If you are wondering ‘do Chihuahuas howl?’ then the short answer is yes.
This is one of the howling breeds but worry not: no Chihuahua will howl without a reason.
If your Chihuahua has suddenly started howling, you might want to investigate the reasons behind the behavior.
While most dogs use howling as a form of communication, in rare cases, pain or illness could also trigger howling.
In this guide, I will tell you exactly why do Chihuahuas howl and share 6 effective methods to minimize chihuahua howling.
Do Chihuahuas Howl? (The Short Answer)
Yes, the Chihuahua dog breed is one of the howling breeds. Do you have a howling chihuahua? if yes, please read on.
Not all dog breeds communicate via howling although howling is a very instinctive behavior and a form of communications used by all dogs.
Some dog breeds like the treeing/hunting dog breeds are even trained to howl when they have trapped their prey. This alerts their masters to come over and do the needful.
Howling is an important form of canine communication – dogs howl at nights when they ‘talk’ to each other. You might have experienced this too – if one dog in the neighborhood howls, others join in, and your Chihuahua might join in too.
Chihuahuas are definitely one of the ‘howler breeds’ although a well-trained, appropriately-exercised, and well-fed Chihuahua won’t indulge in howling unless it is absolutely necessary.
Howling often conveys some form of unmet needs as well. Additionally, dogs howl when the siren of an ambulance or a police car goes by.
In the next section, I will cover some of the main reasons why Chihuahuas howl.
Why Do Chihuahuas Howl? (7 Main Reasons)
Here are some of the reasons why a Chihuahua might howl:
1. Cry for attention
Howling a form of canine communication. All dog breeds including our Chihuahuas are vocal animals and they will use barking, whining, growling, and howling to convey their feelings or needs.
If your Chihuahua howls at night, it might be because of some unmet need. Perhaps your Chi wants to go potty or is hungry. Maybe it is cold and needs to be held.
In short: if your otherwise quiet Chi suddenly howls, then it may be a form of attention seeking.
2. Territorial signal or warning
Most dogs use howling to communicate with each other.
If your Chihuahua howls in response to another dog’s howl, it is to indicate that ‘this is my territory’ and to warn the other dog to back off.
3. Loneliness howling
Yes, Chihuahuas might even howl when they are lonely or when they need company.
Our small dogs are known to suffer from separation anxiety. So every time your Chihuahua is left home alone, it might howl and cry to indicate that it is feeling sad. Your Chi might howl to call attention of other dogs so it feels less alone.
4. Chihuahua howling due to pain
Another reason behind howling in Chihuahuas could be illness, injury, or pain. A sick dog will use various forms of vocal communication and howling is one of them. If your dog shows other signs of pain, then please see your vet right away.
5. Evolutionary form of communication with other dogs
Have you wondered: why is my chihuahua howling like a wolf?
As stated earlier, howling is a form of communication and dogs use it to vocalize with each other.
A pack of dogs might start howling – all at the same time. This could be the result of evolutionary behavior: wolves – the ancestors of dogs – are known to howl, especially at night, and it is a pack behavior in the species.
Therefore, your Chi might be howling to communicate with other dogs and it may be more pronounced when a female dog is in heat nearby. It could also be in response to some changes in the dog’s vicinity, which it might signal to other dogs.
6. Warning howling
In the past, dogs have been known to howl prior to storms and earthquakes. It is said that all dogs have a sixth sense and the same is true about Chihuahuas too.
However, if your Chi howls often, it may simply be one of the other reasons stated here and not because of some doomsday prediction or warning about a calamity!
7. Howling in response to other noises/sirens
In case a Chihuahua hears a siren in the vicinity, then too it might howl.
Many times, our Chihuahua Bella howls when an ambulance or a police car drives by. Chihuahuas and other dogs might howl in response to that noise. Probably it does so out of fear or anxiety or simply to alert other dogs around.
Do Chihuahuas Howl At Sirens?
It is common for many dog breeds, including chihuahuas to howl at sirens.
Many dogs hear the high-pitched sounds of a siren and think they’re being howled at by another dog. They’ll then “answer” with their own barking or howling.
Fear also plays an important role in this response…if your typical day consists of peace and quiet outside, when suddenly blast of a siren fills the air, it’s totally unfamiliar territory and your animal may feel threatened. Since dogs are naturally territorial animals, they’ll respond by “staking their turf.” That means barking, running around frantically near you as if on protection duty or leaning against you for reassurance.
Is My Chihuahua Sad when it Howls?
Can chihuahuas howl in sadness? Indeed, one form of howling in dogs does communicate sadness or loneliness.
My Chihuahua – Bella – often howls when we all go out to dinner or to work. She howls until she hears our car drive out of the garage. Neighbors tell me later that she continues to howl for a few minutes before quieting down.
Bella has a serious form of separation anxiety and most Chihuahuas are known to have it as well.
So, one form of howling is definitely indicative of sorrow.
However, not all howling indicates loneliness or sadness. It is mostly a vocal communication between neighborhood dogs. In other cases, your Chihuahua might simply be feeling under-the-weather or might howl to get your attention.
Do Chihuahuas’ Howls Symbolize Death?
In some cultures, dogs’ howls are considered to be a negative omen.
People often believe that a dog can sense death and when someone in the vicinity dies, they know it and howl in reaction to it.
