Your Questions: Why has our Labrador started howling?
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 06 December 2008
Q. Our six-year-old Labrador (placid and lovable) has been howling nightly, often more than once, for the past four weeks for no apparent reason. The howling will last for about half a minute usually during the early hours of the morning. He will also do it occasionally during the day even when we are indoors. He is kept in the utility room during the day and gets regular exercise. In the evening he is allowed to stay with us until we go to bed. Patricia Liddle, Lincoln
A. There is always a cause for a sudden change of behaviour, usually due to an unpleasant stressful experience. As owners we must understand that our dogs are very sensitive. An incident that we would ignore can be stressful to our hounds – such as a confrontation with another dog in the park or having a party at our home. You may want to think about any event that may have caused the problem. He may stop doing it of his own accord because he has forgotten what was bothering him.
Bitches in season in the neighbourhood can often be a problem as the male dogs try to get to them and become frustrated when they cannot do so. Consequently, they will bark and howl, for instance. Make sure that at night you have all the windows covered up so no light gets in in the morning. If dogs see that it's light outside they will think it's time to get up and will alert us. Also I have a feeling that he may be lonely.
Keeping dogs in utility rooms at night is perfectly fine, depending on the owners' preference and circumstance, but dogs need company. You need to keep him out of the utility room during the day and keep him active. If he's locked up all day and has nothing to do he will probably spend his time sleeping, so at night he won't be as tired as he should be. We get dogs for company. Enjoy him because he won't be around for ever! Hopefully being more active, sociable and around you should make him more content and he should sleep like a baby!
Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress or discomfort an early visit to the vet is always recommended
Life & Style blogs
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...