After you belt out some notes.
Your pooch comes in with a long “Awwoooo!”
They never miss doing it whenever you’re singing.
Which makes you think…
“Why do they like doing this?”
Keep reading to learn:
- If this is a normal thing for canines.
- What it means if your dog howls when you sing.
- Why do they only do it to certain tunes or songs.
- Whether you should do something about this or not.
- And many more…
Why does my dog howl when I sing?
Your dog howls when you sing as a natural response to the sounds you make, a way to bond with you, an instinct to a certain pitch, a strategy to grab your attention, or a reaction to high-frequencies. They could also be reinforced, a vocal breed, imitating you, or thinking that you’re in danger.
9 reasons why your dog howls when you sing (high notes)
#1: Your dog thinks you’re howling
When we talk of ‘howlers,’ aren’t wolves the first ones that come to mind?
Well, it’s no coincidence. As they’re our furry friends’ great ancestors.
Although dogs were domesticated many years ago…
This instinct might still be encoded in their DNA. Which could be the reason for this howling.
“But what makes them think like this?”
Most dogs may not react to all musical tones.
However, there could be certain pitches that trigger their howling. Say, that of a high note or a siren.
So when you sing, you might have hit a particular note. And your pooch thinks it’s another canine’s cry.
Then as an instinct, they’ll also respond with a howl.
Wolves in the wild hunt and live in packs. And howling is their way to gather everyone among a vast land.
When one starts it, everyone else follows. So you may have turned on this switch on your dog while letting out a few notes.
So don’t worry much.
Because if your dog’s irritated or scared, they’ll hide and run away from the sound. And not stay by your side and ‘sing’ along.
#2: Your dog bonds with you
Aside from communication, experts say that howling is a social thing in wolves.
They even point out that it’s an activity that holds the pack together. And it’s also believed that howling in unison makes their bond stronger.
Dogs may not be considered as ‘pack animals’ like wolves based on research…
(Hounds like being with others. But, they prefer living in small groups. And without firm social structure.)
However, most of them are highly social. Especially to humans.
So when your pooch howls while you sing, they might only be trying to bond with you.
#3: Your dog ‘sings’ along
Does your pooch seem to have a favorite song?
You know, that one tune you sing that always prompts them to point their snout to the ceiling.
And let out a long “Awwwooooo!”?
Well, your Fido’s not alone.
As there are some pups who also love to sing their hearts out along with their humans.
Like this Beagle who turned into ‘diva mode’ when her Dad started singing:
But, to be clear.
Dogs don’t ‘sing’ as humans do. Say, for art’s sake or expressing emotions.
They only do it because they recognize tones. And they’re only following their impulse.
Stanley Coren, a renowned dog expert, says that canines have a sense of pitch. As well as wolves.
So recall those times when your pooch howled along with you.
Did you notice that they tend to sing in a different key?
If so, they’re harmonizing. But, for a different reason.
Coren shares they do it to make their howl distinct from you or everyone else.
This was also proven by studies.
Because researchers found that there are 21 kinds of howls in the Canidae family.
They call it ‘howling dialects.’ And each type of wolf, dog, and jackal has distinct sounds. Which varies in pitch and undulation.
So when they’re communicating, they’ll be able to tell which howl is from their kind.
Or, it’s a strategy to make their pack sound bigger in number to other animals.
Don’t forget to check out: 7 Incredible Reasons Why Your Dog Howls At Music + 3 Tips
#4: Your dog is sensitive to high-frequencies
Do you have any accompaniment while you sing?
For example, a background track or an instrument?
If yes, it might have also triggered your dog’s howling.
Coren also says that certain instruments could bring out the ‘inner wolf’ in a dog. Especially those that require air to play. Such as flutes and clarinets.
There are also videos on the Internet of dogs singing along with a violin or piano. As well as a guitar – like in the clip above.
No specific study was made on this. But, experts think that the long high notes produced by the instruments could be the reason.
Also, canines have sensitive ears as well.
