View Full Version : Sad music

8th February 2008, 12:54 PM
I'd like some thoughts on this.

I play piano and my dogs gather around me as though I am the Pied Piper. They seem drawn to the music and very relaxed by it.

The other day I found my old recorder (flute like instrument) and thought it would be fun to have a little play on it. The three dogs gathered around me, but to my distress, Sonny made this pitiful howling/mewling sound. It was the sadest sound I have ever heard. He sounded like he was in pain. I stopped playing immediately & put it away. A few days later I stared to wonder if I had imagined the noise he had made, so I played just a few notes on it. Again, the same thing happened. I won't play it any more. His sound is too distressing. :(

Has anybody seen this happen, and have a theory as to what it was all about? I really don't know what to think.

Barbara Nixon
8th February 2008, 01:09 PM
It could be a response to the call of the wild from a wolf pack. One of my springers used to howl, even seconds before, the old , now reinstated ITV News at Ten programme began. She only ever responded in this way , to that particular tune.

You could test this theory by playing one of the free online soundtracks of wolves.

Daisy's Mom
8th February 2008, 02:10 PM
I remember my poodles used to howl when I would play my recorder. I didn't really think of it as sad at the time. I just thought they were "playing along" with me. Although I wondered if it was annoying or painful to them.

8th February 2008, 06:30 PM
I think the howling sound is more distressing to humans than dogs as we have been taught from a young age from stories, TV and movie that the call of a dog/wolves is something to be scared of as it’s a warning sound. I know my Mother hates the sound of dogs howling as to her it’s the sound of doom. To the dogs they are just talking to each other.

My Mother told me of a day years ago she was at the beach with friends and one of them pulled out a harmonica and started to play. They ended up with three dogs sitting in front of the harmonica player singing/howling along with him.

In the UK the Eastenders TV tune is well known as a trigger for dogs that howl. You have just found the tone that triggers Sonny and Sonny just singing along with you.

I had a recorder but my Yorkie did hate it. She didn’t howl along with it instead just barked like mad the whole time and ended up mashing it to bits so I could no longer play it.

I think if Sonny didn’t like it your recorder would end up the same way as mine.

If you go on YouTube you will find thousands of videos of singing/howling dogs.

9th February 2008, 12:58 AM
I'll have to take a look at those videos on YouTube. I think if Sonny had just thrown his head back & howelled like a wolf it wouldn'd have worried me so much. It was more a throaty mewling sound. I just sounded like he was in pain.

After reading your posts this morning, I had another go. I started off in a different room to the dogs. They all came running in. Beau jumped up on my lap all contented, Sam just cocked his head on the side at looked at me all funny, but Sonny jumped up on the lounge next to me & did that sound again. I watched his tail. It was wagging, but in the little way that they do when they are worried. I wonder if he thinks I am crying? I think I will just stick with my piano.

Cathy Moon
9th February 2008, 01:05 AM
Aw, I wish you could show us a video of him doing that. :wggle:

9th February 2008, 01:23 PM
Dogs are far more sensitive to sound than we are - maybe that particular frequency upsets him?

Like you, I would rather not do it - or only do it when he is out, so that he is not upset.

I think the theme tunes for soaps can sometimes be a trigger for howling as the dogs have learnt that they will not get any interaction for the next 1/2 hour or so as their human is too interested in the television :(