Why wolves howl

Why are wolves howling?

It arouses fear, almost awe, but also a certain curiosity about the hidden meanings: We are talking about the howling, the typical call of the wolf, which is sometimes used by his "domesticated cousins" - the dogs. Through documentary films and films about werewolves, we have come to appreciate this unique reputation, though its causes and meanings remain unexplainable to us.


The howling of the wolves in the structure of the pack



It is not surprising that the wolf uses howling as a "social call". Thus, the animal tells his comrades their own location, probably in return to receive the same information about the other. This sonorous clue has another feature that is crucial to the hunt: it warns packs that are nearby that the area is already occupied by another group. Therefore, it is a strategic call that also serves to emphasize the strict hierarchy of a pack.


This is aided by the unique harmony that rings out when the individual members sing their notes, which to our ears sound like "mini-concerts": the lead pair - the alpha wolves - starts with the first howl of a deep note, while the others are obliged to be mindful. This is followed by the howling of the Beta Wolf, which takes on a higher pitch that is held longer, and finally, the lower rank wolves reproduce various sounds, including barking that serves to give the impression of a larger group than they do in reality it is. At the lowest level of importance and respect within a pack, however, the poor omega wolf has the highest and most pleasurable howl, which, among other things, serves to restore calmness in conflict situations.

The howling of dogs: between discomfort and amused participation


As a different language, however, applies the howling of the dog: a manifestation that occurs less often and above all is connected with other factors.


In addition to the well-known familiarity of sled dogs with this reputation, the dog can howl to make a "social call" or to show an uncomfortable state. This then explains the special vocalization when the dog remains alone: the sadness of this circumstance causes in the animal the yearning for his pack, which in this case refers to its human owners. Do not be afraid of the howling of our four-legged friends as they respond to certain sounds such as sirens or bells: it does not mean discomfort, but merely the desire to engage in a sound - often with hilarious results.

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