Being a dog owner means facing some pretty unique challenges. And that calls for unique solutions. So, how about music?
Just like we know that babies – often even before they are born – can benefit from listening to classical music, the same has been speculated about dogs for quite some time. And there’s data to back this up. There’s research by psychologist Deborah Wells of Queens University in Belfast for a Psychology Today article claiming that dogs have musical preferences just like us and they have a sense of pitch too.
Granted, dogs’ views on music may not be as complex and refined as ours but they do exist and that’s significant in that it brings questions such as “What are some sounds dogs love?” or “What’s relaxing music for dogs?”
The quick answer is that dogs can have individual preferences just like we do. In general, however, calming, easy-to-listen-to music does tend to calm most dogs down. For example, heavy metal tends to agitate and stress out dogs, classical music puts them at ease, and pop music is largely indifferent to them.
As Wells explains it, “It is well established that music can influence our moods. Classical music, for example, can help to reduce levels of stress, whilst grunge music can promote hostility, sadness, tension, and fatigue.”
Can dogs understand music?
Not as well as we do, naturally. A lot of the music we listen to is pretty basic when you look at it musically and we enjoy it either because of the lyrics or out of social habit. And those are factors that don’t affect dogs. But, while dogs can’t understand the nuances and the beautiful complexity of Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter”, they do understand when a tune is nice and calming to listen to and when it’s not.
Dog separation anxiety music
One of the two big reasons to look into music for dogs is as a solution to separation anxiety. While music alone can’t solve this problem some types can help your pouch feel better while you’re out.
Ultimately, you’re going to have to test different styles and tunes for yourself and find out what your dog likes. Test them both with you there and while the dog’s alone – having a couple of cameras set up at home is great when your dog has separation anxiety.
Statistically, the genres most dogs seem to prefer are classical music (calm classical music, we’re not suggesting Gustav Holst’s Mars, the Bringer of War here), as well as soft rock and reggae.
Sleeping music for dogs
Another thing that music can be useful is for dogs who have issues sleeping. This can be from stress, fear, some physical conditions, and other causes. Again, in this case, you should test some things until you find out what works for your dog. Classical music, reggae, and soft rock seem to work well here too but there are also some online mixes with nature sounds that can help too.