Why Do Dachshunds Howl

Last Updated on April 20, 2024 by admin

Have you ever wondered why dachshunds howl? If you’re a proud owner of one of these charming and adorable pups, you might have witnessed their unique howling skills firsthand. Dachshunds, with their elongated bodies and vibrant personalities, have a tendency to express themselves through vocalization, particularly by giving out soulful howls. But what is the reason behind this melodious behavior? In this article, we will explore the various factors that can make dachshunds howl and uncover the fascinating insights into their canine communication. Whether you’re a dachshund enthusiast or simply curious about these endearing creatures, get ready to delve into the intriguing world of dachshund howling.

Dachshunds: An Overview

Dachshunds, also known as wiener dogs or sausage dogs, are a popular breed known for their long bodies, short legs, and distinctive appearance. These lovable little dogs have captured the hearts of many with their energetic nature and playful personalities. In this article, we will explore the breed characteristics, history, and temperament of dachshunds.

Breed Characteristics

Dachshunds come in three different coat types: smooth, wirehaired, and longhaired. They can also be found in various colors and patterns, including but not limited to red, black, chocolate, cream, dapple, and brindle. Their unique body shape lends itself to a versatile breed that is capable of hunting prey in small spaces, such as burrows.

These dogs have excellent scenting abilities, which were originally developed for hunting badgers and other small game. Their long, narrow snouts and muscular bodies make them particularly adept at tracking scents and maneuvering through tight spaces. Despite their small size, they possess a fearless and determined temperament that complements their hunting skills.

History of Dachshunds

The history of dachshunds can be traced back to 15th-century Europe, where they were initially bred in Germany. The name “dachshund” translates to “badger dog” in German, highlighting their original purpose as hunting dogs for badgers. Over the centuries, dachshunds have evolved into a beloved companion breed, cherished for their loyalty, intelligence, and affectionate nature.

Although the breed’s primary role shifted from hunting to companionship, many dachshunds still retain their hunting instincts. Their strong prey drive and tenacity can sometimes manifest in behaviors such as howling, which we will explore in more detail later in this article.

Temperament and Behavior

Dachshunds are renowned for their vivacious and confident personalities. They often exhibit a charming stubbornness, which can make training a bit challenging for first-time dog owners. Nevertheless, with the right approach and consistency, dachshunds can be trained to be well-behaved and obedient companions.

These dogs are highly social and thrive on human companionship. They are known to form deep bonds with their families and can be particularly protective of their loved ones. Dachshunds are generally friendly with strangers, but early socialization is crucial to ensure they develop into well-rounded and confident dogs.

Understanding Howling

Howling is a natural form of vocal communication in dogs. It is a sound primarily associated with wolves, but domesticated dogs, including dachshunds, have inherited this behavior. Howling serves several purposes and can be triggered by various factors, including instinct, environmental stimuli, and emotional responses.

Communication in Dogs

Dogs communicate through a combination of vocalizations, body language, and scent marking. Howling is one of the vocal signals dogs use to convey various messages. It can serve as a means of social bonding, territorial warning, announcing their presence, or attracting attention from their owners or other dogs.

By howling, dogs can express their emotions, seek companionship, or signal potential threats. Understanding the different types of howling can help pet owners decipher their dachshund’s communication and address their needs appropriately.

Different Types of Howling

There are various types of howling that dogs engage in. These include lone howling, chorus howling, and response howling. Lone howling is when a dog howls on its own and is often associated with loneliness, boredom, or separation anxiety.

Chorus howling occurs when multiple dogs in a group or neighborhood howl together. This type of howling is often triggered by a particular sound or stimuli and can be a form of social bonding between dogs. Dogs that partake in chorus howling are usually responding to the howls of other dogs in the area.

Response howling, on the other hand, happens when a dog hears another dog howling and joins in. This can sometimes be triggered by sounds such as sirens or musical instruments. Dachshunds may exhibit any of these types of howling, depending on the circumstances and their individual temperament.

Why Do Some Dogs Howl More?

While howling is a natural behavior in dogs, some breeds, including dachshunds, may be more prone to howling than others. Several factors can contribute to why a dog may howl more frequently, including genetic predisposition, environmental stimuli, emotional state, and underlying health issues.

Certain breeds, such as dachshunds, have retained their hunting instincts throughout generations. This can make them more susceptible to howling as a response to various triggers. Additionally, factors such as separation anxiety, attention-seeking behavior, boredom, and discomfort can all contribute to increased howling in dogs.

Understanding the reasons behind excessive howling in dachshunds is essential for pet owners to effectively manage and address this behavior. Let’s explore how howling specifically relates to dachshunds and the possible reasons behind their vocalizations.

