Why Do Dogs Howl at Sirens?

The real explanation for howling at sirens is unknown, as it is with most canine habits. However, most experts feel there are two strong possibilities about why do dogs howl at sirens.

The most frequent notion is that screaming at sirens is a relic of your dog’s forefathers. Wolves communicate by various noises and vocalizations, the most well-known of which is howling. We can hear some of these howls, but keep in mind that wolves and dogs have considerably better hearing than we do.

Why Does a Dog Howl at Sirens?

Dog Howl at Sirens

Your dog can hear (and make) sounds that we do not. When your dogs hear a distant siren or other high-pitched sounds, the dog thinks that it’s the other dogs attempting to speak with them and the dogs howl at sirens.

When your dog cries in response to the siren, it could just be saying, ‘Hey!’ ‘I hear you, and I’m on my way!’ This new sound could be harmless, but it could also be a threat, and it’s best to be cautious than sorry, as they say.

As the reliable and loyal companions that they are, your dog may howl in response to a siren when an emergency vehicle drives by as a warning to you and other family members that there is a potential danger around.

This could also explain why a dog will start howling louder the second time they hear sirens. This is because when the emergency vehicle approaches and your pet dog hears, dogs feel that his screaming (dog howling) has scared it away, rewarding the behavior.

Howling is a type of communication used by wolves. Humans have a far better sense of hearing than wolves (and dogs). They can hear high-pitched sounds from long distances. Suppose a wolf becomes separated from the group. In that case, they communicate with the other wolves by howling in separation anxiety. It consists of a high-pitched or loud sound (loud howl) to get back to the pack leader.

Even if your dog isn’t a member of a wolf pack, the howling characteristics are still ingrained in their DNA closely related. So what else has high-pitched sounds in it? Sirens, to be precise.

Do Dogs Howl at Trains?

Dogs howling at trains

Some dogs may bark at the booms created by trains. Some dogs react to the bangs or loud sounds caused by trains if they are particularly attentive. If there is another growling dog nearby, many dogs may bark much more. Other barking dogs are joining in.

That’s right, sirens. According to many animal behaviorists, dog ears detect a loud song from a siren that indicates a nearby dog wailing. This could happen if they haven’t been exposed to sirens before; they may regard sirens as threats after hearing them. Dogs’ howling could also be a technique of alerting you.

Why Do Dogs Howl When You Whistle?

Man whistling at a dog

Hearing is extremely sensitive in dogs, and they have a much sharper sense. They may hear little animals underground and outside your house while sitting there. Because their ears are so sensitive, sounds that we take for granted sound quite loud to them. Loud or high-pitched sounds in their ears sound like explosions or ringing.

As a result, many dogs are terrified of pyrotechnics or may feel potentially threatening sounds. We may see an instinctual behavior.

Fireworks sound quite close to dogs, even from afar, and most animals are terrified of fire and loud noises. We aren’t terrified of fireworks because we know what they are. Dogs are perplexed as to why people would willingly blow things up for amusement.

To us, high-pitched whistling sounds gentle, but to a dog, it sounds like a full-force sports whistle blown right next to their ears. It’s tinny, ringing, and irritating. The boom may even injure their hearing, similar to how fire engines taking off close to us would hurt ours.

Stop whistling if your dog seems irritated or upset by it. It’s pleading with you to quit making that godawful noise.

What Types of Sirens Do Dogs Howl At?

It’s not just emergency alarms that cause the family dog to let out a loud, full-throated scream. Videos showing dogs howling along to pianos, reed instruments like flutes and saxophones, guitars, and other high-pitched noises like human vocalists abound on the internet.

Some dogs choose a single note and hold it. In contrast, others allow their vocalizations to sway in time with the instrument, indicating that they have a sense of pitch. See a dog trainer or behaviorist if the sound becomes bothersome or regular to get your dog to quit howling.

The occasional outburst in response to a siren or an ambulance passing by, on the other hand, should not be deemed a behavior problem or cause concern.

Types of Dog Breeds That are More Likely To Howl

Dog breeds that are similar to wolves, according to most experts, are more likely to have howling behavior at sirens than other varieties. This comprises huskies, malamutes, and American Eskimos, among other Spitz breeds.

Hound dogs that hunt in packs and/or use baying and vocalization in their hunting are another kind of canines that may be more inclined to scream at sirens or when they hear high-pitched sounds. Breeds like beagles, foxhounds, and coonhounds fall within this category.

Obviously, every dog is unique. Not all breeds are alike, and not all dogs of a specific breed are alike. So you might have a chihuahua who yells at sirens or a beagle who is completely indifferent to the noise of a siren.

How to Stop Your Dog From Howling at Sirens

There are a few things you may do to assist your dog that they may stop howling. One thing you can do is teach your dog the words “calm” or “thank you.” Then, reward your dog for sitting quietly and calmly in response to these cues.

You can use these cues to encourage your dog to cease howling at a passing siren once they understand what they signify and can dependably respond to either by being quiet and calm.

Instead of condemning your dog for wailing at sirens, remember to reward them when they display the desired behavior of being silent. Some dogs may be more resilient than others. Still, some may come to link the sound of a siren with being chastised, leading to noise phobia or fear and anxiety.

Do Sirens Hurt a Dog’s Ears?

Do Sirens Hurt a Dog's Ears

The high-pitched shrieking of a siren might be irritating to our own ears. This may lead you to believe that your dog howls when they hear sirens because sirens hurt dogs’ ears. But on the other hand, most specialists do not believe this is the case.

Most dogs in distress will exhibit several ‘traditional’ actions and body language signs, as dog body language is based on more than just one of the dog’s behavior.

If your dog is howling in response to a passing siren or when he hears high pitched sounds but isn’t showing any other signs of stress, such as crouching, hiding, or lip licking, it’s most likely for one of the reasons listed above rather than being upset by the noise.

Why Do Coyotes Howl at Sirens?

A howling coyote

The coyote is one of many animals that can interact verbally. Coyotes howl for two reasons: communicating with their fellow pack members and establishing territory. It’s worth noting that coyotes don’t howl to attract their puppies.

Instead, they use gruff barks to warn their pups to retreat to the cave and to be cautious of danger in the neighborhood. Howling would attract the attention of a predator to the puppies.

Coyotes will frequently scream in response to sirens’ wails. While scientists aren’t sure why coyotes howl at sirens, current hypotheses suggest that because the sound resembles an alpha’s howl, they’re alerting fellow coyotes, or that the sound hurts their ears.

Final Words – Why Do Dogs Howl at Sirens?

Everyone expects wolves to howl. Their sound, a lengthy and piercing wail, is well-known in films. However, the first time you heard your pet produce a similar sound, you were taken aback. Howling is yet another endearing canine behavior that we dog owners may never fully comprehend, but we can all appreciate or ignore.

You’d only heard them bark before, so wailing seemed strange. So, what makes dogs scream when they hear a siren or something similar? It turns out that dogs howl for a variety of reasons. However, there are likely two main reasons for howling at specific noises: alerting the sounds to your attention and verbally scaring the sound away.