Do Collies Howl? (Why do collies howl and how to stop it)

All collies have the ability to howl, however most collies are more likely to bark instead of howl when they want to get your attention.

Collies are generally quiet dogs and howling is not in their nature, however you can train your collie to howl on command as a neat party trick.

Why do Collies Howl?

Collies may howl in response to a high pitched siren, music or other dog howls, which trigger a primal instinct in them to respond, or to get the attention of their owner.

Your collie may howl to get your attention. They are total love sponges and require a lot of individual attention from their owners and howling may be your collies way of saying “pay attention to me”.

If your collie only howls when you’re not home, they may be suffering from separation anxiety. In this case your collie will normally show other signs of separation anxiety such as destructive chewing, barking, and general unhappiness.

Why Does my Border Collie Howl?

Border collies howl to communicate with other dogs, in response to noises, to get your attention or because they are suffering from separation anxiety.

Border collies are sensitive dogs and often do not appreciate loud noises or sirens. If you notice your border collie only howls when there is a loud noise such as an alarm or siren they could simply be over stimulated.

In these instances your border collie will stop howling when the noise stops and normally isn’t classed as excessive howling.

Luna howling on command

What Does it Mean When my Collie Howls?

Your collie howls to communicate. They could be howling in response to a loud noise or another dogs vocals. Howling is a primal reaction related to your collies oldest relative the wolf.

1: They Are Lonely

Wolves used howling to beckon their family pack back home. Your collie is doing the same and is howling to encourage their human pack members back home. This is more likely to happen when you leave the house and could be sign of separation anxiety.

You could set up a two way pet camera to allow you to keep an eye on your beloved pooch when you leave the house. Some devices allow you to talk to your furry companion and also dispense treats. This could help them realize you have not forgot about them.

2: Responding to Another Dog

Sometimes your collie may hear another dogs vocals and howl in response. This is their way of communicating and it may be a warning to other dogs that they have entered your collies territory.

3: Responding to a Noise

Collies have very sensitive hearing and some will howl in response to certain noises. Common triggers are sirens or noisy alarms. Some collies find it necessary to join in with the wailing but the reason for this is unclear.

The high pitched noise may have awoken some ancestral dormant gene and your collie feels the need respond and be involved in the wailing action.

Why Does my Collie Howl at Me?

If your collie is howling directly at you this could be for attention. Collie are very smart dogs and require a lot of physical exercise and mental stimulation and they might howl at you to grab your attention. It’s their way of saying “I want to play!”

If your collie’s needs are not being met they may howl at you so you play with them. Collies truly are needy creatures and howling at you is just another way of them showing their desire for you to interact with them.

Why Does my Collie Howl at Night?

Night time is usually when you may become aware of your collie howling. If your collie is night howler chances are they howl just as much in the day but their howl is lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. At night, their howl will pierce through the silence and will be very clearly audible.

Can Collie Puppies Howl?

Collie puppies can howl. In fact, all puppies have the ability to howl. Often a collie puppy howls when they are left alone for a long period or separated from their family.

Just like human babies, collie puppies do not like to be alone and would prefer to snuggle up close to you. This is why you may find your collie pup howling at night, especially if their sleeping quarters are separate from their humans.

If you notice your puppy howling at night it is the doggy equivalent of crying and your pup is showing you they feel sad or alone. Puppies can feel sad if they are separated from their mothers at a young age, and it’s important to make sure they feel safe and loved.

In the end, if you can’t stand to hear your puppy’s woeful howling all night, you may opt to let them sleep in your room to comfort them, or you could invest in some good ear plugs!

How to Stop my Collie Howling?

If your collie is howling for attention, do not engage with them during their howling episode. Instead, wait until they are quiet then praise your dog and give them some attention by playing with their favorite toy.

Never respond to unwanted howling with praise or attention, or it will reinforce the behavior in your collie’s malleable mind.

You can teach your dog to be quiet on command by providing high value treats in times when they are not howling. This will reinforce to your dog that howling is not desired behavior and they will get rewarded for being calm and peaceful instead.

If your collie is howling when you are not at home, try providing them with some fun mental stimulation toys and puzzles. This will help keep their clever minds occupied and prevent them from annoying your neighbors.

If you feel your collie’s howling is excessive and not improving, it’s always best to consult a vet or a specialist collie behavior expert.

Do all Collies Howl?

All collies have the ability to howl however some individual collies don’t howl regularly because they have been well trained. Collies tend to use barking to communicate with their owner more often than howling.

Do Border Collies Howl?

Border collies have the ability to howl but this is not a dominant trait of the breed.

Do Welsh Collies Howl?

Welsh collies can howl but they don’t howl very often.

Do Rough Collies Howl?

Rough Collies can howl, but they usually bark instead when they want to get your attention.

Luna’s Story – How I Learned My Collie Could Howl

Luna let out her first howl one morning when I was in the shower.

I was so shocked to hear this loud howling noise that I rushed to the room because I thought she had hurt herself. (She is an accident prone dog!)

However, she was perfectly fine, living her dream life lying on my bed and stopped howling immediately when I entered the room.

Silence. So strange.

It wasn’t until I returned to the shower that her howling started up again! This time, I rushed to her again and my phone alarm was still going off.

Coincidence? Absolutely not!

It turns out Luna was howling along to my phone alarm, which she now does every morning!

After realizing she looked and sounded like a little wolf I taught her to howl on command. It’s one of my favorite tricks, although I’m not sure the neighbors feel the same way!

Collie Climbing Stairs in Slow Moti... x
Collie Climbing Stairs in Slow Motion

About the author:

About the author:

Hollie and Border Collie

Hollie

Howling and Growling Editor

Hollie

Howling and Growling Editor

Hollie is an experienced collie owner from Scotland and the original founder of Howling and Growling. Wherever Hollie goes, her beloved collie Luna is never far behind!

Learn More about Hollie and Luna's story on the about page!