Dachshunds and Howling

Dachshunds are known to be a vocal breed, which includes howling as part of their repertoire. While not all dachshunds howl with the same frequency or intensity, it is a behavior that can manifest in this breed. Understanding the potential reasons behind dachshund howling can help pet owners better manage and address this behavior in their furry friends.

Possible Reasons for Howling

There are several possible reasons why dachshunds may engage in howling. These include genetic predisposition, separation anxiety, attention-seeking behavior, response to sounds, loneliness or boredom, health issues, age-related factors, and environmental factors. Let’s delve into each of these reasons in more detail.

The Influence of Genetics

The genetic makeup of a dachshund can play a role in their tendency to howl. As a hunting breed, dachshunds have been selectively bred for generations to possess keen senses and a strong prey drive. This genetic predisposition can influence their communication style, including their inclination to howl in response to certain stimuli or triggers.

Separation Anxiety

Dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety, which can lead to excessive vocalization, including howling, when left alone. This breed thrives on human companionship and can become distressed when separated from their owners for extended periods. Howling may serve as a way for them to communicate their distress and seek attention.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Dachshunds are intelligent dogs that learn quickly how to capture their owners’ attention. If they realize that howling elicits a response or attention from their owners, they may employ this behavior as a means of getting what they want, whether it’s food, playtime, or simply companionship. Consistent training and positive reinforcement can help redirect this attention-seeking behavior.

Howling as a Response to Sounds

Dachshunds, being alert and curious, may howl in response to certain sounds that they perceive as a potential threat or an invitation to communicate. Common triggers for howling in dachshunds include sirens, musical instruments, other dogs howling, or even household noises such as the doorbell or phone ringing. This behavior can be managed through training and desensitization techniques.

Loneliness or Boredom

Dachshunds crave social interaction and mental stimulation. When left alone for long periods without sufficient exercise or entertainment, they may resort to howling as a way of expressing their loneliness or boredom. Providing ample exercise, companionship, and mental stimulation can help reduce their need to vocalize excessively.

Health Issues

In some cases, howling in dachshunds may be attributed to underlying health issues or physical discomfort. Pain, discomfort, or hormonal imbalances can manifest as increased vocalization, including howling. If a dachshund’s howling is sudden, persistent, or accompanied by other abnormal behaviors or symptoms, it is important to consult a veterinarian to rule out any potential health concerns.

Age and Senior Dogs

As dachshunds age, their propensity to howl may increase. This can be attributed to factors such as cognitive decline, hearing loss, or general changes in their physical and mental well-being. Providing increased support, comfort, and specialized care for senior dachshunds can help manage age-related howling.

Environmental Factors

The environment in which a dachshund lives can also impact their howling behavior. If the dog is exposed to loud or unfamiliar noises, such as construction work, fireworks, or a new pet in the household, they may resort to howling as a response to these stressors. Creating a calm and safe environment for the dachshund can help alleviate their anxiety and reduce excessive howling.

How to Manage Howling in Dachshunds

Managing howling in dachshunds requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses their specific needs and the underlying factors contributing to their vocalization. By implementing the following strategies, pet owners can help reduce and manage howling behavior in their dachshunds effectively.

Providing Sufficient Exercise

Dachshunds are an active breed that requires daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Regular walks, playtime, and engaging activities can help channel their energy in positive ways and reduce the need for excessive vocalization. Aim for at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise each day, adapted to your dachshund’s age and health condition.

Establishing a Routine

Creating a consistent and predictable routine for your dachshund can help promote a sense of security and stability. Set designated times for meals, walks, play sessions, and rest. This routine can provide a sense of structure and reduce the likelihood of howling due to uncertainty or boredom.

Socialization and Mental Stimulation

Dachshunds thrive on social interaction and mental stimulation. Regular socialization with other dogs and exposure to various environments can help prevent boredom and loneliness, reducing the need for excessive howling. Engaging your dachshund in mentally stimulating activities, such as puzzle toys or interactive games, can also help keep their minds engaged and prevent boredom-related vocalization.

Addressing Separation Anxiety

If your dachshund displays signs of separation anxiety, it is important to address this issue to alleviate distress and reduce howling. Gradually acclimate your dachshund to being alone by implementing short periods of separation, gradually increasing the duration. Provide them with a safe space, such as a crate or designated area, with comforting toys or blankets. Consider using calming aids, such as pheromone diffusers or anxiety wraps, to help reduce their stress levels. Consultation with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist may be beneficial in managing separation anxiety effectively.

Creating a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Evaluate your dachshund’s living environment and make changes to minimize potential stressors. Ensure they have a comfortable and quiet space where they can retreat and feel secure. Use soundproofing techniques, such as adding insulation or using white noise machines, to mitigate the impact of external noises that may trigger howling. A cozy bed, appropriate temperature, and a consistent feeding and watering schedule can also contribute to their overall well-being.

