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
Mozart thinks Stephen Colbert is cheating.
To be more accurate, Mozart’s owners (who call their 6-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel MoMo for short) think one of MoMo’s competitors in a nationwide cutest dog contest has an unfair edge because his owners named him after the fake anchorman on Comedy Central.
Stephen Colbert el dos, a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix from Atlanta, threatens to outpoll Momo — and Momo’s owners things it’s all because of his name, and the popularity of the “Colbert Report.”
Both dogs are contestants in the The Cutest Dog Competition, run by All American Pet Brands. Over 60,000 people have uploaded photos of their dogs to the contest’s website. The final 12 pooches will get to compete for the grand prize of $1 million.
What makes it harder to bear yet, at least to Momo’s parents, is that they entered the contest to try and win money for charitable relief efforts in New Orleans.
The first round is under way, with a finalist selected each week based on the number of fan votes. MoMo came in second last week in the Cutest Dog Competition with 2,780 votes, and this week he’s running neck and neck with Stephen Colbert, the dog.
“It’s just coming out of nowhere,” MoMo’s momma, Cara McCool, a New Orleans piano teacher is quoted as telling CNN. “It’s just unfortunate. MoMo is named after a famous person too, but he’s dead … He’s my furry child.” If Mozart wins she said all the money will got to area charities.
Stephen Colbert el dos’ owners did not want to be identified. They told CNN they have only mentioned the contest to a few friends and family members. However, they did post a note about the doggie competition on a Colbert fan site. The owners say they have not heard from the show but one of the fan sites says Colbert el dos will appear on “The Colbert Report” if he makes the top 12.
A spokesperson for Comedy Central declined to confirm that, citing show policy on commenting on upcoming guests.
Even without a television appearance, though, Colbert el dos appears to be benefiting from the name recognition factor, CNN said, pointing out that Stephen Colbert, the human, has “wreaked havoc” in other online competitions — from a Hungarian bridge-naming contest to a NASA competition to name a room in the International Space Station. In both cases Colbert urged his viewers to vote for him, and won the popular vote.
The voting for this week ends at midnight on Saturday and the grand prize winner will be named on Thanksgiving Day.
(Photos from cutestdogcompetition.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $1 million, american pet brands, animals, colbert, colbert report, comedy central, contest, cutest, cutest dog competition, dog, dogs, dollar, million, momo, mozart, pets, stephen colbert, stephen colbert el dos