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Dogs Shown To React To Music

Lisa R. Kindel



Two recent studies have shown that the behavior of dogs can be affected by the type of music they are hearing.

When a team of researchers led by Deborah Wells, an animal behaviorist employed by Queens University in Belfast, Northern Island, exposed 50 dogs in an animal shelter to Vivaldis, The Four Seasons, Greigs Morning and other classical pieces, the dogs became calm and laid down.

When the researchers played music by Metallica and other heavy metal bands, the dogs became agitated and began barking.

Pop music and radio talk shows seemed to have little effect.

A similar research project conducted at the Rehoming Center of the National Canine Defense League in Evesham, England yielded comparable results.

"It is well established that music can influence our moods," said Wells. "Dogs may be as discerning as humans when it comes to music."

"Dogs have a taste in musical styles just as people do," said Alison Jaskiewicz, cofounder of the Canine Freestyle Federation, which is dedicated to broadening the scope of dog training by adding choreography to it.  "If you move dogs to different types of music, you will see their preferences reflected in their bodies, in their eagerness to move, in their tail set, in their ear set, etc."

An Arizona Animal Welfare League has started playing classical music to calm animals at its no-kill shelter.

The music comes courtesy of Scottsdale residents Scott Goldberg and Hannah Romberg, who paid for the installation and service for the Muzak system that provides the music continuously via satellite, said Cheryl Weiner, the league's Vice President.

A United Kingdom study published in the journal Animal Welfare revealed that shelter animals overwhelmingly spend more time in a relaxed state when exposed to classical music.

Goldberg said he noticed the calming effect of music on his two cats and two dogs, and he wanted to extend the service to the shelter animals.

There are other benefits.

"The dogs bark less and are more relaxed when people visit the shelter," Weiner said. "Visitors stay longer and spend more time with animals, so more may be adopted."


This News Report has been provided by the Animal News Center, Inc. ?003
Animal News Center, Inc.  http://www.anc.org

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