If your German Shepherd doesn’t howl you might be wondering why and what you should do about it. This post will give you some reasons why your German Shepherd might not howl and what you can do about it.

So, why doesn’t your German Shepherd howl? If your German Shepherd is still young then it likely just hasn’t figured out how yet. There are a number of other possible reasons including a quiet personality, a lack of comfort with its environment, previous training, illness or injury, and boredom or sometimes depression.

There are actually a number of different reasons why your German Shepherd might not be howling. There are also a lot of things that you can do about it.

Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Isn’t Howling

Before taking the time to get your German Shepherd to howl it’s important to figure out what the root cause of its lack of howling is. There are a number of causes of why it might not be howling that I will mention below.

It hasn’t figured it out yet

If your German Shepherd is still young then it’s likely that your German Shepherd hasn’t figured it out yet. If your German Shepherd doesn’t live with other dogs that howl then it might just take a little longer for it to start howling.

Personality

Another likely cause of its lack of howling is that it’s in its personality to be quieter. A lot of German Shepherds don’t have it in their nature to howl a lot. Despite that, if your German Shepherd does bark often then this is less likely to be the case but it could just be more prone to barking than howling.

It’s not comfortable yet

If you have recently introduced your German Shepherd to a new environment then it could be that it hasn’t had enough time to become comfortable enough to start howling. If your German Shepherd is in a new environment then you should take the time to help it to get more comfortable by doing things that I’ll mention in the next section below.

Previous Experiences

It could be that your German Shepherd has had bad experiences with howling in the past so it doesn’t do it anymore. If your German Shepherd is a rescue dog then this is more likely to be the case.

Related post: Why is my German Shepherd afraid?

Previous Training

It might be that previous training that your German Shepherd has had in the past has caused it to learn not to howl. It’s common for dog owners to train their dogs to be quiet so this is something that could have happened. If your German Shepherd has had previous owners then this is more likely.

Illness or injury

It might be that your German Shepherd is not feeling well or that it is injured and does not have the energy to howl. If you think that this might be the cause for the lack of howling then you should take it to the vet to get a checkup. If this is the cause then it’s likely that it will show other symptoms such as a lack of appetite, a lack of energy, or limping.

Boredom

German Shepherds were bred to be very active dogs. If your German Shepherd isn’t getting lots of exercise then it’s possible that your German Shepherd is bored and is not in the mood for howling. If your German Shepherd isn’t getting lots of exercise then you should make sure that it does since it will help to keep it more healthy and happy.

Age

As dogs get older their hearing gets worse. When this happens sounds that would previously have provoked it to start howling might not anymore since it can’t hear them as clearly as it used to.

Depression

In some cases, it could actually be that the German Shepherd is depressed and that it does not feel like doing anything. If this is the case then it’s unlikely that your German Shepherd will be howling much.

It can be hard to figure out if this is the case but symptoms would include changes in appetite, spending more time sleeping, a lack of interest, excessive paw licking, and avoidance or hiding. If you think that depression could be the cause then you should get the help of an animal behaviorist.

How To Make It Start Howling

Once you have figured out what the root cause of its lack of howling is then correcting it will become easier.

You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get even more tips on how you can train your GSD.

Teach it to howl

If you think that your German Shepherd just hasn’t learned to howl yet then there are a number of things that you can do to encourage it to start howling.

The first thing that you can do is to start to imitate howling your self. When wolves howl in the wild it will normally be in a group and once one German Shepherd starts howling the others will often start to aswell. By imitating a howl yourself you’ll often be able to encourage your German Shepherd to start howling as well.

Instead of trying to howl yourself an alternative would be to play a high pitched noise such as sirens, an instrument or a whistle.

Another easy hack that you could try is to play videos of German Shepherds howling on Youtube. By doing this you might be able to get your German Shepherd to naturally start joining in with the howling as well.

Wait for it to get older

If your German Shepherd is still young then there is no need to worry too much just yet. German Shepherds will often take some time before they start howling so it could just be that your German Shepherd will begin to howl when it gets older.

Allow it to adjust to new surroundings

If your German Shepherd is new to its environment then it is likely that it hasn’t gotten comfortable enough with it yet to start being noisy. If this is the case then you can also try waiting for a bit longer for it to start to get more comfortable.

You can also take measures to make it feel more comfortable such as showing it around the house and its new area, taking it out for lots of walks, giving it lots of toys to play with and by giving it lots of attention.

Make sure nothing is wrong

If you think that your German Shepherd might be ill or injured then the first thing that you should do is to take it to a vet.

Give it exercise

German Shepherds are designed to be very active, they were bred to do energy-intensive tasks for hours daily. So, if your German Shepherd isn’t getting a lot of exercise then it is likely to be a problem. This means that you should try to ensure that your German Shepherd gets an hour of exercise every day to help to keep it healthy and to encourage it to act more naturally.

Give it training

One option that you have is to train your German Shepherd to start howling.

You can do this by getting a treat that it loves, giving it a piece and giving it more when it starts to howl. If your German Shepherd doesn’t howl much naturally then you’ll find that it will do other things like sitting, laying down, rolling or even barking before it begins to howl. But, you should be patient and reward it when it starts to show signs of howling.

When you do it it’s important to only reward the German Shepherd when it howls on your command otherwise you’ll risk having the problem where it thinks that howling when it wants will get it what it wants. This won’t be good since a German Shepherd that howls all the time can be more troubling than one that doesn’t howl.

You can watch the video below to see what I mean. But, instead of rewarding barking you reward the howling.

Take it to a behaviorist

If your German Shepherd still isn’t howling and it is causing you to become concerned then you should consider getting help from an animal behaviorist who will have the knowledge and experience to be able to diagnose the problem more accurately.

Things To Consider

When you’re trying to figure out why your German Shepherd isn’t howling and what to do about it there are a number of things that you’ll want to keep in mind.

Avoid physical measures

Using physical means to get your German Shepherd to start howling is something that is less likely to work and more likely to lead to other much worse problems. If you use physical measures to persuade your German Shepherd to start howling then you’ll be risking it becoming scared of you, less trusting of you and becoming less happy.

It could just be in its nature

Even though it might frustrate you that your German Shepherd never howls it could really just be that it’s naturally inclined to howl less often. If this is the case then be thankful that you don’t have the opposite problem where it is constantly being loud.

Train it to only howl when it should do

If you want to train your German Shepherd to howl more often then you should make sure to train it to only howl when you tell it to. If you don’t then you’ll be risking ending up with a German Shepherd that makes lots of noise when it wants things which may not be at the same time that you want it to be noisy.

Give it a wide variety of ways to communicate

If your German Shepherd is naturally quiet then you might want to give it other ways to communicate. This can include things such as hanging bells attached to strings attached to doors that it can scratch when it wants to come in.

Related Questions

Why is my German Shepherd so quiet? The reasons for your German Shepherd being quiet are similar to the reasons why it might not be howling. These include the nature of the German Shepherd, a lack of comfort, age, previous training, illness, boredom or depression. I have written previously about this here.

Why does my German Shepherd never bark? Again the causes of this are similar to the reasons why it might not be howling but in this case, German Shepherds are less prone to barking than other dogs. I have written previously about this here.

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