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Here’s Why Dogs Howl Along To Music


Dogs are reactive animals. They react to all sorts of things, including sounds, smells, and movements. They’re innately curious and want to know what’s going on around them. Among other things, you might have noticed that your pooch reacts to the music you listen to by “howling along” to it. To some people it’s super cute, to others it’s a bit irritating, but what exactly does it mean?

To be fair, they aren’t trying to irritate you at all, and they aren’t showing off their amazing soprano skills. Instead, the howling can be traced back to their wolf heritage. Wolves use this “vocal technique” to converse with other members of their pack. It’s a way for them to gather everyone into a single spot and more importantly, to acknowledge the “oneness” of their “unit,” or pack.

shutterstock_121227229These wild instincts often persist in dogs, and this could be the reason that they’re often tempted to howl for no apparent reason, even to music. This is because music often possesses a lot of the same tonal qualities as howling. Even to the human ear, howling can sometimes be reminiscent of a clarinet or a saxophone. To the ear of a dog, which is much better attuned to higher frequencies than a human’s ear, this similarity is even more apparent. And since your dog probably has no idea what a clarinet is, it’s perfectly natural that they would mistake it for a sound they are designed by evolution to recognize.

It’s not just music, though. Any kind of high-pitched noise, even those you might not be able to hear that well, could trigger your pooch’s howl. Try turning off the music and see if the howling persists. If so, there might be another source of a high-frequency sound or it could be due to loneliness or physical pain.

Some examples of other high-frequency sounds include cell phone ringtones, ambulance sirens or even a variety of sounds that could come from your TV set. In the end, just remember that howling is perfectly normal. It might get on your nerves (and on your neighbours’ nerves) sometimes, but the best thing to do is just accept it. It’s an integral part of being a dog, and most of the time, there isn’t much you can do about such things.

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