Classical music more soothing for dogs than heavy metal
Dogs prefer classical music to heavy metal, a new study suggests.
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, the Daily Mail reported.
Heavy metal, by contrast, was found to have the opposite effect, inducing nervous shaking and barking, and stopping the canines getting any sleep.
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, an 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.
Genres investigated 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.
In a result that caught Professor Kogan by surprise, the dog-specific psychoacoustic music had only a minimal effect on the behaviour of the dogs.
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.
The findings are published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior.