Why Does My Dog Howl

To a class of superstitious people a howling dog may be a sign of doom. On the contrary to aesthetes such as artists and literati, a four-legged howling sensual image may be a source of unending inspiration. This can be evidenced from Allen Ginsberg’s maiden poetical work “HOWL” and a series of horror films based on “werewolf” themes.

In this regard a filmmaker, Joe Dante came forward with an even flagrantly resembling title, “Howling”. From this one can guess how thematic is the howling image in the West. For a common man, this however has been a frightening omen. This puts us in an inquisitive stance in so far as to explore the “what” and “why” of this phenomenal “howling”.

Howling Dog Why Does My Dog Howl

Things that inspire a howling:

Dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years, and the bond we have formed with them is so strong that we can tell what they want to say most times:

  • Howling as a dog’s way of communicating with other beings:

A far-off roar, as a howling is usually described, is in the first place meant to address dogs in a distant region. The sound pattern of all howling utterances is not the same. But most of the howls are actuated under the urge of two main stimuli: first, to ward off strangers; second, to muster support of the members of the pack for a likely hunt.

  • Howling in response to others:

Just like human beings, a dog may howl to show disapproval over any range of natural sounds, music (singing), noise and the like. You might have noticed a pack of dogs howling as after being infuriated over the sound of an unlikely siren, uproar, or an abrupt movement of things around. That is not all; a dong may howl out in response to some pleasant experience as well.

Other Significations of Howling:

Normally a wolf would howl upon waking the morning. There is nothing known to date about this behaviour as to why do they exhibit this pattern of utterance at this particular time that, surprisingly, dogs are not used to.

Very often you encounter your pet’s howling the moment you leave for office or school extended over for some time even after you depart. Naturally, as you know, dog is very loyal animal; so howling of this kind is definitely arising out of ‘separation anxiety.’

You might have watched videos of dogs pictured while singing. It’s not actually they are singing, in fact, they utter such long rhythmical notes to the accompaniment of a lute because instinctively they are very much tuned to be living as part of the ensemble, pack here.

As you know that the distribution of a pack is usually hierarchical, so a dog naturally happens to be very much convincing / receptive; it may use characteristic features, such as smell and voice to socially liaise itself to be a part of a pack with a will to pledging to trudge along later.

  • There is a difference in barking and howling:

Typically a “howl” is a long with an unvaried sound pattern, while a “bark” is a succession of repetitious short utterances no matter how long they are extended. The in-vogue-English equivalent denotation for this utterance is “woof”. In a domestic setting, a dog would hardly howl other than in a distressed situation such as cold or upon encountering prospects of mating a female in the vicinity.

Howling in puppies in not that frequent, if it is there, it is mainly because they are sick or they are seeking your attention. An encounter with a pack of bullying dogs may harass a puppy to howling just like kids do for help or attention.

Hereditary Account:

Zoologists opine that ‘howling’ is an instinctive feature that the dogs are traced to have inherited from their ‘great grandparents’ — the wolves. Earlier in the history, howling might have signified the arrival of a pack of wolves. It was a way of asserting themselves over the territory, a signal that would impel nearby counterparts to vacate the territory. Accordingly, a member of the rival pack would howl back signifying that the command had been complied with.

As any two howls are never the same, so the probability of wrong recipient was not the case. Wolves are quite apprehensive of a nearby presence; they know when to near and when not to, esp. if there is no responding howl, it’s the sign to back off.

A pet dog’s howl, however, is never construed as something of an aggressive kind. They appear to have commanded their lovable image through and through in the history. Luckier is one who finds howling a musical play back and goes to sleep.

From above account of behavioral patterns of a typical dog we can reform our opinion in that the howling of a dog has nothing to do with the prediction regarding good or bad happenings post-howling.

Further Readings:

Filed Under: Animals & Birds

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