'She Found Her Voice'—Old Dog Learns To Howl for First Time in Cute Video

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

However, one dog on TikTok has gone some way to dispelling that myth after returning from a stay at the vets having learned a very special trick indeed.

The fact of the matter is that the idea that older dogs are unable to learn new things has already been largely dispelled in academia. Researchers from the University of Vienna, for example, studied 95 Border Collies ranging from 5 months to 13 years in age over a three year period to test the theory.

The dogs were first tested on their ability to respond differently to different stimuli. To test this, the canines were placed in front of a touch screen showing two photos. Touching the "correct" picture triggered a machine to give them a treat.

The dogs were tested on eight photos, with researchers discovering that the dogs, regardless of age, were capable of learning the photos which dispensed a treat. While dogs aged 10 and up took twice as long to guess the right answer as the younger canines, they were just as accurate.

Next the dogs were tested on logic. This time they were given a choice of two different photos, one new image and the photo that did not yield a treat in the previous test. The idea with this test was that the dogs would be able to recall the photo from the previous test and choose the new one by a process of elimination. In this instance, the older dogs were actually better at remembering what they learned before and applying it in this new context.

Finally the dogs were tested on their long term memory. In this test, which took place six months after the original research, the canines were asked to complete the same eight photo test from the start of the experiment. Researchers found that older dogs were equally adept at recalling the pattern of the test as their younger canine counterparts.

The study demonstrated that, in theory, you can very much teach an old dog new tricks.

One 10-year-old canine who features in a video uploaded to TikTok by harmonkillee is living proof that the old adage does not ring true. The clip can be viewed here.


we left her there for surgery, and she came back with a new trick. i swear she was caged next to a husky

♬ original sound - harm money

According to the post, which has garnered 2.4 million views on social media, the pet owner got quite the surprise after picking up their dog from the veterinarians, where she has recently undergone surgery.

As the clip shows, the adorable pooch had developed a rather distinctive howl. While the noise made by the canine was fascinating enough, the fact that the 10-year-old had apparently never previously been able to howl made the video that bit more fascinating.

Sat alongside her owner in the car, the dog lets out the softest of howls. "Oh my goodness!" her owner is heard to say. "It's okay!" The dog is heard letting out another soft howl with her confused owner asking: "Why are you howling?"

According to a caption accompanying the clip, her dog went to the vets for surgery and came back with a "new trick." Her owner wrote: "I swear she was caged next to a husky."

The video quickly captured the imagination of pet lovers on the platform, who flooded the video's comments section with messages of support and adoration. One user, posting as monkeybubbles360 imagined the dog telling their owner: "Mom look what I learned! Ooooo," with Kail__Chip__ commenting that "she sounds like a pigeon but in the cutest way."

Quinn Cook declared: "This dog howls in lowercase" while natureboop said she had the "sweetest howl." Payson.Hudson attempted to nail down the dog's distinctive sound, writing that she "sounds like a husky howling mixed with a cat purring."

TheDogMother5280, meanwhile, declared: "She found her voice" after watching the clip. Responding to one comment, the original poster of the video said they had previously tried to get her to howl but she "just never understood," adding: "I guess she needed a real dog demonstration."

Newsweek has contacted harmonkillee for comment.

A dog howling.
Stock image of a dog howling. A 10-year-old canine went viral after seemingly returning from a trip to the vets having learned how to howl. Getty/sanjagrujic

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