Vocalizations provide a useful window on larger patterns of
behavior in social species. Its study, in the case of African
wild dogs, however, has lagged behind other scientific concerns.
Wild dogs have been classified among the most social of all
One important way this is expresed is in the variety of sounds
they make while interacting, some of which are unique to the
species. Its repertoire is also one of the most complex in Canidae.
Short-range vocalizations accompany many interactions within
the pack and appear to play an important role in the formation
and maintenance of bonds. Vocal and social complexity is also
displayed in the mixing of different sound types to express
a hunt, pack members typically rally in at least one greeting
ceremony before setting off. It usually begins with a single
dog running up to one or more dogs with head held shoulder height,
mouth agape, and ears folded back, while whimpering or whining.
During a high-intensity ceremony many other different
kinds of sounds are aired, including squeals and high-pitched
bird-like sounds called "twitters."
When filtering through thick bush pursuing prey, pack members
can become separated and sometimes call to reunite. These repetitive
contact calls or "hoos"
are short and low-pitched. They are delivered with the muzzle
held lower than the shoulders and frequently while running.
In contrast, the howls of wolves are mostly long and unbroken
sound streams delivered with the muzzle held high while standing