Why do dogs howl to music: 6 Reasons (answered!)

Find out what dogs' howling means and what interesting message it conveys. Here we will answer the popular question, "why do dogs howl to music?".
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Hearing music can trigger a completely harmless behavior in some dogs, but it can become annoying if the dog howls without interruption whenever a similar situation arises.

Why do dogs howl to music? 

Some say they do it to accompany the melody. Others claim it’s because of their connection to their ancestor, the wolf. Is it true?

What are the reasons for this behavior? And if your dog howls at music, can you teach him not to?

I’ve often asked myself these questions, too.

But I was never serious enough to find out the answers. 

Until recently, my curiosity got the better of me, and I dug deeper to find out nothing but some really interesting facts. 

I know you are as eager as I was to know Why dogs howl to music. 

So I am writing this article for my fellow dog owners to end their curiosity once and for all. 

Take a drink, relax and enjoy this article.

Why Do Dogs Howl to Music?

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A Dog howls to music not because he loves or wants to sing but because he perceives it as a call similar to that of other dogs, and the howl is their reply to that call. However, the howling, in general, could have many other meanings that we will examine in more detail.

Probably, the answer to this curious question about why dogs howl when they listen to a certain type of music is not what you expected, is it?

Either way, it has something to do with their genetic makeup. Let us delve deeper into the details!

Dogs are distant relatives of wolves. They have their genes derived from the wolf genes. So, they do possess some wolfy characteristics.

Consider howling as one. 

Wolves live in the wild. They live in packs and enjoy staying together. But whenever they drift apart and have to communicate, they aren’t technologically sound enough or tech-savvy to use smartphones. 

Yes, you guessed it right. They howl.

Wolves howl to convey their message to their pack. The highs and lows of the howl convey the message. Same is the case with dogs. They howl because they might think they are communicating with someone. Pun intended!

That’s what they howl for. Whenever they listen to music, the different frequencies make them howl. So, now it’s pretty simple, aye!

Now, whenever someone is going to ask you why do dogs howl to music,  your standard reply should be because they are wolfish.

Why Do Dogs Howl in General?

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Now let us move further and see why dogs howl in general. 

#1 High-Pitched Noises

High-pitched noises make dogs howl. It is because they get annoyed and frustrated by the higher pitches. And howling is their mechanism to react. And we have already talked about the wolfiness in today’s dogs.

So, it makes sense that whenever they hear noises that they find unpleasant such as high-pitched ones, they react in the highest of their own notes. 

#2 Boundary Demarcation and Defense Mechanism

In the wild, animals howl to demarcate their boundary and duly notify the other members of the pack or maybe their neighboring packs in clear, concise, and bold that this is my space, and they howl to achieve this end. 

#3 Community Organizing and Homing Beacon

Animals use howling to convey to other members that they should gather together. Dogs howl for the same reason. In addition, they howl for community organizations and homing beacons.

#4 Alert an Injury or Discovery

Howling also sends a signal saying I am in need of help. For example, if a dog gets an injury, or it may have discovered something that it wants to let other members know, it would howl so that others would know and can immediately come to help. 

#5 Attract Attention

Dogs also howl to attract the attention of their owners. Howling helps them gain attention. If humans are not giving due attention to their dog and the dog wants attention, it can start howling. 

#6 Express Anxiety

With howling, dogs can also express their emotions, such as their anxiety. So if your dog is howling, and you don’t understand the reason, chances are it may be facing a pang of anxiety. 

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Why do dogs howl to music - why is my dog howling 2

Do Dogs Howl at Music Because It Hurts Their Ears?

Dogs don’t howl at the music because it hurts their ears. They howl because they think someone is sending them signals, and the howl is their reply to that help.

Also, when a dog howls at hearing music, means is trying to accompany the melody through its howling, not because he’s in pain or because his eardrums hurt from the high volume.

Music is as pleasant to dog’s ears as it is to humans..

