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Is the dog sensitive to music?

Music has a real power over some animals, especially dogs, who are much more music lovers than we think. Let's take a look at the musical styles preferred by canines, and find out what benefits music has on these pets, which have a much greater auditory sensitivity than their owners.

Dogs and music: classical music is popular!

Of all the musical styles, classical music is by far the most popular with our dogs. Although there is no doubt about it, the artistic quality is not the main reason, but it is rather a question of frequency and tempo. Although there are some dogs that are not interested in this, most canines are particularly fond of piano and slow classical music that soothes them.

On the whole, variety leaves dogs unmoved, heavy metal seems to stress them out and especially makes small canine breeds howl at death. In fact, the slower the heartbeat of a dog, as in the case of large dogs, the closer their musical tastes are to those of their owners.

Dogs and music: a question of the ear

The frequency ranges of dogs and humans are closer than those of cats and humans. Thus, the sound waves perceived by our dog friends are of the order of 50,000 vibrations per second (30,000 for humans), which is expressed in hertz (Hz), which is none other than the unit of measurement for frequency. Thanks to this particularity, the dog can perceive ultrasounds which is not the case for the human ear. These animals also have the ability to hear sounds at a longer distance than we do because of their great auditory acuity, and they are gifted with an auditory sensitivity much higher than ours. This is the reason why dogs do not confuse different sounds and can also differentiate between them even if they follow each other very quickly.

Dogs' ears are therefore particularly well designed to allow these pets to appreciate music... and whether they have floppy ears or not, all dogs have the same hearing acuity.

Dogs like music at moderate levels

While there is no doubt that dogs are sensitive to music, there are nuances to it. The sound level must be well adapted to the auditory sensitivity of these animals, because if the power of the sound is excessive, the most music-loving dog of all may want to run away on all fours. So there is no point in hoping to please or serve your dog by allowing him to attend Berlioz' Requiem in the heart of a cathedral, performed by a symphony orchestra and a few hundred choristers! We just risk to attend a fiasco and to be at the origin of a cultural disaster!

Therapeutic virtues of music in dogs

It has been proven that classical music with its sweet sounds has beneficial effects on dogs. The violin is said to be more popular than the tuba or even the flute, as the sound of the latter tends to annoy small dogs. In most cases, Mozart's concertante works for strings and Bach's Preludes can be relied upon without fear if one wishes to :
  • Reduce anxiety in a distressed dog,
  • Calm a hyperactive dog,
  • Bring joy to a depressed dog,
  • Soothe the daily life of a very sick or momentarily suffering dog,
  • To allow the dog to better support loneliness, for example when it is alone at home because all the members of its foster family are at work or at school,
  • To facilitate the education of dogs with behavioral problems.
These are just a few examples of the benefits of listening to music, but anyone can test their dog to see which style of music has the best effect on them. It is safe to say that classical music (to which cats are totally insensitive) makes everyday life more pleasant for most canines. Like a natural tranquilizer, music soothes dogs and makes them feel calm and happy, as long as the music is well-chosen and the volume remains moderate.