Researchers from the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow recently shared a paper that suggested dogs’ behaviors differ based on musical genres they listen to (and they prefer to listen to reggae or soft rock!).
Scottish researchers played different genres of music to dogs at a shelter in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire Scotland and then watched the dogs to assess their physical and behavior changes specific to the individual genres.
Professor Neil Evans of the University of Glasgow said that when reggae or soft rock was played, dogs seemed to have the most positive behaviors and behavior changes, though individual dogs also seemed to have unique tastes in music as well, and he likened the responses to different genres to humans having different music preferences as well.
For the research, dogs listened to five different music genres–soft rock, Motown, reggae, pop and classical. When music was played, no matter the genre, the dogs appeared to be more calm, spending more time lying down compared to time spent standing up.
Additionally, the researchers measured the dogs’ heart rates, and the rates seemed to indicate a decrease in stress levels when music, and particularly reggae or soft rock, was played. Researcher Amy Bowman said that very clear and definitive physical and behavior changes were observed when the dogs were exposed to music, and they were eager to explore the effect of varying genres in relationship to those changes.
As a result, the Scottish SPCA plans to invest in sound systems for all of their shelters. Currently two of their shelters have the ability to play music in their kennels and they want to be able to play canine-approved music for future canine shelter residents, possibly even other species of animals as well. SPCA said it would now be investing in sound systems for all its kennels.
So for those of you (read, people like me!) who leave music on for your pup when you leave the house? Go you! Just make sure it’s some Bob Marley or Air Supply…your dog will thank you!