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Do Dogs Like Music?

Posted: 08/08/2022 | BY: Erin Cain | Categories: Behavior , dog , pet care

Do dogs like music? It’s a question that has been asked for years, with some debate about its answer. However, recent studies have shown that dogs react to music in specific ways – sometimes preferring classical pieces to more modern tracks. In this blog post, we’ll look at what the science says about dogs and music and see how you can use this information to create a better experience for your furry friend!

Do Dogs Like Music?

Studies show that dogs can enjoy music, even specific types of tunes. Music can have many different effects on dogs, depending upon their personality and how they’re feeling at the time. For example, some research suggests that playing your pup’s favorite music may help reduce his stress levels. A 2002 study of shelter dogs found that, when exposed to various musical genres, they would stop barking, then lay down and rest when classical music played. 

However, some music is too loud for the canine’s sensitive ears. The canine’s hearing ability is superior to that of humans, and they can hear frequencies from 16-20Hz up past 70kHz. Dogs have smaller heads than humans so certain sounds can be louder for them. This physiological difference could make the dog uncomfortable since he may not be accustomed to these frequencies and levels of sound exposure in his environment. Music at a high pitch may hurt a dog’s ears, so it makes sense that they would dislike music with piercing pitches.

What kinds of music do dogs like?

Researchers have found that dogs respond positively to certain kinds of music, mainly classical and instrumental. To which genre they respond the most is debatable, but one pretty sure thing is that dogs respond to music. Other studies indicate that dogs respond most to the melodic elements of the piece rather than the rhythm or beat. 

Recently, the University of Glasgow and the Scottish SPCA published research on the impact of different music on dogs. They tracked the dogs’ heart rates and behavior for each type of music played. Reggae and soft rock were the genres that caused the time intervals between heartbeats to increase, indicating a decrease in stress levels. The study notes that although most dogs responded positively to soft rock and reggae, each dog had its music tastes and preferences. 

Why do some dogs howl to music?

We’ve all seen the funny TikTok and YouTube videos featuring a dog howling along to a song on a television commercial, but what’s the real reason behind this behavior? Some people think that dogs howl along to the music to “sing” with the tunes when actually, it’s a mode of communication first used by their wolf ancestors. Howling is a form of communication that serves many different purposes. Wolves howl because of loneliness or isolation, but often they are joined by others in song to reinforce their pack identity and bond with one another. 

Domestic dogs do far more barking than howling; however, some music may provoke a howl from a dog. The sounds that will trigger their howls include wind instruments, clarinets or saxophones, and long notes on a violin. 

Music and dog anxiety

If your dog is anxious about the sound of thunder or fireworks, you may want to try playing soothing music or an audiobook for them. Playing these calming sounds could help reduce their anxiety when they hear other distressing noises outside. A 2015 study found that dogs suffering from separation anxiety, prompting some to howl frequently, were significantly calmer when listening to music chosen by their owner or a classical piece.

Music has been used as a therapeutic tool for millions of years. Play music to mask the sounds that your anxious dog encounters. Music may help your pup relax when he is feeling overwhelmed by uncertainties in their environment.

What music is best for senior dogs?

The condition of hearing loss is something that dogs can experience as they age. With time, the nerves in a senior’s ears degenerate, and high-pitched sounds may startle them. Prime the soundtrack for their ears by putting on lower pitched music with low sound frequencies, like bass and organ. Avoid high-frequency instruments such as piano or flute because these instruments can create high pitches that can bother a senior dog’s hearing. 

You can find many senior dog music lists on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and ICalmPet. These soundtracks are designed especially for older dogs with hearing sensitivities.

If music doesn’t do the trick, sound machines are a great way to help soothe an older dog who has been in highly stimulating environments. The white noise will give their nervous system much-needed rest after being around people or other animals all day.

To each, his own musical taste.

Dogs’ musical tastes are as varied as their personalities. While some pups enjoy a good jam session, others prefer complete silence. The best way to figure out what your furry friend likes is to experiment with different types of music and sounds.

Some dogs may howl along with the music, while others may bark or run away from the speakers. If your dog seems stressed or agitated by the music, it’s probably best to turn it off. Each dog’s taste in music is unique — just like them!

Twist and howl with a pet insurance plan for your pup.

We always hope your dog is howling in happiness. Still, if an accident happens, that howl might be one indicating discomfort and fright. The last thing dog parents want to worry about in a pet emergency is whether they have the finances to cover high emergency vet bills. A pet insurance plan will reimburse you up to 90% of your dog’s treatment costs, so you can worry about what’s most important: your pup! 

Pet Insurance Review can find the best policies for you and your dog from top providers. Get your pup a free quote, and start protecting your furkid today. 

References:

  1. Wells, D.L., Graham, L., Hepper, P.G. (2002). The influence of auditory stimulation on the behaviour of dogs housed in a rescue shelter. Retrieved from https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ufaw/aw/2002/00000011/00000004/art00002
  2. Bowman, A., Scottish SPCA, Dowell, F.J., Evans, N.P. (2017). The effect of different genres of music on the stress levels of kennelled dogs. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938416306977
  3. Reisen, J. (2018). Why Do Dogs Howl to Music? You Can Thank Their Ancestors. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/why-do-dogs-howl-to-music/
  4. Bernardini, L., Niccolini, A. (2015). Does music calm the dog? Retrieved from https://dogbehavior.it/index.php/dogbehavior/article/view/8
  5. Kelley, T. (2022). Spotify Pet Playlists Can Keep Your Furry, Feathery, or Scaly Friend Relaxed While You’re Away. Retrieved from https://www.dailypaws.com/living-with-pets/pet-owner-relationship/spotify-pet-playlists

 

 

 

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