How Music Can Help Your Dog Rest And Relax

We all know dogs have got good hearing. But did you know they love to listen to music?
Not just any type of music – what dogs really like is classical music.
Research has revealed lower frequencies calm the canine nervous system.
And this is one of the reasons classical music works so well for them.
How Listening To Music Keeps Dogs Calm And Collected
When the beat of any type of music is slowed down, significantly slower to 40-60 beats per minute, it helps slow a dogs heart rate.
And if you are listening to that music at a slower rate as their owner, it means you go from from active listening to passive hearing.
This helps people calm down too and that energy gets transferred down to the other end of the leash so your dog feels it.
In fact, playing soothing music, can even help visitors stay longer at an animal shelter. They see great results in adoption rates if they play it.
The reason is, it creates a quieter environment because the dogs stop barking and they settle down. Not only are they calmer, but because it’s quieter, visitors stay longer and adoption rates increase.
The staff can also concentrate better as well.
Veterinary neurologist, Dr. Susan Wagner., ran a research study to test the idea of music being soothing to dogs.
Her work was a follow up on a 2002 study by Dr. Deborah Wells of Queens College in Belfast.
The Belfast research measured the effects of five types of audio on 50 shelter dogs.
It analyzed how heavy metal, pop, human conversation, classical music, as well as a control can impact dogs behavior.
The research discovered dogs spend more time resting and relaxing, when they get to hear classical music.
And when it comes to heavy metal, they will often spend more time barking.
Dr. Lori Kogan from Colorado State University also carried out a study.
When she did this in 2012 with 117 kenneled dogs, the results of the study were very similar.
So for snoozing it’s classical music and for barking it’s heavy metal.
Music to A Canine’s Ears
If you want something a little more upbeat for your dog but still gives them some chill factor, then other research suggests reggae is also a big hit with pooches.
The Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow released a paper in 2017 which indicated the affect of music on dogs physiological and behavioral changes.
Prof Neil Evans revealed dogs were much happier when listening to soft rock and reggae.
However it also revealed dogs could devlelop their own music taste.
Prof Evans told BBC News: “Overall, the response to different genres was mixed highlighting the possibility that like humans, our canine friends have their own individual music preferences.”
In the test, dogs listened to five different genres of music: soft rock, Motown, pop, reggae and classical.
Accordng to the study, the dogs spent a “significantly more time lying and significantly less time standing” when music was played, regardless of genre.”
They also measured the pooches heart rate as well – which indicated a reduction in their stress levels.
And the genres that worked best were soft rock and reggae.
PhD student Amy Bowman told the BBC: “We were keen to explore the effect playing different genres of music had.
“It was clear that the physiological and behavioral changes observed were maintained during the trial when the dogs were exposed to a variety of music.”
So do dogs like music?
Yes they do. But it seems dogs prefer music when it’s soothing. So, it it’s time for less bark and more Bach, turn off the Black Sabbath and try a little Beethoven, and you will probably find your dog will like you a lot more!
At Malibu Dog Hotel we play a mixture of classical and reggae music to keep our guests relaxed and feeling in a positive vibe.
If you liked this post, check out our other blog which tells you aromatherapy tips to use on your dog so they can be even more chilled out.