Help­ing your dog to un­wind be­gins with good sounds

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Contents - BY LAU­REN REARICK

THE NEXT TIME YOUR PUP starts pac­ing dur­ing a thun­der­storm, or you have to leave for a day and you know sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety may en­sue, con­sider turn­ing on your ra­dio or sound sys­tem. As men­tioned here last is­sue, the sound of a hu­man voice can be re­as­sur­ing to pets, so you could tune into a talk sta­tion.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to a new Scot­tish study, dogs also like mu­sic – es­pe­cially the sounds of reg­gae and soft rock.

In the study, re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Glas­gow and the Scot­tish SPCA played six hours of mu­sic in five dif­fer­ent gen­res (clas­si­cal, soft rock, reg­gae, pop and Mo­town) to shel­ter dogs. While the dogs were lis­ten­ing, re­searchers took note of their heart rate vari­abil­ity, cor­ti­sol lev­els and be­hav­iours that mea­sure stress lev­els, such as bark­ing or ly­ing down.

It turns out that dogs were gen­er­ally ‘less stressed’ when they heard mu­sic – and were most chilled when lis­ten­ing to reg­gae or soft rock. Mo­town got the paws down, though not by much.

How­ever, like hu­mans, it seems dogs pos­si­bly have a per­sonal mu­sic pref­er­ence as dif­fer­ent dogs in the study re­sponded dif­fer­ently to par­tic­u­lar types of mu­sic.

Based on the re­sults, shel­ters and dog own­ers could ben­e­fit from play­ing mu­sic to their ca­nines dur­ing high-stress sit­u­a­tions.

A pre­vi­ous study on the ef­fects of clas­si­cal mu­sic on dogs, by the same team, dis­cov­ered they barked less and showed other signs of re­lax­ation, how­ever af­ter six days of clas­si­cal mu­sic the dogs be­came rest­less.

The so­lu­tion? Mix up the mu­sic playlist you play to your dog.

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