Why Does My German Shepherd Howl?

Why Does My German Shepherd Howl?

Some German shepherds howl from time to time while others don’t howl at all. As the dog master, you might want to know the reason behind the not-so-pleasant howling noise.

German shepherds howl as a way of communication, sickness, injury, seeking attention, boredom, defense, excitement, irritation, or territory marking. They also howl because they inherited the habit from their ancestors, the wolves.

This article explains more on the reasons behind German shepherd howling and how to break it.


Why Do German Shepherds Howl?


German shepherds originated from the wolves. Wolves howl from time to time and GSDs inherited that trait from them.


If he is bored, he might just howl to keep himself busy. German shepherds are active dogs that require regular exercise, and if they get idle, they might start howling as a way


When hurt, German shepherds will express their pain by howling. Regularly check his body for any injuries.

Seeking Attention

German shepherds like attention so much. If you don’t give them attention like playing or cuddling, he will howl persistently. If you keep them locked in a house for long, they will howl as a way of calling you.

Responding to sounds

  • Siren– you might have noticed that the siren captures the attention of your GSD. Research has found that it’s a way of him telling the siren to go away. Since most sirens are ever at a speed, your dog will think that his howling has sent it away. He will always howl whenever he overhears a siren.
  • Music – it’s hilarious but true that your German shepherd might not be howling but singing. You have to                 identify if he is singing so you do not interrupt him.At times, your dog might howl whenever music is being played. He might not howl to every music but to the ones which will please him.

A Form of Communication

Your GSD can howl whenever he meets with new dogs, this mostly happens when he does not get chances to interact with them regularly. Sometimes he can howl at night to communicate with other dogs that are far away from home.

Begging You Not to Leave Him

Dogs get restless when you are about to leave them. They are wise enough to master our routine, so when they know it’s time for you to leave them they howl.


Sometimes you can make a sound that resembles that of howling, and your dog will mimic it. It can also hear a dog from a neighborhood howl and do the same.


Though it is not common, some dogs howl to show their happiness.

In Case of Danger

 German shepherds are good watchdogs and can sense danger, he can bark or howl to alert you.


If your dog notices that any animal is about to intrude on his territory, he will howl to inform them that he is ready to deal with them.

Is There Need For Distress if My GSD Doesn’t Howl?

It is not all German shepherds that howl, some don’t. You shouldn’t be unease if he doesn’t.

Just like you taught him basic commands, you can also teach him how to howl if you feel it’s important.

How to make my GSD Stop Howling


German shepherds can howl as a way of seeking attention, you can stop it by ignoring them. You should not give him any treat or food because he associates howling with good things and he will never stop.

You should not punish or scream at him. Either you give him positive or negative attention, your dog will howl again because attention was all he needed.

Have time for him 

You should create time to be with your dog by playing games, walks, or cuddling. You should only ignore him if he wants excess attention. Denying him any kind of attention is not good for him, it can make him stressed or depressed.

Teach the Quiet Command

German shepherds are highly trainable, you can teach them to stop howling. Start by making him howl at your command then tell him ‘quiet’. If he keeps quiet for ten minutes, give him a treat. Continue with the procedure around twenty times. At the end of those days, stop giving him treats and he will be following the ‘quiet’ command anytime you want him to.

Use Dog Training Books

You can buy a Dog Training Book to train your dog to stop howling. This method is much cheaper than hiring a professional dog trainer, it can also help you in training other basic commands.


It is not easy to know the specific reason why your German shepherd is howling. You should consider all of the above possible reasons that can make your German shepherd howl so that you can know the best way to stop it.

At times, you should let your German shepherd howl uninterrupted. It is in their genes after all.

Related Posts:

Can GSDs Swim?

How Many Puppies Can a GSD Have?

Are German Shepherds Aggressive?


Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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