Any dog breed can howl, but some breeds, such as bloodhounds, Siberian huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, are more likely to do so. Dogs howl as a form of communication or in response to certain sounds.
Dogs howl to let other pack members know their location, and this behavior is sometimes a sign of separation anxiety. Dogs view their owners as members of their pack. When the owner leaves the house, the animal sometimes howls to express distress. It is essentially calling its owner.
Some dogs howl when they are ill or in pain. This is another form of communication. When dogs howl from discomfort, they are much like children who cry from discomfort. Some dogs only howl if they are hurt or ill, which gives owners a signal to provide medical attention.
Certain sounds can trigger a dog to howl. High-pitched noises, such as sirens and other howling dogs, are often triggers for dogs that howl. This type of howling is often temporary and stops when the trigger noise ends.
Excessive howling is bothersome to some people, and some dogs seem to howl for no apparent reason and do it often. An owner with this problem can contact a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues or enlist the aid of a dog trainer for counter-conditioning and desensitization training.