Wild dogs howl and house dogs bark

  • #1
Anna Blanksch
Gold Member
15
0
Why do we hear coyotes and wolves howl or yelp while house dogs more often bark? Does it have something to do with living in a pack vs. living alone?

Also... today when I was on a walk around noon I spotted two separate coyotes (the dog I was walking started barking at the first one which got me thinking about my previous question). I thought wild dogs were nocturnal. Is that incorrect? If it is correct, could their day-time roaming have something to do with the noisy humans keeping them up?

Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
418
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Why do we hear coyotes and wolves howl or yelp while house dogs more often bark? Does it have something to do with living in a pack vs. living alone?
There are domesticated breeds of dogs that do howl and yelp. Keep this in mind as well, The National Science Foundation recently had an article, Discovery Down Boy: Investigating the Domestication of Dogs Through DNA, from February 24, 2011 that states:

Last year, the UCLA researchers released a National Science Foundation- (NSF) funded study showing that most breed dogs can trace their origins to Middle Eastern wolves, instead of Asian or European wolves as previously thought. The UCLA work also produced the first evolutionary tree of dog breeds, showing a surprising structure that suggested that new breeds were developed from crosses within specific breed groups that share particular traits.
Please read on . . .
http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=118666&org=NSF

Also... today when I was on a walk around noon I spotted two separate coyotes (the dog I was walking started barking at the first one which got me thinking about my previous question). I thought wild dogs were nocturnal. Is that incorrect? If it is correct, could their day-time roaming have something to do with the noisy humans keeping them up?

Thanks!
I've seen coyotes roaming fields during the afternoon. And from the link that I earlier provided it states the following:

The Stanford group is mapping the genetic origins of "village" dogs, those mutts and strays that are a "natural or randomly breeding population of dogs that pretty much live how dogs have lived throughout the ages," says Adam Boyko. While geneticists have learned a great deal in recent years about the evolution of breed dogs, the researchers still don't know very much about the dogs' street-wise cousins. Scientists believe that studying village dogs can provide important new information about dog domestication and evolutionary genomics.

"If we think about dogs, they live in different types of worlds," Bustamante says. "Breed dogs, we keep in our homes. Wolves live in the wild and are subject to natural selection. Then you have village dogs, which are somewhere in between. They have undergone some degree of adaptive change, living near humans--but still are subject to natural selection, the way wolves are. So by studying them, we can get a much better picture of the evolutionary process."
Another article you may like to read from UCLA, 2010 Dogs likely originated in the Middle East, new genetic data indicate - Findings based on analysis of largest set of genetic markers ever studied by Stuart Wolpert. Here's an excerpt:

"Dogs seem to share more genetic similarity with Middle Eastern gray wolves than with any other wolf population worldwide," said Robert Wayne, UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and senior author of the Nature paper. "Genome-wide analysis now directly suggests a Middle East origin for modern dogs. We have found that a dominant proportion of modern dogs' ancestry derives from Middle Eastern wolves, and this finding is consistent with the hypothesis that dogs originated in the Middle East.

"This is the same area where domestic cats and many of our livestock originated and where agriculture first developed," Wayne noted.

Previous genetic research suggested an East Asian origin for dogs, "which was unexpected," Wayne said, "because there was never a hint in the archaeological record that dogs evolved there."
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/dogs-likely-originated-in-the-155101.aspx
http://insciences.org/uploads_article/9000/8548/1222.jpg [Broken]
Evolutionary tree of dog breeds and gray wolves

For a larger version of the above, see the article or follow this link: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/artwork/5/5/1/0/1/155101/dog-breeds-1.jpg [Broken]
 
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  • #3
Pythagorean
Gold Member
4,205
268
You can get a whole neighborhood of domestic dogs howling if you start howling in the middle of the neighborhood.
 
