Do Pitbulls Howl: Why & How to Prevent It?

All dogs make at least some noise; while some are louder than others, American Pitbulls are known as quiet. However, when they do howl, it is for specific reasons.

If you are looking to adopt a Pitbull, you are probably curious about the personality traits of this adorable breed. They are wonderful pets as they do not cause havoc and make noise in rare situations.

Do Pitbulls Howl?

As I said above, Pitbulls are not the type to make noise; they rarely howl in the true sense of the word and rarely bark. If you hear your Pitbull barking, it is best to check it out, as they will only bark if something is incorrect and they feel alarmed.

So the answer is yes, American Pitbulls do howl, but it is scarce, and there is a reason why they do.

What Does It Mean When A Pitbull Howls?

Howling is a trait of other dogs like Huskies, Dachshunds, Bloodhounds, Grey Hounds, Eskimos, etc. These dog breeds are very noisy; you can expect them to make a lot of noise, but a Pitbull will not.

For example, wolves howl because they signal loneliness and seek a mate. A regular dog will howl to signal the same thing, or maybe they feel anxious, lonely, sad, or stressed.

Hunter dogs like Greyhounds work long distances with their owners, so they must howl to signal their location. If your Pitbull is howling, it may show you they are not okay. But you will not hear howling if you care for them well enough.

Pitbulls are likely to make noises that may look like an imitation of human speech. They usually do this if they get happy to see you when you return home, before you give them treats, if they want to go outside, etc.

Factors That Affect Pitbulls’ Howling

As aforementioned, a Pitbull will only howl if something is wrong, and you should immediately check what that is. They may be in pain, stressed, or anxious, so it is best to help them quickly.

Here are the common reasons why your Pitbull may be howling:

1. Separation Anxiety

If your neighbor complains that your Pitbull howl’s when you are not around, but you have never heard him howl? You may have a Pitbull with a separation anxiety problem.

All dogs can suffer from this, and it’s a relatively complicated problem to solve, depending on the case. Your dog will howl and make all sorts of noises when you are not around; this is the most obvious symptom of this issue.

They might also destroy items around the house when you are not around, make a mess on the floor, run around, or show other signs of anxiety and fear.

You would have to deal with this either with proper training or by getting someone to stay with them while you are away for work.

2. Communication

Communication could be the foremost reason that your Pitbull is howling. I know communication is ambiguous, but your Pitbull could be trying to communicate anything by howling.

Howling can be a simple greeting when your Pitbull gets excited meeting other dogs. Overwhelmed with excitement, they may be hyperventilating a bit, and a long, loud howl is an excellent way to relieve all that excitement.

Your Pit Bull may also be howling with other dogs, which can be very obvious if your Pitbull always howls with your other dogs or your neighbor’s dog, who you can hear.

But Pitbulls have excellent hearing and can listen to your neighbor’s dog or another dog from far away, so far away that you may be unable to hear it.

Pitbulls may also howl at you to communicate with you or imitate your speech. They can get excited when many family members are talking, and they burst with excitement.

3. Response to a Noise

Certain sounds may trigger your Pit Bull to howl. It has been noticed that dogs or pit bulls howl due to the noise of sirens.

It can be very annoying for you and your dog, and at that moment, you should close the curtains, windows, and doors and try to suppress the noises so that your Pitbull can be comfortable. Any high-pitched noise or sound can make your Pitbull howl.

4. Medical Issue

Your Pitbull may sometimes howl if they are hurt, sick, or freshly injured. Howling is one of the doggy ways to let their owners know they are in tremendous physical pain.

At that moment, you should always check your dog for visible injuries and ensure no underlying medical issues may cause your Pitbull some pain.

Suppose your Pitbull starts howling more than usual. In that case, you must take your Pitbull to a vet immediately to rule out any possible injury or illness before doing anything else.

5. Scared

Your Pitbull may be startled by something, which is rare for a Pitbull. A Pitbull can develop fear if it has been previously sick, and a small amount of pain may trigger the previous trauma.

Your Pitbull could be scared of a human or an object that, if brought in front of them, may scare them, and they will howl to call.

6. Territorial Aggression

Pitbulls are dogs, and all dogs are territorial. So if your Pitbull develops territorial aggression, then to mark and let other dogs of his territory, your Pitbull may start howling.

An aggressive or territorial howl means business, and the intruder must leave, or there will be consequences. Pitbulls can howl even if a human invades their territory, and he expects everyone to respect their authority.

How To Stop My Pitbull From Howling?

Negative Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement does not mean beating your dog or abusing them; that is not what I am saying. Never hit your dog if they misbehave or howls. When I say negative reinforcement, I mean teaching the dog not to do something.

