wolf-howlIn many films, especially westerns, the howling of wolves and coyotes can be heard. Why do our pets actually howl? Though not as much as their wild relatives. The ancestors, the wolves, howl for certain reasons.

Why do dogs do this?

Once to gather the pack to hunt. That is in the early evening or in the morning. The reason is to alert the wolves who are already or are still asleep. Since our house dogs no longer have to worry about it because they get their food in front of them, they don’t have to howl anymore either. But howling also has a specific social purpose, experts explain. When wolves (or dogs for us) howl, the others get together and join in the howling. Dogs often do this when left alone or isolated from family. This is howling out of loneliness and an attempt to call other dogs or the people the dog sees as pack members together.

Howling is not just howling

It has also been found that crying is not just crying. The experts differentiate between “howling” and “social howling”. The former is done with the last note greatly lengthened. It means you’re lonely or feeling neglected. The second is the classic howl made with a sustained long tone. Sometimes first lighter, then darker. It sounds better to us. It means that you are here or that you are defending your territory. It is also often uttered upon another dog’s yelp-howl to show it can hear it. It can sometimes be the case that something like this degenerates into a happy choral singing together. This can go on for a while and startle the neighborhood.

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