Enjoy moments together

Why do dogs howl?

 

Why do dogs howl?

 

Is there a bond between a small couch dog living in a flat, and a wild wolf living in a forest? Certainly there is. Most of their DNA is a match, which is incidentally confirmed by our domestic companions howling like a leader of a pack of wolves.

What is the origin of dogs’ howling?

According to canine experts’ research, dog howling is just a natural need, deeply ingrained in their nature.

Naturally, a dog living in a big city flat would howl significantly less than one living in the countryside; yet the high level of consistency of a wolf’s and a dog’s ethogram can awake wild forces of nature in either of them.

Safety

Through deep insight, scientists have managed to develop a classification of dog howls by cause. The most common reason is the animal wanting to inform their pack of no danger around. In a strongly structured pack of wolves, there is the assumption of one of them being assigned an observation/watchdog function during hunting. When the watchdog does not observe any danger, it will inform the pack that they can return from their hunt safely. Our canine companions have exactly the same purpose. They howl to tell us that we are safe to come back because there is no danger awaiting us.

Defence

Howling and barking in the defence mechanism is the exact opposite of the type of action discussed above. In the latter case, the dog’s primary role is to ensure safety of its pack – in our case, the household members. Therefore, if an intruder breaks into your property, your dog will not only inform you immediately but will also try to scare the unwanted guest away.

Stimulus

Dogs howling in unison do not do this randomly. Their genetic memory is responsible for the phenomenon. When a dog hears another one howling, it will join the other immediately. Its response will be the same to an ambulance, fire brigade or police siren.

Note

Whatever the breed, a dog requires its owner to show it a certain level of interest. Unless it receives sufficient attention, it will call for it. How exactly? By trying to attract the owner with sad howling. The more frequently it works, the more will the dog repeat this reaction. To solve the problem, you can try to avoid responding to the howling immediately, and most of all to show the dog enough attention.

Pain

Dogs also howl out of pain. When everyone is home, there is no intruder on the property, no special vehicle siren can be heard anywhere near, and you are sure you are showing enough attention to your canine friend, yet it continues to howl – make sure it is all right and unless you can find the source of howling, see a veterinarian. This can be an internal injury, hard to discover without the appropriate equipment, knowledge and experience.

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