Have you ever observed how your dog barks or howls at the sound of music, and then you wonder, “Do dogs like listening to music?” and if “Yes,” how do they perceive it? And, what kind of music do dogs like? These and more are what we’re going to discuss in this article.
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Do dogs enjoy music?
The simple answer is “YES” dogs do like music. In fact, scientists have found that our furry friends prefer a very special kind of tunes. This means they do not like all genre of music that you may love to play around your home.
If you search “dog music” on Spotify, you will find many songs dedicated to the canine companions. For example, when you type, “Laurie Anderson” into Google, you’ll find videos, pictures, and articles talking about concerts hosted specifically for dogs. All these clearly show that dogs really do like music.
How do dogs perceive music?
There is no clear explanation as to whether or not dogs can hear music itself or not, but they sure do hear the sounds. More so, due to the hearing range of dogs, they may not be perceptive to the notes on a musical scale.
However, dogs do perceive a wider range of frequencies than humans. This makes them unable to hear the subtle differences in the middle keys on a keyboard, which range between 440 Hz and 490 Hz.
On the other hand, we humans have a much narrower frequency range, and we can pinpoint the subtle differences in notes. This makes it easier for us to hear the melody being played in a song.
So what kind of genre do dogs like?
As mentioned earlier, dogs may hear the sound of music but they may not fully understand what they’re hearing. This is one key factor into their choice of music.
Researchers, after conducting several studies to examine the reaction of dogs to various genres of music, found that dogs particularly love classic music.
Most studies expose the dogs to modern pop, heavy metal, classic music, and other genres. But a common observation is that pop music didn’t really elicit a special kind of response in dogs. The heavy metal music always triggers negative responses in dogs, including agitation and barking.
Classical music, however, produced a different result in dogs. It always seems to calm pooches, and studies found that this genre helps reduce the level of stress in dogs.
Little wonder, the many playlists meant for dogs on Spotify are predominantly made up of classical songs.
Interestingly, Classical pieces have also been found to help dogs deal with separation anxiety when they’re left all alone. They tend to be less nervous and calm.
So here’s a smart tip for you – Next time you’re leaving your dog all alone, you can try placing a speaker next to them and keep it playing to see if its produces a positive effect on your four-legged companion.
And if you’ve never tried music on your dog before and looking to introduce them to choices they’ll enjoy, classical music is your best bet. Do not make the mistake of playing heavier sounding music. And one more thing, try to keep the environment as comfortable as possible, so your dog can relax and enjoy the gentle sound.
Apart from classical pieces, studies have found that soft rock and reggae genres also caused reduced stress levels in dogs.
However, when choosing a track for your dog, always have it at the back of your mind that the calmer the better. Always use your better judgment and if your dog starts looking a little amped up or agitated, it might mean your choice of music is too hyper for them.
Why do dogs howl to music?
Could it be that they’re enjoying the music or dislike it entirely when they howl? Well, dogs have a natural instinct to howl, but not as much as a wolf. However, howling is common in domestic dogs, especially when they hear the sound of music.
You might have imagined maybe your dog is trying to create music on their own when they howl. But that’s not true. Howling serves several purposes. Dogs may howl to communicate loneliness or reinforce pack unity.
And when it comes to music, they howl not to create music, but to enter into a social activity. So when different dogs howl, you tend to hear different musical tones. That’s simply because no two dogs share the same note.
So when a dog joins a group of people singing, they usually how to enjoy their unique tone and you get to recognize it from everyone else signing. Of course, your pooch can’t sound so good that you would consider starting a band with them, but the fact that they’re enjoying the moment is a pleasant sight.
When do dogs love to listen to music?Just as humans do, dogs love to listen to music when they are anxious or stressed out. Many factors, such as firecrackers, thunderstorms, anxiety, and more can trigger stress in your furry friend.
In fact, from the moment you start preparing for work with plans to leave your dog all alone, they tend to suffer separation anxiety. This is a good time to introduce some cool classic sounds to their space.
Some body language that signals that your dog is suffering anxiety issues include:
- Stress yawning
- Avoiding eye contact
- Trying to hide out-of-sight or in plain sight
However, studies have found that you can train and condition your dog to respond positively to music. One study showed that dogs who listened to music with their owners tend to be less stressed when you leave them all alone. This is a good way to calm your pooch when you’re off to work.
Some dogs even enjoy the sound of people talking than the sound of music alone. So if your dog doesn’t seem happy with the sound of the music you’re playing, you can try switching on your television tuning it to MTV base, for example, but make sure you keep it low. You can also try cooking or regular talk shows that covers different topics.
Any show that involves people having a conversation is likely to interest your dog and affect them positively.
Some studies also found that dogs love what it called “dog-speak” which involves people talking in the pitch of a baby. Dogs tend to respond to this type of speech and it may even boost the bond they have with you.
ConclusionDogs generally love to listen to music, but like humans, they do have their preferences. You may consider experimenting to find out your dog’s preferred choice, but always ensure you pick a low tone. Classical music has been the best choice for pooches based on studies, and it is a great place for you to start.
But it is better to stay open-minded as your furry friend might get to appreciate soft reggae or other cool genre. Music offers lots of therapeutic benefits and it has been shown to help calm dogs down, especially during thunderstorms or when they are stressed.