Helping your dog to unwind begins with good sounds
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.