  • #4
418
0
I live in a gated community wherein homeowners are required to keep their domesticated dog(s) from barking. Naturally, there is the occasional barker.:) The most important thing about a puppy is to socialize it once he/she gets a rabies vaccination. Socialization is the key factor if you desire to have a friendly pet that you can take almost anywhere you may go. Dog parks are very popular where I live, along with recreational parks. The great outdoors for people and dogs can be a healthy lifestyle. Walk or run with your doggie.

From what I understand, there are some dogs that don’t bark such as a Basenji and Japanese Chin.
 
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  • #5
9
0
My understanding is that barking is a juvenile characteristic in wolves. Pups bark and adults howl. Dogs are the descendants of wolves that were bred to retain juvenile characteristics and barking, which may betray a certain "nervousness" or uncertainty, is one of them. See: "neoteny."

I believe coyotes are now primarily nocturnal because for many, many generations they've been killed on sight.

CM
 
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  • #6
418
0
My understanding is that barking is a juvenile characteristic in wolves. Pups bark and adults howl. Dogs are the descendants of wolves that were bred to retain juvenile characteristics and barking, which may betray a certain "nervousness" or uncertainty, is one of them. See: "neoteny."

I believe coyotes are now primarily nocturnal because for many, many generations they've been killed on sight.

CM
Please supply me with scientific articles that support your comments otherwise I will have to dismiss them as being false.

In wilderness locations of America wolves and coyotes' activities occur during daylight and night time hours. Please also take into consideration that there are Endangered Species Acts and laws that protect wolves, coyotes, etc.

An example of a coyote living in the wild: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/coyotes.html#facts
 
  • #7
9
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As near as I can tell coyotes can be hunted and trapped anywhere in the country where hunting and trapping are allowed, and they aren't listed as endangered anywhere to my knowledge. I'd be interested, and possibly entertained, if you could show me evidence for your belief that they are. Coyotes have been one of the most persecuted animals in American history, aside from wolves perhaps. Google "coyotes nocturnal hunting pressure" and you'll find enough links to keep you busy for awhile. Of course you could dismiss them all, and I would be bemused.

CM
 
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  • #8
bobze
Science Advisor
Gold Member
647
18
My understanding is that barking is a juvenile characteristic in wolves. Pups bark and adults howl. Dogs are the descendants of wolves that were bred to retain juvenile characteristics and barking, which may betray a certain "nervousness" or uncertainty, is one of them. See: "neoteny."

I believe coyotes are now primarily nocturnal because for many, many generations they've been killed on sight.

CM
Adult wolves do bark, it really depends on the subspecies of wolf too. IIRC Middle eastern subspecies of grey wolf bark a lot more than they howl. In North American grey wolves, adults tend to bark as a fear and alert response, like to say a cougar.

Barking might be more common in juvenile animals though and that would be a good hypothesis. As has been seen in foxes, where neotenous traits were selected through domestication as well.


Please supply me with scientific articles that support your comments otherwise I will have to dismiss them as being false.

In wilderness locations of America wolves and coyotes' activities occur during daylight and night time hours. Please also take into consideration that there are Endangered Species Acts and laws that protect wolves, coyotes, etc.

An example of a coyote living in the wild: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/coyotes.html#facts
In areas with high human traffic coyotes are more nocturnal, as CM stated that probably has a lot to do with hunting them. I know where I live we have a very healthy coyote population (I think there were something like a 150 taken last year on tags and pest permits) and I live in a rather residential area. You wouldn't guess it because you don't see them in the day, but get out camping at night and you do.

I have to agree with CM too, I don't think I've heard of anywhere in the US that coyotes are protected. The IUCN rates them as "least" concern. Coyotes, like rats, humans and roaches, seem to be very acclimatable to different environments and circumstances. They are rather incredible survivors.
 
