Do dogs like music?

Dogs react to music, and just like humans, different kinds of music give different responses.

Dog with headphonesSlower tempos and simpler patterns can help dogs relax while faster tempos with a multitude of instruments can make them stressed. This was shown in a study on shelter dogs made in 2002. 50 dogs of various breeds listened to different kinds of music with pauses in between, and showed significant changes in behavior.

Classical music made the dogs lie down and relax, pop music didn’t make much of a difference from their regular behaviors, but  heavy metal made the dogs act agitated and increased barking.

Since the study, many experiments have been make with classical music and it is often used as a tool to help dogs relax. It can help with anxiety issues, fear of noises, and hyperactivity.

If you want to use music to help your dog, it’s a good idea to start playing songs when your dog is happy and calm. You don’t want your dog to associate music with stressful events – once they associate it with something positive you can start playing it gradually in stressful situations. This way, it becomes a reminder of something good that can help relax and bring comfort.

Also remember that dogs have better hearing than we do, so when you want to play loud they need to be able to seek out a quieter spot.

Puppies are born deaf and actually can’t hear anything for the first three weeks of life, and they shouldn’t be exposed to loud sounds as their hearing is developing. Once their hearing is developed they can pick up sounds four times the distance of a human, or more. They can also hear higher pitched sounds than humans.

Saffordshire terrier playing keyboard

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