone passes by the home by rewarding them as soon as they notice somebody and before they start screaming.

When dogs connect a person passing by with positive emotion, they are less likely to make noise. 

You can learn more about this training method right here:

  1. Learn how to train your little buddy (Link


Why do german shepherds howl? Anxiety, loneliness, pain, and sound response are among the most common causes for your GSDs to howl. 

In many cases, they may also make noises when they want your attention. 

Most of their behaviors derive from their ancestors, wolves. If you find these noises too disturbing, you can learn how to train your GSDs.

Hopefully, the guide we have shared can help you understand more about your pets. For any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!


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