Dr Herbert Muganwa of Countryside Veterinary Clinic, Ntinda in Kampala, says the howling sound a dog makes that is similar to that of a human being mourning usually happens when a dog is smelling a female on heat.

He says dogs can smell females on heat even when they are at a distance and not able to get to them. “One school of thought suggests that male dogs can sense females on heat as far as three miles away. However, another school believes that male dogs don’t sense these females they only track them,” he says.

He adds that howling is a male dog’s way of sending a signal to the female dog on heat.
He, however, notes: “The howling could also be a sign that a dog is in pain, but the dog owner would be able to notice this by the next day.”

Dr Muganwa explains that: “Given that we are now in a dog mating season when most female dogs are on heat, and no sign of pain or injury on your dog, the howling in this case, is a sign that it is signaling a female on heat.”
He says the mating season and howling usually lasts about three weeks.