  • #9
9
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There's been some interesting stuff published recently concerning where dogs were first domesticated. At least one study, if I recall, identified the most likely ancestors as being Middle Eastern or "southern" wolves which, I see now, do bark more than the more recently evolved northern variety. Wikipedia, under "Bark (utterance)" has: "Although wolves do bark, they do so only in specific situations. According to Coppinger and Feinstein, dogs bark in long, rhythmic stanzas but adult wolf barks tend to be brief and isolated.[1] Compared with wolves, dogs bark frequently and in many different situations." The Wikipedia article offers the neoteny hypothesis as well. I would add that a more recent study about dogs made a strong argument for their having been domesticated in more than one location, including in the north, I believe. Reading Stephen Jay Gould is where I learned most of what little I know about neoteny, but the idea that barking in dogs is an example of it is something I read a few years later in an article I came across in Smithsonian magazine. This was back in the early 90's. It was a great article, unfortunately I couldn't find it online. If anyone wants to track it down the article was: "Hark! Hark! The Dogs Do Bark....And Bark....And Bark.....And Bark" - Smithsonian Magazine, 1991. I remember reading about those foxes some years back too.

I don't think I'd go so far as to put coyotes in the same class as rats and roaches. The latter after all are pretty much obligate anthropophiles in most of their range. Coyotes could do just fine without us.
 
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  • #10
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My anecdotal experience from growing up in the countryside is that mixed breed dogs will start to howl a couple hours after they think your gone. Which has me thinking its largely a means of long range communication.
 
  • #11
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Of my last 3 dogs, two were completely unable to howl. Both were golden retriever + ? mixes. The third was a Labrador, pretty much. He responded to my singing by joining right in...as he did with nearby ambulance sirens. The other two are incapable of any music other than yip-yip-yip. Not barks, but distinctive yips. The paid no attention to sirens or other noises, by the way.
 
  • #12
418
0
In areas with high human traffic coyotes are more nocturnal, as CM stated that probably has a lot to do with hunting them. I know where I live we have a very healthy coyote population (I think there were something like a 150 taken last year on tags and pest permits) and I live in a rather residential area. You wouldn't guess it because you don't see them in the day, but get out camping at night and you do.
I'd like to respond to the above mentioned comment of yours, Bobze. I'm short on time today but hope to return within a few days. As I noted earlier, coyotes are seen during daylight hours in grassy fields close to where I live. I can drive down the street and see them less than a block away. (My major concern is hitting the geese on the road while driving. Traffic stops when the geese walk! lol) I too live in a residential area. These coyotes cause no harm to humans, though I think I might have lost a male cat to a coyote since I didn't bring him in that night. It appears to me that we aren't living in the same locality. :smile: I've done a lot of camping in my lifetime but never spotted a coyote. Now not meaning to derail this topic, I just have to share it with you since you are an outdoorsy kind of person, I recently did see something spectacular at Irish Beach in California. On the beach there was a white 13 foot male seal laying on a huge rock (boulder) and nearby in a cove on the sand were two white females each with a white pup. I could kick myself since I usually carry my camera but left it behind on that day. I'm shaking my head as I write this. First time I've ever seen such a spectacular event and didn't have my second set of eyes to snap it. Take care.:smile:
 
  • #13
Anna Blanksch
Gold Member
15
0
Thanks so much for the input! I never really thought about whether certain breeds of dogs could or could not howl. Interesting!

One of the boys who I nanny for (who lives in the area with the frequent coyote visitors) said that his family can tell when the coyotes are hunting based on their yips/barks and how the family can hear the coyotes voices moving around the neighborhood quickly. I was so excited to see two coyotes on my walk (I've seen them while inside the house or car a few times but never so up close and personal)! They're so beautiful! Seen a fox once in my life. Are they barkers or howlers?
 
