Offbeat — 12 June 2013

Why do dogs wail

Remember all those old wives’ tales about dogs wailing in the presence of ghosts, spirits or the reaper? Maybe that is why you get so spooked whenever you hear a dog wailing nearby. Well, there is no need to worry about that anymore for studies have revealed that dogs wail for a variety of reasons other than warning you about a spooky, evil spirit lurking around nearby (which is a myth by the way)! And here are some of the more common reasons as to why dogs wail.

Ancestral traits

There is a strong possibility that dogs would have inherited certain traits from their ancestors, the wolves. Wolves are known to wail frequently in addition to displaying other behavioral traits similar to dogs, including barking, whining and growling etc.

Wolves usually use wailing as a tool for communicating between themselves over long distances. The reasons for the wailing can be many, including a food supply, water or separation from the pack.

Years later, dogs seem to have taken a leaf of the old book and wail whenever they feel like it. Again, the reasons for the same may vary. But the characteristic trait is hard to miss.

Behavioral issues

Dogs who feel bored or lonesome are known to wail in order to attract attention. Dogs who are left alone at home all day or are chained to a post or fence for long intervals are prone to wailing.

Dogs may also howl when they sense the presence of other dogs in the vicinity (wolves usually hang out in packs and don’t like to be singled out).

Separation anxiety

Dogs who are attached to their owners would find it hard to stay away from them. Therefore, when the owners leave them in the house (for work or any other purpose), the dogs would resort to wailing in order to stop the former from leaving.

Similar sounds

Certain dogs would start wailing when they hear the siren blaring from a fire truck, ambulance or police vehicle. Although there is not a standard reason as to why they do this, studies suggest that the sounds emanating from these sirens resemble wailing or howling. Dogs listening to these sirens would think them to be howls and would respond with one of their own.

Certain musical instruments when played, can also make a dog howl. In these cases, the tone emanating from these instruments would sound like howls to the dog who would respond back instinctively.

Written by Vinod Sharma

Master in English literature and having more than five years of blogging experience, Vinod Sharma is competitive in nature and likes taking on new tasks and challenges put forth both personally and professionally. Simple living and high thinking is a quote synonymous to him.

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About Author

Vinod Sharma

Master in English literature and having more than five years of blogging experience, Vinod Sharma is competitive in nature and likes taking on new tasks and challenges put forth both personally and professionally. Simple living and high thinking is a quote synonymous to him.

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