Does Music Affect Dogs?

I ran across someone commenting on an article the other day regarding music and it’s effect on dogs. Music is something I have always used with my dogs, but never saw or looked into any actual research on it. 
Instead of reading this woman’s comments on the article, I decided to check it out myself. The article is “Behavioral effect of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs,” by Kogan, Schoenfeld-Tacher & Simon, J of Veterinary Behavior 7, 2012, 268-275.)”

Kennels? Stressful? No way! It begins discussing the obvious fact that kenneling dogs is stressful on the dog, physiologically and behaviorally. I don’t know about you, but this is no surprise to me. Which is why I do not kennel my dogs any more. I took my lab, a certified therapy dog, Boomer, to a kennel for a week and got him back skinny, losing great amounts of hair, and his tail was bleeding profusely from him never settling down and whacking it on all the walls of his cage. Molly, my current lab (not therapy dog certified....are you kidding?) since she was a puppy has loathed being in a cage away from everyone else. She would work herself into such a fuss, it would be coming out of all ends everywhere making the biggest mess. 

Humans like music, why would dogs be different? The article then looks at auditory stimulation and it’s approach to mood regulation and emotional management. It compares how humans react to music and how dogs react. As humans, we tend to use music for mood regulation and emotional management. Or am I the only one? We need peppy popular music for a night on the town, but then some good ol’ Ray LaMontagne for those peaceful relaxing nights at the house. I don’t need to prove this to you, right? Music to study with, baby music for sleeping, music to dance to, to cry to (Sarah McLachlan “Angel”....anyone else?) and so the list goes on and on. And does anyone else notice how music can change your mood? Am I the only one who is ready to take on the world after hearing “Bad Girls” by M.I.A.? 

Come to find out, it’s true! The study found that the results were consistent with human studies. Classical/calming music helps with mood, stress, anxiety and sleep in dogs just like in people. They also found, that on the other hand, heavy metal caused the opposite effect to happen in dogs, restlessness, less sleep, fidgeting etc. If you have ever read anything by Cesar Millan you will know that an environment can have a tremendous impact on a dog, and dogs pick that up immediately. They know when you are frustrated and out of control, they know when you are sad, they pick up on the energy in the house etc. So this article just confirms what I have always expected.

My favorites: Like I said, I picked up on the effects of music on my dogs ages ago when I would listen to Josh Groban and they would be snoozing and drooling in a matter of seconds. So now, I will purposely pick out some good tunes to play when I am needing to relax, and of course, when the dog isn’t relaxed, nobody is! 
So I turn to..
Michael Buble (some of his song get kinda upbeat, be careful)
Josh Groban (of course!)
Stacey Kent (Raconte-moi, a French album I adore!)
Amos Lee
Ray LaMontagne
Nora Jones........well shoot, here is my playlist, that will be easier!

What about you? What works for your dogs? What are their favorite snooze tunes?

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