I'm not convinced that they howl at the moon at
all. Wolves howl to communicate two main
things: "We own this territory." and "Where are
you? I'm here." So they're really
howling at each other. Howling carries over long
distances and the sound of the howl tells other
wolves the size and number of wolves holding a
territory. Wolves may even be able to
recognize each other's voices.
They do tend to howl more as darkness is
falling, or morning is coming. That might be
why people think they're howling at the moon.
They also tip their heads back, adding to that
Dogs still have some wolf behavior, so some
howl. The only time my old dog ever howled was
when we got separated in the woods. Then it
helped us find each other. Some dogs howl at
sirens. It's probably because the siren sounds
like howling to them. Some are just bored.
What do you think the other sounds a wolf
makes (barking, growling, yapping) mean? How
might they communicate without making a sound? Do
you know how to say "let's play" in canine?
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