The Cane Corso is an Italian dog bred to guard property and hunt big game such as wild boar. Powerful, active, intelligent, and athletic, the Cane Corso is suitable for people with experience in dogs and also own a large and secured yard. The Cane Corso is not a dog for beginners as they can be tough to control. He needs a leader that can guide him with consistency and firmness without using cruelty or force. It is not uncommon to come across a Cane Corso that just seems to love to howl. Researchers say that howling is in their genes because their ancient breed closely resembles that of wolves. Howling may be a shared wild ancestry but there are other reasons for the behavior.
The Root of the Behavior
Howling is one of the many forms of communication used by dogs. They do it for a variety of reasons and the primary reason is to get attention or to declare their presence to other dogs. It is a signal to other dogs that the area has already been claimed and that encroachment by outsiders may result in a threat of violence. In this context, howling works as a defense mechanism, keeping potential predators away. In a domestic scenario, dogs will howl for the same reason. They want to protect their home from strangers. Separation anxiety howling only happens when your dog is left by himself or is separated from you. This type of howling usually occurs with destruction, pacing, depression, and other signs of distress. Your Cane Corso may also howl if he is sick or hurt. If your canine begins to start howling more than usual, it could be because of an injury or an illness. He needs to be taken to the veterinarian immediately to rule out any medical causes.
Boredom howling occurs when your dog is lonely or bored. There are some dogs that are satisfied with just napping the day away but there are other breeds that become agitated when alone for long periods of time. They may howl to pass the time or in hopes of getting somebody to pay attention to them and perhaps even play with them. Some lonely dogs may turn to digging holes, but the Cane Corso may resort to howling. Howling is a response to environmental triggers and the most common provocations are police sirens and ambulance sirens. The noise these vehicles make may prompt your Cane Corso to sit up and join in the wailing. Sometimes they may even howl when they hear music or the sound of musical instruments.
Encouraging the Behavior
Now that you know the most probable causes of howling, it is time to look for solutions to discourage the action. After all, howling, especially when done frequently, is not pleasant to the ears. One of the most direct ways to stop your Cane Corso from howling is to tell him to stop. However, this method will only work if your dog already knows what NO means. If not, basic training is in order. Eliminating the triggers that cause howling can help prevent it. For example, if loud music leads to howling, you can turn down the volume but there are other triggers that are tough to control, such as the ambulance siren, for instance. For such, redirection may be useful.
If you hear an ambulance siren, zoom in on your dog and give him a command, such as asking him to sit. When he sits, praise him and give him a nice treat. Training has to be repeated several times and if you are consistent, the trigger’s power over your dog will be thwarted. Ignore your dog’s attention-seeking howling. Refrain from looking at him, touching him, or speaking to him. However, you must not scold him either. Dogs are just like little children. They find any attention gratifying, even if it is negative. Give your dog a treat for being quiet and give him your attention only when he is not being noisy. Howling issues can be difficult to work with so do not hesitate to seek the help of a behavior specialist if you feel you are unable to cope.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, hence the howling, there are a few steps you can take to address it. Exercise your dog well before leaving because a tired dog does not have much energy to be destructive and anxious. Having 20-30-minute exercise sessions before you go should be enough to settle him down. Toys made especially for dogs should take his mind off your departure so make sure you buy him one and give it to him five minutes before you go. Strive to make your departures and returns as emotionless and as calm as possible. If he gets excited when you return, ignore him, and walk away. When he finally settles down you can say hello and give him a kiss or a hug.
Dog howling is not pleasant to the ears. Just imagine your dog on the porch with that unmistakable sound at nighttime and you get pictures full of terror! Well, you do not have to put up with that. There are a few things you can do to prevent howling without punishing your Cane Corso so you can sleep well at night.