What Sound Causes Dogs to Howl?

In general, when a dog howls, it is usually for situations similar to those that lead wolves to do so:

– To call for their owner or other dogs. Some dogs howl, for example, when their owner comes home or when they hear other dogs nearby.

Some dogs only howl in response to certain loud sounds, such as when they hear ambulance or police sirens.

It is also a warning sound, for example, when a dog feels threatened by another dog or a person invading its territory.

A dog that stays home alone may howl to get attention or express anxiety. Often, howling is accompanied by other behaviors, such as biting things or wandering aimlessly, indicating anxiety about separation from the owner.

Dogs may also howl when they are injured.

Some hunting dogs howl to warn their owner or other dogs that they have found prey.

Some dogs howl in response to the howling of other dogs, which seems to be a behavior of trying to bond to form a pack.

It seems that many dogs howl at night. This may be because there is much less background noise, so it is easier for them to hear a sound that makes them howl, and at night their howling will be heard at a greater distance.

What Kind of Music Makes Dogs Howl?

It is certainly not classical music, as it makes them calm. Music that has high-pitched notes makes dogs howl. Even dogs howl to the high-pitched noises. 

What to Do About Your Dog Howling?

If your dog is howling, try to make him calm. If your dog starts howling after you have played music, turn it off or change the track. Otherwise, the howling would go on. 

What Dog Breeds Howl The Most?

Samoyed, Shiba Inu, Alaskan Malamute, Shetland sheepdog, Bloodhound, Beagles, Siberian Husky, and American Eskimo Dog are the breeds that howl the most. 

Do All Dogs Howl?

While howling is common to all dogs, some breeds howl more than others. Dogs that are more likely to howl include hound breeds, beagles, basset hounds, Samoyeds, Shiba Inus, American Eskimos, Alaskan Malamute, and Huskies. 

Are Dogs Happy When They Howl?

Howling is the vocal communication for dogs. If the message is distressing, the howl should be considered a groan.

On the other hand, if the message is happy, it might be a cheerful howl, and we can assume that the howling dog was happy to howl. 

We can’t measure the happiness of dogs because they have a completely different set of emotions than we do.

What we know is that dogs exhibit similar behavior to humans when they listen to music, such as an increased heart rate and movement. However, these behaviors are most likely triggered by the emotional response to the music, not its volume.

Therefore, although we can’t 100% say for sure if dogs are happy when they howl to music, we do know that it triggers similar responses in them as when humans listen to music.

When Dogs Howl to Music?

In addition to inheriting howling as a medium of communication from wolves, most dogs howl in response to high-pitched sounds, such as the sirens of emergency vehicles or musical instruments.

Do Dogs Like Music?

Dogs like music. They might have an opinion on the genre, but the most important thing is that they enjoy it. Music is as pleasant to dog’s ears as it is to humans.

Keep in mind that just because your friend’s dog loves listening to him while he rocks out on guitar doesn’t mean all dogs do.

The best way to know what your dog likes is by observing how they react to different types of music or sounds. For example, some dogs might jump at the sound of a squeaky toy in excitement, but others might not react at all or even run away!

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why do dogs howl at music

Finding the answer to why do dogs howl to music was a fun business. It included visiting dogs’ genetic ancestors, aka the wolves.

Wolves like to howl, and so do dogs. 

Thank you for staying in this article to find out the answer to this curious question. So, the next time your dog howls, you either lower the volume or try changing the track.

Good luck with that!

Paws up for sharing this dog-related article!
Housam Ayouni
Housam Ayouni

I am a professional in the field of canine behavior and care with many years of experience. Through my dog blog, which has reached over one million dog owners, I offer practical tips and guidance to support dog owners in creating strong, positive relationships with their pets and promoting the well-being and happiness of all dogs. My goal is to help dog owners create a harmonious and fulfilling life with their furry companions.

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One comment

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