A Colorado State University study suggests classical music might be the best way to calm an anxious dog, and that heavy metal — no big surprise — seems to do the opposite.
The study, reported in the latest Journal of Veterinary Behavior, found that classical music was more soothing than any other music, even “psychoacoustic” music and pet CDs designed to calm animals.
Dogs listening to classical music — whether they were rescued dogs being sheltered, or pets being kenneled — barked and shook less often, slept more and had slower heartbeats.
The authors of the study say playing classical music may help mitigate some of the stress inherent for dogs being kenneled as well as those awaiting adoption in stressful shelter environments.
Their research analyzed the behavior of 117 dogs of various breeds, all at one kennel in northern Colorado. Of the group, 83 were boarders of different breeds and 34 were rescued dachshunds. Lead author Lori Kogan and her researchers did thousands of behavioral assessments over a period of four months.
The dogs were exposed to 45 minutes of three different genres of music while their behavior was recorded every five minutes.
Classical music was linked to more relaxed and restful behavior, while heavy metal was linked to greater anxiety and unrest.
Dogs listening to heavy metal had speeded up heartbeats: Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” led to 140 beats a minute, while “Turbo Lover,” by Judas Priest, resulted in 151. In contrast to that, Beethoven’s “Für Elise” produced average heart rates of 111 and Bach’s “Air on a G String” a relatively mellowed out 100.
In addition to heartbeats, researchers recorded the amount of time the canine listeners spent sleeping, barking, shaking, and whining.
Both boarded and rescue dogs responded to all the classical music selections by sleeping more. The dogs were most silent while listening to classical music, and noisiest when no music was playing at all.
Researchers said the results are consistent with human studies showing music can reduce agitation, promote sleep, improve mood and lower stress and anxiety.
“It is suggested that shelters play classical music as a cost-efficient, practical way to enhance the environment and, therefore, the welfare of shelter dogs. Classical music can reduce dogs’ stress levels and potentially increase the likelihood of adoption.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anxiety, bach, background, behavior, boarding, calm, classical, colorado state university, dogs, heavy metal, judas priest, kennels, listening, motorhead, mozart, music, pets, rescues, shelters, slayer, soothing, strauss, stress, study
This trip, whatever else it’s about, is also about nostalgia, and I got a big dose of it on the drive to Houston – most of it induced by the long-distance driver’s best friend, the radio.
Music, like old friends revisited and roads previously traveled, can be a powerful memory trigger.
Music and roads, in fact, have a lot in common.
The road itself has a rhythm – the steady thwack-thwack percussion of cracks in the highway, the different humming tones produced by different road surfaces, the rat-a-tat drum roll when you accidentally veer across those lane divider bumps, which always causes Ace to, ever so briefly, wake up.
Then, on the Interstate at least, there is the familiar chorus: Exit ahead … Food, Gas, Lodging … Shoney’s, Cracker Barrel, Taco Bell.
When it comes to roads, some are pop roads, also known as Interstate highways, where you’re not likely to see anything you haven’t seen before. There are classical roads, like Route 66; and blues roads, which are dark and swampy with moss hanging from the trees. There are jazz roads, which meander, make abrupt turns and have unpredictable curves and riffs. There are alternate, or alternative highways, which often lead to something interesting; and of course there are country roads, which may or may not take you home … to the place … you belong.
On Friday, with the radio blasting, I traveled a swampy stretch of I-10 – a combination blues/pop road — from Baton Rouge to Lafayette, crossing a piece of the Atchafalaya Swamp, whose name itself is almost musical. During the drive I had four flashbacks, three of them music-induced.
Blame the first on the Red Hot Chili Peppers – the musical group that, like the vegetable, tends to come back and haunt me.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace does america, andrew, atchafalaya, blues, boyz II men, classical, country, dog friendly, dog's country, dogscountry, eagles, emotions, glenn grey, groom, highways, hurricanem, jazz, katrina, louisiana, memories, memory, music, nostalgia, pop, red hot chili peppers, road, road trip, roads, songs, swamp, texas, travel, trigger, you're a part of me