Evidently Prairie Dogs Make a "Yahoo" Sound and It's Cuteness Overload

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 10 2023, Published 12:03 p.m. ET

According to the National Institutes of Health, "interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure." And anyone who has had the pleasure of owning a pet knows they can increase your joy significantly.

When we think of pets, dogs and cats usually spring to mind. Occasionally a bird pops in there or perhaps a fish. But, what about a prairie dog?

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Having a prairie dog for a pet is actually more common than one might think, and it's growing in popularity. Despite their name, they are actually rodents but can be just as sweet and cuddly as any lap dog. In fact, some of them make a strange little "yahoo" sound when they see their owners. Why do they do this? Let's get into it.

A prairie dog standing on a log
Source: Getty Images
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Stop what you're doing and watch this TikTok of a prairie dog making a "yahoo" sound.

Gird your loins because you will never see anything as fun and adorable as this prairie dog saying good morning to its owner. The Leo and Oliver TikTok account is devoted entirely to Leo and Oliver, two prairie dogs with a ton of personality. In one thrilling TikTok, their owner is opening their cage first thing in the morning and gets one heck of a hello from one of the boys.

As the door swings open, the exuberant prairie dog leaps onto his owner's chest and lets out a happy little "yahoo" sound while throwing his head back in happiness. She attempts to quiet him, but this boy is not interested in keeping it down as another yahoo yelp is heard. More waves of cuteness engulf us as he closes his tiny eyes while getting kissed on the head. We are dead from this charming little sir! Several yahoos later, he is placed back in the cage while our hearts burst.

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What's up with the "yahoo" noise the prairie dog is making?

Pablo and Pedro are another pair of prairie dog influencers who also greet their owner with a cheerful yahoo. Their owner, Sarah, chatted with the Cuddle Buddies YouTube channel about what it was like living with these two precocious pets. According to her, the yahoo is a "sign of greeting" from the dynamic duo. "They are the most affectionate animal I have ever seen," she said.

It's no wonder these prairie dogs are so vocal; as a species they have the "most sophisticated vocal language ever decoded," per Scientific American.

Before you jump on the prairie dog train, Sarah of Pablo and Pedro warns that you have to give a lot to take care of them. They need constant attention, but the payoff is big. They love to be around their owners as much as they can and they love to burrow. So, if you adopt one, make sure to check your laundry baskets, shoes, and hoodie pockets. You never know where you'll find a slumbering prairie dog.

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