Many pet owners will tell you that their animals communicate in their own unique way. Howling is a form of communication that some owners like to hear, while other owners want to cover their ears from.
For humans, language is arbitrary because there is no set structure of words that have a common meaning for all members of the human species. Different sounds in different languages can mean the same thing!
For example, the sounds that are associated with the words, perro, chien, hund, and dog all mean the same thing, but they have no similar sound patterns. Dogs communicate with each in a more uniform way.
Every species is going to have its own sound, but there is usually a common universal sound or code used by most animals. Animals distinguish sound and language by using pitch, duration of the sound and the frequency or reputation of a sound. What many people do not realize is that howling, and barking are not just noises.
They are noises that help dogs communicate with one another and their humans!
Understanding Pitch: Listening to the pitch of your dogs, growl, bark and howl will tell you a lot about their actions. When a dog’s growl is done in a very low pitch it can indicate a threat.
If you notice this low pitch and the body language that your dog is showing you can interoperate that into meaning. It can mean that the dog might act our aggressively or they are giving off a warning signal that says, “get away from me”.
When a dog lets off a higher pitched noise it is usually more friendly, and it usually means that you can approach them in a friendly manner. Understanding that dogs use pitch for communication can help you when you try to communicate with your dog.
If you speak to your dog in a lower pitch or with a growl you are suggesting the same thing that they might be saying when they use that pitch.
For instance, when training a puppy not to bite at the skin or nip you will growl in a low and deep pitch. This will teach them to get away or show them that their action is causing harm.