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A dog playing the wolf is funny… Well, it is until it becomes excessive and therefore particularly restrictive on a daily basis, whether for you or for your neighbors.

Why is my dog ​​playing the wolf and especially what to do if he acts in an excessive way? Here are the two questions you can answer after reading this article, hopefully, this helps you decrease or remove this behavior!

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My dog ​​plays the wolf: where does it come from?

As its name suggests, “playing the wolf” means adopting the same behavior as the wolf. We will see just after why wolves are “wolves” and especially why our dear domesticated animals sometimes adopt this same howl.

But first of all, know that the howl of the type “wolfish” is quite natural and is part of the dog‘s means of communication.

It does not mean physical pain in any way but it can, sometimes, mean a lack (of a being of attachment, of expenditure, etc.), we will see that later.

Then, also know that “playing the wolf” is all the same rarer in domestic dog breeds modified considerably by humans than in the most lupoid dog breeds.

The most lupoid dogs are in fact breeds of dogs that have not been modified very much by humans and which have kept physical characteristics closest to wolves. This is particularly the case for Wolf Dogs (from Saarloos or Czechoslovakia) or even the Husky.

These races will therefore be particularly adepts of this famous howl “of the wolf” while the races modified by humans for the sake of more harmonious cohabitation with humans, will very rarely have the opportunity to “do the wolf ”, although there are of course some exceptions.

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Why is my dog ​​playing the wolf?

It is important to distinguish between the wolf howl and the “wolf-like” howl of the domesticated / human modified dog.

Indeed, even if in both cases, the wolf-like howl is used as social interaction, it is however not used for the same reasons, due to the environment and the very different living conditions between the wild wolf. and the domesticated doggie, you will agree.

The howl of the wolf:

for wild wolves, howling can be used for two main reasons.

The wolf will make “the howl” to indicate its geographical position. This is the case when one of the members of the family group is lost or too far from others. The howl will therefore be a signal to which the other members of the group will respond so that the lost wolf finds its way back.

Then this howl is also used as a territorial signal. It is used by all members of the family group to inform that they are present and at home. Thus, wherever the howls resonate, “foreign” individuals know that they are not far from a pack and potentially on their territory.


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The howl of the dog who “pretends to be a wolf”:

As I mentioned previously, a domesticated dog will very rarely “play wolf” quite simply because the modifications made by man since his domestication more than 15,000 years ago have considerably distanced him from his ancestor.

However, it is not impossible to hear your dog playing wolf. There are several reasons for this behavior:

Some dogs may play wolf when they hear a sound similar to the typical wolf howl, such as a car siren, horn, or musical note.

There are lots of funny videos on the internet about dogs “singing” with their owners, but in reality, they are simply reproducing what they consider to be a howl.

In addition, as we have seen, howling is a means of communication, in fact, when the master sings a high note or plays a musical instrument for example (often the piano) , the dog will therefore come and answer for establishing a social interaction (without however understanding the meaning of this interaction…).

Then, you have the dogs who play the wolf to express discomfort, not physical but rather emotional:

Dogs who do not cope with loneliness and who are even anxious about it can then start playing “the wolf” as if to call for help and warn that they are there. The howling is therefore used here as a signal to find his social group, namely in many cases: his master.

What to do? Here it is more work on learning loneliness but also on detachment that will also be important in place, so that your dog no longer suffers – emotionally – from your absences.

Dogs who are bored can also play wolf to keep themselves occupied. It is much rarer but it can happen. Indeed, in general, dogs who are bored show it in many other ways ( barking, destruction, asking for attention, etc.) , but it is possible that a dog who plays the wolf for no apparent reason. just do it to pass the time.

What to do? Well, you just have to occupy your dog, train it both physically, mentally, and olfactory. Whether or not you are present at home, it is important both to give your dog activity time but also to offer him occupancy games when you do not have time to interact with him.

Remember: a dog needs to exercise every day, to get out of his home (even if he has a garden) daily, to have regular interactions with his fellow-creatures, and also and above all to be mentally stimulated and in an olfactory way every day too.

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This is done through long walks, playing sessions by your side, learning new indications, tracking games, etc. And it’s not enough to offer this to your dog only on weekends, it has to be a daily routine for your dog to be balanced and well in his paws.

What you must remember :

  • The wolf-like howl is type of communication among others for the dog, so it is a completely natural behavior unless of course it is proposed in an excessive way, in which case we must understand the reason and react according to the cause.
  • A dog who pretends to be a wolf is not a dog in physical pain but can be a dog in emotional pain.
  • All the dog breeds which are particularly close to the wolf, that is to say the breeds which have not undergone excessive modifications by humans, will have an easier time using this type of communication.
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An element is often forgotten in the education process

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In summary, what to do if your dog is playing wolf:

  • Leave it if it is occasional
  • Understand the cause if it becomes excessive (do not hesitate to call a professional dog behavior)
  • Divert to another behavior if necessary
  • Occupy and exercise your dog daily
  • Teach him to better manage loneliness
  • Create a detachment so that your dog is not “hyper-attached” to you

Final words and important recommendations

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