Why does my dog howl at sirens? (Thinkstock)
Why does my dog howl at sirens?
Lexile

You asked us, "Why does my dog howl at sirens?" and that question has been a head-scratcher for a while, almost as if sirens have an evil power over most dogs. 
 
Their heads start to go up, their doggy-lips start to purse, and out it comes, as if they have no control over it. 
 
For a long time, the explanation was simple, that it hurts. 
 
Dogs' hearing is so much more sensitive than ours ... that a sound that's just irritating to us must be excruciating for them, but if you've ever seen a dog howling along with a fire truck, they don't seem to be unhappy, and in fact, they look pretty pleased with themselves.
 
Canine science points us in another direction, to dogs' cousins and ancestors, the wolves.
 
Wolves don't bark to communicate, they howl. Hear a wolf howl. What's that, girl? That seems to translate to "I'm lonely, friend" or "Go away, stranger." 
 
These wolfish responses are also hardwired into your dog's head, so given the smug aftermath of a good howl, I'd put my money on the "Go away" explanation of your dog's big yowl. 

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What did people used to believe was the reason their dogs howled at sirens?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (2)
  • victoriab-1-sch
    8/28/2015 - 02:04 p.m.

    People use to believe that their dog howls when they hear sirens. They think that the sirens have an evil power over dogs. They act like they don't have any control of it so their doggy lips start to purse and it starts to come out like the dogs have no control of it. Dogs hearing is much more sensitive than humans hearing . When a dog Howling while a firetruck sirens go off then that particually means dogs are unhappy.

  • alyssak-day
    10/21/2015 - 01:44 p.m.

    It's interesting to see that dogs are still doing wolf like things. Even though dogs have been domesticated for hundreds of years, they still have some of those wolf-like instincts. The dogs howl at the ambulances in a way of trying to communicate with others.

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