Why Do Dogs Howl at Harmonicas?

By Sue Balk

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.

Natural Instinct

Harmonicas trigger a howling response.

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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

Dogs may mimic sounds that they are hearing.

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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.


Dogs enjoy human interaction.

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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.