Why do dogs howl to music?
Have you ever wondered why dogs howl like a wolf when music is playing? Or why dogs howl when you sing? If you haven't heard of such a thing, look on youtube; there are tons of videos of them howling to music.
It's very intriguing, to say at the least.
Well, today, we're going to spark your curiosity and dig into this a little bit further.
So, why do dogs howl to music?
Before we can fully understand why dogs howl when they hear music, we must look at why they howl. While there are a few reasons dogs howl, one of the most popular ones is because they share wolf-like qualities.
After all, once upon a time, they descended from wolves. If you've ever witnessed wolves in the wild, they tend to howl at one another as a communication method.
In addition to this, it's also to raise awareness to other members when they become separated from the group. It's kind of like they're using a tracker to locate other members of the pack down.
Another theory is that dogs howl as a form of emotional and social bonding to other dogs and humans. It's like their way of communicating and connecting, except the howl's tone varies according to the dog and the situation.
Therefore when dogs hear a high pitched frequency such as a certain instrument in a song like a trumpet, horn, flute, clarinet, or any other wind instrument, they may howl. It's believed that the high pitch reminds them of another dog in the distance communicating with them. Similarly dogs sometimes howl to the sound of human voices and the violin.
In comparison to human ears, they are very sensitive and can detect sounds in the range of 3,000-12,000 HZ. They also can hear sounds which range from -5 decibels to -15 decibels. This means they can hear sounds; we can't always pick up.
On the contrary, if instruments play with a low sound like a bass guitar, bass saxophone, bass oboe, and others, they won't respond to them because they don't match the pitches of other dogs howling.
What other sounds cause dogs to howl?
These aren't the only sounds that can trigger a dog to howl; you'll find that they can howl at your cell phone ringing, an ambulance siren, televisions, and other things, which can cause them confusion.
If you're a fan of reggae, Motown, pop, and classical music, your dog may also be a fan of these genres. A study was conducted by Bowman et al., which showed dogs became calmer, less stressed, and had a decreased heart rate after listening to music.
If you hear your dog howling and you think it's music, be cautious; the sound could be too high and could hurt its ears. They may not also be howling due to music. Listen carefully after the music stops, as they could continue howling.
If this is the case, you will want to assess the situation further. Your dog could be lonely, in pain, or just nervous as they also howl when they're experiencing these feelings. If you feel your dog could be howling because of this, we recommend seeking help from a vet.
Dogs are unique animals; they descend from wolves and, at times, display similar characteristics to their ancestors. So why do they howl to music? Well, as mentioned above, it comes down to two things.
Often dogs will bark at sounds with high pitched frequencies as they are often confused, thinking it's another member of the pack nearby. Similarly, they also do it as a way to bond with humans.
Overall, dogs are awesome. They can detect certain sounds that we cannot hear ourselves. If you have a dog, be cautious of high pitched sounds like sirens, cell phone ringtones, horns, and other things that can cause them to bark.
Some research has shown they also become calmer to certain types of music. Do you have a dog? Have you noticed how it howls to music? Don't hesitate to leave a comment with your story below!
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.
I have a husky malamute mix. He always howls at the song Jolene. He doesn’t howl at any other song or instrument.
It’s strange that when he hears the song Jolene, he stops what he’s doing, sits down, and listens. And on the first mention of the name Jolene, even at a very low volume, he begins to howl. No high pitch or anything that is audible to me or another husky that I have.
Like a lonely broken hearted dog, he cries every single time. And only with that song by Dolly Parton. Very weird. Maybe he heard it as a pup don’t know. Maybe it’s just habit now where it hurts at some high pitch later in the song.