Poodles aren’t shown howling in the movies or on television, ever. So can poodles even howl at all? What about Poodle mixes?
Can poodles howl? Yes, Poodles can howl, but they don’t often do it. The most common reason that people report their poodles howling is because of separation anxiety or they’ve been ‘taught’ by another dog that habitually howls, like a beagle.
There are many breeds and varieties of poodles. Can they all howl? And what would a poodle howling even sound like? Are there any dog breeds that cannot howl?
Can Toy Poodles Howl?
Toy poodles, miniature poodles, and poodle mixes can all howl, not just standard poodles. Why haven’t you ever heard your poodle howl, then? While all poodles have the ability to howl, some don’t know how.
Compare a dog howling to someone whistling. All of us can whistle, barring some with unique physical limitations, but not everyone knows how. If you encounter it enough, you can easily pick it up, but without exposure to it, most dogs, especially poodles, won’t start howling.
Is There A Dog Breed That Can’t Howl?
There is no known dog breed that doesn’t have the ability to howl. While there are dogs who have malformed vocal cords and physically cannot howl, this isn’t unique to any specific breed. It seems to happen evenly among dog breeds.
Of course, some breeds are more likely than others to howl or not howl. Everyone knows how famous any breed of hound or wolf-like dogs, such as huskies and Alaskan Malamutes are for howling.
What Poodle Mixes Are Most Likely to Howl?
Poodle mixes are very common and popular today. However, the breed of a dog mixed with a Poodle can change it’s characteristics slightly. Some dog breeds are more likely to howl such as:
- Any kind of hunting dog. Hounds mostly fit into this category. Hunting dogs were trained to howl when they found their prize so you could retrieve it from them, and thus were bred to be louder and louder until we have the big bloodhound bellow of today.
Poodle mix example: Bassetdoodle
- Any ‘wolf-like’ dog, such as huskies, American Eskimo dogs, etc. These also tend to be known as ‘chatty’ dogs, who aren’t afraid to communicate with their humans.
Poodle mix example: Eskapoo
- Any dog with hound mixed in, such as Dachshunds which don’t look much like their bloodhound brothers, but still have the howling gene.
Poodle mix example: Doxiepoo
A poodle mix with any of these breeds mixed in is more likely to howl than a purebred poodle.
How Do You Teach Your Poodle to Howel?
Some poodles will pick up how to howl while puppies, at the dog park, or in a kennel type situation. But what if you have a full-grown poodle who you take to the dog park regularly, yet your poodle hasn’t ever howled, and you don’t want to leave them in a kennel just to learn to howl?
- One of the first things you can do is to make sure and introduce your dog to other dogs who do howl. Schedule play dates with other dogs, especially huskies, beagles, and hounds, all of which are known as very vocal dogs. The more time spent around a howler, the more likely they are to howl.
- Next, sing with your poodle! Dogs howl to communicate, so communicate with your pup. Try to stick to high-pitched notes, as those are closest to a dog’s howl. If your dog mimics you back, reward with a treat, just like with any other training procedure.
- Make sure to accompany any treat rewards with a verbal cue, such as “Howl!” or “Sing!” just as you would with “Sit!” or any other command. You can use whatever word you like, but be consistent. If your poodle howls at any point for your notice, make sure to repeat the cue and treat.
What Else Can I Do to Encourage My Poodle to Howl?
- Play the harmonica or another instrument where you can vary the pitch. Some dogs don’t respond to singing but do like to ‘sing’ along with instruments. Harmonicas are a go-to for this, but any instrument may work with your poodle.
- Some dogs respond to sirens by howling. Make sure you give them a cue, a treat, and praise for howling. You can even download apps on your phone or play videos with sirens to encourage your poodle’s howling without a real siren.
- Give it time. Sometimes, you’ll end up waiting a long time to ever hear their howl. Just as people get rusty singing, dogs may feel just as insecure by attempting to howl without having a lot of experience doing it.
Here are some other ideas for what else you can do to try and encourage your dog to howl:
You should know, not all poodles will howl. Just as not all people will whistle, some dogs just simply don’t want to, or at least, not in front of you. If you really want to try and see if your dog ever howls, set up a camera to watch your dog when you aren’t home.
Why Do Poodles Howl?
Some dogs seem more inclined than others to howl. This can be from dog to dog or breed to breed. For instance, everyone knows how a beagle or hound can howl. But some other breeds we don’t normally associate with howling, such as toy poodles, have exceptions we hear about.
If you’re an owner of a howling poodle and you’re wondering how you managed to get one of the few who just seems to know how to howl, here are some reasons why your poodle is howling.
• To communicate. Dogs use vocal noises as well as body language to communicate, just as we do. Within packs, wolves howl to each other to communicate. Your dog is trying to communicate to you, your family, or other dogs in the household.
• To protect. Dogs are territorial animals, and howling is a way to alert other dogs that this isn’t open territory. If your dog is spending time perched out by the fence, howling his little heart out, that’s probably why.
• To get attention. This can be a good and bad thing. When dogs are hurt or need your attention to alert you of something else important, they will sometimes howl. However, some will also begin to howl just for attention, which can get annoying fast.
• To bond or respond. If your poodle only howls while you’re belting out show tunes, he’s only trying to join in on your song. Some dogs hear sirens, and it sounds similar enough to another dog’s howl that he may try to respond to the siren by howling back at it.
Is My Poodle Howling Because He’s Sad?
If your poodle is howling, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s sad. While we’ve all cried over the image of the dog sadly sitting and letting out a low, mournful howl in the movies, this isn’t actually usually why dogs howl.
As we just explored, dogs usually howl simply to communicate. But what about those times it sounds so sad, your heart could nearly break? Well, it could be that they’re sad. Or it could simply be they want your attention.
A long, low howl can be a cry. This is often heard when a dog is injured and calling for help. In the wild, this is how a lone wolf alerts his pack of an injury if he’s been left behind. Just as the movies claim, this can also be used when your dog is feeling sad.
However, don’t immediately assume a sad howl means your dog is heartbroken and depressed. If he quickly seems to recover, you may be experiencing a very common phenomenon with clever dogs called manipulation. This just means your dog likes to be showered in attention and knows how to get you to give it to him