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Why dogs REALLY howl at sirens

May 12, 2021

Why dogs REALLY howl at sirens

This might be one of the most requested ever. Why do dogs unleash the high notes and howl at sirens? Are they in some sort of pain? Well the answer might surprise you...

Many of us didn’t know we had a mini-musician in the family until the ambulance siren awoke something deep inside them. But while some people fear the sound is hurting their sensitive ears, there is a good chance they might actually enjoy it…

You see, the howl has been used by wolves for thousands of years as a form of social media where members of the pack are encouraged to ‘check-in’ and reveal their location. And despite your tame-wolf swapping the wilderness for the warmth of our homes, the purpose is still the same.

When they hear the siren, that wailing pitch triggers their instincts into action and they talk back. They're either telling the siren that they already own this territory or simply communicating with it. They’ll also match the pitch and mimic the siren almost faultlessly which is essentially both a bonding and social experience. Amusingly, the siren almost always fades into the distance which to their mind makes them believe the interaction was successful. It delivered the necessary messages and the other dog backed off. Yes, the system works!

So while they won’t be signing any recording contracts, you can’t help but respect their commitment to hitting the high notes in their very unique and heartfelt karaoke session.