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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Howling for mum or me?

Dear Dogs Today Think Tank,

I have two dogs; mum Staffie (Tally), seven years, and son (Marley), four years old.

When I take the mum out for a walk I found out that the son howls at the window, I found this out when my neighbour mentioned it. Apparently it had been going on for months and she said nothing.

The four-year-old Marley follows me about a lot like a lost puppy sometimes, but is it his mum he is howling for or me?

He does not howl when with his mum is with him, or when someone else is here.

How can I get him out of that howling when I take his mum for a walk?

They are far too strong to walk together.

I have heard the howls from across the road and they sound heartbreaking.

Hope someone can help.

Kind regards,

Simon John Wilson, by email


  1. If they follow you, it could easily be you. They will hopefully get used to the fact that you do eventually return to them. In the meantime, get someone else in the family to play with the dogs or interact with them in a different way to take their minds off their howling and worry.

  2. This sounds like your dog is suffering from separation distress. It is hard to say if it's you or his mum he is howling for. Can someone take mum out while you stay behind to see if you can work it out?

    Separation distress is a long and hard problem to solve and really needs the help of a good behaviourist and vet to work through the modification programme with you on a one to one basis.

    Olwen Turns SAC.Dip Cloverleaf Canine Centre Behaviourist.

  3. Although I appreciate your comment that they are too strong to walk together I can also see he will feel very fed up at being left behind! Being at the window watching probably makes him even worse! Leave him in an area where he cannot watch you leave and as you go leave him a treat - stuffed Kong, dog chew etc so he is distracted for a while. It might also help if he is walked first. Staffies are playful, intelligent dogs so it is important to make sure he has access to toys for stimulation. If he follows you around he might really be asking you to have a game with him :-)