How to Control Howling

by Tom Ryan
    Counterconditioning is when you train your dog to not do something.

    Counterconditioning is when you train your dog to not do something.

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    A dog who howls frequently can be hard to share a space with. Indoors, the sound is deafening; outdoors, it it can create problems with the neighbors. To control a dog's howling, you'll have to determine why he's doing it.

    Identify and Control

    The first thing to rule out when it comes to excessive howling is illness, injury or other discomfort, so take your dog to the veterinarian. If you rule those out, he may have behavioral reasons for howling -- he may suffer from separation anxiety, for example, so he howls when you are away from home. Alternatively, he may howl as a way of trying to get your attention or as a response to noises that startle or frighten him. In any case, controlling this behavior is a matter of counterconditioning, or training your dog that good things happen when he doesn't howling. For advice on starting a counterconditioning regimen, contact a licensed trainer.

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    About the Author

    Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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