Teach your Pitbull the word no, so tell them no when they start doing something naughty or howling! Telling your Pitbull to stop a behavior is, technically, a negative reinforcement. Every time they do something you dont like, they have to stop doing what they are doing.

There is no other way for Pitbulls to learn not to do something. You can redirect their behaviors and give them different things to do; those are just distractions. Join all those necessary actions to teach a dog not to do something.

Positive Reinforcement

Whenever your Pitbull howls and you have successfully made them stop howling, you should pour praises, treats, and love in hefty amounts on your Pitbull.

Positive reinforcement would help to reinforce in their minds that, while it may have been tempting to howl, it was worth it if he didn’t do it.

It would help if you gave them positive reinforcement immediately and anytime they stop howling. Even if they start to howl, but they respond to your correction, you should still give them treats and lots of them.

You can slowly cut back on the treats once your Pitbull understands the new rules, but until then, you are the candy man.

Desensitize To The Stimulus

Some Pitbulls howl to harmful factors that they dislike. Again it depends on what is causing your Pitbull to howl that will dictate the appropriate end response.

One thing you must do, though, is to make sure that you are desensitizing your Pitbull to the stimulus, assuming that the trigger is, in fact, harmless.

For example, if your Pitbull howls at the mailman, it may be a good idea to reach out to him and see if you can introduce the Pitbull to him.

Your Pit Bull may lose the urge to howl at the mailman once he realizes he is not a threat.

Exercise Your Pitbull

Many Pitbull howls out of boredom or due to great excitement and energy. Pitbulls are highly energetic dogs, and if they do not get enough exercise and stimulation, you will likely see some strange behaviors due to the extra energy pent up for a long time.

Giving your Pitbull at least 45 minutes to 1 hour of exercise and playtime daily is recommended to keep their minds fresh.

How Do You Train Pitbulls Not to Howl?

The best way to train Pitbull not to howl is to teach him to be obedient so that he will listen when you tell him to keep it quiet. But that is not the only way, so here are a few tips on how to train your Pitbull not to howl:

Teach Him to Howl on Command

Yes, I know I said this before, but if you never want to be embarrassed by your dog howling in front of guests or keeping you and the whole neighborhood up all night, the best way is to associate howling with a trick in his mind.

This way, he will only howl if you command him and won’t howl until he has confirmation from you. Teaching your Pitbull to howl on command lets you control and stop him even before he howls, as you will develop a signal to tell him to shut up.

Name the Behavior

After teaching him how to howl by enacting howling, you can associate the act with a name, for example, “howl.” Naming the front of howling will let him associate it with your voice, and he will not howl as an instinct.


Now that your Pitbull listens to you and howls at your command, please give him a treat for listening to you and praise him.

You will notice that he will only howl as long as you howl, and as soon as you stop howling, your dog will stop, too, and await treats.

Teach him, “Stop.”

After learning to howl at your command and getting treats, tell him to howl. When your dog howls, tell him to “stop,” When he does, give him a treat for stopping. You will initially struggle, but he will eventually understand that “stop” means to shut up and get treats.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Are Pitbulls Known to Howl?

Pitbulls are known for being a quiet and obedient breed, not for howling. Other breeds, such as the Husky, Malmuth, etc., are known to be loud howlers.

Why Do Pitbulls Howl at Night?

A Pitbull may howl at night if he is trying to communicate with other dogs or the owner. In some cases, the Pitbull may feel the lonely cause of separation anxiety and look for attention from the owner.

Howling could be a way of warning you from an intruder or because of pain from an injury. In any case, Pitbulls only howl for a specific reason, and they dont do this for fun.

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Howling at Night?

Check on your Pitbull to see why he is howling; if it is due to an injury, take him to the vet immediately. If the howling is caused by separation anxiety, give him attention and teach him to stay quiet without you.

But if the howling is for seeking attention, ignore him entirely, and he will eventually understand that howling is not the way to gain attention. You can also train to howl and stay quiet on command.

Why Does My Pitbull Howl in His Sleep?

Howling in sleep could indicate that your dog has a nightmare where howling is regular. Your dog could dream of being in the wild with other dogs or imagine being hurt.

In some cases, he may be hurt in real life and have trouble coping with the pain.


All dogs howl as they are linked to wolves, which is an instinct to howl. Pitbulls may howl, but it is a sporadic case, and usually, there is a reason behind it.

Do not be alarmed if you hear your Pitbull or your neighbor’s Pitbull howl, as it could be nothing. But try to get to the bottom of it, find the cause of their howling, and eliminate it.

If you feel something is wrong with your dog, take him to the vet and get the best advice. A vet can also tell how to best deal with howling.

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