  • #14
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Red foxes, the most common species, make a number of different and interesting sounds. Check out what it says under "vocalizations" in the Wikipedia entry for "red fox." There are videos and mp3 files of fox sounds online too. I was recording great-horned owl calls from my porch last October and was surprised by a strange nearby sound that moved farther away. The first cry was so close and loud it blew out the levels and I didn't capture it. Only later I found out it was a fox: frontiernet.net/~c.younger/11-15-11.mp3

I'm still trying to record the coyotes. I've heard them only a few times. Twice they were pretty close by. Maybe only about 100 yards, though that's a guess. Unfortunately that was in colder weather and the second I open my front door they stopped. But what a weird and wonderful combination of sounds it is. I moved here to the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania 4 years ago and the rolling hills have a kind of echoing, resonating effect, impossible to describe (they do interesting things to the clouds too).

BTW, I didn't mean to suggest, earlier, that coyotes' shift to nocturnal activity was genetic. I'm sure it's a learned behavioral adaptation, and there are always outliers and individuals who take more risks. Neither do I know how long it would take, once human hunting pressure was reduced in an area, before they started reverting to more diurnal behavior patterns. As has been noted they're very intelligent and adaptable animals. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some epigenetic changes though.

CM
 
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  • #15
Anna Blanksch
Gold Member
15
0
Wow! That's awesome! That fox makes a very strange kind of screech-bark. Kinda spooky!
 
  • #16
9
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Really! It was like 20 feet away and I had no idea what it was. It was very cool.
 
  • #17
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There's been some interesting stuff published recently concerning where dogs were first domesticated. At least one study, if I recall, identified the most likely ancestors as being Middle Eastern or "southern" wolves which, I see now, do bark more than the more recently evolved northern variety.
Hi smyounger:smile: Do you have access to the article? There was an article in the peer-reviewed journal NATURE-Heredity (2012) 108, 507–514; doi:10.1038/hdy.2011.114; published online November 23, 2011 entitled Origins of domestic dog in Southern East Asia is supported by analysis of Y-chromosome DNA OPENhttp://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v108/n5/full/hdy2011114a.html
 
  • #18
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Everything I remember seeing in the past year or so is summarized in the Wikipedia article, "Origin of the domestic dog."
 
  • #19
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Everything I remember seeing in the past year or so is summarized in the Wikipedia article, "Origin of the domestic dog."
Ok, so please give me the actual article(s) with a link(url) so I can read them. I prefer not using Wikipedia. I do recall asking you earlier on about providing me an article to support your claims. I am looking for scientific articles. :smile: Also, please keep in mind that the most recent information is extremely important. (Be sure to look at the date of the scientific article) Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter.
 
  • #20
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I recall seeing some scientific articles cited in the Wikipedia article I referenced. There are links there. As I said the article rather completely covers what I remember reading online in the last 6 months to a year. You can logically make no request, but I believe I've answered your question twice.
 
  • #21
418
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I recall seeing some scientific articles cited in the Wikipedia article I referenced. There are links there. As I said the article rather completely covers what I remember reading online in the last 6 months to a year. You can logically make no request, but I believe I've answered your question twice.
If you make a statement then it is up to you to provide the link(url) that supports your remarks. I don't have the time to muddle through all the links found in Wikipedia to verify the truth of your statement(s). It is a well-known fact that an article and/or link (url) be provided to support your claim. This is how it is done by professionals. :wink: I'm trying to teach you how to do it properly to avoid any problems in the future. I just now looked at the Wikipedia article you mentioned and it is lengthy. I did not find any of my articles on this topic by using Wikipedia. :smile:
 
  • #22
9
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I wasn't aware of any remarks that needed additional support. I will look forward to learning of any.
 
