Why Do Dogs Howl When They Hear a Siren?

If you're like most people, you've wondered whether or not it's normal for dogs to react with howling panic whenever they hear a siren. For what reason do canines wail in response to emergency vehicle horns?  

Do police, fire trucks, and ambulances always set off his barking? Is it ingrained in him to do so? Is it worth it to try to break this habit or not? Dog owners who are aware of the factors that cause their pets to howl in response to sirens are better equipped to deal with the behavior if it presents a problem or to simply let their dogs be dogs. Many dogs react to sirens in the following ways:

why do dogs howl at sirens

A Canine's Explanation for Howling at Sirens They're Talking to Mom and Dad and the rest of the pack.

Wolves are the ancestors of dogs, and wolves communicate with each other by howling. An individual wolf will howl to alert the pack to the presence of an intruder or to simply share his location.  

When he hears a siren, your dog is not howling because he is trying to communicate with a wolf pack; rather, he is trying to tell you that something is wrong. Maybe he interprets it as a threat and wants to warn you so he can keep you safe as a pack member. He may believe that he is protecting himself from the source of the noise by howling at it.

For him, the siren is a form of communication.

Your dog may be howling because he thinks he's receiving a message from a fire truck or other passing siren. The howling may also be triggered by other sources of high-pitched sound, such as clarinets, flutes, or other wind instruments.

That's Why Your Dog Is Trembling

If your dog is already afraid of loud noises like thunder or fireworks, he may also be terrified by the sound of a siren. He could possibly howl after the siren fades. A scared dog will show signs of anxiety such as a tense body, a raised hackle, rapid breathing, and/or pacing, or flight.

why do dogs howl at sirens

If a siren goes off, do all dogs react by barking?

Not all canine breeds respond to sirens with vocalizations like howling. But if your dog does, know that this is a totally natural behavior. Only if your dog does it all the time could it be a problem.  

Several dog breeds, including huskies and malamutes, are known for their distinctive howls, including hounds such as bloodhounds, beagles, and foxhounds. If you've ever wondered why huskies and malamutes howl so much, it could be because these breeds are more closely related to wolves than other dog breeds.

Even if your dog is one of these types, he may not react to passing sirens. The canine species demonstrates remarkable diversity. If you live in an area where howling sounds are common and your dog isn't feeling threatened, he likely has simply become acclimated to them and no longer feels the need to howl.

dog barking

Limiting Canine Howling

Take these measures if your dog's behavior is causing you distress. Your dog may have separation anxiety and start howling when you leave. If you're not there when a siren goes by, he may start howling wildly. If you live in an apartment building with close neighbors, this could become a serious problem.

Avoid making a big deal out of leaving the house if your child suffers from separation anxiety. Your dog may associate that with the sound of your departure and start howling in anticipation of your departure if you do.

Rather, always leave him with something that will last, like a bone or a treat-dispensing toy. Your dog will have a great time chasing after the Orbee-Tuff Diamond Plate ball that you have stuffed with kibble or peanut butter as it bounces around the house.

If you do this often enough, your dog will come to associate your departure from the house with positive reinforcement, and he will be less likely to become anxious and howl when you leave. Crate training your dog can give him a safe space during the day, and you should leave him with a variety of toys to keep him occupied.

Reinforce with Praise

If your dog howls or whines when there are loud noises, like fireworks or the vacuum cleaner, a Thundershirt may help. To help him relax in his crate away from the bustle of the house, you could try playing white noise to drown out the sounds around him.

Remember that dogs respond better to positive reinforcement, such as being praised and given treats, than to negative. If you want your dog to quiet down, yelling at it probably won't help. Instead, it may show your dog that all he has to do to get your attention is howl, which may make him fear you.

Wholesome Pride's Raw Freeze Dried Beef & Liver Dog Treats are a great option if you're looking for nutritious dog treats. They don't contain any grains, artificial flavors, or preservatives and are 100% natural. These treats are appropriate even if your dog has a delicate stomach or is allergic to other foods.

Consider consulting a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist if your efforts to quiet your dog's howling prove futile.

dog with bone toy

Howling due to Health Problems

Possible medical causes for your dog's howling behavior If you've noticed any changes in your dog's appearance or behavior, or if you feel like something is off with his personality, it's time to make an appointment with the vet. Maybe he's less energetic and has trouble getting off the couch. The howling should stop once you take your dog to the vet.

Can a Dog's Ears Get Hurt by a Siren?

Maybe you've wondered if your dog's ears get hurt when they hear sirens. The sound of sirens may frighten your dog, but it probably won't cause any lasting damage. As is often the case when dogs hear or see sirens, this wouldn't be the case if the opposite were true.

best toys for huskies

Canine howl

You probably don't have anything to worry about if your dog is howling. If you suspect a more serious problem, like anxiety or health issues, however, you should consult your veterinarian and/or a dog trainer. Then, not only will you have a less stressful home environment, but so will your dog.

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