Why Do Pugs Howl? 8 Reasons You Need to Know About

Why do Pugs howl? I’ve done some research to find out what causes a dog to howl.

Why Pugs Howl?

Most people will tell you that this behavior has to do with their wolf ancestry, but there are several reasons that your Pug may be howling.

Some of the common reasons that dogs howl are:

why do pugs howl
  1. High Pitched Noises or Sounds
  2. Medical Issues
  3. Vocal Communication
  4. Attention Seeking
  5. Success and Excitement
  6. Upset or Irritation
  7. Territorial Presence
  8. Owner Separation Anxiety

Let’s take a look at what each one of these reasons dog howling looks like, but first, let’s take a look at what a howling Pug looks like.

Pug Howling Like A Wolf

All dogs will howl at one point or another. Mindy my black Pug didn’t do it very often, but the first time I heard her, I thought it was so cute. Her howling sounded like a dove, it was so cute.

But some dogs will howl loud and continuously. This video shows two Pugs that are howling when their owner is talking to them. This is exactly what Mindy would do, but she wasn’t this loud.

It’s cute and you’ll notice that they tilt their head while they howl. Now let’s take a look at some of the reasons that dogs howl. Read this if you want to know why Pugs scream.

#1 Response to Stimuli and Bonding Exercises

Dogs are known to howl in response to sounds or triggers in their environment. For instance, your dog may howl if they hear a nearby siren, from fire trucks, ambulances, and etc…as soon as the sound stops, they will stop howling.

If you live in a neighborhood where there are other dogs, our dog may start howling if they hear a pack of dogs howling. It’s a natural behavior for dogs to respond to the howling of other dogs.

#2 Medical Issues or Injury

It’s NOT unusual for dogs to howl if they have suffered from an accidental injury. If your Pug has an illness or has been physically injured, they may be howling because they are suffering from internal pain.

If your Pug is consistently howling, you need to determine if they are not sick and physically check for physical injuries. If your pooch does have visible injuries, you will want to take them to the veterinarian.

#3 Vocal Communication

If you spend any time in the wild, you’ve probably heard wolves howling. They howl to send messages to their separated pack members, which informs them of their presence and location.

Domesticated dogs have inherited this behavior from their ancestors.

#4 Dogs Howl to Attract Attention

Some dogs will howl to get your attention. Let’s say that you’re busy working on your computer or doing some house chores and your Pug is left to play by themselves.

If your pooch understands that the sound of a dog howling will cause you to come, they will use this method to get your attention.

Especially, if they’ve howled before and it brought you running. They now know that howling is an effective way to bring you running. Some Pugs will cry if they know they can get attention.

#5 As A Way to Show Excitement

If you’ve ever given your Pug a new toy, you know they can get excited. It’s NOT unusual for a dog to howl if they are excited.

It’s a form of vocal communication and they can use this form of communication to let you know they appreciate the new toy.

#6 Upset or Irritated

If your Pug is feeling sad or annoyed, they may use the howling behavior to let you know about it. Some dogs will become irritated by noises such as musical instruments, such as the harmonica.

If they hear it long enough, it may trigger the howling behavior. Other sounds that are known to trigger the howling behavior in dogs are; alarm clocks, singing, whistling, and etc.

Every dog is different and different noises may upset your Pug.

#7 Territorial

Pugs are NOT extremely territorial, but this is a common characteristic of dogs. Like wolves, dogs are known to defend their boundaries.

If they feel other dogs or people are encroaching their boundaries, it can cause your pooch to howl. Most Pugs will NOT howl due to territorial behavior.

As I mentioned, Pugs are not usually aggressive and they love all kinds of people and animals.

#8 As A Way to Express Anxiety

Pugs love their owners and this breed is prone to separation anxiety. Some dogs will howl if they are left alone or are separated from their owner for an extended period of time.

This type of howling will also be paired with other behavior such as digging, scratching, and pacing.

If your Pug does howl because they are suffering from anxiety, you need to learn how to deal with the anxiety before the howling will stop.

Is Your Pug Really Howling or Singing?

It’s easy to think that your Pug is howling, but they may actually be singing. Mindy my black Pug used to sing instead of howl, I’m not even sure she knew how to howl.

Some dog breeds will howl more than others. In fact, breeds that are known for howling are:

  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Siberian Husky
  • American Eskimo Dog
  • Bloodhound
  • Shetland Sheepdog

I’m NOT saying that Pugs don’t howl. As you can see from the video, they can howl pretty loudly.

Final Word On Pug Howling

From my experience Pugs won’t really howl unless the owner makes them or teaches them how to do the behavior.

Mindy would only howl or sing if I talked to her in a baby voice. Whenever she heard that tone in my voice, she would howl.

She would also make the howling sound whenever she knew that she was getting a treat. The cool thing is that you can teach your dog this behavior.

If your Pug is howling too much or at 3 am in the morning, you may want to know how to teach them how to stop the behavior. Well, the great thing is that you can stop this behavior.

Learn More About Pug Howling and Barking

Do Pugs Bark A Lot And How to Stop The Behavior

References and Further Reading

WebMD – Howling In Dogs

Canidae – Superstitions In Dog Howling


Black Pug Site