Science says they can hear higher-frequency sounds. Which aren’t possible for humans to perceive.
As their ears are made for 67,000 Hz. While we’re only up to 64,000 Hz at most.
So, it’s also possible that they’re hearing something we don’t. And they’re reacting to it.
#5: Your dog wants something
Apart from ‘singing’…
Sometimes, dogs may also do this to be noticed.
Canines are clever. And this is actually a great strategy.
Because well, who wouldn’t turn their heads or rush to their dogs once they hear a loud howl?
You might be singing for a long time. So your pooch got bored and they want to play with you.
Or they’re hungry or want to go out at the moment.
You may also like: 15 Reasons Why Your Dog Barks At You (All Of A Sudden)
#6: Your dog is encouraged to do so
Another possible reason is that your pooch is used to howling along with you.
Dogs learn by experience. And they’re also labeled as ‘opportunists.’ (Well, cute ones tho.)
So they’ll do things that’ll benefit them.
And if your pooch earns some rewards through howling. Like your full attention. Toys or yummy treats…
They’ll surely do it again next time.
#7: Your dog is naturally vocal
There are some canines who don’t howl much. But, there are also other dogs who do it way too often.
So if yours is the latter, it could be that it’s just the way they are.
It’s common for most dogs to bark most of the time.
However, Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes are known for howling a lot.
Canines who were bred for hunting are also big howlers. Such as:
- Basset Hounds.
But to be specific, these hounds don’t howl. Experts call it ‘baying.’ Because the sound they make is a bit different.
Unlike howling, it can be made of different variations. As a hounds’ bay will become more intense and shorter as they come close to prey.
Read next: Why is my dog so vocal?
#8: Your dog thinks you’re in danger
You: *singing with your heart*
Your dog: “Hooman! Is there something wrong?!?”
There may also be some instances when you get so carried away while singing. Or you’re blasting some really high notes.
Then your dog rushes to you while howling. As a response to what they thought was a cry for help.
(No offense. This happens to anyone. And Fidos may also react to screams.)
“Why do they do that?”
Because dogs don’t only hear well.
They can also detect human emotions based on our tone. This is why some people believe they’re a good judge of character.
Plus, they’re also empaths.
One study shows that dogs offered help to their parents who were in distress. As they opened the door quickly after hearing them (pretend to) cry.
This goes to show that canines are also in tune with their humans’ emotions. And are willing to lend a hand in times of trouble.
#9: Your dog mimics you
Lastly, this might sound odd…
But, your pooch may also be trying to mimic the sounds you make.
According to AKC, not every animal has the ability to imitate people.
But thanks to years of domestication, dogs can have this trick up their sleeve.
Research says that reading humans isn’t something they were born with. As it’s a learned skill. Which is developed by living with us.
“Is this really possible?”
Another study says so.
As it was found that a 4-year old dog, named Philip, copied 9 human actions. However, this was done after training.
And in this case, dogs won’t be able to ‘sing’ like us. But, they can surely pick up on our tone.
Plus, this is only possible if your pooch is somehow trained to do it. Like if they’re always rewarded once they howl with you.
What to do about it?
Howling along isn’t usually a problem. It’s actually good bonding for the two of you.
So you can just let your dog be.
However, if it seems like they’re only doing it for attention. Or, your neighbors aren’t fans of your frequent duets…
Maybe it’s time to mellow their howling a bit. Since you can’t fully stop them from doing so. Especially if they’re a vocal breed.
For this, you can:
- Distract: If you’re practicing a song, give them a new chewy toy. Or a safe dog bone. This may help divert their attention to something else.
- Ignore: Although it’s hard, try not to give any reaction to your dog while they’re howling. Meaning, don’t look them in the eye. Nor speak or pet them.
- Reward: When the howling ends, only then you can give your pooch attention. And praise them for doing so. To help them know this is what you want them to do.
- Let them join: A few jamming sessions won’t hurt. After all, they still need to act on their instincts. So do it as long as they know how to stop in command.
Good luck! 🙂