Videos: Dogs React to Recorded Wolf Howls

Candice Gaukel Andrews January 28, 2014 3

Much like wolves, our domestic dogs howl, too, often in response to aural cues. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Howling is just one of many forms of vocal communication used by canines. Even though they may bark, growl, moan, snarl, whimper, whine, woof and yelp a lot more often than they howl, it is often the howl that we associate them with the most often, especially when thinking of wolves.

Howling by wolves serves several functions: to form social bonds, to locate members of their own packs by voice recognition, to establish territorial positions and to discover dominance rankings.

Domesticated dogs howl, too, usually to attract attention, to make contact with others and to announce their presence. Some dogs howl in response to high-pitched sounds, such as emergency-vehicle sirens or musical instruments—or even the recorded calls of other canines. Watch the videos below, as two astute dogs attempt to make contact with their wilder “cousins.”

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,






  1. Wren Rose February 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Interesting, although I’d like to see a more scientific basis for the claim that these dogs possess a mental recognition and representation of the true source of the sound (another canid) and are attempting to communicate with them. My border collie used to howl like this when the piano or recorder was played…

  2. Larry Ehemann January 31, 2014 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Thanks Candice. very entertaining.

  3. Jo Thompson January 29, 2014 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I have native basenjis that I imported into the USA from deep in the heart of the Congo jungle. We live out in rural Ohio where there is a large population of coyotes. When the coyotes communicate, my basenjis freeze. They make not a sound. There is no attempt to “communicate with their wilder ‘cousins.'” In fact, they appear to be avoiding any detection.

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