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Why Dogs Howl At Sirens

I’m sure you’ve all heard it before at some point in your life. When the ambulance drives by with the siren blaring, or when someone is practicing a musical instrument, or listening to a certain song, some (but not all) dogs will howl in response. But why do they do this?

Some have suggested that, because dogs hear at higher frequencies, they are in pain or annoyed with some of the higher tones they are hearing. However, further research revealed that this is likely not the case.

According to the AKC:

“Because howling is long and sustained, its carrying distance is further than a bark, which is short and brief,” says Lisa Peterson, communications director for the American Kennel Club. “It’s like a ‘long distance’ doggie telephone call, since the long, drawn-out sound can travel for distances of several miles.”

Dogs instinctively use howling as a long-distance communication method. When a dog hears a siren or tone that mimics howling, they respond with a howl. Do you have a howler in your house?

About Stacy @Trupanion

Stacy Kowalchuk is a dog mom to her rescued Whippet-mix, Ellie. During the week, you can find Stacy surfing (the internet, that is) and managing Trupanion's presence in the social media world. In her free time, Stacy likes to bake, especially cupcakes! To balance her culinary affinity, she also likes to stay active, especially with activities that include her dog such as hiking and going to dog parks.

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