If a dog is howling, is it unhappy?

(6 Posts)
saddoghowling Sun 26-Jul-20 11:52:27

Can some of you lovely dog experts help me with this.

NDN dogsit occasionally for a friend's dog. When they go out the dog howls pitifully until they get back. NDN have a young active family so they go out to get fresh air and exercise, I think if they stayed in there would be WW3. The family have a hobby that precludes dogs, so they cannot take the dog with them. They have been out for the last 3 hours, I expect they are out for the day.

They walk the dog before they go out and leave the radio on for him.

It doesn't howl at night so either it is ok with being in a different room or it sleeps in someone's bedroom.

I am not complaining about the noise, as I can put some music on and turn it up to (mostly) block it out, but it is the sound of the dog crying that is breaking me, its heartbreaking to hear.

My question is - if the dog howls like this, is it sad? I have had dogs most of my life, but never had a howler. Is the dog just whinging, or is it as sad as it sounds?

OP’s posts: |
RunningFromInsanity Sun 26-Jul-20 11:58:15

No it’s not happy. There’s many reasons dog howl but if he does it when left alone he has separation anxiety.

It’s not fair on you or the dog who is distressed.

They should not dog sit if they are leaving the dog for 3+hours.

saddoghowling Sun 26-Jul-20 12:00:47

he only howls when they go out. Then he howls until they get back, with an occasional break, then he starts again. I had to go out to get away from it as it's truly heart breaking. No barking, just the saddest howl you ever heard.

OP’s posts: |
pigsDOfly Sun 26-Jul-20 12:36:29

Sounds very much like it's unhappy to me. Separation anxiety by the sound of it, although some breeds do howl for other reasons.

I know someone who used to have a dog that howled every time he left it and you could hear it all the way down the street. I agree it's a heartbreaking sound.

Not ideal to be 'dog sitting' if they're leaving it to cry for hours.

Poor thing, not only is it missing it's family, it's being left by the people it's been left with.

vanillandhoney Sun 26-Jul-20 14:07:59

Howling doesn't necessarily mean a dog is unhappy, but what you describe is not a happy dog. Howling and crying when left is a sign of separation anxiety. They need to arrange care for the dog while they're out - a dog walker, a sitter, daycare, or just having a family member come and be in the house.

My beagle howls - either when he's upset, or when he's just being a beagle and is on a scent! They need to be aware of what happens and how disruptive it is. It's not okay to just leave a dog to bark and howl like that.

vanillandhoney Sun 26-Jul-20 14:08:52

Just read it's not even their dog!

I would be furious if someone was caring for my dog and left it howl, whine and cry like that. That's awful.

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