Certain dog owners, who have two or more dogs have noticed that some of their pets howl at sires from ambulance, police cars or etc. Another dog won’t do that. Why do dogs howl at sirens and why not all dogs do this? These are going to be the main topics for today and no we are going to present you with the answers, obviously.
Understanding the Canine Ancestry
Dogs, in their domestic splendor, might seem far removed from their wild counterparts, but deep within their DNA, they carry the legacy of their ancestors – the wolves. Tracing back thousands of years, the domestic dog’s journey began alongside humans, but before that, they were wild, free-roaming wolves.
Wolves are known for their howling behaviors, which serve multiple purposes in their wild environment. From long-distance communication to defining territories and strengthening pack bonds, a wolf’s howl is much more than just a haunting melody of the wild. It’s a complex behavior deeply rooted in survival and social dynamics.
Modern dogs, having evolved from wolves, naturally inherited certain behaviors, even if they no longer serve the same purpose. Howling is one such behavior. While the domestic dog doesn’t necessarily need to howl to communicate across vast distances or define territories, the instinctual drive to do so still exists, waiting for a trigger. And for some dogs, the sound of a siren might just be that trigger, echoing a primal call that resonates with their ancestral memory. The dogs might not know why they feel compelled to respond, but the history coded into their genes provides a fascinating hint.
Main Reasons Why Do Dogs Howl At Sirens
They Want to Communicate
Why dogs howl at sirens is a difficult question to answer.You probably know that wolves have been howling in the wild. They use this as a form of communication. When one wolf howls, he will reveal his location. Another wolf will do the same thing for the same reason. As you can see, howling is used to communicate and to find other wolves and connect with them. Dogs are descendants of wolves, so they use howling for the same purpose!
Of course, sirens are not the same as howling, and for us, they sound completely different. But there is one similarity. This is a high-pitched sound. Howling has the same foundation, hence the similarity. In addition, some dogs will howl when they hear any type of sound like this. It can be from TV, cars, or anything similar.
So, when a dog hears a siren, he believes that another dog is revealing the location; hence, he will respond. The situation is the same when he actually hears another dog howling. Your dog will do the same. It is the case with barking as well. Some refer to this as a contagious response, meaning that one dog will do what another one is doing at the moment.
An interesting fact is that howling can be heard from massive distances. In the wild, it is a much better option than barking or anything similar. It is truly helpful to wolves, and it has been used for eons.
A Dog May Associate Sirens With Problem or Danger
A dog may associate sirens with some problem or danger. He will howl, so you can hear him. This is most commonly used when you are at work and your dog is at home. He wants to alert you that something is wrong and you need protection. Your dog believes he can protect you from danger. This only occurs in dogs who have never heard a siren or have not grown accustomed to them.In simple terms, they consider this a threat, and they want to protect their owner.
If you want your pet to stop doing this, you can do two things.
- Ignore his howling completely.
- Reward him when he hears the sirens but doesn’t howl.
Ideally, you will start with the first thing here, and after some time, your dog may partially stop howling at sirens. Wait, and make sure to reward him when he stops completely. When this occurs, use praise and a tasty treat to reward your pet. It is a very useful and simple method for dog owners who live in an area where sirens are common.
Why Not All Dogs Howl At Sirens?
There is no need to add an obvious fact. Not all dogs will howl at sirens. In today’s time, most won’t do this because they have learned or gotten used to the sirens, and they know that these are not other dogs out there. There was a lot of research done trying to explain the matter. All we can say is that some dogs ignore the sirens because they are not interested in meeting other dogs or packs.
For instance, if your dog feels safe and secure with you at home, he may not howl at the sirens. If your dog is an alpha, he or she may ignore the sirens as well. Your pet isn’t interested in another pack, so there is no need to reveal his position! In most cases, beta dogs will howl while alpha dogs won’t.
In general, a dog who wants to connect with other dogs will howl at sirens. The one who doesn’t need this won’t. Now you know why some of your dogs do this while others simply ignore the sound.
Always remember that each dog is unique. After all, humans are different, and there are all kinds of personalities out there. Dogs share the same thing, and some will react differently than others.
Are Sirens Harmful To My Dog?
Most dog owners know that dogs can hear better than humans. They can hear ultrasonic sounds (that’s why the training whistles and products work), and their hearing is more delicate. It is perfectly normal to believe that sirens, a very loud sound, can cause pain or damage the hearing of a dog.
This simply isn’t the case. Let’s imagine a scenario in which your dog is in pain. He will tuck his tail between his legs and run away, or he will start “crying” and request help from you. He may simply move to another location, or he may go to his safe haven and remain there.
When dogs hear sirens, they don’t do this. Instead, they will go outside and try to figure out what is making the noise, possibly howling. As such, we don’t believe sirens can cause any pain to the dogs. If your dog is acting strange, doing something that we have mentioned earlier, he may be in pain. But, in any other case, he isn’t in pain and sirens are harmless.
Why do dogs howl at sirens all the time or occasionally? Anyway, now you know the answer, and you can understand your pet better. All you have to remember is that this is their natural behavior, and it is perfectly normal. You can use the two things we mentioned above to make your dog stop howling at sirens if you want. Do this only if howling is a problem for you. Howling at sirens can be a fun and interesting way of communicating between some dogs and their owners.