Music to Calm the Beast
Music has always been a part of my life. Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains it is common place for a family to gather together with stringed instruments to play and sing. While it was not classical overtures we were accomplished at, I noticed early on, anytime the music started the animals
would come to relax and enjoy the noise and the company.
Fast forward to my first Christmas present as a married woman, a little puff ball of a Pomeranian made her way into our life. Over the years she has happily made her way to the basement anytime she knows we are at our instruments. She often stretches out and naps or just happily smiles while we are together. At fifteen years old she is now deaf, but still tackles the stairs when she knows we are heading down together to play. She likely has the vibrations of the songs memorized. She doesn't hear the sound but you can tell she enjoys it nonetheless.
Recently, as I was up with Mama Nova many times the night before her pups were born, we listened to some classical piano to pass the time. Later while her puppies were being born we enjoyed some Dean Martin and Bing Crosby (oldies but goodies).
Even part of the Puppy Culture program and the research they have done indicates that young puppies exposed to 45 minutes of classical music a day spent more time sleeping, barked and shook less. We have attached a link to the CD that we use while the puppies are in our care.
More is not always better and a dog does still need some silent , quiet time.
The American Kennel Club website notes that some research done by psychologist Deborah Wells showed that dogs listening to classical music showed a calming effect while those exposed to heavy metal were more agitated and barked more. Pop music seemed to show no effect.
If you are wondering if your favorite listening music may help calm your dog, PetMd has some information that may help you decide on a puppy playlist. They found that a tempo of 50-60 beats per minute helped dogs relax the most. Classical music, reggae and some soft rock are good options that can fall into this category. (From personal experience- My Pomeranian likely prefers slow, older country, or church hymns)
Dogs also seem to get used to music and so some of the calming effects can wear off if they hear the same songs too often. They may be like us and like a variety!
I hope that this shows you one more way you and your dog can connect and enjoy time together. It may also be a good idea to put on a play list while you are away at work or they are alone for a few hours. Let us know what you think! What are your pup's favorite songs?