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.
Why Do Dogs Howl At Sirens? Let’s Get Started…
They Want to Communicate
Why do dogs howl at sirens question is a bit strange 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.
Here we can see another possible explanation.
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 happens only in dogs who have never heard a siren or they didn’t get used to these. In simple terms, they consider this as 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 stop howling at sirens partially. Wait and make sure to reward him when he stops completely. Use praise and also give a delicious treat to your pet when this happens. 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 get 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 is safe and secure with you at the house, he may not howl at the sirens. If your dog is alpha, he or she may ignore the sirens also. 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 alphas 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 more 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 the legs and run away or he will start ‘’crying’’ and request help from you. He may just move to another location or he will go to his safe ground and stay there.
When dogs hear sirens, they don’t do this. Instead, they will go outside and try to see what makes the noise and perhaps howl. 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 two things we have 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 communication between some dogs and their owners.
If you have another 5 minutes, please read my other article How long do German Shepherds live?