Why dogs prefer classical music over heavy metal

The findings have implications for welfare of animals in stressful environments and could lead to new guidelines for the care of dogs in shelters.

hidden November 08, 2012 15:13:04 IST
Why dogs prefer classical music over heavy metal

London: Don't let those spiked collars fool you, Mozart fan dogs prefer classical music to heavy metal, a new study has found.

Research from Colorado State University found dogs in animal shelters were less likely to bark and more likely to sleep when played the likes of Mozart or Beethoven.

Why dogs prefer classical music over heavy metal

Representative image. Reuters

Heavy metal, by contrast, was found to have the opposite effect, inducing nervous shaking and barking, and stopping the canines getting any sleep, the Daily Mail reported.

The findings have implications for welfare of animals in stressful environments and could lead to new guidelines for the care of dogs in shelters.

Lori Kogan, associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, played different music to dogs in a shelter over the course of four months and recorded their responses.

The investigated genres included classical, heavy metal and a simplistic psychoacoustic classical composition marketed specifically for dog relaxation.

Music selections were played for 45 minutes with behavioural observations recorded every 5 minutes. Each music selection was followed by a period of silence, resulting in thousands of behavioural recordings.

Compared to the control condition of no music, classical was linked to more relaxed and restful behaviour while heavy metal was linked to increased barking, shaking and less sleep time.

Surprisingly, the dog-specific psychoacoustic music had only a minimal effect on the behaviour of the canines.

With shelters being inherently stressful environments for most dogs the results of the study suggest that playing classical music might help with the welfare of the animals.

Kogan and her colleagues suggest that animal shelters don't play heavy metal because of the impact it might have on the dogs' mental health.

The study was reported in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour.

PTI

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