Almost all of the dog owners are at least puzzled by certain behavior of dogs which is to howl at sirens.
If you have ever had that experience of monitoring your dog in the timeframe in which there is a siren in the vicinity, then you might have noticed that the dog is uncomfortable and most of the dogs start howling.
Most of the dog owners do not understand the reason of that howling and therefore are puzzled by this behaviour of dogs. It is actually very common and not just restricted to a certain breed of dogs.
We went into the details of why do dogs howl at sirens and we found out a couple of explanations which can be responsible for this behaviour of the dog.
The first reason which we found out was because they are pained by the sound of the siren and the second reason which we found out was that thing that the sound of the siren is a whole from another dog and therefore they to start responding.
The later was pretty common way of communication between the dogs when they were living in the wild. We would be going into both of these reasons and trying to find out which one is the precise reason was to why do dogs howl at sirens?
Painful sound of siren:
As we mentioned above one of the theory is to the howling of dogs at sirens is because the noise of the sirens is actually painful for the dogs.
Each and every animal has a different audio frequency which they can listen to and therefore it might be true that the sound of the siren might be at such a frequency that it would be uncomfortable to the dogs and can be painful as well.
The sound of sirens is irritating to humans as well and when you compare the hearing ability of human with the hearing ability of dogs you would realise that the dogs have a much more sensitive hearing mechanism and therefore the sound which is just irritating to us might be painful for them since they have a more sensitive hearing system.
The proponents of this theory point out that when the dogs are howling towards the sirens, and a high number of cases they were not showing any signs of pain or distress and therefore that indicated that they were not in pain and in some of the rarer cases, some of the dogs even where happy at howling towards sirens. This would bring us to our second theory.
Communication with the help of howling:
In order to understand this theory the first fact which you have two discover is that all the dogs have descended from wolves at least in some form. Howling is pretty common in wolves and it is actually used as a method of communication to indicate the location of the wolf or the location of the back of the wolves. Howling sound covers a greater distance as compared to just a barking sound and therefore in order to communicate with each other, wolves use howling.
This same behaviour can be seen in dogs as well but you might have noticed that in the absence of a siren dogs do not usually howl but when they listen a siren they usually howl. Why does siren trigger howling?
That is because to a dog it might seem that the sound of the siren is the howling sound of another dog which is far away and therefore the dog is just responding to the howl of another dog.
Once the other dogs also note is the sound of howling either from the siren or from the first dog they also start responding and sooner than later you would have plenty of actual howls resulting in more and more dogs responding to howls.
Dogs are social animals but in the modern-day urban environment, hardly do people have a couple of dogs because most of the people have only a single dog and therefore when the dogs recognise the sound of the siren is that of the howls from another dog, they start howling as well to indicate to them their location so that they can be back in the presence of another dog.
This is based on the social behaviour of the dog that dogs in the wild use to stay in groups just like wolves.
What are the factors which prompted talk to howl at sirens?
You might notice that not all of the dogs living in the urban environment might be howling at sirens but the question which remains is that what are the factors which affect the howling of the dogs towards the siren. This depends a lot on the breed of the dog and the upbringing of the dog. It also depends on the relationship of the dog with the current owner and also whether or not the dog is surrounded by other type of dogs or not in normal circumstances. In these factors determine whether the dog would be howling at the siren or not.
The sound of the siren also determines the trigger of the howling of the dog because if the sound of the siren sounds like a howl of another dog then only the dog would be howling otherwise the dog would not be howling.
Dogs can easily learn howling from one another and therefore even if you’re dog is not howl before it can easily learn to do so by another dog in the vicinity which howls at the sound of a siren.
Ways to prevent the dog from howling at sirens:
This can be a very unnerving experience when suddenly your dog starts howling at the siren.
If you want to prevent the dog from howling at the sirens then you had to start associating with the sound of the sirens in front of the dog with some other experiences like you can use the sound of the sirens while playing with the dogs are you can make the sound of the sirens more frequently while playing with the dog first in smaller volume and then increasing the volume so that the dog is able to associate the sounds of the siren with the playing and not with another dog.
The more you keep your dog engaged in activity which is associated with the sound of the siren the easier it would be for you to prevent the howling of the dog at the siren.
This is why, a dog howls at the siren. Now that you know it, you would find out that it is nothing to worry about.