Click here to learn more.
A howl is a dog’s way of having his say in front of the widest possible audience over a sustained period of time. Think of it this way: A bark is like placing a local call, while a howl is more of a long distance dial.
Dogs’ wild cousins (wolves come to mind) howl for a very practical reason: Since they often have to roam far away from each other in search of their next meal, howling helps them keep in touch with pack members. In fact, their acoustic sensitivity is so refined that wolves are capable of distinguishing one pack member's howl from the next.
There’s also evidence to suggest that wolves use the howl as both a bonding ritual and a means to enforce rank. One pack leader will initiate the chorus, which is taken up by subsequent members, thus reinforcing the social bond they share.
You’re probably saying to yourself, "I understand why wild wolves need to howl, but do domesticated dogs really have a reason to do it?"
Perhaps it’s just a vestigial behavior left over from their wild ancestry, but plenty of canine behaviorists think it's both instinctively necessary and rewarding. In domesticated company, the point of the howl is simple: It’s all about announcing a dog's presence and basking in the satisfying connection to others when they reply.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
In "Barknado," adoptable dogs are swept
up by funnel clouds and gently placed at the feet of prospective…
Dr. Debbie Mandell shares the signs of
heat stress, plus which breeds may have
conditions that could put them in…
We chat with a koi show expert about
what makes this big, brilliantly-colored
ornamental carp so fascinating.
July 31 is National Mutt Day and to
celebrate, we rounded up our favorite
fan-submitted pictures of mixed breeds.
Believed to have originated in Egypt around 329 B.C., the elegant Saluki is a calm and quiet companion.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.