Training and Positive Reinforcement

Consistent training and positive reinforcement techniques are crucial in managing howling behavior in dachshunds. Reward your dachshund for calm, quiet behavior and redirect their attention when they display signs of howling. Teach them alternative behaviors, such as “quiet” or “speak” commands, to help control their vocalizations. Utilize positive reinforcement methods, such as treats, praise, and play, to encourage desired behaviors and discourage excessive howling.

Reducing External Triggers

Identify and reduce the presence of external triggers that may cause howling in your dachshund. If certain sounds consistently elicit a howling response, gradually desensitize your dachshund to these noises by exposing them to the sounds at a low volume and gradually increasing the intensity. Pair the exposure with positive reinforcement to create positive associations, helping your dachshund become less reactive to the triggers over time.

Seeking Professional Help

If the howling behavior persists despite your best efforts, it may be beneficial to consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can assess your dachshund’s specific needs and provide tailored guidance and techniques for managing excessive howling. They may also help identify any underlying behavioral or emotional issues that may be contributing to the howling.

Preventing Howling in Dachshunds

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate howling in dachshunds, there are steps you can take to minimize its occurrence. By implementing the following preventive measures, you can reduce the likelihood of excessive howling in your dachshund:

Early Socialization

Proper socialization from an early age is crucial in preventing behavioral issues, including excessive howling. Expose your dachshund to various people, animals, environments, and stimuli in a positive and controlled manner. Gradual exposure to different sounds, such as sirens or doorbells, can help desensitize your dachshund and reduce their reaction to these triggers.

Proper Training Techniques

Consistent and positive reinforcement-based training techniques play a vital role in preventing howling behavior in dachshunds. Start training your dachshund from a young age and focus on reinforcing desired behaviors while discouraging unnecessary vocalizations. Use reward-based training methods, such as treats, praise, and play, to motivate and encourage your dachshund to respond to commands.

Avoiding Reinforcement of Howling

Avoid inadvertently reinforcing your dachshund’s howling behavior by not rewarding or giving attention when they engage in unnecessary vocalization. This includes refraining from shouting at or scolding your dachshund when they howl, as this may reinforce the behavior. Instead, redirect their attention to an alternative behavior or command and reward them for complying.

Creating a Stimulating Environment

Preventing boredom and providing mental stimulation is key to minimizing howling behavior. Offer a variety of toys, including puzzle toys and chew toys, to keep your dachshund engaged and occupied. Rotate toys regularly to keep them novel and exciting. Interactive play sessions, obedience training, and scent work activities can also help satisfy their need for mental stimulation.

Regular Veterinary Check-ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for maintaining your dachshund’s overall health and well-being. Health issues, including pain or discomfort, can contribute to excessive howling in dogs. By ensuring that your dachshund receives appropriate medical care, any potential health issues that may be causing or exacerbating howling can be addressed promptly.

When to Seek Veterinary Assistance

While occasional howling is normal for dachshunds, there are certain situations where it is advisable to seek veterinary assistance. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, it is important to consult a veterinarian:

Persistent or Excessive Howling

If your dachshund’s howling becomes persistent, excessive, or seems out of the ordinary for their usual behavior, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue or emotional distress. A veterinarian can assess your dachshund’s condition and determine the appropriate course of action.

Sudden Change in Howling Behavior

A sudden change in howling behavior, such as a significant increase in frequency or intensity, may indicate an underlying issue. It is important to rule out any health problems, changes in the environment, or emotional disturbances that may be causing this change.

Accompanying Symptoms or Discomfort

If your dachshund’s howling is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, such as changes in appetite, lethargy, weight loss, or discomfort, it is crucial to seek veterinary assistance. These symptoms may indicate an underlying health condition that requires diagnosis and treatment.

Determining Underlying Health Issues

If your dachshund’s overall health and behavior are a concern, a veterinarian can perform a comprehensive examination and any necessary diagnostic tests to identify any underlying health issues. By addressing these issues promptly, you can alleviate any discomfort or distress that may be contributing to your dachshund’s howling behavior.


Understanding and addressing howling behavior in dachshunds is essential for ensuring the well-being and happiness of these lovable dogs. By recognizing the various factors that contribute to howling, pet owners can implement strategies to manage and prevent excessive vocalization. Through a combination of training, socialization, exercise, and providing a stimulating environment, dachshund owners can create a harmonious relationship with their furry companions. By seeking professional guidance and veterinary assistance when necessary, pet owners can ensure that their dachshunds lead happy and healthy lives.