Why do dogs howl at sirens?

April 13, 2012

Modern day dogs have descended from the wolves. Wolves and howling go hand in hand. Would it be surprising if the dogs that we have in our homes would manifest the primitive traits of its progenitors? Howling is a carried over trait when dogs used to live in the wild. Although Fido or Snoopy are seldom heard howling, they still do howl from time to time.

Unlike people that talks, dogs use other means to communicate with each other. The whining of a puppy would tell the mother dog that the young one is either hungry or uncomfortable. Growling is manifested by a dominant dog, usually the leader of the pack. The growling serves as a warning for dogs lower in rank to toe the line. A howling dog is often believed to be the harbinger of something ominous or evil. Notice how howling dogs are always featured in horror movies. Of course there are no basis for this beliefs.

Dogs howl at anything. They howl at the movements of the leaves in the dark. They howl at the moon. Dogs howl at anything. Don’t be surprised if the dog that is sitting at your feet while you are watching CSI suddenly howled. The dog is not afraid of the corpses in the scene. It is probable that the howling was triggered by the siren of the police car or the ambulance on the TV. Why do dogs howl at ambulance and fire truck sirens? Can it be true that these animals have an uncanny ability to know what is going to happen? Are they privy to the agenda of the Reaper and they known when the gleaming scythe will be used?

The howling may be dog’s way of telling its owners that it is lonely, bored or sick. We know that wolves in the wild would howl to communicate with its other. A wolf that was separated from the pack simply has to howl to be reunited with the others. The siren can be perceived by a dog as the call or the howl of other dogs. Dogs can hear distant sounds. The ear piercing sound of a distant siren can be heard clearly by the dog. The howling is the dog’s way of answering what was mistakenly recognized as the call of other dogs. The howling is a sign that the dog wants the attention of its human family. Separation anxiety, boredom and loneliness are some of the reasons why a dog would howl at sirens.

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