Dear Bark: I’ve had my Beagle, Jet, for a couple of months, and we’re doing well together. However, his howling is becoming an issue. Do you think he’s afraid or unhappy when he howls? Is this something he’ll outgrow, or should I be working on changing the behavior now? And if so, how do I go about doing that?

Congratulations on your new dog, and kudos for your concern about what the howling may say about Jet’s emotional state. Dog howling is a long mournful sound very different from short, explosive barks and yelps or the high-pitched, nasal whine. Howls are one of the hardest dog vocalizations to interpret, largely because there are many answers to the question, “Why does my dog howl?” The first thing to do is attempt to figure out the cause in Jet’s case.

For the record, some of this tendency has a genetic basis. Beagles are among the dog breeds that are likely to…

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