  • #23
732
3
Barking is actually a juvenile behavior of wolves. Puppies bark to get attention
from their mothers. Barking does not have much use to wolves. Wolves lose their
propensity to bark as they age. Dogs have evolved or been bred to keep many
juvenile characteristics.
Adult wolves do a lot of signalling with their body motions, especially their tails.
Making noises while hunting is not very useful. Howling is a behavior useful in
coordinating animals that live a distance from each other. Wolves and dogs howl
to so other wolves can find them. They don't want their mommies to feed them,
they just want their pack. Howling is a more "adult" behavior for wolves. Dogs also
howl, but not as often as wolves.
The differences between dogs and wolves are an example of a process called paedomorphism. Paedomorphism is where the maturing process of an organism stops
earlier for every developmental feature except sexual maturity. An adult animal that
undergoes paedomorphism has a resemblance to the juvenile stage of an ancestor,
except in regards to sexual maturity. The sexual maturity of a paedomorphic animal
is often speeded up with regards to the ancestor.
Natural selection sometimes speeds up the sexual maturity of an organism while
leaving most of the other features alone. Some genetic variations speed up the
process of sexual maturity, and so enhance those features. However, the
development of most of other inherited features stop once sexual maturity has
been achieved. So when sexual maturity is speeded up, the adult keeps more
juvenile features.
Certain features of wolf puppies have been kept by the adult or adolescent
dogs. For example, the brain weight relative to body weight has decreased in
dogs relative to wolves. Floppy ears are a feature of wolf puppies, but not of
wolf adults. The adults of some breeds of dogs have floppy ears. Wolf puppies
are more trusting than wolf adults. Adult dogs are as trusting as wolf puppies.
Finally, adult dogs bark just like puppies.
Three things are usually associated with paedomorphism. First, the paedomorphic
individual is usually reproduces more often then its ancestor. Second, the
paedomorphic individual often has a shorter life span than its ancestor. Third, the
paedomorphic individual is usually smaller than its ancestor.
Dogs are reproductive giants compared to wolves. A wolf can take up to two years
to reach sexual maturity. Dogs reach sexual maturity in less than six months.
The other two features have been changed in some breeds by breeding. The
first dogs appear about 15 KYA. Breeding was started about 3 KYA. So not all
breeds have all the paedomorphic features. Furthermore, there has been a
little back breeding between dogs and wolves. Therefore, there is variation
between dog breeds that don't precisely follow the paedomorphic model. However,
for the most part dogs are paedomorphic wolves.
Most breeds of dogs have the other two paedomorphic features. Most
adult dog breeds have floppy ears, just like wolf puppies. Most adult dog
breeds have a shorter lifespan than wolves. Most adult dog breeds are smaller than
wolves.
Paedomorphism must not be confused with neotony. Neotony is when juvenile
features are retained by the slowing up of sexual maturity. Human beings are
neotonous apes. Dogs are not neotonous wolves. However, neotony is another
story.
 
  • #24
732
3
>If you make a statement then it is up to you to provide the link(url) that supports your >remarks. I don't have the time to muddle through all the links found in Wikipedia to verify >the truth of your statement(s).
I am not allowed yet to put down links. I would if I could. However, I find
your attitude a little offensive. I am not here to do your research for you.
I feel that I just have to provide a few key words to make your research
easier.
Google is available to everybody here. A few keywords are sufficient to find
many articles referring to what is stated.
Try googling of "Paedomorphism: and "dog evolution". Or try "paedomorphism"
and "foxes". Experiments have been done with foxes showing that paedomorphism
can be induced in animals using traditional breeding methods.
Foxes are a different genus than dogs and wolves. Foxes are
similar wolves, but can't interbreed with wolves. Wolves and dogs can interbreed,
but wolves and foxes can't. However, the anatomy of a fox does in some ways
resemble the anatomy of a wolf. So these experiments with foxes were
instructive.
Someone did experiments breeding foxes, and managed to breed a
paedomorphic fox. The paedomorphic fox was very similar to dogs.
Several articles on these foxes were published a while back. I do not
remember where these studies were published. I would have to use Google
exactly like you would have to use Google. I think it would be excellent
practice for you to research the topic yourself, using these hints and
keywords.
 
  • #25
1,352
90
Nice write up Darwin123! Interesting read for sure.

I remember hearing a description of dogs as "baby wolves". And it pretty much always seemed the case, whether it be chasing squirrels, playing tug-of-war, or chasing a laser at 9yrs old.
 

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