Do Pitbulls Howl (and Why)?

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Some dogs make more noise than others. So, before you get a pit bull, you probably want to know whether they can howl?

Pitbulls can howl, although they are not known to do it a lot. Pit bulls are generally not a noisy breed, but if necessary, they will make a noise — when they are alarmed or scared. Of course, this will depend on a specific dog, and some owners have reported howling. 

If you want to know more about the noises that pit bulls make, as well as causes for these noises, you should read on. 

Pit Bulls and Howling

As mentioned, pit bulls are not the breed to make a lot of noise. They rarely howl in the true sense of the word, and they rarely bark. If you hear your pitbull barking, it’s a good sign that you need to check it out. They will only bark if something is not right, and they feel alarmed by it. 

Howling, in a similar fashion, is a trait of other dogs like Huskies, Dachshunds, Bloodhounds, Eskimo dogs, etc. These dogs will be very noisy, and you can expect them to make a lot of noise. But pit bulls will not. 

For example, wolves howl because they are signaling loneliness and that they are looking for a mate. A regular dog may howl to signal the same thing. They may feel lonely, anxious, sad, stressed, etc. 

So, if your pitbull is howling, they may be showing you that they are not okay. But if you care for them well enough, you will not hear any howling. Pit bulls are more likely to make certain noises that seem like they imitate human speech. They will usually do this if they are happy to see you when you come back home, before you give them treats, if they want to go outside, etc. 

But, if your pitbull is howling despite all odds and the proper care, here are some reasons why that may be happening.

Separation Anxiety

So, you’ve never heard your dog howl, but your neighbors keep complaining that they make this noise when you’re not around? You may have a separation anxiety problem. All dogs can suffer from this, and it’s a relatively difficult problem to solve, depending on the case. 

Your dog will howl and make all sorts of noises when you’re not around. This is probably the most obvious symptom of this issue. They might also destroy things around your house when you’re not there, make a mess on the floor, pace around, and 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’re at work. If at all possible, you could spend some time with them before work so that they can get tired and spend more time sleeping when you’re not home. Leave them with plenty of toys and food as well. 

You might also get someone to check up on them from time to time, or take them out for a walk at least once while you’re at work. This should help them feel at least a little bit better. 

Health Issues

Many dogs will howl when they are in pain, and your pit bull might too. If you hear howling when you are at home, and your dog should be perfectly happy — fed, clean, tired from play — then it could be because they are hurt in some way. 

The howling might show you that they have an issue like a wound somewhere or that something else hurts. It’s always a good idea to take them to the vet in this case, especially pit bulls, since they are not that vocal, and they won’t make noise unless they are really in pain. 

The vet should be able to give you a good clue as to why your pup is howling and help you solve this issue. At the very least, they would be able to give you peace of mind and tell you that the howling isn’t related to anything bad. 

Other Reasons

While pit bulls are not exceptionally vocal, they might make howling sounds in response to something in their environment. 

For example, your pit bull may be howling when a certain sound is made. This will depend on the dog, but some respond to a police car sound or an emergency vehicle sound. Some may respond to some type of music that you play, you yelling, hearing you sing, etc. You just have to determine what it is. 

Some of them may even howl when they hear another dog howl. So, it might not be anything bad — just your dog responding to something they hear. 

They might also be howling because they have discovered something. If this is the case, you will likely find something out of the ordinary around them. A pit bull may also howl to show that this is their territory so that other dogs know that your home has already been claimed. 

How to Deal With Howling

Howling is not common in pit bulls, and even if it happens, it shouldn’t last for long. If it’s excessive and you would like it to stop, you have a few options. Naturally, you want to make sure that everything is okay health-wise, so take them to the vet first. If it’s a health condition, they should be able to help, and the howling will stop within a day or two. 

If it’s separation anxiety, you will have to deal with it for a bit longer, until they accept new training, although you will likely not have to listen to it. They will only howl when you are away. 

If the dog is making sounds in response to a sound, you may not have to deal with it a lot, unless the sound they respond to is frequently around them. If it is, you could distract them with a toy or a treat when the noise appears. That way, they’ll be too distracted to howl. This may not always work, so you could talk to a professional about some more complex forms of training. 

If your dog is howling just to get you to notice them or to get you to give them something, you should ignore this. It may be annoying, but if you give in, they will do it all the time, and it’s not good for their behavior or you. So, ignore them until they stop howling and then give them what they need. This will send a clear signal that howling is not a good thing. 

Spend enough time with your dog and give them the attention that they need, but only when they behave well. 


As mentioned, pit bulls are not prone to making noise, so you will rarely hear them howl. This shouldn’t worry you, and it’s normal, even if your neighbor’s pit bull is always howling. However, if you do hear them howling, you should get to the bottom of it. Are they feeling okay? Is there something wrong?

The best way to determine this is to take them to the vet. They will be able to tell you what to do and if the howling is related to something abnormal. If not, you should just let it be, or if it bothers you, use one of the methods from above. But, most pit bull owners enjoy hearing their pups making noise, especially since it’s rare in this breed. 


2 thoughts on “Do Pitbulls Howl (and Why)?”

  1. Thanks. I recently rescued a 2 year old My first time owning a pitty. I found your article interesting. My Jewels enjoys talking to me which I have never experienced before-and I’m 73 and have had dogs since I was 8. I must admit I am enjoying her immensely

  2. Thank you for your article. After fighting my son tooth and nails for getting the pit bull, I found myself falling in love with Marz! She’s friendly and loving. She’s been howling a great deal. I now understand it could be because my son and his girlfriend broke up and she hasn’t seen her. She has also been more destructive lately!!! Thank you. I’m a bit less worried now!

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