• Question: why do wolves and dogs howl at the moon

    Asked by emily72 to Jo, Kevin on 22 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Kevin Mahon

      Kevin Mahon answered on 22 Jun 2012:

      Actually they don’t howl at the moon – they just howl in general and sometimes the moon is there! Behaviour experts tracvked wolves over a long period and found no relationship between the presence of a full moon and their tendancy to howl!

      Howling in wolves (and to a lesser extent dogs) is a well studied and complex vocalisation. Wolves howl as a form of long-distance communication, conveying a range of information to other individuals.

      Dogs tend to howl for other rreasons like owner attention and seeing if there are any dogs nearby!

    • Photo: Joanna Cruden

      Joanna Cruden answered on 22 Jun 2012:

      It is a myth that they howl at the moon, maybe it just seems more eerie when they do during a full moon and captured the imagination of film makers and authors.

      it is a form of communication, sometimes they howl as a warning to other dogs and wolves, if the rest of the pack hear it they go to the wolf that is howling, there are several different types of howls and no one really knows what each one means except the wolves! Dogs have kept the instinct to howl from their wolf ancestors