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Barks & Mewsings

The Trupanion blog

Why Do Dogs Howl at Sirens? Dog Owner Questions Answered

By: Kelli Rascoe

A tan dog with black snout howls from a comfy chair

If you have a puppy or a dog, you know that they bark. Naturally, your dog may bark at random noises. While every furry friend is different, some dogs may choose to communicate vocally based on the sounds they hear. So, we had to find out more about the popular dog topic, “why do dogs howl at sirens?” We sat down with Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Caroline Wilde to learn more about dogs and howling and what it may really mean for your best friend.

Why do dogs howl at sirens?

German Shepherd, Corgi and another dog cuddle under a blanket

Some dogs choose to vocalize as a way to express themselves. But why do they choose to howl at sirens? Wilde weighs in on the potential reasons why do dogs howl at sirens.

“No one knows for sure, but it is thought that dogs who howl at sirens interpret the sirens as other dogs howling. Dogs use howling to locate each other, so it’s possible that the dog chimes in to let the other dog know where the fire truck is.”

Every dog is going to respond differently to environments, stimulation, and noises. Also, some dogs may be more sensitive to certain noises. For an additional resource on communication, read The VCA Fear in Dogs Guide here.

Do sirens hurt dog’s ears?

If it’s loud for your ears, it may hurt your dog’s ears right? Well, it all depends on how your dog responds to the noise.

For example, “behavior should always be interpreted in relation to what else your dog is doing at the time. If your dog seems relaxed and doesn’t seem to be trying to get away from the noise, then it’s unlikely the noise it hurting the dogs’ ears,” says Wilde.

Consider documenting your dog’s behavior and reaching out to your veterinarian. If you have any concerns about your dog’s reaction to noises, talk to your pet’s veterinary hospital. They can determine if your dog needs additional tests.

Why don’t some dogs howl at sirens?

Whether you have a small puppy or a large adult dog, you probably have heard them howl. While all dogs are different, some dogs may choose not to howl and that’s okay. Further, your dog’s communication style is unique and personalized to them.

Dog breeds and howling

Your dog’s breed may affect many factors like their size, weight, coat, or behavior. But can it help determine how vocal they’re when it comes to sirens? As far as dog breeds go, “there aren’t any specific breeds, but in my experience, it seems it may occur more frequently in herding dogs,” points out Wilde.

Also, it may be helpful to watch your dog’s behavior around different stimulation and see how they respond and how their behavior may change over time. Further, a puppy may not respond the same as a senior dog.

If you notice any abnormal behavior or anxiety in your dog, talk to your veterinarian. They can help determine the root of the problem and recommend a treatment plan.

A Boxer dog puppy and mom on a white bed

Why do dogs howl at sirens? They may be trying to communicate to another dog

Whether you have an Australian Shepherd, Chihuahua, or Labrador Retriever, your dog may vocalize based on the environment, situation, or unique personality. But by watching your dog’s behavior and communicating with your veterinarian, you may be able to hear your pet’s special disposition day or night.

A dog and cat snuggle

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Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

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