People often say that their babies like listening to music when inside the womb and once they are born, but can the same be said for dogs? Just like how we enjoy melodic tunes, a lot of people wonder whether their beloved pooches enjoy it as well.
There have been many viral videos that show certain dogs enjoying the songs their owners sing, as well as dogs falling asleep to instruments being played. These alone prove that dogs are capable of liking the music that is played to them.
Studies have shown that dogs have intelligence that is similar to that of a toddler, so it only makes sense that they would enjoy music as well. But what kind of effect does music have on them?
Music Can Relax Them
A lot of people dislike leaving their dog home alone in a silent and empty house. To combat this, they will often leave music playing in the background, so their dog doesn’t get lonely, and it seems to work!
Many dogs can become agitated when left alone, but the music helps to relax them and act as a companion of sorts. An animal welfare study called ‘The influence of auditory stimulation on the behavior of dogs housed in a rescue shelter’ found that shelter dogs were relaxed and quiet when music was played.
As anyone who has visited a shelter knows, it can get very loud and when one dog starts barking, they all do. Instead of allowing the dogs to continue feeling upset, some shelters are beginning to play soothing music to them.
They Won’t Like All Music
Just because dogs like listening to music, it doesn’t mean they will like all genres. In fact, the study mentioned above found that classical music was the most relaxing for dogs, while heavy metal elicited stress-related behaviors in them. Humans often say that music can affect their own mood and the same can be said for dogs.
Deborah Wells is a psychologist from Queen’s University, Belfast, and she conducted a study that showed how dogs were affected by different genres of music. When shelter dogs were subjected to heavy metal and grunge music, they showed signs of agitation and started barking.
However, when classical or soothing music was played, they became calm. Something that was surprising was that pop music and recordings of people talking to one another had no effect on the dogs, which is most likely due to them hearing those sounds a lot of the time.
It Can Help Their Anxiety
Sometimes dogs can develop anxiety just as humans do as well. A lot of the time it is in the form of separation anxiety when they are left alone, but this can sometimes be helped by playing soothing music.
Outside noises such as hearing neighbors or loud vehicles can also set them on edge, but when their favorite songs are being played it can help to distract them.
Other times their anxiety is caused by thunderstorms or fireworks, and it can make them very scared. It is easy to train a dog to have a positive association with music by playing it during the moments they are calm and happy.
Once they realize that music is associated with a soothing emotion, you can play it during stressful times and they will begin to feel better.
They Might Even Sing-Along
When dogs get excited about something, they will often make noises such as barking or howling, but did you know they can also do that if they are enjoying music?
While howling can be seen as a sign of agitation or pain, it can also show that they are happy. There have been many videos shared on social media that show people’s dogs singing along to their favorite songs, with some breeds being more vocal than others.
There is nothing more heart-warming than hearing them trying to sing along to some classical tunes, or even to their owners playing instruments.
If you are looking into playing music for your dog, why not browse some of the incredible playlists online or even create your own!
You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make in your dog’s life.