Why do dogs howl

The haunting and eerie howling of the dog would keep fearful people awake all night. Dogs have the inclination to play follow the leader. Barking that is started by one dog will be picked up by other dogs. One dog that lets out an eerie howling will be answered by other dogs so that the chorus will make a nervous person jump under the covers. Many people would associate the howling of the dog to something ominous. These folk tales have no scientific basis but it is understandable for a person to be nervous if the howling of the dog is heard especially on a silent and rainy moonless night.

Howling is a behavior that was inherited by modern day dogs from the wolves. It seems that howling is the favored means of communication of wolves. In the vast wilderness, a resounding howl will have far reaching effects. Wolves that were separated from the pack can communicate with other wolves by howling. Pet dogs consider the human family as their pack and as these dogs are seldom separated from their pack, the need to howl is somehow eliminated. However, it will be noted that pet dogs would still howl every now and then.

Howling is an inherited trait used by the dog to communicate. However, it was noted that dogs allowed to live inside the home with the family and dogs that are lavished with love and attention seldom howl. Experts believe that howling is one way of getting the human family’s attention as the mournful sound is more commonly heard from dogs left alone all day. Dogs form strong attachment with the human family and when not provided with opportunities to bond, the dog will howl as a sign of separation anxiety.

Dog owners will hear the pet howling at the sound of ambulance and fire trucks. Howling is associated with an ominous happening but it is believed to be the dog’s response to a sound that was interpreted as another howl. The howl of a lone wolf will be answered with the howl of other wolves. Mistaking the ambulance sound as a howl, the dog will also let out a howl as a response.

Howling can be the dog’s way of getting the owner’s attention. The howling dog may have an undiagnosed medical concern. A howl is a haunting sound that can be indicative of the pet’s pain and discomfort. Would you disregard the howling of the pet or would you take time to know the reason why the dog is howling?

Find out more about why dogs howl as well as information on dog first aid at Sarah’s Dogs.

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