Do Dogs Like Music?

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I’ve written before about dogs watching television and what they really “see” when watching. None of my dogs have ever paid any attention to the TV, so I assume they just don’t see it.
But what about music? Do dogs hear and/or appreciate music?
Slimdoggy Steve is a hard rock/metal fan and he listens to it exclusively in his car and in his gym when working out. I like rock, especially when working out, but for driving or leisure listening I prefer alternative/folk/blues type of music. People have wide and varied taste in music. Do dogs have varied taste in music too? Do they prefer one type of music over another?
When we got our puppy Sally, I had a 2.5 hour drive home from the breeders with her by myself. I had arranged a crate in the back seat with the opening right at the break between the seats in the SUV so I could watch her. She was upset, whining and restless until I put on and oldie – “Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys” by Traffic…whatever it was about the tune, it soothed her and she fell asleep. I would play it for her often through the years when she was sick or upset and it usually had the same effect.



This dog obviously has a preference for Frozen’s “Let It Go” over Charli XCX’s “Boom, Clap”.


And you’ve probably seen this viral video from a few years ago…still amusing.


Recent research into the use of music to increase calming in dogs is interesting and we have several CD’s that I’ll play for Jack & Maggie to calm them in certain situations. What’s exciting to read about this research is how it is being used at shelters and kennels to help keep dogs calm.

…”Sherry Woodard, CPDT-KA, and Animal Behavior Consultant for Best Friends Animal Society says, “We play it at DogTown and CatWord at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. “The cats are relaxed, and the dogs don’t bark when the music is playing. As a result, people who come to adopt stay longer. And that results in more adoptions”… 1.
What a great idea! How about YOUR dogs? What is their preference? Do they like to sing along?

1. Music therapy for dogs and cats

Additional Reading
What Music Do Pets Prefer?

New Research on Dogs and Music


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  1. Mom says she thinks music is like talking, we don\’t necessarily \”get it\”, but we are used to it, so it makes us feel comfortable. We don\’t have a musical preference, and we only howl along if Mom listens to a video with howling in it.
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  2. Easy started to howl along with Bruce Springsteens Tunnel Of Love once… we first thought something is wrong and he has pains… but it fortunately was just the song.
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  3. My Cocker Spaniel absolutely has some favourite music. My boyfriend works from home and she spends a lot of time in the office with him. Whenever he is off the phone he’ll play jazz or classical music compilations. There is a particular classical piano compilation that she loves. We know that because she will sleep to it but as soon as my boyfriend turns it off she wakes up and moans! And as soon as it is on again she settles down and closes her eyes. None of the other music has the same effect on her. We are absolutely convinced she likes that music. We always leave the radio on classical fm for the dogs to listen in the living room, so they are used to that and can associate it with positive things. Once the dogs associate it with positive things I use it when they are faced with potential stressors such as building works and fireworks. Our cocker is used to all of that by now but I’m sure our new puppy who is 7 months old and very sensitive will benefit enormously from that. We have a loft conversion starting this week and she heard fireworks for the first time last week. She coped brilliantly and we have no doubt she’ll do well when the builders show up too 🙂

    • Excellent – so glad you use the music to soothe them – it really does work, doesn’t it?
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  4. My two aren’t vocal to begin with, so I don’t know if they have any musical preferences. But they both certainly enjoy when I start dancing and are always eager to join in.

    • Jack looks at me like I’m nuts when I dance…Maggie leaves the room 🙂
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  5. The videos are SO cute!! I can’t say Cocoa prefers any type of music. She does not seem to care what I listen to. It is interesting though to play different music to see if one relaxes her or makes her excited.
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  6. I love those videos! Pierre seriously watches television all of the time. Bentley definitely prefers music and his favorite seems to be Sirius Spa or Watercolors. We play it whenever we have to leave them at home. It also has a great calming effect in the car for him.
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  7. In the first video of the puppy howling I thought he was more stressed by the Frozen song than enjoying it…. he licked his lips quite a lot as well as howl. Of course the calming signals could also have been partially triggered as a response to a camera being in front of him or even being stared at… Just a thought. He looked more relaxed when Boom Clap was being played in my opinion 🙂

  8. When I’m running with Kona on an agility course and the crowd cheers and shouts, she clearly loves it! She runs fast and digs in hard. We live around the corner from a high school. If I happen to be walking my girls by there when the marching band is practicing, Kona, more than Sophie, seems to get a lift out of the drums.

  9. Harley is into male voices. He loves the Roots. Anything we play, he straightens up and gives the player his undivided attention. #toofunny He’s always with me on Easter morning for Sunrise Service, that’s the service the Men’s Chorus sings. You can bet your last dollar before the end of the worship service Harley is going to throw his head back and let out a howl. The congregation is used to him now LOL How’s Maggie doing?
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  10. I don’t know, our dogs seem(ed) indifferent. Tried Through the Dog’s Ear for Jasmine and Cookie with no observable effect. Tried sounds of nature for Jasmine but I don’t think it did anything other than make me feel better for trying to do something for her.
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  11. The daycare at our clinic will use soothing music during nap time. I kept a radio on when the glory thunder litter was growing.
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  12. Hahaha! That’s funny. I’m not sure about the music, but I do know my dogs love watching tv!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
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  13. This is something I’ve never noticed with our dogs. I’ll have to be more observant when playing music, or try it when they might be stressed. I do think one time when there was a bad thunderstorm I put on music to drown out the sound and it did seem to help…but I’m not sure if it was the music or just the fact that they couldn’t hear the thunder as well.
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  14. Callie used to get anxious about a coming thunderstorm so I started switching from the 60s Music Choice channel to the Easy Listening channel. Between the softer, more soothing music and my sitting with her on the couch and comforting her, eventually her anxiety eased over time.
    Shadow will sometimes get startled by a loud thunderclap – and Ducky will bark at it – but normally storms don’t bother either of my younger girls. So I don’t know if they really care what we listen to.
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  15. Seriously, I think Sam is too dim-witted to care one way or the other about music. Now if there’s an ear scratch involved, he’s pretty good with anything. That and a yummy treat. 😉
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  16. We use music all of the time to calm the dogs down. It really helps. Where we train they used to have a barn that was full of the calves and there was always music playing in the barn. We always play music for our puppies.

    Traffic was such a cool band. All that talent in one band. The late 60’s 70’s bands were some of the best. Kids these days are really missing out with the synthesized music and auto tune voices.
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