New Research on Dogs and Music

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I recently read an interesting study about the effect of different types of music on kenneled dogs. ("Behavioral effect of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs," by Kogan, Schoenfeld-Tacher & Simon, J of Veterinary Behavior 7, 2012, 268-275.) The authors' goal was to determine if different types of music, as has been reported in other species, had different types of effects on dogs, and the results indeed confirmed that this was true. The results suggested that 1) "classical music" increases the amount of time the dogs spent sleeping, and 2) "heavy metal" music increased body shaking (or trembling). Surprisingly however, "psychoacoustically designed" music, a piano piece specifically designed to calm dogs, resulted in no statistically significant change in behavior from Read More

Thunder Phobia and Your Dog: Good Sounds, Bad Sounds

5 AM. I wake up to Lassie's nails clicking on the floor (wasn't I going to trim them last night?) as a boom of thunder shakes the farmhouse. Damn.  Why is it that Lassie's slight discomfort of storms has become more serious as her hearing degrades?  Surely it should go the other way around. We pad downstairs and lay down together on the carpet, she spooning against me as I stroked her head. (And no, it won't make her more afraid of storms.... check out my column coming out in Bark magazine soon.)  "Eaa-a-a-a-a-a-a-sy" I crooned, using my voice to help her calm herself.  Why didn't I bring the CD home from "Through a Dog's Ear," a new and fantastic book about the effect of sound on dogs? The CD has music designed by the authors to calm dogs, and both it and the book are invaluable Read More