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Canine Behavior/Dog howling at piano music


I read in a previous post you responded to a few years back about how to reward a dog's behavior for not howling at music. Could you please expound on that and explain to me your method for training dogs not to howl. Thank you very much!

Howling at music is the dog's response to what WE cannot hear.  To us, a piano, violin, bagpipe, etc., has tones in our range of hearing but there are additional tones we do not hear but the dog does.  Also:  breed type of dog is important.  You do not tell me what breed type your dog is.

In order to TOP a behavior we do not want, we have to "capture" it: this means, initiate the response and heavily REWARD when the dog STOPS.  In this circumstance, the dog is reacting (perhaps) to a genetic predilection to "howl" along with his "pack" (in this case, his created con-specifics: you and other humans).  How strong this genetic predilection is depends upon his breed type, his age, and especially how long he has been howling.  So please answer the following questions:

1.  What breed type is your dog
2.  Does he howl only to piano music, or to all sorts of music
3.  When did this begin (how long has it been occurring)
4.  What do YOU DO when he howls
5.  What sort of other training have you done and by what method?

With more information (MUCH more) I can hopefully help you to capture the behavior and train the dog to "howl" on command only, and stop on command.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

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Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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