Why do Huskies talk? “What on earth is that unholy sound?!” The first time I heard a Siberian Husky, it was howling to the night sky. I wondered if the Husky temperament was to blame, so I did some research. Fortunately, howling is not the only sound they make. They are rather better-known for “talking”.
So, why do Huskies talk back? It is a form of communication. In a pack, howling and whining are the most common ways of communicating. They also need to communicate when they are working. Further, they tell humans their needs and feelings when they “talk”.
Husky breeders and owners love the sounds that their dogs make. Anyone who hears these sounds for the first time gets quite a surprise. Sometimes they’re telling you to “FEED ME NOW!” (best dog food for Huskies). Other times, they politely remind you it’s time for their daily walk.
No matter what they “say”, it is like nothing you have ever heard before!
One of the quirks of Huskies is that they bark less than other breeds. But they make an astonishing variety of other sounds, including howling just like a wolf.
Technically, dogs can not talk.
Not like humans do, anyway.
But Huskies are called a “talkative” breed because of their wide range of vocalization. Huskies are very good at imitating human sounds. They can make their vocalization sound like words. They are more than willing to talk a lot and they seem to enjoy it when humans join in.
They even talk to, or maybe with, babies…
Husky sounds include howls, chirps, moans, whines, and whimpers.
And the infamous Husky tantrums.
Some of the sounds are unclassifiable!
Why they talk depends on the situation.
The number one reason is to convey some kind of information.
However, no matter what humans believe (or you can hear on YouTube), dogs probably do not understand our spoken language. Although it may seem that they answer, or say certain words at the correct time, it is all imitation.
Words are in the ear of the doting owner, to mangle a proverb. 🙂
Like other dogs, Huskies will make different sounds to convey different kinds of information.
External Reasons why Huskies Talk
It could be about something in their external environment:
- There could be another dog in the vicinity and it’s saying hello. Actually dogs can hear sounds, such as that made by another dog, over a distance that is four times greater than humans can. So the other dog may be a lot further away than you think. Huskies are pack dogs and usually like to communicate with other dogs. Over a distance that communication is vocal rather than physical.
- Sirens and other high-pitched sounds might make your Husky start howling. They can hear sounds of a much higher frequency than humans. Often they respond to a sound that you can not hear at all, because it is too high. This sound may be in your own home or the immediate vicinity. Very uncanny if you can not hear it, but they can!
- Play some music to a Husky and the chances are good that it will “sing” along. The results can be hilarious! It is probably also a response to vibration frequencies in the music that we can not hear. Wind, and in particular, reed instruments, seem to get dogs going. Kirk Nurock is famous for composing and performing “Expedition” (1984). It is an arrangement for Jazz Trio and Siberian Husky. I kid you not.
- Huskies are not guard dogs. They will not necessarily make a warning sound if someone is approaching. But they are very friendly and you may hear the sound of a royal licking treatment!
Internal Reasons for Husky Talking
Often Huskies will “talk” due to some internal issue:
- The reason why Huskies “talk” so much may be in their genes. Huskies are directly descended from the common ancestor of dogs and wolves. Huskies may start off with “talking” and before you know it, it becomes a full-blown howl. Because that’s what grandpa used to do. About 14,000 years ago.
- Talking can be their way of telling you they are in pain, or that they need something. You would normally recognize that sound as a whimper or a whine. If it whines and also pants, it is almost certainly in pain. If they suddenly get hurt, as when you step on a paw, they will yelp (owwww!!).
- Huskies do not growl as much as other dogs because they are not fiercely territorial. If they have become aggressive (and there are many reasons for that) they may growl more. Huskies do get into territorial fights with lots of growling and biting.
- When a Husky barks (they do, just not a lot) it is usually playfulness.
- They can express joy, curiosity, and frustration. There is no reason why their talking may not sometimes express emotions that would be totally alien to us.
Husky Puppy Talk
Husky puppies usually make cute mewling and whimpering sounds. When they try to bark, our hearts swell with love for their courageous effort.
But do the puppies talk as well?
This video went viral…
…it shows a Husky puppy in the arms of its owner, talking thirteen to the dozen, while she is hosing herself! The puppy looks quite calm and restful, not agitated at all. It’s just talking because it feels like it!
That is the charm of Husky talking.
There is a sound that is very common to all puppies. It is a low pitch moan and it’s a sure sign of contentment. It could be saying:
- It is nice and warm here.
- The milk was good, I can’t drink one drop more!
- I’m settling down for a nice nap in this comfortable spot.
- …or all of the above!
You will hear it when they are with their mother, their siblings, and yourself.
Puppy talk can be confusing.
They still have to learn the correct vocalizations for different purposes. Sometimes they get confused on whether they should whine, growl, or yelp. Usually you would be able to figure out what it is trying to say by watching the rest of the body language.
Generally, puppies will make (or try to make) the same sounds as adults. So be prepared for your Husky puppy to growl, howl, and talk – just like his mamma!
Husky Problem Talking
To the owners the sound of their Husky talking is cute, amusing, amazing, and everything else. To the neighbors it might not be such a wonderful piece of music.
A Husky howl can be heard ten miles away.
There could be a lot of neighbors along a ten mile track. Are most of them irritated by your talking Husky?
It may be time to consider whether talking is an issue that needs a remedy.
One advantage of Huskies is the fact that they do not bark every time someone passes your yard. This is a small consolation if the loud yowls, yelps, and all those other weird noises make you lose your friends.
If you can determine what problem is associated with non-stop or badly timed talking, you can address it.
Common problems include:
- Lack of exercise
- Loneliness (AKA separation anxiety)
- Physical discomfort
There are ways to ease all of those problems.
Yes they can. Vocalization is the main means of communication in dogs, but especially in sled dogs. When one dog starts talking, others will usually join in. Singing together to music is a delightful example of Huskies talking with each other.
The true answer is that we do not really know. We know the howl comes from their wolf ancestor. Why they are so fond of howling at night probably has nothing to do with the moon. There are some wonderful supernatural explanations why dogs howl at night.