Why Do Dogs Howl at Harmonicas?

Howling may sound melancholy or whine-like, but it is actually a dog's instinctual form of communication. Dogs are social animals and howling at sirens, singing with harmonicas or mimicking speech are all normal behaviors.

Howling Dog
Dogs like to sing, too.
credit: Kathleen C Petersen/iStock/Getty Images

Natural Instinct

Shiny Harmonicas
Harmonicas trigger a howling response.
credit: Fulya Bayraktaroglu/iStock/Getty Images

Certain sounds will trigger howling. Although dogs have been bred and domesticated, their ancestry predicts certain behavior. Wolves used howling as a basic form of communication and the harmonica triggers a response.

Howling is Singing for Dogs

barking dogs
Dogs may mimic sounds that they are hearing.
credit: cynoclub/iStock/Getty Images

Dogs will mimic and imitate sounds they are hearing, so it is not uncommon for a dog to "sing along" with the harmonica. A dog will run and hide if it doesn't like what it's hearing, so if a dog is howling at a harmonica, it is enjoying the music.


Couple relaxing in living room
Dogs enjoy human interaction.
credit: moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images

Dogs are social creatures and may howl if they are bored or wanting interaction and attention. Howling at the harmonica is the dog's way of enjoying some human company.