Dogs like music. In fact, they dogs don’t just like music, they are emotionally affected by it. Music can make they react with behaviors like barking, howling, moving in circles, tail chasing or even relaxation. Your dog will either calm down or get excited depending on what you put on the stereo and how loud it is. Typically slow, soft wind instruments help dogs wind down, and heavier beats or faster tempos can get them excited or stressed out.
Can Dogs Hear Music?
It’s true that a dog’s ears are more sensitive than our own. So, they will be able to hear the songs that you play. But, it also means they can hear at higher frequencies than we can, so when you listen to music with your dog around, it’s important to remember this.
A dog’s hearing range falls between 47 and 44,000 Hz. In comparison human hearing ranges vary from as low as 20 to 20,000 Hz.
Just like humans, certain types of music can calm your dog while others can hype them up. And, many dogs show preferences for certain types.
Do Dogs Like Music?
Perhaps the unsurprising answer to this question is yes! Dogs do enjoy music. And not only do they enjoy it, they have musical preferences unique to their own personalities!
Many people that play music for their pups notice changes in their behavior, which leads us to make assumptions about their feelings towards the music.
Reactions can include calm behavior, agitation, barking, howling, and more. In fact, howling is one of the most common ways that dogs react to music.
But, different dogs will react differently.
Dogs That Howl To Music
There are hundreds of videos online of dogs howling along to various songs. As soon as a certain song is played, owners see their dog leaping to their feet to join in with the singing!
Dogs have a sense of pitch and enjoy singing. Although their idea of hitting a musical note may be much different to ours.
Whereas you may think that howling is a sign of pain, sadness, and agitation in a dog, that’s not always true.
Wolves, for example, howl deliberately at a pitch different to that of other wolves. By ensuring they are not in tune, their voices stand out. And dogs are known to howl in the same way.
This is quite different to singing to fit a particular tune as humans do.
The music that induces the most howling seems to be music ripe with wind instruments such as flutes. So, if your dog is howling along to some music that you’re playing, they may be communicating through their own type of ‘singing’!
What Kind of Music Do Dogs Like?
Shelter dogs who listened to heavy metal or grunge music began barking and showing signs of agitation. On the other hand, when classical music was played, their moods shifted and they were much calmer and more relaxed. When the dogs were exposed to pop music like Britney Spears or played recordings of humans talking to one another, they had little to no reaction at all.
This theory that classical music is most relaxing for dogs has been supported by many other studies.
If you want your dog to simply relax and feel good, try playing him some Beethoven or Mozart.
Do Dogs Like Classical Music?
Studies have shown almost conclusively that most dogs enjoy classical songs. So, it’s a safe bet to play this genre for your dog when trying out their reaction to new music.
But, classical music isn’t the only genre that can have a positive impact on your dog’s behavior and mental state.
Dogs have mixed reactions to different types of music. So, look at your dog for cues as to whether or not they are enjoying the music you’re playing. Soft rock and reggae genres were indicative of lowest stress levels in dogs studied, although all musical genres studied had a positive effect.
The Least Relaxing Genres
Just as some music can improve your dog’s mood, other types of music can have a negative effect on them.
Dogs who listene to loud, chaotic music like grunge or heavy metal displayed signs of agitation, stress, exhaustion, and anxiety.
Exposing your dog too long periods of music that causes him stress and anxiety can have a harmful effect on him and even cause aggression and depression.
When choosing a track for your dog, use your better judgment and remember, the calmer the better. If your dog begins to bark and starts looking agitated or a little amped up, your music choice may be too hyper for him and may be causing them anxiety.
Plus, if the music is too loud—even soft classical music your dog is sure to love—it may be harmful to their hearing and could cause them unnecessary stress.
Always play music at a comfortable level and if it seems loud to you, it’s probably even louder for your dog.
When Do Dogs Like To Listen To Music?
Have you ever found that when you’re anxious, a good song can help relieve your stress? The same is true for your dog.
Stress in pets can be caused by many things including long periods of time alone when you’re away at work, thunderstorms, firecrackers, and more.
My own dog shows anxiety when I’m getting ready to leave the house or when she realizes it’s bath time.
During these times, it can be good to incorporate a little bit of soft music to help her relax and to show her she is safe.
Studies have shown that we can train a conditioned emotional response to music in dogs.
In this study, dogs who listened to music with their owners were less stressed when left alone if this music was playing. So, it really can help to calm our dogs when we are away.
Music Dogs Like
When choosing calming music for dogs, choose songs that are slower and softer. Here is a playlist with some lovely classical music for dogs to help them sleep.
There are many sources online where you can find specialized music dogs like. If you’re looking for music to reduce your dog’s anxiety, try these:
If you are looking for music to help your dog sleep, try these:
And last but not least, check out this fun compilation of dogs listening (and singing along) to music! Here are some more fun videos of dogs singing to music:
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website