Nipper Favored His Master’s Voice

 

In 1899, when offered this painting at sale, the Edison Bell Company rejected it, saying “dogs don’t listen to phonographs.”

Dogs incarcerated at the pound are not having the same soothing experience as dogs spending the day being pampered at the doggie spa.

Kennelled dogs are exposed to many stressors when locked up in strange, noisy, and bewildering environments. The experience is even worse for those who have been mistreated or are ill.

Treating shelter dogs well is the right thing to do.

It has a practical element, too. Well-adjusted dogs behave better, which makes them easier to place in adoptions and less likely to be returned. 

The Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow conducted a study with kennelled dogs to learn ways to reduce the animals’ stress. They collected physical and behavioural data and compared the results, noting that not all dogs react in the same ways and showing how stress levels vary by age, size, breed, and gonadal status.

Their study showed that Classical, Reggae, Soft Rock, Motown, and Pop have measurable calming effects while Heavy Metal causes stress. No mention was made of bagpipe music or Kenny G. It also showed that varying the music has a positive effect over time, which suggests a playlist that includes Hound Dog, Walking the Dog, Hey Bulldog, and The Boxer.

In a surprise to many, listening to audiobooks had a more calming effect than listening to any type of music.

Special psychoacoustically-designed music sold online was found to have no positive effects. 

This should surprise those who pay $5 a month for doggy streaming services such as relaxmydog.com, who claim to be watched more than 10 million times a month on YouTube.

For some, the soothing nature of relaxing audio isn’t enough.

This is why we now have on-trend companies selling doggy relaxation videos. No word yet about the increase in stress brought about by your dogs fighting over the remote control and arguing about whether to watch Benji, Lassie, or 101 Dalmatians.

Music historians know that Hound Dog, popularized by Elvis Presley, was first recorded by Big Mama Thornton. Click here for her video.