Many cultures consider dogs’ howling as an indication that a sick person will soon pass away. It is said that if a dog howls for no reason, it is because it senses spirits nearby.
However, these are simply superstitious beliefs. Chihuahuas typically howl in response to sounds like sirens or sounds that human ears cannot decipher.
In majority of the cases, dogs howl to communicate with each other or to warn other animals off their properties. A male Chihuahua might howl when a bitch is in heat nearby. An un-socialized Chihuahua puppy might howl when it is left home alone and it suffers from separation anxiety.
Should I let My Chihuahua Howl?
If your Chihuahua starts howling at night, then it is best to try to make it stop. If not, your neighbors will surely complain. Furthermore, you’d end up not sleeping too and spending a sleepless night is definitely counterproductive.
In case this behavior is not at all normal and your dog is showing signs of pain or illness, then do call your vet. I believe that most Chihuahuas will stop howling once they have communicated their messages to other animals/dogs nearby.
So you can try and wait it out. See if your Chi calms down by itself. If your pet seems OK otherwise, it is best to ignore it.
You can also pick up your Chi and place it in its crate or in a quiet room away from noise and other excitement. This will surely curb the howling.
If your Chihuahua howls when you leave it home alone, you might want to arrange for a pet-sitter so your neighbors won’t complain.
In the next section, we will cover some more ways and tips to stop your Chihuahua from howling.
6 Effective Ways To Stop Chihuahua Howling
Here are some expert recommended tips to stop chihuahua howling:
1. Ignore it
The first step is to ignore your Chihuahua. I believe this strategy works for most cases of howling. When the neighboring dogs calm down, your Chi will calm down too. Remember: most Chihuahuas won’t howl without reason.
2. Give it attention
Since most Chihuahuas won’t howl needlessly, it might be seeking attention or may have some unmet needs.
Try taking your Chi out for potty or a short walk or give it some food. This will definitely distract your pet. You could even hold and comfort your pet for a bit. Once it calms down, place it in its crate or a quiet room without distractions.
3. Treat your Chihuahua
Bring out your dog’s favorite treats when it is howling. Say ‘Quiet!’ and ask your Chi to sit. As soon as it obeys, treat your Chi.
This will distract your companion dog from unnecessary howling. If the howling recurs after it has eaten the treat, say ‘Quiet’ again and repeat the treating. Your Chi has to understand that silence gets treats while howling does not.
4. Keep your pet mentally and physically stimulated
A Chihuahua that is tired will not have the energy to indulge in unwanted behavior like howling.
So make sure your Chi gets plenty of physical exercise during the day. This small dog breed needs to be walked for at least 20-30 minutes each day.
5. See your vet
If the howling continues, please see your vet. Your Chi could be in pain or might have injured itself. Rule out medical issues with prompt medical attention.
6. Never hit/shout
Avoid hitting, shouting, or punishing your Chihuahua for howling. This will not bring about positive results and might even make your Chihuahua very timid or aggressive.
Should I Use Bark Collars to Stop Chihuahua from Howling?
Bark collars or shock collars are one of the means of stopping Chihuahuas from excess barking.
These days, there are humane bark collars available which don’t hurt or shock your pet. They simply vibrate or make a high-pitched sound when they detect your Chihuahua’s barking.
If you want to use bark collars to stop your Chihuahua’s howling, you’d need to use highly sensitive collars that detect all kinds of vibrations.
You see, dog shock collars or bark collars are only activated by the barking vibrations produced in your pet’s throat. Some collars may not be sensitive enough to detect the (lower) howling vibrations.
So you need to choose sound-activated collars that have a higher sensitivity as well as adjustable vibration pick up. We recommend the NBJU rechargeable bark collar which has helped stop many dogs from unwanted howling.
FAQs – Do Chihuahuas Howl?
1. Which breeds howl the most?
Certain dog breeds like Beagles, Huskies, Airedale terriers, and Alaskan Malamutes are known to howl a lot.
2. Are Chihuahuas stressed when they howl?
Yes, there is a possibility that your Chihuahua is stressed when it howls. Sometimes though, the howling is just a form of communication or a response to other sounds or noises in the environment. If your Chi is howling to get your attention or due to loneliness at being left home alone, then yes, your Chi may also be stressed.
3. Why do some dog owners howl with their dogs?
Howling with your dog is a form of canine-human bonding. There are dog owners that believe howling together with their pet is a fun way of communicating and denoting that they are part of the pack.
If you do not wish to encourage your Chi to howl, then it is best not to howl with your pet.
4. Is it normal for a Chihuahua not to howl?
Absolutely. Howling is a form of canine communication but it is not a necessity that all dogs must howl. You might have trained your Chi not to howl and it is showing discipline by not howling. Some dogs simply might have had a bad experience or association with howling and might refrain from it.
Conclusion – Do Chihuahuas Howl?
Yes, Chihuahuas, like all dogs, will howl at some point or the other. Mostly, it is to communicate with neighboring dogs. Rarely may it be to indicate pain, illness, or injury. In the majority of cases, howling is in response to sounds, sirens, or other noises which humans may or may not pick up.
You can train your Chihuahua not to howl through positive reinforcement, treats, and rewards. If your Chihuahua is showing signs of pain while howling, please see your vet.
We hope this guide helps curb howling in your Chi.