How Music Affects Your Dog
Music has a way of powerfully affecting both people and animals alike. It can pump us up, soothe and relax us, or give us a gentle lift. There are even studies showing how it helps Parkinson’s and stroke patients with their lost neurological deficits (e.g. verbal control). Since canines have much better hearing than humans (hearing sounds about 80 feet away), it should come as no surprise that music has an even greater effect on them.
How the Type of Music Affects Your Dog
Since dog behavior is affected by music, it’s only natural to wonder how this will vary depending on the genre. Here’s what a study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior has found:
- Classical music will positively affect your canine’s behavior by calming him down and soothing him. It may even put him to sleep because it will lower his heart rate and brain activity.
- Reggae and soft rock tend to be even more calming than classical music for your pet.
- Rock music will make your canine act even more anxious and agitated than he may already be feeling – accelerating physical signs like shaking.
- Pop music doesn’t have much effect on your pet.
How Canines Determine Pitch
Your dog has an uncanny ability to determine a song’s pitch and tone. This is something that many musicians throughout history have found quite useful. Some notable artists who have their best four-legged friend to thank for at least part of their success include:
- Richard Wilhelm Wagner played different melodies to his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Peps, who’d respond by wagging his tail and barking.
- Dr. George Robinson Sinclair played the organ at the Hereford Cathedral in London alongside his Bulldog, Dan, who’d growl at anyone who sang out of tune.
- Composer Nurock created many performances for canines including Howl (1980), Sonata for Piano and Dog (1983), and the Expedition (1984). In each piece you’ll hear Siberian Huskies howling, barking and yipping along to the music.
How you can use Music to Help Your Pet
According to dog behaviorists your pet can benefit from listening to music during many different situations including:
- Training sessions – This will help your pet concentrate better when you’re trying to teach him new tricks and commands.
- During stressful situations (e.g. fireworks, traveling in a car)
Even if you don’t know what type of music to play, there’s been so much research done in this area in recent years that there are even albums available just for your pet. For instance, pianist Lisa Spector (in conjunction with scientist Susan Wagner) created “Through a Dog’s Ear” in 2003 after spending years raising puppies for blind people. She created the album after discovering that her 6 golden Labrador puppies were lulled to sleep by the piano.
Music is just one of the many important facets of keeping your dog healthy. Regardless of whatever else your canine needs, the Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center has you covered. They understand your pet is a member of your family who deserves nothing but the best care possible. So, when you need to take your canine to the vet, contact them for the top-notch service their clients have come to expect.