Looking for new ways to spend time with your dog? Is fetch just a little too overdone? Is your furry friend’s anxiety getting the better of them? Try putting on some Bob Marley.
Studies have shown that classical music calms canine nerves, but did you know Rover may actually have his own taste in music? Recently, a study from the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow, published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, concluded that dogs may have their own music preferences. And while pups tend to enjoy many genres, the most popular seem to be soft rock and reggae.
The study, which evaluated kenneled dogs’ preferences for soft rock, Motown, pop, reggae, and classical music, revealed that dogs spend significantly more time lying down and less time standing when any music plays. And while music didn’t seem to persuade the dogs to quit barking, the pups were significantly more likely to bark once the music stopped.
Researchers also measured the dogs’ heart rates during each tune. When dogs listened to reggae and soft rock, their heart rates were significantly lower, which indicates a reduction in stress. And, even though the dogs specifically enjoyed different music genres, their physiological and behavioral changes remained constant over the five-day study.
Professor Neil Evans at the University of Glasgow suggested that this study may not represent the musical tastes of all dogs. “Overall,” he writes, “the response to different genres was mixed, highlighting the possibility that, like humans, our canine friends have their own individual music preferences.”
In 2015, the University of Glasgow conducted a separate study that examined the effects classical music has on our canine friends. They originally found that, while the music was calming at first, after a week of listening to classical music, the dogs seemed to become disinterested in the tunes and their stress levels eventually increased. So, based on these newer findings, it seems as though a variety of music can keep your dog both interested and relaxed while they are kenneled.
So, the next time it’s too rainy to go to the dog park, put on a doggie-friendly playlist for them to enjoy. Who knows? Maybe your dog has the same taste in music as you!