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Do Dogs Enjoy Listening to Music?

Rujuta Patil
Do our canine companions show interest in music? How do they react to different kinds of music genres? These and such questions have been a part of research lately. The connect between dogs and music is definitely worth learning about, more so, if you LOVE your cute little friend.


Many animals can hear higher frequencies of sound as compared to the human range that is between 20 and 20,000 Hertz. Dogs can hear frequencies up to even 50,000 Hertz.
Come home to lay back on the couch and put on your most favorite piece of music. What does it do to us, that we begin to call it a therapy? No idea. Well, may be that's the power of music - as simple as that. As many of us have experienced so often, we know for sure that music can heal our minds and souls quite easily. Why does music appear to soothe us?
Or, practically speaking, it just makes us feel relaxed! For instance, some Ragas (a series of melodious musical notes in Indian classical music) have the power to draw all our stress away if we sit down and listen to them quietly.
We feel lively and fresh, especially when we listen to some instrumental music. Is it just humans who can feel these miracles of sound energy? Does listening to music affect animals too? More specifically, let's find out what Mr. Fido has to say about music.

Do Dogs Like Music?

Yes, of course! "My dog loves rock music!", or "Me and my dog have got the same taste for music." We hear such comments from people around us quite often. So, it means doggies do like music. Or, is it that their owners 'would like them to like music?'.
It has been observed through several studies that of all animals, there are certain species, including chickens, Asian elephants, western lowland gorillas, and domestic dogs who respond positively to music. Some animal psychologists and behaviorists have also found that dogs do indeed like listening to music, which helps them feel relaxed, and reduces their anxiety and stress.
According to the research 'Behavioral Effects of Auditory Stimulation on Kenneled Dogs' published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior (2012), a study was conducted to see the impact of music on kenneled dogs. The results exhibited that classical music led to the dogs spending more time sleeping, rather than vocalizing; heavy metal music, as compared to other music types, seemed to increase body shaking, which indicates nervousness.

What Kind of Music?

'Light classical music', being the most magical, is set to win again at the Canine Music Awards in the 'Most Popular and Most Soothing' category! So, it's not just any music that you make them hear. Dogs have their niveau! That does not, however, let you gain yourself pride in saying "Mozart is his favorite!"
Light classical music means instrumental pieces that are usually composed of long and stretched notes. Dogs neither prefer nor is their behavior seen to be affected by something like rock or pop music.
It is proven that dogs like music that is blended with the ambiance; one that includes surrounding noises like that of human talk, birds chirping, etc.
There are some music albums available in the market or some soundtracks you can find on the Internet that have garnered some unique combinations of sounds for dogs.

Species-specific Music

Also, there are some who believe that all animals like listening to music that is specifically tailored to their species. Charles Snowdon, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found this on experimentation.
Music would be enjoyed if it is familiar to the animal. Music quietens and reduces the stress in dogs. It could be played during the day, because dogs need silence to be able to sleep well at night.

Do Dogs Understand Music?

As mentioned earlier, dogs do have a highly tuned hearing as compared to humans, but they cannot identify sonic relationships like harmony, rhythm, or beats. Humans are able to identify differences in pitches; for example, consider that a pattern of notes is played first in a lower and then in a higher octave.
Humans can still identify that they are the same series of notes, regardless of the pitch. This characteristic does not come naturally to animals, including dogs. So, for them, enjoying music may simply mean experiencing a state of ease and rest.
Though it has not yet been 'humanly' possible to make a dog tap to musical beats (of course, some of us must have tried that quite earnestly), we can surely take efforts for our 'best friends' to feel more comfortable, not just with a softer bedding, but by catering to some of their innate needs; like helping them connect with nature through music.